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More career update stuff

Well, I think I've gotten a clearer picture over the week. I've run across a few articles/blogs in the virtualization community and it has recalled to me why I enjoy that field so much.

So, as of right now (valid for the next 5 minutes), I'm going to 'major/minor' in virtualization/storage.

Cert-wise, the VCP is first in my sights, then I'll work on getting the NetApp training material done. I think I'll also get the VTSP while I'm at it, it should help me get a better business perspective on the VMware technical side of things.

After those (so...mid-end next year), I may still consider the RHCT or CCNA, but I need to learn more about what it means to be a storage expert first. The CCNA, if I'm not focusing squarely on storage, is probably not necessary, as I already have a decent grasp of the material (a bit stale...but still there).

CertPath 2010/2011
1. VCP
3. NetApp exam
4. ?

Lab environment 2010/2011
1. Start from scratch!!
2. Diagram out what it will look like.
3. Document the reasoning behind the design.
4. Decide what hardware is needed.
5. Learn! (whee)

I think it makes more sense at this point to upgrade my existing hardware rather than add more physical boxen to the mix. I can go up to 24GB on my desktop, and it's cheap to do so (sub-$500), so that makes sense. I may go with another NAS device (i.e. Synology DS410), but I want to see how the VM NFS/iSCSI appliances work first.

Windows environment: DC, Exchange, SQL cluster, Sharepoint/IIS/vCenter
Linux environment: Samba/Apache/MySQL cluster, gateway
ESXi environment: 4x ESXi, 2x Storage Appliances

This will be my VCP/Windows/Linux lab environment, with the Windows portion functioning for a home network/Microsoft professional development environment. Gotta keep current, after all!

The hardware behind this:

Asus X58 motherboard (can't recall model), 12GB (to be 24GB) RAM, Core i7 920
Intel GbE nic, cheapie dual graphics cards for 2x2007FP & 1x2405FPW
Local storage: RAID5 4x1TB 7.2k, 500GB for ISO/etc
NAS: Synology DS410j RAID5 4x1TB 7.2k

Running Win7x64 and Workstation 7. Only other stuff I use the computer for is Sketchup, Office...and Minecraft.

The other options for the hardware was to get two HP ML110 G6 servers, but they would cost ~$650 each after tax/shipping, and only come with 2GB RAM, allowing a max of 8GB per server. I think the 24GB on my desktop is a better option! This is just a lab, after all. It will also save me a significant amount on my power bill. (Rather...prevent increases to my power bills.)


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