Posts Tagged ‘Cloud’

OMG! EMC has over 20 Free Fundamentals Training Courses! #EMCElect

October 23rd, 2014

Hey! Why do you keep tagging these posts about EMC with #EMCElect? I just want you to know that I like to party.

But seriously, after my past (and even very recent) posts about Free EMC Education, I love to share the love, the word and the FREE!

Thanks to the awesome team at EMC Education Services there’s a whole boatload of training available to get yourself started!

What kind of topics?

Where can I find out more?

More details can be found at the Free Fundamentals e-Learning Index! So get out there and continue being awesome. :)

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Posted in ATMOS, Big Data, Cloud, emc, EMC Elect, Free, Technology, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (0)

The Non-definitive guide to the VMware vExpert Program, Tips, Tricks, How to become a vExpert!

December 26th, 2012


What exactly is this whole VMware vExpert Program and what does it mean to me?! I know that’s what you are asking, because you probably did a search of “VMware vExpert” and turned up this VMware vExpert FAQ Page, or some of these great details outlined in the vExpert Directory.

But if you haven’t read those pages, or you want a little context on exactly what the VMware vExpert Program is all about, it is extremely similar to the acclaimed Microsoft MVP Program, the EMC Elect Program, and even the rarely heard of Citrix Technology Professionals Program!  Essentially, this is an award based upon your contributions to society, community, industry.   Going above and beyond simply ‘doing your job’.    That about sums it up!

What makes the VMware vExpert Program so special

The VMware vExpert Community is very much just that, a community of likeminded professionals who come together for the betterment of society as a whole.   It may all sound sort of altruistic but there is no more accurate depiction of the truth than that.    The community is filled with people who work tirelessly to help others, who are seen as and sought after as the experts in the industry, many of which feel they don’t deserve the accolade and others who work so diligently to ensure that their impact on those around them eclipses any benefits that may be derived from the mention.    The vExperts are the authors, bloggers, podcasters, troubleshooters, helpers, friends and family which makes VMware and Virtualization such a prevalent thread it has been transforming the industry ever since its inception.

A few of the benefits ‘granted’ to the members of the vExpert community are

    • Public recognition of the vExpert award with a certificate, gift, permission to display a logo, and inclusion in any public vExpert listing
    • Access to a private vExpert community of your peers
    • Free subscription to conference session materials on
    • Access to exclusive events, beta programs, software licenses, and other exclusive opportunities to participate in activities with VMware. vExperts do not represent VMware and are not required to participate in any activities

But those are just the *published* benefits, here are some of the unpublished yet fully realized by members of the vExpert Community

    • Priority Access to Private Betas
    • Blogger Early Access Programs (Including Deep Dive Webinars with Product Teams)
    • Influencer Day and Product Launch Briefings (Be on the inside track with the analysts and product launch embargoes)
    • Focus Groups with SMB and Partners
    • Special Opportunities presented by Partners such as Tintri, Symantec, EMC, Trainsignal, Tech Field Day, and more!
    • And a particular favorite of many, private vExpert only CTO Party and Briefings with the Office of the CTO and Steve Herrod at VMworld

But it doesn’t stop there.   Some of the extra benefits realized not by all, but by many as the form of opportunities tend to be

    • Special Access to Guest Blogging spots on VMTN and other blogportunities
    • Community Roundtable Podcast speaking opportunities and special guest access
    • VMware Press opportunities to be a Tech Reviewer or Author (They’re always looking for talent, and check the vExpert pool often)
    • Other Press sources opportunities to write and review (Sybex, Video training houses, tech blogs, Windows IT Pro, Speaking Gigs, etc)
    • … The opportunities are seemingly endless!

What exactly are the paths to being a vExpert

Since this is the non-definitive guide after all I can only go on what we know from the 2012 Calendar year which could possibly change.   But instituted as part of this cycle was a growth of the vExpert selection criteria to differing paths of Experts; Evangelist, Customer, Partner.


The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path.


The Customer Path is for internal evangelists and community leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have contributed to success stories, customer references, or public interviews and talks, or were active community contributors, such as VMUG leaders.

Partner (VMware Partner Network)

The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements.

What about the selection criteria for the vExpert Program

First let me start out by displaying what are a few caveats and considerations before I get too deeply into selection criteria.

