Showing posts with label free resources. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free resources. Show all posts

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A "Thank You" post - passed the VCP-NV 2V0-642! A look back

Wow, what a ride it has been.

This blog, from the beginning, has been dedicated to helping a current VMware admin who works in DataCenter Virtualization, to get accustomed with network virtualization, and a big thing for me has been pointing out free resources and opportunities to get the equivalent certs and training that this VMware administrator had to take. So I made posts like:

I was able to talk from this point of view, since that was exactly me! The more I learned about NSX, and the more I looked for information, the more resources I found from amazing people who give a lot back for free. 

I'm also very proud to have been selected vExpertNSX in 2016. This was because I shared my enthusiasm for NSX with my VMUGparticipated in SocialLabsvBrownBag and the large latin community. There are many, many, many others that are ahead, technically, over me - this has always been the case in many things - but I decided that I would do my part in letting people know this is the next big thing. If anything, what I want people to feel is a sense of excitement of what's possible, that wasn't possible before!

I decided my first big milestone would be getting the VCP6-NV certification. You may remember from this post that the VCP6.2 NV beta dates coincided with Elver Sena's book release during VMworld (where I actually met him, and got my signed copy!). Meeting Elver was super cool (we got an interview in Spanish done), and having his book, plus the accessible cost of the exam, made me take the plunge, and I got the happy news today that I passed! I wholeheartedly recommend getting the premium edition from Pearson, as those 4 practice exams have lots of questions that I feel helped me a lot!

I think there is a lot more to come for NSX, much more than what we have already seen. I highlighted it is a unique product that offers capabilities no other product can match, especially in security. Likewise, it requires some skills, and busting silos inside companies. I even have some ideas for what will come in the future, when NSX will simply be able to handle all IT assets in the company, starting with IPAM. I know now its next step is that it will be able to handle all IT assets, being the one glue for real visibility and automation, on premises and in the cloud.

My next milestone> I'm looking forward to more experience with NSX (vExperts have both NSX and vRealize Network Insight licenses for homelab use, while vExpertNSX's have had it for a little more time than that) and taking on the VCAP6-NV exam. I already have some great vCommunity resources lined up from Gabriel Maciel and Clinton Prentice and Iwan Hoogendoorn. I just wish I had some real networking switches to play with, but I hear Tim Davis, the official Face of #vExpertNSX, may find some cheap for my homelab - and with a little work, we can make some cool blog posts!

If anything in this blog post, I want you to Get excited about NSX, and do something about it. Go for that first cert, push for a POC or some licenses in your company, and play with it. Dive deep. I guarantee you that it is time well spent, and may I hear about your success soon!

PD, if anyone is still thinking you can't download NSX, I would like to remind you that you can; because it's the only supported upgrade of VCNS, almost all paying customers can access the bits, and this has been the case since NSX 6.2.3. The documentation is public, you can play all day in the HOLs, and everything you need to "hop on" is available. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

NSX Micro-segmentation Day 1 book by Wade Holmes

VMware's Wade Holmes (VCDX #15) just released a NSX micro-segmentation book in time for the RSA conference. In about 70 pages he focuses on day 1 concepts and considerations. This is incredibly valuable, since the majority of companies begin their NSX journey by first adopting micro-segmentation.

The PDF book is free, and if you were lucky to attend the conference, you may get in in print! See the blog post and PDF link below:

I will read this soon and provide a more in-depth commentary on the book; I am also planning a install series with more of a concept and mindset, and how to work with the networking/server/security teams overall.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Awesome community VCAP6-NV study guide by @clint_nz

I've been meaning to highlight the amazing work being done by Clinton Prentice, @clint_nz , at his blog As you all probably know, the first VCIX-NV certification is being slowly replaced with deployment and design vcap6 certifications, which when combined would then become the new VCIX-NV.

Clinton is going through the VCAP6-NV Deploy blueprint (1.2 from what I can tell) doing a blog (with practical demo!) for each of the blueprint items. It's phenomenal, difficult and time consuming work, and I just want to make sure he gets the shout outs he deserves :) Definitely will be a shoe-in the next time vExpertNSX applications open!

You can see all his posts by accessing his tag directly:

As far as I know, this is the only public study guide on this new certification so far - not to take away from previous VCIX-NV study guides such as Iwan's

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

VMware NSX Youtube channel

I figured I hadn't showcased the VMware NSX Youtube channel. There's great videos in there that you can't find anywhere else, as well as in the main VMware channel. Pay attention also to their playlists, as they have great compilations that include videos that are not particularly on their channel, but complement - such as the OpenvSwitch videos with Ben Pfaff.

I leave you with this very fun "Introduction to NSX" video - can't believe this one is 3 years old!

