My 2018 Certification Goals

Well with the start of a new year (well 3 months in to it) it is time to start down the road to new certifications.  2017 was a light year for me as I completed VMCE9 and upgraded my VCP to Version 6.

This year my goals are high but I will try to achieve as many of these as I can –

  1. VMCE-ADO – this is a top goal of mine since becoming a Vanguard as I want to further my knowledge in Veeam.
  2. VCP-DCA 6.5 – need to upgrade my VCP to the latest version by taking the Delta exam.  Should not be that difficult to do.
  3. VCP-NV – with our foot in the IBM Cloud now I will be taking the ICM course for NSX and hope to complete the VCP this year as a different track for the certifications for VMware.
  4. VCAP-DCA/DCD – I am hoping to take the 6.5 VCAP exams this year to then get my VCIX.  This is a stretch and if I can do the DCA that will make me happy with the DCD as the cherry on top.
  5. Windows 2016 – Shooting for getting my MCSA for the 2016 track as my last certification goal for this year.  If I get to this one great if not no biggie.

Well with my list ready to go it is time to hit the books, blogs, sites, etc. to find information for study and practice questions.  There is a ton of information out there and I just need Google to help me find it.

Until my next post on Certification where I hope to update on some of these and if I have been able to achieve them.

Quest to becoming a Veeam Vanguard

The Veeam Vanguard program is one coveted by many in the industry due to it being well known.  Last year I started the quest to becoming a Veeam Vanguard and as of today the quest has been achieved.

I had conducted many client reference calls, attended the SWOVUG user group meetings, attended VeeamON 2017 in New Orleans as well as other engagements.  It was with the help of other Vanguards (@MattThatITGuy) and Veeam employees nominating me that I achieved this honour.

I look forward to a great year ahead and meeting new Vanguards in the program as well as existing ones.  I also look forward to taking off with my blog now that it is running as I want it to be.  So look forward to more articles, tips, tricks, etc. from me.

Choosing a Backup Solution Platform

data-backupChoosing a Backup Solution Platform

Every Virtualization and System Administrator deals with having the ability to recover servers, files, etc. and having a Backup Solution to help with recovery will ease the burden. But how do you know which one is right for you? How would you go about choosing the right solution that will help you in your daily tasks?

Software Criteria

When choosing a backup solution there are many things to consider based on your physical/virtual environment. What hypervisor are you running, what storage is being used, etc.? The best way to choose the right solution for the job is through evaluation and the more you evaluate the easier it will be to pick the right one for you. During an evaluation process you should consider things such as:

  • Compatibility with your chosen Hypervisor
  • Ease of installation and setup
  • Program ease of use and navigation
  • Backup scheduling
  • Reporting – is the reporting sufficient enough
  • Popular within the industry
  • Support for Physical and Virtual servers
  • And so on…and so on….

There are many criteria you can use in the evaluation stage and the above examples are but just a few. Composing a list prior to starting to look at software would be the recommended approach, this way you are looking at software that will fit most of your criteria prior to the evaluation/PoC stage.

Comparison

When you have completed your criteria list and selected vendors for evaluation ensure to install all of them. Installing all of the products allows you to do a side-by-side comparison of the features you are looking for like job setup, ease of use, etc. Being able to see the products and how they work side-by-side gives you the best evaluation experience.

During the comparison stage look at something like ability to conduct SAN based backup versus LAN – how does each solution compare? Can the solution connect in to your SAN fabric allowing faster backups? If you cannot use SAN backups how will it affect the overall performance of the environment? After backups complete is there a reporting structure showing success/failure, length of time, amount of data, etc.? When working with the solution is navigation for job creation/modification simple? Is it cumbersome within the product and/or frustrating creating backups?

There are many things when comparing products to be aware of and answering questions as you go through the products is a great way to evaluate them.

Conclusion

Remember that there are many backup solutions out there for evaluation and choosing the right one can be a difficult decision. Evaluating the ones that appeal most to your organization is the best way to go and using a methodology for testing them is even better. In the end you will ensure your success by choosing the right solution for the job! Evaluate…..evaluate…..evaluate

Choosing a Virtualization Management Platform

Choosing a Virtualization Management Platform

QoS_Ultilization_Scale_small-minEvery Virtualization Administrator deals with frustrations daily and having a management platform to help with daily tasks will ease the burden. But how do you know which one is right for you? How would you go about choosing the right platform that will help you in your daily tasks?

Software Criteria

When choosing a management tool there are many things to consider based on your virtual environment. What hypervisor are you running, what storage is being used, etc.? The best way to choose the right tool for the job is through evaluation and the more tools you evaluate the easier it will be to pick the right one for you. During an evaluation process you should consider things such as:

  • Compatibility with your chosen Hypervisor
  • Ease of installation and setup
  • Program ease of use and navigation
  • Details – does the program give you what you need to see
  • Reporting – is the reporting sufficient enough
  • Automation
  • And so on…and so on….

There are many criteria you can use in the evaluation stage and the above examples are but just a few. Composing a list prior to starting to look at software would be the recommended approach, this way you are looking at software that will fit most of your criteria prior to the evaluation/PoC stage.

Comparison

When you have completed your criteria list and selected vendors for evaluation ensure to install all of them. Installing all of the products allows you to do a side-by-side comparison of the features you are looking for like navigation, reporting, etc.

Being able to see the products and how they work side-by-side gives you the best evaluation experience.
During the comparison stage look at something like a VM that uses too much RAM:

  • How does each tool recommend fixing the issue?
  • Can the fix be automated or is it a manual fix?
  • If you make the change to the VM how will it affect the overall performance of the VM or virtual environment? Are there reports that can be run to determine all VM recommendations and can you schedule them?
  • When viewing the issue in the product – how many clicks until you see the recommendation for a solution?
  • Is it cumbersome to get to the recommendation within the product and/or frustrating finding the answer?

There are many things when comparing products to be aware of and answering questions as you go through the products is a great way to evaluate them.

Conclusion

Remember that there are many products out there for evaluation and choosing the right one can be a difficult decision. Evaluating the ones that appeal most to your organization is the best way to go and using a methodology for testing them is even better.

In the end you will ensure your success by choosing the right platform for the job! Evaluate…..evaluate…..evaluate

opvizor – Leading VMware healthcheck solution

opvizor allows you to proactively diagnose and fix critical errors in your virtual environment.  Their rule base contains over 730+ known problems and misconfiguration issues and directs you on how to address the issue via PowerCLI, videos, VMware best practice documentation and more.

You can complete a free health check in 6 minutes.  There are many advantages to using opvizor –

Advantages of opvizor
• Presents valuable findings, without training in less than 30 minutes
• Analyzes the VMware vSphere infrastructure against more than 730 scenarios
• Offers detailed and validated solutions for each detected error
• Analyzes performance shortcuts, configuration errors and security leaks
• Points out Vendor and Community Best Practices for the environment
• Offers several reports to effectively use resources and document detected and resolved issues

Enterprise Edition highlights
• Change Management report as well as assignment of the VM configuration changes according to the corresponding configuration problems
• Application Optimizer, helps to optimize virtual machines for the usage of applications like Oracle data bases or a file server and to get the maximum performance out of VMware
• Reports on discovered errors within the VMware infrastructure, which lead to downtimes and performance loss

Free Edition – besides few functionality restrictions some analyses restrictions apply
• Limited to 1 VM ware Cluster
• Analyses every 48 hours
• Maximum of 10 Reports per month

Visit http://www.opvizor.com/ now to check your virtual infrastructure health.

(Data from opvizor website)