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Book review : Cloud Computing Concepts, Technology & Architecture

CCCTA_cover

Title: Cloud Computing Concepts, Technology & Architecture
Number of pages: 
528
ISBN: 9780133387520
Released
May 2013

My opinion:

The book is well written, is vendor neutral, covers both business and IT aspects and contains many great diagrams. It also has a lot of useful references to external resources.
What I disliked, is that because of the vendor neutral approach some aspects are relatable enough (especially for people that don’t have a lot of working experience). I feel the book would have benefitted by providing more real-life examples of products or services.

The book is a good start for experienced people and will especially come in handy as a reference when getting involved in cloud computing projects. It will help understand vendor specific products and services better.

I would recommend people that are new to cloud computing (or that have very limited working experience) to first read a cloud essentials book like the one from Sybex before reading this book though.

To take a look at the book and its content, you can visit the book’s companion website: http://servicetechbooks.com/cloud

 

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Book review : Cloud Essentials – CompTIA Authorized Courseware for Exam CLO-001

9781118408735 cover.indd

Introduction

For those who haven’t read my previous blog posts, here’s a short summary. About 1,5 – 2 years ago I decided that I wanted to know more about cloud computing and get certified as well. I used freely available resources to attain these certifications:

In short, my conclusion was that the quality of the freely available resources were not sufficient. ITpreneurs were kind enough to provide me with access to their e-learning course and Train Signal (now Pluralsight) provided me with their video training. Reviews for both can be found here:

Even though both resources are good, I personally prefer a book over eLearning and video training. As such I picked up a copy of “Cloud Essentials : CompTIA Authorized Courseware for Exam CLO-001

Review

Number of pages: 268
ISBN: 978-1-118-40873-5
Released
: June 2013

My opinion:

The book is well written and knows to provide a very good basis of cloud computing both technical and non-technical. Even though the number of pages is limited, the most important aspects are covered in my opinion, which should be enough to provide insight and to pass the Exin and Comptia cloud exams.

What I disliked are some of the questions at the end of the book, because they are sometimes a bit strange. But as far as I can remember, this was also the case in the official exams … so better get used to it if you are going to get certified.

All in all, this is a very good book to get started with cloud computing.

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud

 

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ICT – Great article by Paul Simoneau about ICT challenges including suggestions to deal with them

As an ICT professional I believe working in ICT can be very challenging. Paul Simoneau wrote a great article about current and future challenges including suggestions to deal with them.

The challenges covered in the article are: new technology, cloud, big data analytics, virtualization, Bring Your Own Device/Apps (BYOD/BYOA), shadow IT, new generations of workers, energy  efficiency, user systems, creating value, interoperability and social networks.

I wanted to share this article because I feel it reflects reality very well.

 

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VMware – Free VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam vouchers for a limited time

Free certification information

For a limited time only, you will be able to get free VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam vouchers and get certified by taking the exams from the comfort of your own home.

Update 06-12-2012 : Rasmus Haslund added a new method: http://www.perfectcloud.org/certification/vmware-vca-exam-experience-plus-free-exam-voucher/

Update 24-11-2013 : Rasmus Haslund provided a new code on his site : http://www.perfectcloud.org/certification/vmware-vca-exam-experience-plus-free-exam-voucher/
Give code VMRT9B503121 a try.

Update 22-11-2013 : Apparently the codes are not working anymore, see the comments. You could give code VMRT1B01791B a try.

Update 19-10-2013 : Apparently Global Knowledge provides a code as well. Can be used until January 31st: http://www.globalknowledge.com/training/generic.asp?pageid=3596

Update 09-11-2013 : Eric Sloof from ntpro.nl provides a code as well. Can be used until January 31st: http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/2471-Free-VMware-Certified-Associate-Certification-Extended.html

The currently available tracks which you can do for free are:

VMware Certified Associate – Datacenter Virtualization (VCA-DCV) – Exam blueprint
VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (VCA-Cloud) – Exam blueprint
VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility (VCA-WM) – Exam blueprint

Free online e-learning modules are available that take about 4-5 hours to complete and that are sufficient to pass the exam. The registration process is a bit cumbersome in my opinion, but this blog post contains some instructions to help you with that.

From what I can see, this offer is valid until the end of October, but I might be wrong so it’s best to take the exams as soon as possible. I also think you’ll also be able to use the same voucher code to re-take the exam should you fail, but again I’m not really sure. Once I have more information, I will update this blog post.

Future additions

In the future a new track VMware Certified Associate – Network Virtualization (VCA-NV) will become available. It is not clear when it will arrive and if you’ll be able to use the voucher on this exam as well, but using the link you can at least have VMware notify you when it becomes available.

Usefulness

I think these free e-learnings are a good way to become familiar on a high level with VMware products, terminology and use cases. The VCA certification is proof you have this knowledge and might give you an advantage.

Being able to certify for free now can come in handy for:

  • People that are still studying.
  • People that are in between jobs.
  • People that are working in other parts of the ICT that are interested in VMware, but cannot get their employer to pay for VMware training/certification.
  • People and companies that want to stimulate certification, but also have to save costs.
  • People that are interested in virtualization and are considering doing more with it, but don’t know yet if it’s something for them.

There are of course more possible situations, but I think these are very common.

Thanks

Thanks to VMware for making this possible and Rasmus Haslund (@Haslund) for sharing the information and the voucher on his website http://www.perfectcloud.org, If you decide to use this offer, please also leave a comment at his website.