    • The vExpert award is based on contributions during the past calendar year. Activities earlier than the past calendar year are not considered in the awards and should not be entered on the application form.
    • You can use the application form to apply for yourself, and an invitation form to invite others to apply. Everyone is strongly encouraged to apply.
    • The vExpert designation is not a popularity contest. Multiple invitations or recommendations are not considered as a criteria for the award, so please do not ask multiple people to fill in the invitation form for you.
    • The vExpert designation is given to an individual, not to a company. Your contributions could have been a part of your corporate activities, but your individual contribution should be clear and noted in your application.
    • Designation duration is for one year. Existing vExperts are not guaranteed a renewal and are evaluated each year along with other nominees.
      A committee of VMware employees chooses the recipients of the vExpert designation.
    • You must be 18 years old to be eligible for the award.

Now that we have that out of the way, here are some of the types of things they’d look for on the application in years gone past (for what would be the Evangelist path, As details of Customer/Partner and other evolutions for 2013 come about, I’ll be sure to discuss that as it comes…)

Contributions and Activities to materials such as:

  • Blogs (Blog posts you’ve written re:VMware/Virtualization, and contributions you’ve made to other blogs)
  • Other Writing (Newsletters, Books, Whitepapers, Articles, KB Articles, Tutorials, Guides, etc)
  • Multimedia (Podcasts, Videos, Interviews…)
  • Events and Speaking (Organized events, spoke at them, involvement, etc)
  • Online Communities (IT Forums you’ve contributed, participated in and been involved in)
  • Tools and Resources (Tools you’ve created, collected, contributed to, resources and guides you’ve created, collections, etc)
  • VMware Programs (Councils, Partnerships, Betas and other kinds of contributions)
  • Actions and activities having gone above and beyond (self explanatory)

For a little more context and details about what each of these lines might be asking for (this is dated) refer to this link for the 2011 Application

The vExpert Program seems amazing and I work in Virtualization but I’ll wait until next year

This is for all of you out there who have said that, or some similar version of events.   I know who you are, I’ve spoken with you a number of times.   You contribute greatly within the community, internally at a customer, or extensively through the Partner organization.   You’re familiar with the vExpert program but you say ‘eh, I’ll deal with that next year’.   If this were like a certification deciding to take action NEXT month or NEXT quarter wouldn’t be such a big deal, but this isn’t a Certification.    The VMware vExpert Program is a year-long designation based upon your actions for a calendar year.    So what does that mean?   By not being nominated or choosing to self-nominate yourself when the window of nomination opens, you are costing yourself on the opportunity for an additional 365 days.    It’s not to say that ALL those who submit are accepted because they are not, but if you’ve got what it takes and you’re a super star in your own right I cannot for the life of me justify you NOT applying.

Some people like to equate the VMware vExpert to a Certification and will often say “Eh, I’m not changing jobs any time soon, so I don’t see why I should do this”.    Yes, certainly like getting a VCP won’t make much of a different to an admin for life but an active Administrator who becomes a vExpert can gain that insight, that knowledge (and getting license keys for testing and all the worlds access never hurts!)

So if I leave you with nothing, I’d like you to take to heart a few tidbits and action items and I’ll share my own experience here

    • It doesn’t hurt to apply or self-nominate into the program.   If you’re unknown to the populace at large sometimes the first person to knock on that door and shine a light on your accomplishments has to be you, this isn’t about ego (Especially if you’ve accomplished all of the things you share in your contributions)
    • This is first and foremost a community, not a ‘corporate charter designated by a policy driven figurehead with stringent metrics to follow’ So what I mean there is, if things don’t go as fast as you want them to be, it is not as though this is an SLA you are paying for;  But we’re all in this together so lending a helping hand is never discouraged
    • Get involved.   Even if you’re objective is not to one day earn the designation of VMware vExpert.    Our community is only as strong as its weakest link and as we all grow and become educated we continue to prosper together
    • Even if you sit silent on the sidelines, get to  know the vExpert’s in the community and more precisely YOUR community.   These people didn’t become vExperts for nothing, they’re glad to help, spread the tech love and cherish and grow those around them

