On Monday I got up and took the redeye flight from Dublin to London to attend VMware’s NSX Ninja Training course in their UK Head Office (Staines-on-Thames).
It was the first of a two week course on what was billed as “…a unique opportunity to participate in two weeks of in depth, highly technical instruction on VMware NSX.”
There is a pre-requisite that the participants must already hold at least a VCP-NV and preparing to complete their VMware Certified Implementation Expert – Network Virtualisation (VCIX-NV). There were a number of people on the course who didn’t hold their VCP-NV which was a huge gamble by VMware that they wouldn’t bring the knowledge level of the class down. This was a course being offered to VMware Partners by invitation only, so this lack of checking on certifications was unexpected.
The training assumes expert level knowledge of NSX, and the training is very lab based. The trainer provides scenarios in which many of the labs are intentionally broken and the attendees must derive a root cause to the problem and provide a solution.
Unfortunately, on day one the labs were actually broken (Expired licences, bad deployments, lab-based issues) before we got our hands on them. We did spend a lot of time fixing the labs which could have been spent on building up out NSX knowledge.
By day two, the course was in fully running and we got down to we completed a dive deeper into the operations of NSX. The biggest take away I had was those instructor led troubleshooting labs, which helped not just for the exam, but also real life deployments and consultancy for configuration drift deployments of NSX.
By the end of the week, we had completed a number of deep drives of under-the-hood NSX, a lot of troubleshooting in the lab and integration with VMware Log Insight and vRealize Operations.
I have to thank the trainer (@TRedwitter) for his excellent lessons which by the dynamic nature of the course he took any requests and feedback in his stride and made for an excellent week.
I may have had a few issues with the course logistics but I have to say it is one of the best technical training courses I have been on. The combination of peer-to-peer support, expert knowledge from the trainer and the course content gave me the confidence I needed to not only complete my VCIX-NV (I’d better go pass it now!) but also greater confidence in my client-consultant interactions.
Week 2 is going to held in June and focuses on more of the design element and working towards the VCDX. Due to other factors though, I can’t attend and my colleague who already holds his VCIX-NV will be taking my place. So good luck to him, and everyone else on the course. I hopefully be hearing 22 messages of passing their VCIX-NV in the near future.