Whelp it was a long study but after 5 months of study I’ve completed the VCP5-DCV course study and passed the exam on January 5th 2015. Since taking the ICM class at Stanly College in Locust NC back in October of 2014 I was basically living in my home-lab 5 hours a night during the week and about 10 hours on weekends and working with VMware 5.5 on a daily basis on the job at customer locations. I was actually kind of shocked by getting into the ICM class back in September and kind of pissed, I was literally 3 weeks from taking my CCNA:R&S exam but I had to shift gears and move into the VMware track…
In-fact in the month of December I did 10 full VMware ESXi 5.5 deployments sporting Dell R720 servers, Dell Equalogic SAN storage, HP/Cisco/Dell Switches for both iSCSI and FCoE as-well as deploying networking fabric to enhance the capabilities of customer networks. It’s been a blast and it really helped me pass the exam, also knowing that customers server infrastructure is state of-the-art! …But this kind of stuff is what I like doing…
I really underestimated the complexity of the exam and how hard it really was, but I managed to pass it. I really enjoyed working with VMware’s vSphere and vCenter products so this was quite the achievement for me personally (once I’m done with my next 2 certifications I’ll probably tackle the VCAP5-DCA) and furthermore how this product suite can truly make for a better working environment for pretty much any IT infrastructure that doesn’t yet utilize visualization. The features it provides your classical IT design strategy really helps a IT department sleep better; this is all coming from a IT person like myself that dealt with IT before the use of visualization.
The VCP5-DCV exam was hard, but now I’m getting back on the bandwagon and pressing onward and back on-track towards my Cisco Certified Network Associate: Routing and Switching (CCNA: R&S) since I’ve been using Cisco for a few years now but I want to get certified in networking and Cisco has the networking sector by the balls. My goal is to be CCNA:R&S certified by the end of March 2015. My overall goals for 2015 are to get my CCNA:R&S and my MCSA, if I have time the CCNA: Security.
Now some of you may-be like wow you have a pretty extensive lab; well I do but there is a method to my madness. I wanted to get my CCNA:R&S 1st but fate had a different route and I got my VCP5-DCV 1st so now I’m getting back into Cisco, once I get my CCNA:R&S I’ll pursue my MCSA. See this lab may-be extensive but it’s many solutions built into one package, that package is as close to a enterprise network as can be done.
Currently my VMware cluster has 2 different forests being used on two of the vLAN’s in the Cisco lab, this mimics two different Windows Domains and VMware datacenters and since this Cisco lab is setup to be isolated, the domains never leave the Cisco lab but the vCenter appliance is linked to a management network connected to my home LAN so I can manage them as if I had access to both networks, it seems complicated but it’s really not, we not for me at-least. See it may not be a very large scale deployment but its the practice that makes perfect I always say.
Below is a picture of my current Cisco Lab Topology for those that are curious:
1) the dotted squares represent network boundaries or vlans
2) The red lines are the production/management vlans
3) the green lines are for iSCSI/vMotion/svMotion only traffic.