A few words from a silent cat

I’ve been a vExpert for as long as there has been a program (Technically not the FIRST year because I missed the submission deadline, but I digress) and every single year I sit back and look at the nomination form which asks countless questions about what your contributions were for the previous calendar year. (Submissions are usually a few months into the year, so remembering back to December let alone the previous January can be a chore!)   Every single year I look back and say, “Well, crap I don’t think I did anything, how can I justify or deserve being a vExpert for this year” and then it all starts to settle in.   In past years there’d be a request for your TOP blog posts or TOP cited reference points (limited to 2 or 3) and at first I thought ‘how am I going to find even 1 let alone 3!’ which then turns into “Ooops…. I did 20-30 things in the previous year, how am I going to pare THAT down!”   This is surprisingly a common problem within the vExpert Community of Evangelists.    Before the VMware vExpert program came to be, and long before it had broken out the Evangelist designation….  We were all evangelists in our own right.   It wasn’t our job to do this, we didn’t do this because we were trying to achieve or accomplish some targeted ‘goal’, We saw problems in the world which either needed to be solved or we solved and wanted to share our experiences.   We saw great things happening and wanted to make sure everyone around us was able to benefit.    We don’t do it because we have to, We even don’t exactly do it because we WANT to.   We do it because we are vExperts.   We are Evangelists.    We are community.     I think nothing speaks more truer to that than the VMware vExpert program having doubled year over year of number of members accepted into its ranks, and I know we look forward to that number continuing to grow with other passionate and dedicated individuals like ourselves to make Technology, this Community and the World a better place.

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Posted in Christopher Kusek, Cloud, Community, Ebooks, Education, emc, Evangelist, Geek, Microsoft, VDI, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld, vSphere | Comments (2)

When did Christopher get a new job as EMC Global Cloud and Virtualization Lead?!

November 23rd, 2011

You ever been there in a job interview where they might ask (the often contrived) “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”  While I have honestly answered “Celebrating the 5 year anniversary of you asking me this question – Mitch Hedberg” , that doesn’t mean I do not have a ‘serious’ plan; something often overlooked by many who feel stuck and caught in the roles they pursue unable to see beyond the day let alone 5 years or beyond.

It is with no further adieu however, that I inform you I am currently *3* years into my 5 year plan, and I am ON TARGET and ON PATH!

Disclaimer: While I am indeed 3 years into my 5 year plan, I am –4- months into my new role, yea this post was LONG waited ;)

Introducing my new role: Global Cloud & Virtualization Lead, EMC Consulting

Disclaimer: I just call it Global Virtualization Lead because Cloud is waaaaay over used! :)

I know some of you might be saying the following:

  • Err, I thought you were already doing that.

Yea, or something to that effect. I get that; but the fact of the matter is, I have recently changed roles (August 1st to be exact) and I’ve been busy planning things like #CXIParty and working in the role to actually write this blog post.   I didn’t want you to feel left out and I wanted to share with you some details of what this means for me, you, a ninja named gerald; all of that!

EMC has a Consulting Org?!?

Yea,  can you believe it?  More than just a consulting org but one with a fairly extensive portfolio helping drive major transformation in businesses big and small around the world.    Wow that almost sounds like a pitch, but no. It’s not, but THIS IS! (giggle, no I’m just kidding ;))

I am very fortunate to join this organization and to lead a team of some *extremely* sharp architects, engineers, consultants; VERY Smart people who get technology, business and strategy; All the sauce which makes really cool things possible!    Allow me to help break it down for you a little bit, because… I feel like I’m constantly re-figuring some things out at times so I continue to move in those directions of Yay… :)

For the most part, EMC Consulting is broken up into a few key groupings.   

  • Application Infrastructure (Things like App Migrations from Notes->Exchange/Sharepoint, AD Consolidation, AppV/VDI
  • A2D2 (App/Dev on .Net, Portal Development on Sharepoint, vFabric, Java/J2EE, Windows Azure, App Testing, etc
  • CVDC (Cloud & Virtual Data Center is broken up in to several discrete components)
    • Consolidation (Datacenter Transformation, Strategy, Migration, Re-Architecture, Decommissioning)
    • Cloud and Virtualization [Hey, that’s me! :)] (Virtual Infrastructure Rapid Transformation, P2V Factories, Operational Readiness, Strategy, etc)
    • IT Service Management [ITSM] (IT Service Catalogs, Financial Modeling, ITaaS Transformation)
    • Network (Network Design and Consolidation)

There are also other groups which I’m not including here (This is not intended to be a COMPREHENSIVE COMMERCIAL for EMC Consulting) but instead focused more so on my team and what *I* do. Yea, I’m vain like that.

