VMware VCP 5.1 trainingadmin | Friday, December 7th, 2012 | 4 Comments »
Today I wrapped up my VMware VCP 5.1 training from Global Knowledge. As I sit here on my couch, rainy/misty weather outside, I figured I’ll provide a little glimpse into the training for those that may be looking to attend the course.
The official name of the course is: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage or ICM for short.
I won’t get into the finer details of the course blueprint since you can get that here:
I took my course at GK’s Morristown, NJ facility. Strangely and coincidentally the first person I ran into the hallway looked VERY familiar.
I couldn’t pinpoint where I saw him, then I realized, he was my SonicWALL instructor at my other Global Knowledge course that I took at their NYC office!
I even blogged about it here:
They had a kitchen where breakfast was provided, your typical bagels/toast and coffee. A fridge was stuffed with all the soda/water you want at no charge as well as coffee any time throughout the day. You were on your own for lunch, but there were plentiful places to get food. We were surprised by afternoon snacks. One day there were chips and salsa, another day we had ice cream.
Anyways, back to the training. The course was a five day course. (Monday – Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM)
Instructor Jerry Collins (who was quite funny BTW) made learning the materials a lot easier. (A dry instructor would have absolutely put me to bed no matter how much free coffee they offered!)
The course was filled with 16 students. The room was quite big and spacious but I’m glad 16 students is all they decided to book. It kept the amount of individuals small and IMO allowed the instructor to get to know us a little bit better.
Below are the books we were given: 1 lab book and 2 lecture manuals + 1 bookmark
This course was no different in its approach to lab work and was very similar to how the SonicWALL course was given. You would RDP into their labs which are located in North Carolina and perform all of your work this way.
The lectures went exactly as the provided materials, but to me, as I mentioned earlier, what made the course fun was the “presentation” of the materials. Not just simply reading what was printed, but the delivery, and Jerry Collin’s ability to tell stories of his past experiences.
Another indicator that I use to tell if an instructor is knowledgeable in their given field is their ability to answer random questions not presented in the provided books, but questions from my own experiences as well as other questions asked by those who attended. Jerry did a great job in answering them.
The Course Materials / Labs
The lectures were all presented with slides on the big screen and the books all had the same slides within them so that you could follow along.
For the labs, you were paired up with the person sitting next to you. Student A and Student B.
Most of the labs were done individually, however for some required team work since changes to the lab could only be done once.
For example: Installing the vSphere Update Manager plugin or creating a cluster.
(Once installed, there’s no need to install the plugin again, and there’s only one cluster)
We were able to build a cluster, configure networks for vMotion, create new vSwitches, create CPU/Memory reservations, basically all the things in the blueprint. The concepts are easier to understand once you are able to lab them up.
There were even scripts that we ran to increase CPU usage to simulate a high CPU load! This would allow us to test the Alarm features and even have vSphere automatically SUSPEND a high-load VM! Very cool!
Every morning we recapped what we learned the previous day, and got right back into more lectures and labbing.
As with any five day course, there’s a lot of material to cover and a lot of brain dumping. So you have to try to stay focus so the course doesn’t pass you by.
It is quite the catch 22. In one hand it would be better if it were a 10 day course so you could really take the time to absorb the content, but not many IT individuals (including myself) can step away from work for two weeks! And there’s so much material I believe it would be even more difficult stay focused for another five days.
The week flew by quickly, it’s quite amazing that the course is over already, it really felt like it just got started. This wasn’t my first Global Knowledge training course and I’m sure it won’t be my last.
If you’re considering taking the VCP 5.1 ICM course and are concerned you may not be experienced enough, you have to just do it, everyone has to start somewhere.
If you do decide to take your own course, please do let me know how it goes, I would love to hear other people’s experiences!