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QA - VMware vCloud Director 1.5 Fast Track Course Blog

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by SimonD, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I am going through a mad phase of training at the moment (in fact by next Monday I will have done 9 days straight in the classroom) with my VCP5 and vCloud Director Fast Track course.

    Today I started the vCloud Director Course Fast Track with QA down in London, this is actually two course, the Deploy and Manage as well as the Design and Best Practice courses rolled into 5 days (they should actually be 7 days, with the D&M course lasting 4 days and the DBP lasting 3 days). Instead QA offer this course based over 5 extended days. Todays class started at 8:30am and should have finished anywhere between 18:30 and 19:30 but due to some technical issues we finished at 4:30 today (we will make up for it tomorrow).

    A little bit about the class makeup, unlike my VCP class the VCD class is made up of only 6 students, we are all experienced virtualisation engineers with some of the class having already a lot of experience with VCD (1.0, 1.5 and 5.1), in my case I haven't any experience with the suite at all so this is means I have a large learning curve (actually something I relish). It expects us to have some experience with not only vSphere but also an understanding of RHEL, PKI and Networking and as such means a lot of material can be new to people without that experience.

    During the initial phase of the training you're given a choice between Public or Private Cloud configurations and whilst I would have preferred to go down the Private route it was decided that the Public route actually offers more to do and gives you a better understanding of the product (I am the only person on the class not working for a Solutions Provider or Public Cloud Provider and as we team up into three teams of two it was easier to go with the flow).

    On most VMware course it's normal for the training provider to have the resources required to teach the course, however in the case of the vCloud course QA have had to go to an external provider for their vCloud training resources, the environment provider (Arrow ECS) had some issues with two of the environments that meant we had to refresh them due to some errors we were experiencing, this caused the class to have some issues with the labs (1 of the 3 teams had a working environment and managed to get all of their days labs completed whilst the other two had to start again), however by the end of the training day we had managed to successfully complete the required labs and are ready for an early start tomorrow morning.

    It's nice for me to say that the instructor (a nice South African chap) is definitely knowledgeable about VCD (not just 1.5 but also 5.1) and you can see the passion he has for the subject and again like my VCP5 class the students are all like minded guys who have a passion for technology.

    What I can tell you is that there is a lot of information to take on, tomorrow is going to be tough with a lot of information overload but actually it's good because its on a subject I am not clear on and I like to have a good understanding of things I work with.

    Come back tomorrow for an update on day 2 of the VCD class and if there are any questions don't hesitate to ask.

    Now it's off to bed for me (well the sofa actually, pregnant woman and hubby with a bad back don't mix).
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
    craigie likes this.
  2. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    Cool, didn't realise you had to know RHEL, could you elaborate on this a little more when you get time.

    Thanks for taking the time out to let us know about the course mate.
     
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  3. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Update for day 2.

    After yesterdays issues with the lab environment it was hoped that we would catch up with the labs today and that today would run a bit smoother than yesterday, unfortunately that wasn't the case :(

    Due to the nature of the course you would expect that you're winding up a number of machines testing various functionality and because the environment is broken down to Student A and B machines it ensures that both students get to do the same configuration tasks in the shared lab, unfortunately due to some serious resource issues half the time things didn't work and in the end we were advised to power down one of the two ESXi hosts because the student working on that host wouldn't be able to test things successfully and rather than actually getting the environment to work it was deemed easier to actually get the single ESXi host to do all the work but when you consider that the single nested host had 6ghz of CPU allocated along with 10GB of RAM you knew that there were going to be issues when you're trying to get 16 machines powered on (and yes, I did say NESTED HOST).

    Added to this confusion we discovered that whoever proof read the lab guides must have been on some other proof related consumable because there were repeatedly steps out of order, instructions that didn't really make sense and just general confusion about what we were supposed to be doing when and why.

    My main concern now is that this Fast Track course is going to leave out a lot of the training material from the Design and Best Practices course simply because we run out of time at the end of the week (we are due to start the DBP course on Thursday afternoon although that was when we had supposed to have worked through until 18:30+ on both Monday and Tuesday (instead of 16:30 and 17:00 for the last two days).

    I really feel sorry for the instructor because he has been proof testing the labs outside of the class until 2am and has struggled occasionally to get it working and to be fair I understand that the servers aren't hosted by QA but that still doesn't make it any easier for the students who are here to learn and struggling to do so because of the constant issues.

    As it stands I have written an email to my sales guy expressing my concerns so will have to wait to see what happens.

    Craig, because vCD is installed onto a specific version of RHEL (5.5, .6 or .7) and has certain Java requirements as well as OS specific components you need to have an understanding of the Linux cli.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  4. scott28tt

    scott28tt Byte Poster

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    As someone who worked as a VCI for 6 years and who built and ran labs, there are no excuses at all for those kinds of problems in my opinion - pardon the pun but the labs have clearly not been QA'd :-/
     
    Certifications: VCP2, VCP3, VCP4, VCP5, VCAP4-DCA, VCI, MCSE (NT-2003)
  5. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Update for Day 3.

    Day 3 continued pretty much the same as day 2, with issues in the lab that caused some performance issues again, luckily by 12.30 these had been ironed out, unfortunately this was about 70% of the way through this particular course (we stop the Manage and Deploy course by lunch time on Thursday to start the Design and Best Practice course). For the rest of the day the course actually ran smoothly with no issues to the environment.

    A few emails by the students to their line managers\sales people have obviously occurred and it was a close thing as to whether the course was going to be cancelled and re-scheduled at a later date.

    There have been a couple of questions raised as to why QA are relying on 3rd Party providers to deliver the required environments.

    All resource issues aside VMware are also a little to blame due to the lack of QA in their Lab Manuals, there are some serious errors and omissions from the guide and in this day and age this is unacceptable. A little time actually spent running through the labs would have high lighted any errors and would have meant the corrections found before going to the printers.

    The course itself, were it resourced properly, would be a great insight to vCD but the issues to date have had a knock on effect about the enjoyablity of the course :(.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  6. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Update for Days 4 and 5.

    So it's the end of the course and unfortunately the course didn't really improve, we still had some issues over the remaining two days of training. The last day and a half of training we covered the Design and Best Practice course (which is generally whiteboard based) but there were still some issues with that in as much that the design considerations didn't really make sense (the consensus of the entire class and instructor).

    Overall the class were disappointed with the course, so much so that we are speaking to the sales people concerned. I certainly hope that the new vCloud 5.1 course is much better presented and that the backend infrastructure is correctly configured from the start.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).

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