Friday, May 20, 2016

NSX Socialab NYC 05-2016

This was a cool session. I was able to see Prabhu Barathi and Mike Fortuna (sorry, no twitter, please remind him about that) again after seeing them in the last VMUG and meet other VMware administrators who were eager to learn about NSX. I also got to meet Julie Starr, who is a firewall specialist inside the NSX team (I put some of her blog posts here).

The dynamics consisted of VMware employees giving you a more technical presentation than you would get at a VMUG, with people testing out the homelabs, and basically answering every question that came up. This is actually very important, because the people that showed up (over 100 signed up, we had three simultaneous classes on this date) have different backgrounds: from CCIE or firewall specialists with no VMware experience, to students that are just learning about VMware. The work of teaching and explaining about NSX is quite difficult since it encompasses so many skills until you get the "aha" moment.

The website that features the Hands On Labs is . You can create an account and possibly also have these HOLs count for (this is a great list of all the NSX tasks ).

Some excellent tips for the labs:

1) Increase the Hands on Labs VM resolution. By default it's not set to the maximum!

2) Use the "More Options" on the Manual and select Split Screen

Tell it to send the manual link to your e-mail. This is a special link that gives you the manual in full screen (without the whole HOL)

3) HOL documentation in PDF and HTML format is also available at

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How to start learning NSX? Free links and CloudCred tasks

Another short post but it has a lot of good information :)

The obvious way of learning NSX is to go to a VMware class. But there are several other ways of learning the theory of NSX, to go deeper and in parallel with the practice you can do in the Hands on Labs from my previous blog post.

One of the best ways to learn NSX is to check and read about the VCP6-NV certification. Hopefully the link will work but if it gets outdated, google it. Three data sources I want to highlight that are available right now:

1) Read the blueprint in the exam link as this is what VMware thinks a certified professional should be comfortable with

2) Check blog posts from people who have prepared and studied for the certification. I particularly liked Richard Dowling's posts here and Fabian Lenz has a great collection of links here

3) vBrownBag videos for VCP6-NV. You can find them here, in both english and spanish (I collaborated on a couple :) )

I also want to highlight 3 resources that are in progress or will come soon

1) CloudCred is a game-type site focused on VMware and Cloud technologies. I highly recommend playing it, but in particular for the VCP6-NV exam, there are short tasks meant to teach you concepts. For a limited time, these tasks have bonus points as well:

2) Iwan Hoogendoorn, a CCIEx6 (!) has created, an awesome video tutorial site focused on the VCIX-NV certification. He has access to the installers, deployed it in his home lab, and is now creating and sharing a video for each VCIX-NV exam objective. Follow him in twitter and YouTube 

3) The official VCP6-NV book will be released in Q1 2016. Below is my amazon affiliate link for it (means if you buy from this link, i get a very slight cut).

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to start learning NSX? VMware's Hands On Labs

This is a very short post but I want to start pointing people in the right direction.

You may or may not know that testing VMware server virtualization is a fairly easy affair. Sign up for an account at, request a product trial for vSphere, and once you locate the downloads, you could be burning your first ESxi ISO and using it to boot almost any home computer. Likewise, you can get the installer for VMware workstation very easily and within a time limit, discover all you want from the product with no limitations.

VMware's NSX is not offered this way. There is a big reason why: there are several layers that need to be in place before you can run NSX, and being fair, you have to be fairly comfortable with ESXi and networking to be able to grasp the concepts needed to understand what NSX does. 

For your typical VCP or VCAP (VMware certified individuals) this sounds like a bother, but this is actually a good thing. NSX is a very broad-encompassing product that is useful for not just server administrators, but network and ITSEC professionals as well. Thus, reserving the actual installers is a protection from complexity - the installers are actually only available if you undergo a formal trial with VMware and they assist you in the validation and installation of your test.

So, how can anyone see and test or learn about NSX on their own? VMware has a site dedicated to Hands On Labs that has several NSX sessions. This is not a click-click simulation - this is a real lab, dedicated to you, that even has step by step explanations and tasks you must complete before moving to the next step. This is essentially free training - no need to setup your own lab, VMware provides one over the network!

The link for the "VMware NSX Introduction" hands on lab:
The lab is also not particularly restricted. You can tinker around and if you somehow make it stop working, you can end it and start over. This is quite the free service that VMware offers and their recommended path to start learning about NSX.

As a bonus, if you are totally unfamiliar with VMware's products, this is now their introductory lab for virtualization, "Virtualization 101: vSphere with Operations Management 6"

As you can tell from the links, VMware offers most of their portfolio through the Hands On Labs, and is continually adding more. You can't beat this much free training.

More posts coming soon, starting with the theory behind network virtualization. See you soon!