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VCP course at QA

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by michael78, May 27, 2010.

  1. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    After a lot of thought and speaking to my brothers mate I've decided to go down the route of doing the VMWare VCP cert. I've been in touch with QA and they have quoted me £1900 which includes VAT for the 5 day fast track course and £1600 including VAT for the 4 day course. I know they aren't ripping me off as another well known training company are charging a lot more on their deal for these courses. They have said I can book up and do it anytime with 12 months. This will allow me around 6+ months to mess on more with ESX and read the books I've just bought.

    Couple of questions:

    1)Are QA good (I've heard they are but just want some advice or reassurance :oops:).
    2)Do you have to resit the VCP exam every new release (Heard mixed reports but someone told me your certified for life on the version you take it at).
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  2. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    i did the vmware esx 3.5 install configure manage course with them, i thought it was well led.
     
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  3. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Daniel, cheers for the reply. As for the 2nd question do you know if your certified for life for the version you take the exam at?
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  4. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

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    QA are probably one of the larger training providers, I doubt you'll find any problems with the quality of their courses. Just do plenty of pre-course study like you have planned before you go to make the most of it.

    Looking at the facts on the website it appears the certs do not expire once the exams are retired.

    VmWare Certs
     
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.
  5. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Whats your current exposure to vSphere? How good is your unix knowledge (command line)?

    This is another one of those exams that you shouldn't be doing if you have little exposure and no way to actually put into practice what you're learning.

    I would also add that the VCP is more designed for the experienced systems engineers because you will be expected to be able to implement a wide range of Servers (HA SQL and Exchange Clusters) as well as sort out the vmware switching.

    If you haven't been using this every day for say the last 6 months I really would be hesitant in recommending this. Someone like Ryan would be able to give a better idea on this but knowing several VCP's (and being that this is one certification that I have also on the WIP) I do know this isn't an easy one.

    I am sorry to say but I think you may have bitten off more than you can chew with this.
     
    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. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    I would save getting it now and spend the money on a lab, vSphere essentials, maybe train signal videos and a good book
     
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
  7. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    In my opinion getting to use VMWare with a company down to setting it up and the nitty gritty would be very hard as I would of thought it's an area that companies would be very apprehensive to allow you to mess on with it without prior knowledge as you could do a lot of damage.

    My choice is to either rot in the area of work I do for the rest of my life making crap money or expand my knowledge which is what I'm going to do. I have little exposure hence why I'm not planning on taking the course until November or beyond. I Have bought books and have a testing lab. I've used ESXi at home and had a little exposure to ESX at work but mainly front end administration. I think there isn't a right or wrong way of learning or doing certs as it's the way you go about it and also at a pace that is right for each person. I don't see a problem in learning VMWare.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  8. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I already have a lab setup running ESXi and have 2 books coming today. Might look into getting a CBT Nugget. Totally agree that if I hadn't got these already I wouldn't even think of doing the course and exam. I do have 7 years commercial experience in 2nd/3rd line support (mainly 2nd) so should be able to adapt well hopefully.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  9. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Not at all, in my last place one of the second line engineers went from being a 2nd line engineer to being 3rd line in the same company, in the 18 months I was working with him he went from no certs at all to getting his VCP (ESX and vSphere) and Exchange 2007 and 2010 certifications. He only did his VCP after working on the ESX platform that was being implemented in the company for over 6 months.

    I have to tell you (after hiring in the VCP who implemented the ESX environment) that having the VCP with no commercial experience is worse than doing the MCSE from using BD's. You really are expected to be at the top of your game when it comes to Virtualisation, not just with the OS side of things but also the Firewall and Routing side of things, you have to understand the entire infrastructure requirements for any implementation that you are required to do.

    My advice? Get a 2nd line role that has VMware in there and work up to it, because it really is a 3rd+ line level of experience that's required for it.

    And please trust me in this, I have the age and experience to know about this as it is my job (VCP to be sat once the current contract finishes). I also know how difficult the VCP can be for those who don't understand it.
     
    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).
  10. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Ah right :D techhead.co.uk recommends the TrainSignal VMware vSphere Training, not sure what the price diffrence is compaired to CBT Nuggets but TS have a Limited-Time Offer @ Only $397
     
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
  11. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Simon at Techhead occasionally posts here, he knows his stuff :)

    There are now two TS packages for vSphere, go for the first one as the second one is a more in depth one for some of the new tech with vSphere (VDI, the Nexus 1000v, ThinApp and PowerCLI).
     
    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).
  12. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    He sure does, I'm hoping he can make it to VMWare Roadshow in Edinburgh next month.

    I agree with Simon that the first TS package would be best even though the other one is a little cheaper.
     