Interestingly though across my team within the CVDC we have a series of solutions and offerings which provide significant overlap.  Which means we work together on a *lot* of things, and let me tell you.   These are some total ROCKSTARS to work with.   Both within the Leadership and to the highest and lowest ranks of the organization.   Which if you know anything about me, rockstardom = yay!

That being the case we’re working on a lot of cross-competency overlap items which are huge today and will also be even further transformational come 2012 (For those of you who are not so familiar with what they may be! :))  A popular item which we’ve spent a fair amount of time working is this little tool called Vblock, maybe you’ve heard of it.   But more than simply being a chunk of hardware, we take it to the Nth degree in scary cool proportions.    Think ‘massive chunk of metal which theoretically can transform your organization’ and add to it the whole depth and breadth of refined methodologies driven by experts in industry to Functionalize, Operationalize, Portalize and Deliver with a clear and conducive Go To Market strategy! (Though not Goat to Market!)

This my dear friends is merely the TIP of the Iceberg, but it has been a ROCKSTAR Journey so far and that journey is going to continue WELL into 2012.

Where has this role taken you so far?

I know a number of you follow my Foursquare history among any other number of Services out there where you see WHAT I’m doing and WHERE I am.     Here is a basic sampling of some of the places I’ve been since I took on this new role.  I’ll also try to do this Chronologically. :)   This is also just part of the journey.   This will continue.  Oh and FYI.  With proper justification and good reason…  I could always visit you (if you’re a customer ;)) If there’s a User Group or something you’d like me to attend as well, so long as I can get a meeting in the area I could probably attend! :)

  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Las Vegas (VMworld! :))
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Franklin, Massachusetts
  • Bangalore, India (With Stopovers in Frankfurt, Germany; and Dubai – but only in the airport)
  • Singapore (With a return stop over for an hour in Japan)
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • New York City, New York

Where will the future take me? I already know I’ll be going to the following

  • Seattle (Well, Redmond) Washington
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Kansas City (I’m not sure Kansas or Missouri ;))
  • And who knows where else for the rest of the year.

So as you can probably tell … Yea, you’ll see a whole series on “Optimal Traveling tools” and further tips and tricks beyond my recent “Accelerate Intl Travel and Airport tips to avoid getting fondled by the TSA!” post I put out! :)

What to expect from you in this new role

I know that some of you are still waiting for my Career Blog Post, 2012 Predictions, Details on your Book coming out Dec 6th, EMC Consulting Exposed, and any other number of blog posts which you can clearly know and expect.  Yea, that’ll be coming.  As will also my break out to my trip to India where I introduce you to my India Team! And my local North America – where I introduce you to them too! :)

And now, so I don’t have an excuse to PUT publishing this off any more. I’m going to run with it.  You can find out the rest later, Cats off to ya! :)

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Posted in Careers, Christopher Kusek, Cloud, Ebooks, emc, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (1)

Chicago EMC Forum – Tuesday July 19th; Data so big it’ll BLOW YOUR MIND!

June 28th, 2011

First of all, let this be your official invitation to come! If you haven’t been to an EMC Forum before they’re epic experiences rivaled only by the likes of your own dream wedding, or one of those lucid dreamlike experiences where you can fly!  Err… Maybe I’m over-selling it a bit, but no seriously. :)   It’s a great time, lots of learning to be had, networking to be experienced, and lots of prizes to be won (and demos to see?!)

Ooh.. and here I’ll put in quotes the … “Marketing Slick” type of things how they perceive it to be.. and of course I’ll give you my honest impression following that as well, just to keep it real! :)

EMC Forum 2011: Cloud Meets Big Data
Chicago – Hyatt Regency O’Hare
Tuesday, July 19, 2011; 8:00AM – 4:30PM

Learn more & register hereEMC Cloud meets Big Data - Makes a baby and feeds it your data! WTF?! THAT'S A CRAZY DESCRIPTION!

