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back to article VCDX: The elite certification just 105 people hold

On 28 February next year in Las Vegas, a group of brave IT professionals will go before a jury of their peers and spend half a day defending themselves and their technical skills. The inquisitors will pull no punches and the process will be brutal. Many of those on trial will be defeated, rejected and fly home chastened. Others …

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Stop

I've heard this before

I remember hearing a similar huff and puff centred around the CCIE certification. Sure, since I've got mine my prospects have changed and it's all good, but I am not conviced that the benefits have outweighed the commitment of both time and money invested.

Two points:

If anything, wages in the industry have gone down steadily in recent years, mine have that's for sure. When the buzz dies from this one and world + dog has it, then it will wind up being a pre requisite for a mid level role (like CCIE is becoming/has become) as opposed to a measure of who the "elite" are.

Second, NOTHING beats experience, not even the most hard certification in the world. End of story.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've heard this before

"NOTHING beats experience, not even the most hard certification in the world."

As one of the panelists who is on the other side of the desk, contributing to the decision of who has or doesn't have the skills required to attain the VCDX certification I can say that without experience you will not pass. That's the one of the reasons for the defense process - to sort those with book-smarts from those who have learned from experience across a wide range of scenarios. You could present the best design on the planet and still fail if you aren't able to clearly articulate the decision making process that went into your design and how that design would change given different requirements, constraints etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've heard this before

I recently passed CCIE too. Was it worth the time and money invested? Not sure. It cost a lot (paid for it all myself), and it took a massive amount of time. No raise at this point, but I think it will stand me in good stead should I go out seeking other opportunities. If my employer paid for CCIE, then it would be a no-brainer.

Sounds like these guys are pretty clued up - they talk about spending "over 100 hours" on their proposal, but that doesn't really sound like all that much, if you're used to CCIE-level study. I think that in their cases, they have a LOT of background experience, and so didn't have to put in the same study that I would if I tried to take this on. I' just a lowly VCP, and I think I'll stay there.

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Mushroom

Re: I've heard this before

So same idea as a Microsoft Masters, except without the 2 weeks at Redmond (or VMWare...)

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Nice advert...

...for VMware's certification racket!

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Trollface

Re: Nice advert...

Yep lots of publicity and all they have to do is throw out a few pieces of paper to the Porsche driving type A everyone look at me douche bag crowd.

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Devil

“It is a completely transferable skill that goes across all boundaries”

Right.

Why dontcha help me clean the office fridge, appease the tax collector, then manage the grumpy IT cats in the dev bunker for whom everything is "easy peasy" until they actually have to deliver when it suddenly becomes "extremely complex". Meanwhile their latest construction is throwing bugs left and right which they don't care about, but hey the boss thought "better go downmarket on developer costs". Yes, we will do debugging in the afternoon.

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Happy

Re: “It is a completely transferable skill that goes across all boundaries”

Its not a bug its a feature

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Thumb Down

Helpful advice from El Reg:

"...and his air miles balance is sky high."

Thanks for the warning, will stay clear.

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Grab it while it's still worth something...

...before it turns into what Certified Netware Engineers became.

I used to know a few who weren't certified to operate a can opener.

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Great Game Spooks R US Advert ..... Plainly Hiding Invisibly in Transparent Sight

In reply to Lunatik's "Nice advert......for VMware's certification racket!" comment

And who and/or what is to say that VCDX is not also intelligence head hunting territory‽ It is certainly the sort of field in which it is necessary for one to be able to excel in, in order to effortlessly rule with demonstrations of absolute reign in ..... and with remote virtual command of all manner of empowering physical control with metadatabased cloud servers provisioning smarter phantom agents with leading non-state actor event portfolios, how ever would it be countered and/or bettered without intelligent heads hunting in searching territories?

And for runners of rackets, is it and IT a novel invaluable tool without which one will always struggle and spectacularly fail, battling against that which one thought worthy to conserve and preserve, rather than change and expand in a fundamentally different leadership direction?

Three questions there which you have no need to answer for there is no doubt that they are actual facts which shape realities with phormed virtual realities phished from information shared freely in space for satellite collection and virtual machine grooming.

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Facepalm

Re: Great Game Spooks R US Advert ..... Plainly Hiding Invisibly in Transparent Sight

<stick head above parapet >

All certification is a racket

</stick head above parapet >

Certification is like an IQ test, it only proves one thing, your good at doing IQ tests/certification exams.

I'm Java certified but I wouldn't let me near any production Java code, I'll leave that to the experienced Java programmers instead.

How come nobody ever ask for COBOL or PL/1 certification? How on earth did all those mainframe sites manage for the past 40 years without "certified" COBOL, DB2 and PL/1 programmers.

  • Java SE 6 Associate Certification Value Package - € 2321
  • Java SE 6 Programmer Certification Value Package, € 2347
  • Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Associate Certification Value Package € 3023

You may have 30 years experience in the IT industry, but that doesn't mean you will get past HR's box-checking exercise as happened to me once... "Yes, you do have a lot of IMS experience but we were looking for someone with DL1 as well........." see icon.

