For vSphere 4.0 VMware had a “Install, Configure, Manage” or ICM class that lasted four 8-hour days.
You could also opt for a 5-day “FastTrack” class that took the ICM and added components from the “Performance” and “Troubleshooting” classes and was five 10-hour days.
(note there is now an “Advanced Fast Track” which is “4.1 Performance” + “4.1 Troubleshooting” which is much more advanced than the 4.0 FastTrack)
The classes have been updated for vSphere 4.1, kicking the ICM class to five 8-hour days and adding some of the topics from 4.0 FastTrack. There is also a new class – “4.1 BootCamp” which is the 4.1 ICM plus “4.1 Troubleshooting” in five 12-hour days for 64 hours of training compressed to 60. In addition, a Automation Fast Track class takes the ICM and adds the Automation/PowerCLI class and does 56 hours of training in 50 hours.
Just looking at the basic classes:
• Install and configure ESX
• Install and configure vCenter Server
• Configure and manage ESX networking and storage using vCenter Server
• Deploy and manage virtual machines
• Manage user access to the VMware infrastructure
• Increase scalability using vCenter Server
• Monitor resource usage using vCenter Server
• Apply patches using VMware vCenter Update Manager
• Manage higher availability and data protection using vCenter Server
The official 4.0 FastTrack Objectives echoed the 4.0 ICM with a few additions:
• Configure, manage, and troubleshoot ESX/ESXi networking and storage
• Implement business continuity solutions
The 4.1 ICM Objectives are very similar to 4.0 ICM but frequently reference ESXi
The 4.1 Bootcamp Objectives copy the 4.1 ICM and add:
• Use the VMware vSphere Client and command-line utilities to configure, manage, and troubleshoot a vSphere infrastructure
• Configure and use a network packet capture utility to display and troubleshoot virtual switch network traffic
Note that none of these classes are VCP- or VCAP- prep courses (even if some come with exam vouchers) they just meet the requirement for official training. The 4.1 ICM should cover 65% of the VCP material and BootCamp maybe 75%.
ICM is for most admins, BootCamp for those with elevated datacenter skills or AAD (or both). If you are new to VMware, storage, networking, and datacenters then BootCamp might be too much. Taking ICM then Troubleshooting takes 4 days longer but only costs $300 more.
Automation FastTrack is for those looking to get into VMware that already have some scripting knowledge.
Advanced FastTrack is for existing VMware admins looking to either quickly ramp up advanced skills or looking to meet the requirement for the VCP.
Some of the current vSphere classes: (prices are approximate)
4.1 Install Configure Manage (five 8-hour days) : $3500
4.1 Troubleshooting (four 8-hour days) : $3300
4.x Performance (three 8-hour days) : $2500
4.1 Security (three 8-hour days) : $2500
4.x Automation with PowerCLI (two 8-hour days) : $1650
4.1 Advanced FastTrack (five 10-hour days) : $5100 (Performance + Troubleshooting)
4.1 Automation FastTrack (five 10-hour days) : $4700 (ICM + Automation/PowerCLI class)
4.1 BootCamp (five 12-hour days) : $6500 (ICM + Troubleshooting)
check vmware.com/education for class schedules, full descriptions and actual prices.