Shooting for double VCDX … with VCDX-NV

22. April 2018 Study, VCDX 0
Shooting for double VCDX … with VCDX-NV

Ever since I achieved my VCDX on vSphere (VCDX-DCV) last year, I have been contemplating about also going for VCDX on NSX (VCDX-NV). I have the prerequisite VCIX-NV accreditation and I’ve done quite a few NSX architecture projects, so when I was discussing personal goals for 2018 at ITQ, I thought to myself … why the h*ll not? Let’s go for it! One of the biggest benefits of working at ITQ is the relentless support you get for personal growth and room for certification so it wasn’t even a question if ITQ would support me in this endeavour. Now, the journey begins!

VCDX Lessons Learned

While I genuinely enjoyed my previous VCDX journey, this second round puts me in the luxurious position of pretty much knowing what to expect. I bumped my head pretty hard a couple of times the last time around, so now I am definitely going to do things a lot smarter. Based on my most important lessons learned, this time I am going to:

  1. Plan, plan and plan …. and stick to my plan
  2. Explain what I am doing to my family and agree on a study schedule
  3. Work with a mentor
  4. Ask for peer reviews
  5. Build my defense presentation and do a couple of mocks BEFORE submitting my application

It basically boils down to taking a more professional approach. With my VCDX-DCV, I kind of just started working on my design and I didn’t plan ahead very well or discuss any of my plans with my girlfriend and kids. I was just “working” a lot more than before. Let’s do things differently this time around …

VCDX Partner in Crime

Also new this round is the introduction of a partner in crime. I am going to jointly submit with ITQ co-worker Mathijs van der Maas. Working with somebody on such a big project really forces me to plan ahead and communicate better. Experience wise, the knife cuts both ways and we can hopefully learn a lot from each other. Matthijs is a hardcore network guru so I can learn a lot from him about physical networking and hopefully I can mentor him on the VCDX journey and teach him a thing or two about successfully completing the VCDX journey. We’ve got an awesome project in mind to base our VCDX-NV design on and I’m really looking forward to working with Mathijs.

Busy schedule

Unfortunately, VCDX-NV is not the only thing on my schedule this year. I’m currently running a VCAP65-DCV Design study group at ITQ. I was originally planning on taking that exam last year at VMworld but my meeting schedule didn’t allow for it. I have been postponing the exam due to different reasons but now I really need to take it out of my way. I am going to schedule the exam in May for sure. Really …  I am!!

I also got a nice notification from Cisco about my expiring CCNP certification in July 2018. Great timing guys! On the positive side: having to study a bit for CCNP could come in quite handy during my VCDX-NV journey. My physical networking knowledge is probably the weakest link at the moment.

A couple of weeks ago, I successfully completed the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam. I’m currently busy with expanding the ITQ hybrid cloud practice to include both VMware Cloud on AWS and native AWS services, so I need to stay current and up to date with my AWS knowledge. Time permitting I would love to take the Professional level exam but I need to be realistic and move that up into 2019. No way I am going to be able to achieve VCDX-NV and AWS SA Professional at the same time.

Oh yeah … I’m also kind of getting married in September so that might also take up some of my time 😉

June 1st = t0

Matthijs and I agreed on submitting in September and (hopefully) defending in December. Matthijs will need to fly out to Staines and I can do a remote defense. In order to successfully work together in good harmony, we will need to come up with some planning method to keep track of who is doing what. I know Trello is quite popular within the aspiring VCDX community so setting up a system and way of working in Trello might be one of the first things we should do. Working backwards from the submission date in September and with the outstanding CCNP and VCAP65-DCV exams in mind, we agreed on June 1st as the official start date for our journey. That leaves us roughly three months to deliver a complete VCDX submission package … which should be perfectly doable. So, let’s get everything out of the way so we can fully focus on VCDX-NV!

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