Join us at the EMC Forum where you’ll learn how cloud computing is transforming IT and discover new ways to accelerate the journey to your cloud for increased IT efficiency and greater business agility.  You’ll also learn how Big Data is transforming business and changing the world.



  • Learn about the latest trends and developments in information infrastructure including cloud computing and big data.
  • Understand the new roles and processes required to drive lasting change in your organization.
  • Discover market-leading solutions that combine hardware, software, and services to meet the needs of any size business.
  • Connect with leading cloud and big data experts and network with your peers.

Make your plans now to join EMC and our partners along with other IT and business leaders.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how you can transform your IT organization, transform your business, and accelerate your career.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERSujal Patel, Founder of Isilon® and President of EMC Isilon Storage Division

Sujal Patel, Founder of Isilon® and President of EMC Isilon Storage Division

In 2001 Patel founded Isilon with the vision that big data would soon necessitate a shift away from traditional storage architectures and toward a new, scale-out paradigm. Today this vision has become a reality as scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) has emerged as the de facto storage platform for big data. Patel continues to lead Isilon’s business in enabling its customers to turn big data challenges into even bigger opportunities.


My Honest Take

I’ve been to these things in the past, and let me tell you they know how to hit it out of the park!  Whether through direct engagement (Conversations with peers, partners, vendors, friends) Attending sessions (expertise, the Q/A, others experiencing your same kind of problems) or just taking it all in; you will walk away from this event with a lot more than you came to it with!   Personally, I would find myself engaged in so many conversations on every topic under the sun (Or Cloud?! … Bad pun! :)) that it’d take me literally hours just to walk a few feet.    I honestly look forward to this level and type of engagement when it comes back around, fun times are had by all, and the raffle prizes? I cannot win them, but they’re pretty sweet! Definitely play the game ;)

I encourage you to attend, and at the very least you can say hi to me! (Whoa! Vanity ploy! giggle :))  I’m always happy to discuss…   frankly any topic :)

Learn more & register here

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Posted in Big Data, Cloud, emc, Event, Free, Virtualization | Comments (0)

First Industry Cloud Certification: EMC Cloud Architect class and E20-018 EXPOSED!!!

April 25th, 2011

If you’ve ever read any of my exposed series, well… Look for a fairly unbiased approach to things.   Oh and hopefully the Education team doesn’t come back screaming at me. ;)   And as always, in the best of my ability I bring you the… Disclaimer!

Disclaimer:  The following information is not under NDA, is not one persons opinion but rather that collected from others through interviews, emails, discussions under which none of us are sharing any proprietary data about the Class or the Exam.    I tread the line closely so read on!

Okay, I normally only Post-Mortem or expose an Exam, or a Class, but not too often do I get the liberty to expose the two together! With that being the case I want to start by educating you a little bit about this designation, certification and beyond so you don’t feel the need to go to multiple sources to learn it!

Cloud Architect (EMCCA) Certification E20-001 and E20-018

Okay this little chart stripped from the Brochure basically tells you:

  • To prepare for the E20-001 exam you should take the Information Storage and Management 5 day course # MR-1CP-STF
  • To prepare for the E20-018 exam you should take the Virtualized Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure 5 day course: MR-1CP-NPVICE

At this point I’d like to give you a little color on these particular courses and the respective requirements around them, etc.     First of all, unlike the VCP or other similar type exams, these courses are NOT required in order to sit the exam.   I wanted to make sure you understand that you CAN sit the exam cold.

(Yes I did sit the E20-001 Exam cold and passed – Industry experience has its advantages)

There is an AMAZING book which covers the content of the E20-001 course and exam – the ISM Book I’m not sure if I have a copy at all but I’ve heard from those who have used it is an excellent learning and educational aid!  So if you’re a self-studier this is definitely an EXCELLENT tool for you to use.

Because the E20-001 is a pre-requisite to sit/pass the E20-018 exam I wanted to ensure it got a little coverage, which I think is sufficient at this point :)   For what it is worth, if you have been in the industry a fair amount of time working with SANs, NASs, and other Information Storage Management stuff you should do fine, but ensure you are prepared, E20-001 is the cost of ENTRY beyond that comes the BIG GUNS!!!