Anyway who on earth wants to be VCDX certified, it sounds like a sexually transmitted disease.

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To be able to concur is a view squared and reinforced and most likely then also cubed in power.

I wholeheartedly agree with those sentiments and observations, Field Marshal Von Krakenfart.

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Headmaster

“Being a VCDX means I've not had means there has not been any downtime even during the recession,” Webster, who blogs here, told The Register.

Webster should have skipped the VCDX and gone for GCSEs instead.

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Anonymous Coward

I think you're mistaking the author of the article from the person being quoted. A little grammer check or review wouldn't have hurt.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Apologies; the article was revised soon after publication to iron out any remaining typos.

C.

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Anonymous Coward

"revised ... to iron out any remaining typos"

" the article was revised soon after publication to iron out any remaining typos."

It may have been revised. But not all remaining typos were eliminated:

E.g. "VCDXs some in three flavours – cloud ..."

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Difference engine driving licenses

anyone?

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Anonymous Coward

What a bunch of...

... Certified Universal Network Technicians.

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Happy

Re: What a bunch of...

shouldn't that be " Certified Universal Network Technical Specialists...".

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IT Angle

Rare certifications aren't as useful as you might think

I used to travel as an AAC, at the time there were about 200 of them worldwide. The process involved base level certifications, a background check and a you submitted your resume showing appropriate experience just as if you were applying for a job - and you had to be sponsored by a partner that was willing to put their name on the line. That was just to be accepted into a week long training course followed by a day long test.

I've discovered in the years since then a lot of explaining what that meant to people that had never heard of it. If you were in that particular field it mean something, but otherwise it just didn't seem to have any weight. I've since learned to change my resume to emphasize the skills I used as an AAC instead of the certification itself.

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Anonymous Coward

VMWare products - its not rocket science

Builds servers, add multiple shared networks and storage and manage with vCenter tools, and p2v stuff with vmware converter. I can haz payrise?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: VMWare products - its not rocket science

There's a VMWare setup in RBS that, when it finally works properly, will be incredibly efficient and fast.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: VMWare products - its not rocket science

No, you need to get a clue first. Your theory is fine for a small deployment - but I wonder if you could scale up to 1000 ESXi hosts and 15,000+ VM's?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: VMWare products - its not rocket science

Oh look, someone who doesn't know enough to understand his limitations.

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FAIL

proof that the software is too complex

Sorry but this is an own goal. If the product was properly documented and easy to use, then this level of training wouldn't exist. Either that or they're hawking unncessary training to idiots who'll pay. Either way I don't want in.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: proof that the software is too complex

Some things are inherently complicated. Enterprise-level virtualisation centres sounds like one of those things to me.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: proof that the software is too complex

I disagree. I believe the complexity (which is inherent and necessary) is exacerbated by their poor documentation.

Unfortunately, they're not alone in this.

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Re: proof that the software is too complex

Why is Enterprise-level virtualisation seen as something complex? What makes it so complex?

From my naive view, it seems like it could be very straight forward.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: proof that the software is too complex

"Some things are inherently complicated. Enterprise-level virtualisation centres sounds like one of those things to me."

I don't agree, it doesn't need to be this complex. I know IBM mainframe specialists who manage incredibly large systems. They are highly skilled, but no one needs to spend years learning zVM, IBM mainframes VM layer. There are not nearly as many variables are there are in the x86 space. I think a lot of this is an open systems problem. "Everyone just do whatever you think is right at the time that makes sense for you" does not lead to bulletproof reliability or simplicity. IMO, there are too many vendors with little coordination in the x86 world. That is why it is complex.

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Re: proof that the software is too complex

"Why is Enterprise-level virtualisation seen as something complex? What makes it so complex?

From my naive view, it seems like it could be very straight forward."

Right. Ever done it? Virtualized thousands of servers and made them work, resilient, scale, stress tested them, geographically separated them and had them replicate etc etc etc

You've not, have you. It is complex. Honestly, it really is. Sorry if you don't like that, not many of us do, but that doesn't mean it's any easier because we'd like it to be.

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Re: proof that the software is too complex

Then why virtualize?? If the resulting architecture is far more complex and harder to maintain than the existing bare metal setup? (*honest question*)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: proof that the software is too complex

"You've not, have you. It is complex. Honestly, it really is. Sorry if you don't like that, not many of us do, but that doesn't mean it's any easier because we'd like it to be"

If you have been around for awhile, would you not agree that it has become much more complex in recent years? Mainframe was/is easy, relatively speaking. You can scale-up a wacky large system with hundreds of large VMs all running from the same counsel as the OS, HMC, storage management, etc. About as easy as it could get to run big scale. Unix made it at bit more difficult as there were new variables added, many more adapter providers, many more storage providers, many more apps, system management, etc providers. Still, the VM layer is baked into the OS with AIX or Solaris and you have the ability scale up a single system pretty well to hundreds of cores. x86 came along and it all went sideways. Now we have a million hardware OEM possibilities which every provider needs to account for, OS doesn't know anything about VM, system management doesn't know anything about OS or VM (other than some light integration). You have no ability to scale up as 4 sockets and even with that you don't want to run 40 VMs on one server because they are not all that stable and fail over still isn't a breeze even with VMotion. It turns into this massive scale out environment, in large shops, with some clustering software required across all of the nodes. Also, all of these x86 vendors compete with each other, so they are not putting all that much effort into creating a seamless system or support process.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: proof that the software is too complex

