Day 9: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Presentation day!

After lots of long hours working on the deck and the talking points, the presentation was delivered.  We had a panel of 9 experts sitting in as the client, responding to the presentation as it went and asking follow-up questions.

Afterward there was an awards presentation for best teams and top individuals with cool jackets and other prizes.

To recap the experience, it was a 9-day whirlwind of advanced product knowledge, road map (services and products), and soft skills training like informal and formal CxO interactions.

I look forward to working with colleagues on these skills and using them to help customers solve their business problems.  No more “Hey I have a cool product,  let see what excuse we can find to sell it to you” but “Lets work together to identify and resolve the problems preventing you from succeeding.”

Now I desperately need some sleep.

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Day 8: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Containers, PKS, PCF, Docker, K8, Developer cloud, machine learning.

Emerging technology, but lots of similar-but-different info on the last day and almost all PowerPoint-delivered.  HoL or actually writing code would have been nice.

5 more hours on the project, I think we are up to low-30s in the number of hours spent.  I hope we survive tomorrow!

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Day 7: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 2 3 4 5 6

EUC uses cases and overview architecture
All about the UAG
Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS
Horizon on IBM Softlayer & Azure
Horizon architecture, VCF for VDI

My brain hurts and I’m really short on sleep.

VCF-for-VDI is like a startup company started making products for a larger vendor.  There is no real togetherness.  You’d think once deployed the Connection manager would prompt to use VCF to deploy additional hosts for capacity, but there is no connection/awareness.

Gotta spend more time with the team on the presentation.  Already close to 30hours spent on it as a group – plus alone time.



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Day 6: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 2 3 4 5

3/5 of the team met for 7 hours on Sunday to hash out the presentation a little more and do some script writing.  In a decent place probably, but lots to do.

Day 6 is “Consultative Essentials” presented by Technically Speaking.  A full day of conflict management, negotiation essentials,   Executive expectations and role playing.

I’ve never had classes like that before, probably the best part of the course so far.

Now to work on the deliverables with the team…

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Day 5: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

Good day, and welcome to Day 5.  Last day for this week, it’s been a firehose of information so far.  Today is NSX in the morning, use cases, -V, -T and NSX SD-WAN (the solution formerly known as VeloCloud).  PowerNSX, PowerOps and always focus on the business need/use case.

Afternoon is VMware Cloud Foundation with workload descriptions, vRA, VDI and VDI with vRA.

The course is providing lots of looks at how VMware anticipates services around their products changing to meet the needs of tomorrow’s business models.  Start adding capabilities to solve business needs and stop just deploying and walking away.

Its also eye opening to see how they view VCF and some of the other automation tools to decrease admin overhead and free up man hours to work towards solving specific use cases.   VCF also looks much better than when I first commented on it.   It configures (Day0, Day1,Day2) the switches managing the VMware environment.  Who knew?

Time to get with the team and work on the presentation.

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Day 4: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1  Day 2  Day 3

Another whirlwind day covering VDD & VCF, VMC on AWS, Cloud Management and Enterprise App Architecture.

Quote heard today: “SDDC should be “Software Defined Application Platform” how can we design a datacenter w/o ever mentioning workloads?”

VCF looks like a pain in the ass to deploy via VIA.

The daily quizzes are not pulling from what was presented and some of the answers can’t be googled.   Seems like they are testing on what they expected you to bring in, and it’s more PSO-focused/specific.

Got some guidance with our project.  Got out at 7:30 tonight.  8-6 isn’t enough time, we’ll need to pull the team together for a while over the weekend to get the project in shape.


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Day 3: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1
Day 2

Day 3 is covering Business Transformation, how the people roles and processes will need to transition to supporting a new solution.   Lots about discovery, a transformation road map (where they are, where they need to be and the incremental steps to get there), iterative design and agile development

Common themes are focusing on business outcomes, helping customers create capabilities and getting continuous feedback for continuous improvement.

