….It was at this point I wondered how cool would it be if when you booked your 5 day Fast TrackVMware course that instead of the usual DVD, the classroom training guide etc, you also got given your own free VMware approved MicroServer so that you can set up your own lab at home and continue the learning experience at home? None of the messing about with a laptop or a desktop at home, I get a VMware certified home training bundle with everything I need to being and continue my learning at home during and after I complete my course, the chance to brush up in preparations for my exams? My VCP or VCDX?…
I got some interesting emails/tweets about my post (I put a few of the tweets above), a few people loved it also asked for Autolab to be included with the MicroSever (it lives at this URL), a few people were concerned about the cost and if that might make it more difficult to get signed off. So let me step back for just two seconds without getting all salesman like and illustrate my concept.
Increasingly vendors are targeting small businesses as areas of potential growth for software, services and growth, as these companies seek to gain all the benefits of new technologies like cloud and virtualization without having the baggage or heritage applications and infrastructure that the enterprises might have. These SMB’s and medium businesses might not necessarily have the resources to have large test labs, to be able to fund employees learning outside of a training placement, on that basis, how cool would it be if you’re signing up for a VMware fast track course where it covers everything you need to know to get your virtualization offering online and ready, if you were supplied with your own virtualization lab in a box to take home with you to continue your studies and exposure to the platform whether your MicroServer sits in the garage at home (or under your desk), or gets put in the corner of the office and used to test that latest ESX patch or configuration change.
I can completely understand hesitation and possible levels of comfort and vendor alignment, does it need to be a HP Proliant MicroServer? Of course not, Dell, Fujitsu, IBM, Lenovo all have a similar offering, indeed one could argue a 2010 desktop might do, the unique thing about the MicroServer remains its size, it’s low price point and its ability to scale to a reasonable VMware lab in a box device. Why the comment about a free server? To do everything we can to empower end user learning, to provide a holistic end to end experience, everything you need to get started and to continue learning (with the usual limitations) is included in the training.
Incidentally the same concept could be applied to RedHat, to Microsoft or any other similar related platforms and training offerings, here’s your training materials, here’s your server and OS disk, go build it and see how it works, try different configurations and see how it might work with your build, your standards.