Tell us about the Virtualized Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure course

Okay, okay guys I will.   Here it goes, the full in depth analysis of the VDC and Cloud course.    (Education folks, watch out this isn’t all from me either;))

I want to start by telling you very clearly and concisely that there is some GREAT content in the books, material, and other information provided both in the written as well as the lecturer (Your results may vary depending upon instructor)  Though irrespective of who your instructor is, the content in the book will stay the same and will be relevant to the Class, Cloud, VDCs and the Exam.   With that said, I need to differentiate a few things with the course pre-reqs

  • According to the course materials we strongly recommend you have the following Certifications or knowledge/experience:
    • Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) – I bet CCNA would apply as well but I think that’s focused in the other exam/course
    • VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
    • Certified Information Systems Security Practitioner (CISSP)
    • The EMCISM is required for the EMCCA Certification – I mentioned that above, so that’s not a surprise.
    • Oh, and ITIL/PMP is NOT mentioned but those of you who are will find yourself wondering why not ;) (Not for content, but for presentation)

With THIS particular data points expressed I’d like to break you down into two groups:


If you fall into this area, maybe you have one or more of the certifications above or work in various cross-disciplines.  The courseware will VERY much apply to you.  You will want to pay attention, take rigorous notes; really get the best out of the networking, the instructors, the homework, read, read again, even do some labs to ensure you not only UNDERSTAND it, but you are fully committed to the material you are learning.   For what that is worth, the information is VERY general to the industry, Best Practices with a ‘little’ emphasis on some specific EMC technologies, but otherwise 70%+ of the material on the exam is of a VERY general nature.  The book should be your best friend and will be the answer to your success when it comes time to sit the exam and in life! :)


Hey guys, how are you doing.   You know who you are.   You hold all of the certifications above or really have the information down solid.  Heck, you might have taken those exams 10 or more years ago; or even written some of the exam material in those times.   You also happen to be the same kind of folks who have helped write and spec the standards for where we are today; Chances are I know each of you personally. (grin).    Yea…  You won’t last in the class.  I’m sorry.   I’m totally supportive of you, completely in fact (You probably wrote your own internal cloud strategy for your business which is inline with the exam, or for your consultancy)  Definitely not going to survive in the class room.  You’ll say “Err, this is just lecture, I can read the book myself… err, I can write this book while I’m at it!)   I’m not being negative, I see your kind every day…. leave the class because you’re bored, not learning anything and at this point just want to ensure that you have what is REQUIRED to sit and pass the exam.    Good luck guys, you will DEFINITELY want to read the Exam section because that’ll make the difference of success and WTF?!?   

Whoa! Wait a minute! Isn’t that a massive generalization? Either you’re a student or a teacher? … No not really.   Seriously.    If you find yourself arguing with the teacher that they’re wrong and you cite evidence often referring to a presentation you’ve given at a conference? Yea… You’ll do fine :)

Now, I’d like to segue way a moment to some of the directly shared thoughts from an attendee of the course.  We’ll call him B (Not like B from Gossip Girl!)

B’s take on the Virtualized Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure Course

“B” is a Technical Manager in mid-size enterprise.   Experienced in implementing VMware over the years with EMC Storage, HP Servers, Cisco Networking.   Longtime expired member of the CCNA/CCDA club and recent VCP and EMCISM credential holder.   With the stated pre-reqs B felt it might be a stretch from his qualification but not too much of a concern  (If this sounds like you, you’re in good company!)

  • Class started with going over pre-reqs, with CISSP added to the list; was surprised ITIL wasn’t there as discussed earlier
  • Two classes were merged so each section was alternated between two instructors.   As the course is 95% lecture didn’t feel that mattered.
  • The volume of content for the class is 2” thick of slides which unfortunately restricts discussion time available over 5 days.
  • Module 1 leads you into an Introduction to Cloud Computing  – If you instructor reads this module to you verbatim – STOP THEM!!!
  • Module 2 covers the VCP, ISM ad CCDA related material – Very much a review of the Pre-reqs – should be consolidated to focus on goals
  • Module 3 kicked off VDC Design – This is where the meat of the course is, requires proper time to digest and discuss properly
  • Module 4 focused on Governance, Risk and Compliance (Interesting Chapter) but due to time was rushed as was Managing Virtual Environments
  • Module 5 focused on Cloud Services and Summary modules (Had to leave early so missed it)
  • There is nothing earth-shattered in the course but there is a lot of GOOD Material!
  • The labs are too vague leaving you spending more time trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do instead of discussing solutions

