After a course postponement in January (due to lack of attendees) I finally took the VMware Design Workshop (v5) this week, a three day course designed to help you prepare for the VCAP-DCD exam as well as real life solution design using VMware vSphere. The host design section did cover cluster scale up vs scale out but briefly (given the column inches on blogposts!). I also expected a heavy focus on the new features of v5 (Autodeploy, Storage DRS etc) but while they were covered it wasn’t in depth.
This is the blog of Edward Grigson, an IT professional with a keen interest in cloud, virtualisation, and storage.
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Any of my code, configuration references, or suggestions should be researched and verified in a lab environment before attempting in a production environment.
Ultimately the attendees leave thinking of the business' money as their own and treating it with the appropriate care. Surveys have found that the fear of public speaking ranks higher in most people's minds than the fear of death. Designed for those new to team management, this workshop describes the different techniques that should be used to develop staff. Combining theory with practical exercises, attendees leave the workshop able to appreciate the flexibility in their management style and incorporate styles and techniques to work effectively with their teams.
Performance Management drives business improvement through the setting, and regular review, of SMART goals in line with business strategy.

From the setting of individual objectives to the assessment and feedback of progress against these, this workshop provides end to end training on Performance Management. We here at Prodigy Hockey are big fans of Jari Byrski and the types of skill drills he creates for his players. Without going into vendor specific detail this topic is rather tricky as many companies will have standards to adhere to, preferred choices (personal or corporate) and extra constraints. On reflection that’s probably correct as there are so many things to consider for the average design that the basics are still the same. There was no requirement around storage protocol choice for example so I found myself picking NFS but having to justify it based on other elements of the design.
The blogosphere covers a lot of relevant material which the course skims over due to time restrictions – I doubt the workshop alone would be sufficient to pass the exam. You can get details on the official VMware Education page and sign up for authorisation here. Starting with an overview of how a business operates, the workshop introduces financial reporting and culminates in an exercise relevant to the business and team leader's role. Allowing the attendees to practice in a safe environment, the workshop identifies strong public speakers and the characteristics that contribute to successful presentations. Recognising the different roles of the manager, the workshop improves communication skills enabling improvements in relationships and so, through feedback, improvements in team working. Including models for feedback and relevant case studies, the workshop can be developed further to include behavioural objectives.

I hoped that spending some time away from the office thinking about design might allow me a fresh look at how we currently have our environment configured as well as giving me a gauge on my own skillset. It also meant I kept my mind off work for the three days as I didn’t have a PC in front of me as a distraction! Now I just have to hit the whitepapers and the design bible (VMware vSphere design by Forbes Guthrie, Scott Lowe, and Maish Saidel-Keesing) while I wait for the v5 exam to be officially released. Providing tools and tips for effective presentations, the workshop is highly interactive and feedback driven, allowing attendees to improve their confidence and their technique. There was a select group of four on the course which was a slight shame as I think more people would have increased discussions and added value (everyone does things differently and has different circumstances). I decided not and as long as you understand the implications of your choices you’ve achieved your goal. Given that the beta has already come and gone I don’t think I’ll have long to wait! Despite the limited numbers we had diverse opinions and experience covering government, army, SME and enterprise environments.

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