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Training Tips and Resources for vSphere

Getting started on the training and certification path for vSphere is a good idea. Many IT professionals have advanced their careers with experience in virtualization, with VMware technologies being a great example where training and experience will lead to better things.

There are a number of resources and strategies to employ to be successful with the new platform. Here are some of the things that I am doing with vSphere to supplement my professional experience with the product:

Lab time: You have to devote time to learning the product in a lab. This can be your formal development equipment, or if you are serious about learning the product you could purchase a server for use at home.

Resources: A good book is a timeless resource, even for fast-moving technical topics. One of the good resources that literally just became available is Scott Lowe's new book, Mastering VMware vSphere 4. I am only a few chapters in, but the book is well written and easy to follow.

Different perspectives: One of the strongest points about virtualization is that so many solutions can be architected for specific needs. In my own development I found that I had learned simply what I needed to know for my own requirements initially. I took it upon myself to broaden my VMware configurations in my self-guided training, and found that very enriching. The best example is storage. It is a good idea to work with other storage products and configurations that may be different from what you already know. An example would be that if your experience is limited to fibre channel storage, work with iSCSI products. I have used the openfiler and NexentaStor products to use NFS and iSCSI storage with vSphere. These can even be run as virtual machines for lab environments.

Commitment: If you want to advance on any technology, you have to want it. Most people won't develop in areas that they are not interested in.

A personal skill development plan is critical to embracing the new technology and advancing your career, if you are interested. Does vSphere offer a development opportunity for you? Share your comments below.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 09/03/2009 at 12:47 PM


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