B’s Summary of the course

In summary, it’s a good course to show EMC’s "journey to the cloud".  I’d prefer less focus on the pieces (modules 1-2) and more focus on how to put the pieces together (modules 3-6).  The labs need refined to give more guidance so we can spend more time applying the knowledge rather than wondering what the designers of the course had in mind.  Given that this was the first class (I believe), I’d love to see how it changes over the next few sessions.

Well guys, what do you think of B’s take on the course?   I think his assessment was fairly accurately representation of what was going on, and equally what you might expect out of the class in its early stages.   To tell you the truth it can ONLY get better from this point.   I only briefly paraphrased what B had to say to preserve the original message but also not to call him directly unless he wants to be named :)  

Curious what the course looks like on the other side of the fence?   Here is the summary and breakdown from “Jerome” who’s been doing this for awhile!

Jerome’s take on the Virtualized Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure Course

I had the chance to attend the "Virtualized Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure" course put on by EMC this week.  Below are my thoughts.

Certification Track

This course is part of the EMC Cloud Architect track – EMCCA.  This course specifically is designed to prepare for the E20-018 certification test, which is a Specialist level certification.  The Expert level material and test have not yet been released, and are expected later this year.


The EMC Cloud Architect Track is designed to help enable customers adopt a cloud maturity model.  This consists of a move from physical data centers to Virtual Data Centers (VDCs), from VDCs to full Operationalization of virtualization, and from there to IT as a Service.  This course was specifically focused on the physical to VDC phase of the transition. 

Material and Presentation

This course is a lecture only course.  There was no hands on material or lab time.  What labs were included in the course were small group discussions only.  EMC has tried to make this a "generic" cloud course that is "open" to all technologies, but it is heavily slanted towards their view of the world.  The course uses the following outline, I have added the EMC translation in parenthesis:

  • Virtualized Data Center and Cloud Introduction (Private Clouds and ITaaS model)
  • VDC Architecture (V+C+E products, convergence)
  • Designing for Virtualized and Cloud Environments (Best Practices for Virtualization – VCP stuff)
  • Governance Risk and Compliance (RSA and Archer)
  • Managing Virtualized Environments (IONIX)
  • Cloud Services (Service Provider models)


The exam is a 60 question test, with 63% required for passing (38 correct answers).  The practice exam on the EMC Education website is decent, and a good barometer of your chance to pass the exam, though the practice was about 20% easier than the real exam.  I would say that the real exam questions were written fairly poorly, and were often difficult to understand.  They would describe a scenario, but then it seemed they would give up half way through and ask only a tangentially related question.  I think that it was a result of attempting to keep the exam mostly generic, rather than focused on EMC technologies.


In general, I found the course to be very much in alignment with our message and focus, and as a result I felt it was a very easy set of material.  The only new sections to me were a few of the VDC maturity definitions and the GRC models.  Because of that, I felt the instructors moved much too slow.  I also found that the instructors were professional trainers, not SMEs on cloud computing, so they offered little value other than moderating the course.  I ended up leaving mid-way through the second day, and just reviewing the course material on my own, and was able to pass the test on Thursday, even though the course runs through Friday.  If you feel you need a little more preparation, I would recommend the VILT, rather than the full course. 

Okay, no his real name is not Jerome I decided I would use that name as a tribute to Jerome from Flight of the Conchords, especially how Jerome was being so constructive with his feedback So what this is providing you is two assessments of the course; FWIW.. I agree with both, grin :)

CXIs take WTF?!?

Yea, I think I made it fairly clear in the earlier points.    But if I had a few things I want you to do and know; KNOW the material, if you’re confused read it again, understand it, deep.    Focus on your weaknesses in the areas which are defined in the class and be true and honest to yourself, because albeit Rihanna and Eminem may love the way you lie… well the Exam will NOT be so nice.  . . . Speaking of which!

