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vSphere 5 Training by TrainSignal

by Ryan MatthewsOctober 30, 2011

This is the first in a series of virtualization training reviews of the programs offered by TrainSignal, a premiere training provider of IT subjects.

VMware has released a new improved version of its virtualization platform, VMware vSphere5. With that comes a new list of features, fixes and major improvements to managing multiple workloads from a single hardware device.

The challenge here, as with ANY major version update of a product, is knowing the what’s new, how do I apply it, what has been fixed and what has been changed. Trainsignal has put together a program that not only answers those questions, but this one actually teaches you about the product, its features, both old and new, in a very fast pace yet reasonable manner. All full 16+ hours of training in this program.

Two instructors were challenged with the new training program, David Davis and Elias Khnaser, both highly certified virtualization experts in addition to the many other industry certifications each has obtained. It is evident  why these guys have earned the vExpert  designation from VMware, they know what they are doing. The manner in which they get the information across is detailed yet understandable.

Here is how they broke down the sections of instruction:

1. Getting Started with VMware vSphere 5 Training Course
2. Lab Setup
3. Course Scenario
4. Overview of VMware vSphere 5
5. Installing VMware ESXi 5
6. Installing vCenter 5
7. Installing vCenter 5 as a Linux Appliance (vCSA)
8. Using the vSphere 5 WEB Client
9. What’s New in vSphere 5
10. Navigating vSphere Using the vSphere Client
11. vCenter 5 – Configuring Your New Virtual Infrastructure
12. Creating and Modifying Virtual Guest Machines
13. Installing and Configuring VMware Tools
14. Understanding and Using Tasks, Events and Alarms
15. Virtual Storage 101 and Storage Terminology
16. vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)
17. Creating a Free iSCSI SAN with OpenFiler
18. Administering VMware ESXi Server Security
19. vSphere Virtual Networking
20. Using the vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch (dvswitch)
21. Moving Virtual Machines with vMotion
22. Moving Virtual Storage with svMotion
23. Performance Optimization with Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)
24. Implementing High Availability with VMware HA (VMHA)
25. Super High Availability with VMware Fault Tolerance (FT)
26. Upgrading from VMware vSphere 4 to vSphere 5
27. vSphere Command Line Interface (CLI) Options
28. vSphere Auto Deploy
29. Storage DRS
30. Policy-Driven Storage
31. Understanding the New vSphere 5 vRAM Pooled Pricing
32. Network I/O Control (NIOC)
33. Storage I/O Control (SIOC)
34. ESXi Firewall
35. VMware Data Recovery (VDR)2
36. Administering vSphere Using an iPad
This training program is very well done and very well laid out. I like the fact that there are examples of what is being discussed, actual hands on. I find it cleaver to show the student how you could enable or build a lab so you can follow along and preform the functions being taught. This is very important to learning and absorption of the material. There is nothing more important to learning this material than actual hands on experience.  Actually completing the process end to end completes the understanding  of the subject before you move to the next sometimes complicated subject. The product examples used to hammer home the concepts and products are very well thought out in this course. They are easy to follow and given the fact a student can pause the program, rewind, replay at any time, is a real advantage to “getting it right” and remembering what has been presented.

Trainsignal has thought about the possible access needs of the student as well. They have the traditional DVD method of delivery. This requires every device to have access to a DVD player and the actual DVDs.  If you are busy , like myself, I access training from multiple devices as I have time. I also need access while traveling. Trainsignal has an on online training area which I tested during this review. The streaming media was seamless and was very easy to watch. I was able to study using my computer or iPad2 as well. I even studied the material on the train using my mifi wireless unit for connectivity and Trainsignal’s online service. This worked flawlessly! The dvd media also has the delivered instructional material in different formats for you as well. So these other formats could be copied to your other devices like ipod, etc. Many ways to achieve your learning goal by making the material available on many devices, nicely done.

For the folks looking for certification training, obtaining  VMware’s  VCP, will enjoy this as an excellent preparation tool for the exam. The material is dense. I would suggest that one watch the entire set of instruction videos as presented. Then go back through them again pausing as need to ensure you have the concepts needed for the exam.  Couple this program with the VMware release pdf’s for deeper subject matter understanding and you should be good to go for the exam.

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