Focus on customer experience rather than nerd knobs.

Topics include: Discovery best practice, Transform Operations, Bringing DevOps to IT Operations.

Daily quiz and team time for the presentation.


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Day 2: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 2 kicks off learning to whiteboard the Value Model: how to work with clients to list needs, outcomes, problems and correlate and prioritize them.

Then we are into determining requirements and using the Requirements Traceability Matrix to organize requirements, risks, issues, constraint, dependencies, exclusion, and assumption.  This starts breaking the IT Value Model into smaller parts.

The afternoon covered TOGAF and then DevOps before the daily quiz and breaking into our teams to work on the deliverables for the day.


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vSphere 6.5 iSCSI port binding

I was goofing around with my home lab and ran into an interesting tidbit regarding iSCSI port binding in 6.5.

The documentation from VMware says:

  1. Browse to the host in the vSphere Web Client navigator.
  2. Click the Configure tab.
  3. Under Networking, click Virtual switches, and select the vSphere switch that you want to modify from the list.
  4. On the vSwitch diagram, select the VMkernel adapter and click the Edit Settings icon.
  5. On the Edit Settings wizard, click Teaming and Failover and select Override under Failover Order.

but when I try that, there is no Teaming and Failover option.

This really had me pulling my hair out, until (for kicks) I tried the new HTML5 client.

Found it!  So now there are features removed from the Flash client and only available in the HTML5 client?  Better keep them both open!


Posted in Network, Storage, Virtualization, VMware | Tagged | 6 Comments

Day 1: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Every wish there was a 9-day/81-hour course to propel you down the road to being a VMware Architect?   Wish no more.

The VMware Center for Advanced Learning has gone live with a course intended to:

Strengthen architectural & solution outcome skills in VMware Sr Consultants, Architects and Partners by establishing a baseline and model to interact with VMware Customers, leading the discovery, design and effectively communicate VMware solutions.

The Advanced Architecture Course is a very comprehensive program covering not just technical content across solutions; but it also includes presentation and business skills, our VMware IT Value Model and Digital Workspace Journey Model, solution design best practices, and internal and industry standard architectural methodologies.

Note that while it seems to have many parallels, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the VCDX program.

I’m not entirely sure how you go about signing up for it, my company (a VMware partner) received an email in February inviting us to send someone – and one of my co-workers managed to get on one of the betas runs of the class in January, also by invite.  You might try @henryvillar  who has tweeted about it in the past.

In the run up to class start I received a link to the VMware Wire micro-learning platform which included an AAC prerequisite learning path consisting of 32 hours of training including VMware Hands On Labs and Pluralsight courses covering Agile, TOGAF and ITIL.

(If you are keeping score, that is 113 hours of training so far)

A few days before the class you get a packet to “become familiar with before class starts” that includes a case study (11 pages) and two SoWs (16 and 90 pages).

My class has 31 participants from around the world, grouped in to 6 teams – mostly employees, only a handful of partners – and all men.   Your team is important as on the last day you will present a solution you have been working on (as a team) since Day 1.

Class kicks off with a welcome and overview, then you are off and running learning about the IT Value Model and Digital Workspace Journey Model and how important it is to be talking about business needs and outcomes vs product names with client execs.

We then played a game (team vs team) where we chose IT projects to implement for a company based on brief case study and budget numbers.   The IT projects were presented with backing information, projected outcomes and cost.  The game was great as it made us decide on which projects to execute when and gave quick feedback on the results.   I found it very enlightening to see what the class developers wanted us to notice, take into account and focus on.

There’s also a daily quiz, which it turns out counts (along with many other things – tho mostly the team presentation at the end of the class) towards your grade – and you need a 70 at least to “pass” and get the coveted CAL AA badge:


Downside to the class: as a partner you get to see the PS Solution Builder tool which would make my life much easier – but isn’t available to partners.

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