NSX: My Journey Towards Infrastructure Enlightenment

Infrastructure Enlightenment? A pretty holistic term if you’d ask me but it is true, for those who know me I am an infrastructure geek and I handle most of it without touching the network part directly. When I first started my enterprise journey the first certification that I actually went through was CCNA and I did it through my institute via the CISCO Academy, at that point I knew that I will not be working in the networking field as it is not my thing yet I had confidence that what I learned will be of great aid to me when I move forward and you know what, it did for every single day of my interaction with customers when the networking topic comes up I was able to comprehend everything that was going on and engage all the topics with relief.

That said, when NSX was firstly announced I turned to my self and asked? What are you going to do? This is going to be a networking platform but this is going to complete the journey to SDDC and it is an indispensable platform that is going to lead future implementations and I was not going to miss it for the world.

Personally I am motivated by challenge, I either get challenged or I challenge myself towards accomplishing something and challenge was completing VCIX-NV!

The path to VCIX-NV for me was either go directly and sit for it or pass the VCP-NV first, so from my point of view it was about scratching the surface with the VCP and then move forward towards VCIX-NV.

I don’t know about you guys but I am not that much of a training guy, what I like is my lab! Or as I usually say [Home is where the lab is] and I like to take things from the ground up, break them, fix them, break them again, and loop around those two until I know that I have covered all what I can cover.

When it came to networking, I was short on routing and firewalls so I had to pull a lot of books and re-grasp the concepts so that to be able to venture through the technology properly.

I did the VCP-NV back in 2015 at VMworld Europe and the results were not that much promising, I barely passed which proved that I need more time to even think about VCIX-NV, at that point my old home lab was not adequate to to do the testing as I would like them to be (as close to production as possible), BUT in 2016 Q1 I managed to get a new home lab running and the first topic that was haunting me was VCIX-NV, so I put a schedule and managed to go through the VCIX-NV blueprint successfully, I had the confidence that I was lacking in 2015 and again at VMworld Europe 2016 I pulled the VCIX-NV successfully (for those of you whom did not know I did the VCIX-NV with 1 hand as I had my right-hand [the mouse usage hand] broken and it was wrapped at that time)

So where am I now, I am now capable of implementing NSX as a product end-to-end without falling into the pit of uncertainty. I would really give credit to the clarity of the blueprints because when you go through them item by item you’re going through the product option by option and it sums up to almost 90% knowledge of the product as 10% I would leave for different types of integration.

Even if the certification was not your goal, you should pursue it because it gives you clarity towards how you’re going to engage the product, for those of you whom do not have the ability to do self-control and commit to self-paced learning you can hit the NSX track via VMware Education and speaking of which last week as part of a partner initiative I was invited to an NSX Ninja workshop and the topics that were covered here were:

  1. The install, configure and manage track.
  2. The Troubleshooting and Operations track.

The first was not required on my part because I was already certified, on the other hand I was eager for the VMware NSX: Troubleshooting and Operations [V6.2] session. Not only it was as I expected, this course is full of information and it really was awesome. As I said earlier I rarely take any kind of training unless I had to and although I did complete VCIX-NV the course added a lot to the information I had and for anyone who is preparing for the VCIX-NV (currently) or VCAP-NV Deploy (in the future) I cannot emphasize how this course would be a great-great boost towards the certification especially the troubleshooting section which usually takes time and requires a good grasp on how to extract information from the product to be able to troubleshoot.

Ultimately, pursuing a certification is about both financial and technical value. VMware certifications has been always a good return-on-investment on my part and I am currently preparing for my VCDX-NV certification which frankly is a personal obsession since the day I learned about it, I would very much urge anyone interested/working/looking forward to working with the technology to make certification ta goal and not just an addition to the journey, in such a way that the journey to the certification is crowned by achieving the certification.

Networking has always been at the core of any infrastructure and by grasping the power of NSX you will become more enlightened about the SDDC and how this transformation of IT is taking place neck-to-neck with business demands.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish you luck with all the certifications you’re pursuing.



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