New Certification: CompTIA Security+

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Last week I attended a CompTIA Security+ boot camp. During the duration of the class, I was trying to make the decision: Do I take the exam at the end of the course on Friday, or do I wait and take the exam after more preparation? Interestingly, the CompTIA Security+ Exam just changed from the SY0-401 format to the SY0-501. The new format is more difficult, and the old format is being phased out within two months. Fortunately, after a week long boot camp and many nights of long studying, I was able to successfully sit and pass the CompTIA Security+ Examination. The Exam was quite difficult, with my examination having 90 minutes to complete 83 questions total. In order to pass the exam, one must obtain a score of at least 750 out of 900. Most of the questions are scenario based, so make sure you prepare accordingly and review all of the exam objectives. It took me the entire 90 minutes to complete the exam, but in the end all of the hard work and preparation paid off. This new certification will help me within my career going forward. If you have any questions regarding the Security+, please let me know!

The Certification was a requirement for my new employer, which leads me to my next announcement. I recently left my job for a new opportunity. This was a tough decision, but in the end it was the right choice. The below photo was taken on my last day.

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Best of luck to all who remain there, I am exited about my future and excited for this new opportunity.

New Achievement: VMware vExpert 2018

After a slight delay, I was driving home Friday when I received confirmation of my vExpert 2018 application. The result?

vExpert Confirmation

I am happy to announce that I have officially achieved VMware vExpert 2018! This was my first year to apply, and I am very fortunate to have obtained this award/recognition.

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Becoming a vSAN Specialist: Section 2 – vSAN Fundamentals

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In this section, I will go over the following objectives found within the VMware vSAN Specialist Blueprint: Section 2 – vSAN Fundamentals

Objective 2.1 – Provide a high-level description of vSAN

Introduction to vSAN

vSAN is an enterprise-class software storage solution built directly into the VMware platform. It runs on commodity hardware (x86) or vSAN Ready nodes.  What does this mean? Instead of having a separate software solution controlling the storage, the actual ESXi hosts alongside with vSphere have the vSAN technology (Software Defined Storage) built directly into the kernel/software. This software then utilizes the commodity hardware (compute, storage, network) within the host/appliance to create the perfect marriage of virtualization and software defined storage. It utilizes storage policies to intelligently place VM objects on underlying local storage. This is the special sauce that makes vSAN so great. It automates storage on many levels, which in turn leads to significant simplification with regards to how storage is provisioned and managed.

Why is this important? Instead of having to buy separate software, you can utilize this software since it’s already a part of vSphere. This in combination with local disk installed within x86 hardware makes the vSAN solution a truly modern and software defined solution. This reduces costs and complexity.

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Becoming a vSAN Specialist: Section 1 – Storage Fundamentals

VSAN-featured

In this section, I will go over the following objectives found within the VMware vSAN Specialist Blueprint: Section 1- Storage Fundamentals

Objective 1.1 – Identify storage device characteristics

vSAN is very similar to today’s traditional storage technologies; however, there are some key differences and unique configurations vSAN utilizes to make it the technology it is today. Here are some of the storage device characteristics that make vSAN hum. These are also requirements in order to use vSAN. Be sure to check out the HCL for vSAN, as it’s the TRUTH and should always be followed to ensure success!

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Becoming a vSAN Specialist: The Process Begins

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Late last year, I made the decision to obtain the vSAN Specialist badge (2VB-601) that VMware just recently began offering. While I currently don’t have the necessary home lab equipment, I plan to get started and then figure out  the lab situation. My ideal plan is to have a three node NUC cluster running vSAN, but this may change. Regardless, the most important thing is to start, so here we go!

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