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
  13. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I appreciate the advise and do think you have a point but the issue I have I live in Newcastle which you may or may not know isn't great for IT work so the problem is that most companies have their main office down south and tend to house most of the infrastructure there which has been the case for a lot of jobs I've done. If they have an office in Newcastle then it's usually not got VMWare installed as it's a branch office and there hasn't been a need. I'm running out of options to really move my career on and at 31 I need to sort my career out. It's a case of do I play it safe or do I take a calculated risk and learn ESX and everything that goes with it in a proper way i.e. don't book and go on the course next week but take my time, read the books, setup ESX a dozen times and then do the course. It's a bit like Exchange I'm doing now and having to learn Powershell which I'm enjoying and I see the same learning Unix commands.

    I need an area of work where I have a long term future and can with years experience be able to do a consultancy role but still be able to come back home at the weekend to my family. I can't do that with 2nd/3rd work. My brothers mate is a very experienced consultant and I agree with him when he said that if he looked at me having 7 years experience in 2nd line he would think why hasn't this guy moved on, whats the issue, does he not have any drive or the skills to move up the ladder and I agree with him. I have become stale in my career and if I want to be successful then I have to be responsible for getting my skills up to that kind of level if I want a good career out of IT otherwise it's time to leave IT altogether.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  14. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Cheers Thomas, will check it out as I've heard of TrainSignal.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  15. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    But you won't walk into Vmware work with a VCP and no commercial experience, please PLEASE understand this, I know your career has been a tad stale but if you go down the route of getting the VCP even in 6 months time after reading a book and playing in a lab you still wouldn't be hired because you don't have the commercial experience (what is your Netapp or EMC or HP or Dell Storage like, have you ever configured a LUN, iSCSI or know what a HBA is?). Without a decent amount of commercial experience and that's not just MS but also various hardware vendors (SAN technologies etc) then you really do run the risk of not being hired to do virtualisation work and you will feel even more despondent than you do now.
     
    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).
  16. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Simon, it's one step at a time mate I don't need to know about SAN's or Firewall's to learn how to vitalise a server or migrate servers from one ESX server to another or how to load balance etc. That is what I want out of the course first and the rest will follow in time. It's going to give me a good chance in getting my foot in the door with a company want to either use ESX or one that has it setup and wants someone with knowledge to help support it and then give me the opportunity to expand on my knowledge. Commercial experience isn't the only way to gain knowledge mate. I disagree with getting a job doing this as I'm not looking for a job in just VMWare until I have 5+ years using it. I need a focus and visualisation is the future, 2nd/3rd line support isn't.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  17. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Whats your lab setup like? If you don't mind me asking.
     
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
  18. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    The one step at a time is going to a 2nd\3rd line position and gaining the experience to be able to utilise the full funtionality of a virtualised platform, how are you going to administer it if you don't understand the servers you're going to be virtualising or consolidating? How are you going to know whether you can virtualise and consolidate various SQL servers into a combined cluster. You are going to need to know about the storage technologies being used by your prospective employer because you will be expected to know how to configure the storage and utilise it correctly.

    I agree that virtualisation is the future but you have to understand that to be successful in a virtualisation role you will need to know everything thats going to be in your virtualised platform and thats what you should be concentrating on now rather than the virtualisation platform.

    Again please understand that I am trying to offer you advice here, that advice is based on my experiences and considering I am a senior consultant with a lot of experience in various platforms (VMware, Hyper-V, SANs and various Microsoft application servers (including SQL, Exchange and various System Center products)) so I know what I am talking about. If you choose not to accept that advice then so be it but it's offered so that you can improve your chances more and save yourself some money and heartache.
     
    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).
  19. BrizoH

    BrizoH Byte Poster

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    I won't get into the should you/shouldn't you do it - just a bit of advice, you say QA will let you book up and do it within 12 months but does that involve paying up front?

    I'd be wary of this - firstly should the company go bust (admittedly unlikely with QA) then you've lost your money, secondly every training provider I've used gives better deals the nearer it gets to the course date

    Hope it works out for you, let us know what you think of the course if you do go on it
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA Security
    WIP: CCNP
  20. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

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    Hi Slypie, I'm normally one for going as I term "balls deep" with something and cracking on with it like yourself, prior experience or not, after all I.T is not rocket science, it just takes a bit of dedication and a good study plan to learn most things. I have no doubt you could gain the VCP easily.

    I think SimonD has a good point though, the guys I come across holding this qual and doing this work, really are at the top of their game, it's not the fact they have a much respected VCP qualification which has made them so successful, it's the breadth of knowledge they have picked up along the way and the sheer amount of other products and systems they have worked with that allow them to implement the technology so successfully.

    I admire your tenacity for going for this one, it is achievable, but it could prove tricky to make a success of it without the support in your local area. How is the demand in your area for virtualisation? are there any resellers etc that you could get in with even on a part time basis? from where I am it's not something thats usually done in house and is normally outsourced to a company specialising in virtualistion.
     
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.

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