"Then why virtualize?? If the resulting architecture is far more complex and harder to maintain than the existing bare metal setup? (*honest question*)"

I'm not sure anyone said it was "more" complex or "harder to maintain" than bare metal. In some ways it's more flexible, more resilient, faster to deploy (compare rolling out 5000 identical spec hardware servers vs virtualised equivalents). That doesn't mean it's straightforward, or that you can't make a complete arse of it if you don't know what you're doing.

I'm not getting why this is contentious. If you're doing something on a massive scale, you want to do it the best you can, because any mistakes get magnified many times over. So knowing how to deploy those kind of virtualised scenarios to best practice(s) is actually a cracking idea, when compared to getting in someone who thinks they know how to do it to take a crack at it.

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Re: why virtualize?

That's an extremely good question.

If you were looking at abstract ways of solving the issues of scalability and reliability, you wouldn't start by running multiple copies of an operating system on a single piece of real hardware in competition with each other for resources.

It's really only the relative absence of other solutions (particularly for Windows) that's moved virtualisation out of its traditional role in development environments and support for legacy systems. Though, to be fair, there are also a lot more legacy systems around.

It's also a lot easier for a third party vendor to offer a solution below the OS level from the (vendor's) licensing point of view.

I wonder whether virtualisation might be less popular if Microsoft had something (of their own) more akin to mobile WPARs.

Short answer: there are products that can be bought today that solve problems today, even if they're not perfect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: proof that the software is too complex

"Then why virtualize?? If the resulting architecture is far more complex and harder to maintain than the existing bare metal setup? (*honest question*)"

I think it makes plenty of sense to virtualize provided you have one company testing and managing that platform complexity (as there is in IBM mainframe and Unix). The difficulty and complexity in x86 comes from having one company doing CPU, another doing DRAM, another doing every other hw component, another putting the hw system together, another doing OS, another doing VM, another doing system management software, etc. They all are only responsible for their component, no one is responsible for the system. When you have thousands of potential configuration x86 combinations, there is no way to test them all for interoperability. The system is going to get mangled every now and again because you are running a configuration which has, in all likelihood, never been tested as set up in your environment. The providers of your x86 tech all hate each other. They are not in the mood to help... and, because the financials have been broken up in so many different directions, none of them probably have the financials to become "master system integrator and tester."... It is as simple as this: If you go x86, you are on your own. Sure, you can buy support from various providers, but if you have an interop issue between say Oracle DB and VMware, who owns that?... You do.

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Joke

Somehow

VCDX sounds like a nerve gas.

Maybe its just me

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Somehow

I thought it was that 'stick people' comic strip ;-)

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Pint

Great

I'm an MVP and I feel GREAT!

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Re: Great

My mum says I'm a VIP, does that count?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Great

MVP = Forum spammer

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Anonymous Coward

CWGX (Certified Walled Gardens Expert)

Pity there is no widely recognised certification for people who can design and run things in a large heterogenous environment and have no affiliation with any big vendor (and its agenda). Not that it would be possible in reality (too broad), but it's sad that even to-the-gills certified people (CWGXs) with experience sometimes default to telling people that their organization's IT is bad, because their square peg they know doesn't fit in the round hole of the org. No one around has round holes, right?

As an aside, every top level certification has in its history a point when there were only a handful of its owners (and not insignifcant part of them were employees of the vendor). Nothing new.

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Joke

Re: CWGX (Certified Walled Gardens Expert)

You could feel free to set up a body issuing such certification.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: CWGX (Certified Walled Gardens Expert)

There' are BSD certifications that requires knowledge of a variety of BSDs and Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: CWGX (Certified Walled Gardens Expert)

"You could feel free to set up a body issuing such certification."

You mean the Cupertino Spaceship doesn't already have one? Quick, do it now before they do!

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So...

Like CCIEs believe that the answer to everything is adding another CISCO product. A VCDX will just assume that the only solution is VM related.

These high level certifications are just for vendors to use them as unpaid salesman for their products.

A real world Solution Architect assess the business requirements, investigates multiple solutions for different vendors and then proposes the best solution for the customer, not just for their preferred supplier.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

And you think these people will only have experience of VMware? To deploy entreprise class VMware solutions? They won't know any other systems, the pros and cons?

Riiiiiiiight

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Anonymous Coward

Commercial 'qualifications'

...are not worth the paper they may be printed on.

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Re: Commercial 'qualifications'

To technical people, yes, to an extent you're right. There are quite a few book/bootcamp MCSEs out there proving that.

However, there are quite a few HR drones, bean-counters and under-qualified IT managers (emphasis on 'manager') who do attribute value to those pieces of paper and that value can transfer to a tastier contract.

Not to mention that I find vendor multiple-choice exams strangely therapeutic.

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