Tell us about E20-018 Virtualized Infrastructure Specialist Exam for Cloud Architects!

Okay, Okay, you begged enough!   Firstly, let me tell you I cannot tell you what is ON the Exam, what is IN the exam or anything ABOUT the exam. We cool? ;)    Yea, but just because I cannot provide you those specifics and by now I think you know a few things about me…. here is what I can tell you.

Remember what I said above about PREPARING.  KNOWING the content from the Class, Books or material LISTED as being on the exam?  Yea, I wasn’t messing around.  Seriously! DO THAT. KNOW THAT. DO IT ALL!   But what would this matter or mean if you didn’t take a few sliding comments from those of us who have taken the exam.    I talked to Jerome after he took the exam to see how he felt about it; his take?

Jerome: The test was very hard, but that was only due to the language of the questions and the structure.

Me: Hated that test.

Whoa Whoa Whoa! Christopher! That isn’t very constructive! What about being constructive with your feedback?!?! Yea, hi, I’m still here.. I’m still WRITING THIS! ;)     I don’t remember if I’m supposed to say this or not but since the exam is already out, published and I’ve taken it… I’ll go out on a limb thinking I can talk about it.   Yea, I’ve seen SOME of the content before the exam came out.  I reviewed the questions for validity, truth, honesty, integrity… The kind of standard I started to see so wonderfully come out of Microsoft (I know the entire Microsoft Learning Team, so I know the commitment they have to Exam Integrity THESE days instead of days gone past where questions were insane)   I’d like to say that this exam took the PAGES upon PAGES of comments I’d have on a few word question to heart when it came time to publish the exam to stand behind as backing for the questions.   Yea, I thought that for OTHER exams I would EXTENSIVELY provide EXTREMELY constructive feedback on. [I’m not shy about telling you what is wrong, why it is wrong, how others will perceive it, and what steps you can take in order to correct….]   Also sometimes there are release schedules… or my voice isn’t LOUD enough, or I didn’t cover enough of a user base of questioning to make an impact outside of my SME area I was initially focused on reviewing.    None the less, to Jerome’s point of the language of the questions and the structure; how things were poorly worded, or to quote me “I hated that test”  

I’m VERY good at taking tests (I teach classes on how to take exams ;)).  I’ve passed more exams than most will in their lives, and respectively I’ve probably failed more exams than most people will take including their entire academic career ;)     I can wholeheartedly say that you better STUDY for this exam.   KNOW your material and know how to cut through the treacle which is going to be offered up as questions.   The answers are right, the questions are a little confusing and the ones which are not can be VERY specific.    I prepared for the exam by using the Practice Test – I was getting 100% consecutively and I felt confident.   Yea, once that exam started up that melted away!    Definitely study, study, study! Prepare! 

Summary on Class and Exam!

For the first Industry Certification focused on Cloud with an Exam AND a course; that is a major undertaking to start with, and honestly to tell you the truth I think EMC did a great job of it.   Obviously you may take some of my comments above as extremely critical (Hey, I’m extremely critical!) but it’s because I care.     They’re definitely taking things to new levels, I’m not even sure what other organization in the industry could assault such an undertaking other than Microsoft (And that would be HEAVILY MS biased, Hey I love you but it’s true) and most “independent” third parties, well we all know that their Exam would come out looking like absolute trash and they wouldn’t really have the vehicle or mechanism to go about delivering and driving it successfully.   No definitely considering all of that and what we expect so heavily from ourselves, and our industry, EMC has done an absolute bang up amazing job!   

Hopefully I haven’t scared you away from taking this course and the exam.   If you know your stuff, you better prep, if you are new to the whole game you’re going to learn A LOT OF MATERIAL.   In a way the course will take you through a compressed CCNA/CCDA/VCP/CISSP/EMCISM courseware all compressed into a few days of time and then you need to assimilate that into your head and go take a test!    If anything you should have an honest reflection of what to expect (I highly encourage your feedback if you agree, disagree or WTF on anything I’ve said)   Together we move mountains, so let’s not make mountains out of molehills, that’s how the Cloud works.   Together. :)   Oh and Good Luck, I don’t say this often on exams, but you will NEED it. *love* :)

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