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 3 – vSAN Configuration

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In this section, I will go over the following objectives found within the VMware vSAN Specialist Blueprint: Objective 3.1 – Identify physical network requirements

Objective 3.1 – Identify physical network requirements

Let’s start with the network basics.

  1. Dedicated network port for vSAN traffic
  2. 10GB (dedicated or shared) highly recommended, required for all flash deployments) <1ms latency
  3. 1GB dedicated for hybrid setups. Real work environments would suffer with 1GB (Minus ROBO) <1ms latency
  4. vSAN VMkernal port required for each ESXi host, even if it isn’t contributing storage
  5. ESXi hosts within a vSAN cluster must all utilize Layer 2/3 upstream

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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

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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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New Certification: AWS Cloud Practitioner

After about a month of preparation, I was able to successful sit Amazon’s AWS Cloud Practitioner exam. This is the first of many that I hope to obtain. I was unable to obtain the AWS Solutions Architect Associate at first go, so I regrouped and took this foundation course in hopes that it would boost my knowledge and reinvigorate my desire to pass the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam. The exam was a good overview of the offerings AWS has to offer. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to dip their toe in AWS.

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How to: Back up your vCenter Server Appliance

In my opinion, one of the best features within the 6.5 vCenter Server Appliance is the ability to perform backups from the appliance itself (natively). No agents, snapshots or scripts required. It really is quite simple, and I’m glad VMware added this additional feature. How many times have you heard someone explain the importance of backups?

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