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The Gamification of VMware Hands-on Labs – Meet Odyssey

Sometimes digging in and learning about all the newest things in the VMware arsenal can feel tedious and daunting. VMware apparently heard our cries, and introduced VMware Odyssey at VMworld 2019. Odyssey aims to be a brand-new approach to evaluating and learning the VMware catalog.

How is it a brand-new approach, you ask? Simply, they’ve added gamification elements to the VMware Hands-on Labs that we know and love.

VMware Odyssey is a series of 15-minute tasks that challenge your knowledge and expertise across the entire VMware portfolio. VMware developed a game engine that will automatically check that a Hands-on Lab task was completed correctly, and it gives you instant feedback. There’s even a leaderboard to see how you stack up to others that have taken the Odyssey-enabled Hands-on Labs. Check out this video to learn more:

Not bad, eh? Expect to see more from the VMware Odyssey team in the future.…

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VMware Ports and Protocols Tool

If you’re tired of pouring through VMware documentation to find specific port requirements for their software like I am, this post is going to be a god-send for you. With VMware announcing new features, products and services regularly, it can be hard to keep up with what software and version have specific requirements that you need to deploy to make everything work well. VMware offers a little-advertised tool to help you discover, digest and retain all of the ports and protocol information. I don’t think it’s been around long, since I just discovered it this year. If you haven’t seen it…

Allow me to introduce the VMware Ports and Protocols website. The site is mobile friendly, and pretty intuitive.

This tool allows you to select specific software suites, and displays the required ports and protocols for you to make it easy for you to understand your networking requirements before you deploy anything at all. There are even export options. You can download Excel or CSV formatted files, and print the results. Here’s an example of the output:

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VMware Certification and You: 2018 Edition

Well, some of you might have seen my original VMware Certification and You post back in March. VMware is in the process of changing the way their certifications work, and for the better I think. With those changes comes a short eBook: VMware Training Value.

For anyone looking to get VMware training or certification in 2018, I’d recommend reading the above eBook. It outlines ways to maximise your value, and gives figures to support them. You’ll be able to see where you stand now, and what path to take to reach the next level in your career. Each certification track is outlined and each step explained. Check it out, and plan your career today. You won’t regret it.…

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Achievement Unlocked: vExpert 2018

While on vacation with my wife in Las Vegas, I got some pretty exciting news. I’m proud and honored to be named as a VMware vExpert in 2018, and humbled to be among the talent and dedication that exists within the vExpert community. My only regret is that I didn’t make more of an effort earlier on. I encourage anyone with an interest in virtualization, or networking with people in the industry to make an effort to become a part of this community.

If you’re interested in joining, head over to the vExpert Portal. You’ll be able to apply there once applications are open, which happens in June and December of each year for a 30 day period. If you’re looking for a vExpert, check out the vExpert Directory. A big thank you to VMware and the vExpert community for welcoming me to the fold.…

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VMware Product Walkthroughs Tool

The VMware product line can be a little overwhelming. With VMware announcing new features, products and services regularly, it can be hard to keep up. That said, VMware offers a tool to help you digest and retain all of that information, and they’ve been keeping it up to date. It’s been around for a while now, since about 2014 I think, but if you haven’t seen it…

Allow me to introduce the VMware Product Walkthrough website. The site is mobile friendly, and pretty intuitive.

This tool provides technical overviews and step-by-step guides for installing, configuring and managing VMware products and services. Every single walkthrough includes screenshots and detailed explainations.

You can also use the site as a self-paced demo of VMware products and features. Get familiar with the basic features of VMware products before you dive into the VMware Hands-on Labs for those products.…

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The Gamification of IT Learning

It has been around for a while now  but I’d like to introduce you to CloudCred, by VMware. With CloudCred, you can earn rewards for the things that you know about the cloud, virtualization technologies, slick vendor technologies and more, and learn the things that you don’t.

With CloudCred, you earn points by doing tasks. Those points increase your status on a leaderboard of members and, if you earn enough points, enter you in a monthly grand prize drawing for some pretty cool loot.

CloudCred is more than a just fun way to flex your cloud knowledge and earn bragging rights for yourself and your team. It’s also a way to rack up on rewards and get certifications that can help you grow professionally. Stolen from the CloudCred website, here are some of the reasons to sign up:

Challenge yourself
Go beyond the type of tasks you’re used to completing on a daily basis. You could learn something.

Get recognized
Raise your CloudCred score to climb the leaderboard and get noticed by other industry professionals.

Expand your influence
Grow your sphere of influence through tasks that help you build and share your perspectives with peers.

Get rewards

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Azure Strategy and Implementation Guide eBook

For those of us who are new to Microsoft Azure or in the beginning stages of planning a cloud migration, Microsoft is now giving away the Azure Strategy and Implementation Guide for IT Organizations eBook for free! Cloud architects often hear the same questions from different customers who are starting to plan out their cloud implementation process. That’s what motivated at the good people at Microsoft to write the Azure Strategy and Implementation Guide eBook, and provide their guidance in the form of a blueprint that customers like us can follow to help form our cloud strategy.

Whether you are starting with Azure or doing more general research regarding how IT teams navigate cloud implementation, this guide offers a balance of broadly applicable advice and Azure specifics for you to consider. Here is an overview of what is covered:

Chapter 1: Governance – This chapter covers the starting points, from the aspirational “digital transformation” to the important tactical steps of administration and resource naming conventions. Get an overview of topics such as envisioning, to cloud readiness, administration, and security standards and policy.
Chapter 2: Architecture – This section takes a longer look at security, touches on cloud design patterns, and

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Veeam Backup & Replication Best Practices eBook

I wanted to share a free resource that has really helped me wrap my head around Veeam Backup & Replication. This eBook, written and maintained by a group of Veeam architects, is easily understandable no matter your level of expertise with Veeam and serves as a great resource outlining how to configure Veeam using best practices in your Veeam backup environment.

The eBook was released in conjunction with Veeam Backup & Replication 9.0 Update 2. It’s been updated and maintained and as of this writing, contains the best practices for Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 1.

Read the book online, or download it in PDF, ePub or Mobi format by following this link.

If you feel like showing the authors love, or just following them on social media, here they are:

Preben Berg (@poulpreben)
Andreas Neufert (@AndyandtheVMs)
Tom Sightler
Pascal di Marco
Stanislav Simakov (@ssimakov)
Paul Szelesi (@PSzelesi)
Luca Dell’Oca (@dellock6)
Edwin Weijdema (@viperian)…

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