Also, as always … sharing is caring, so share this with others.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud, VMware

 

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Cloud – ITpreneurs CCC Professional Cloud Solutions Architect course

At the beginning of September I had the opportunity to attend the first ever Cloud Credential Council (CCC) Professional Cloud Solutions Architect (PCSA) course from ITpreneurs. The trainer was Mark Skilton and I really loved the training. But before telling you more about my experience, I’ll first first explain both the certification and the course in a bit more detail.

What is the CCC Professional Cloud Solutions Architect (PCSA) certification and who is it for ?

The PCSA certification is a globally recognized certification for technology architects. Solution Architects need to understand the impact that cloud is having on business and information architecture, application design, data management and security architecture and be very familiar with the topology and ecosystems that are being created as a result of increasing adoption of cloud technologies and operating models The certification is designed for senior technology professionals who are architecting and designing the future generation of technology solutions. Being PCSA-certified showcases your cloud architecting experience, skills and knowledge, and demonstrates you are capable to manage the various stakeholders within the enterprise. For more information, please take a look at the website: http://www.cloudcredential.org/en/certifications/professional-level/cloud-solutions-architect

What is the ITpreneurs CCC Professional Cloud Solutions Architect (PCSA) course ?

The ITpreneurs CCC PCSA course is a 3-day instructor led course that provides attendees with the required knowledge and skills for the CCC Professional Cloud Solutions Architect (PCSA) certification. The course material was created by lead author Mark Skilton and peer reviewers Vladimir Baranek and RajaGopalan Varadan. For more information, contact ITpreneurs and/or take a look at the course description: http://www.itpreneurs.com/cloud/CCC-courses/cloud-solutions-architect-VCC1310-itpreneurs.pdf

My experiences with and opinion about the ITpreneurs CCC PCSA course

Like I said at the beginning, I really loved the CCC PCSA course because:

  • It covers an important current topic that I believe will become even more important in the future.
  • The course materials are very complete and of great quality.
  • There’s a good balance between theoretical and practical knowledge.
  • The cases are mini workshops that force you to apply your knowledge, which provides more insight. They are also consistent with cases from previous cloud courses from ITpreneurs.
  • There is a lot of interaction between the trainer and the students.
  • Mark Skilton presented the course with a lot of enthusiasm and modified the course content on the go to focus more on the interests of the audience. 

One of the difficult parts of cloud computing is that it’s a very broad definition. As such, different interpretations and explanations are used for the same word/technology by different people and companies. So during the course there were some discussions. I thought this was good, because this will happen in real-life as well. It also stresses the importance of clear definitions and verifying correct understanding of all involved parties.

The special version of the course I attended was only two days, while the regular course will be three days. Since there was so much information to take in and because there were many discussions, the two days unfortunately weren’t enough to cover everything. ITpreneurs and Mark Skilton modified the course on the fly to cover the most important things, but I would have loved to go into more detail during the course if there had been time. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case, but since the course materials are of great quality I’ll be reading them at home instead.

As always there’s room for improvement. Our class provided a lot of feedback that Mark Skilton and ITpreneurs took to heart. They seemed to be really committed to improving the course so I expect the course to become even better since the course materials are currently being reassessed and restructured.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my course experience. For those interested in it, I added some more information about ITpreneurs and the Cloud Credential Council at the end of this blog post.

Thanks

I’d like to thank Corjan Bast and ITpreneurs for providing me with the opportunity to attend this course free of charge. I also want to thank Mark Skilton and all other great people involved in this course for their participation, valuable input and hard work.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Powershell – Recording of ‘The Case for PowerShell: Why To Learn-PowerShell So You Needn’t Leave-Industry’

Last week Mark Minasi presented a webinar made possible by http://www.learnit.com called:
“The Case for PowerShell: Why To Learn-PowerShell So You Needn’t Leave-Industry”.
The recording can be found here.

In this webinar he explains why ICT administrators need to be(come) familiar with PowerShell. He also explains the basic principles of PowerShell to help lower the threshold for people that have been shying away from command line interfaces (CLI) and scripting in the past. He does this by explaining how PowerShell is different from by example the CLI and Visual Basic Scripting (VBS).

I share his opinion about the necessity to learn PowerShell and therefore I hope I can help spread the message.

You can keep track of Mark Minasi by following him at Twitter: https://twitter.com/mminasi (@mminasi).

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Cloud services – Google Reader will be gone July 1, 2013 …. now what ?

I’m not a big fan of most Google services, but I do use iGoogle and Google Reader intensively. Both services are ending this year  unfortunately though.

Fortunately in most cases there are alternatives. In a previous blog post I’ve written about some iGoogle alternatives. There are also Google Reader alternatives of course, and some (like Feedly) have even made it easy to migrate. Still it’s never a bad idea to export your RSS feeds manually just in case. If you want to export your starred items, there are some external methods to do this as well.

Another annoying aspect is that you might have bought applications to access these services (better) which might not support the new service you are migrating to. Even though all of this is not that big a deal for personal use, it’s still inconvenient.

In my case I use the great Windows 8 app Nextgen Reader that has no Feedly support yet. Fortunately, it is expected that support will be added before Google Reader goes down. Feedly also plans to create Windows 8 and Windows 8 phone apps.

So even though cloud services are great because they’re available from almost any device as long as you have internet access, you have to keep in mind that you depend heavily on the companies providing the services. So before you start using a cloud service always take into consideration how easy it is to backup, export and migrate your data (data portability). If you don’t you run the risk of losing data and having to spend time to recreate it.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Cloud, Google, ICT, Public Cloud

 

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Summary of 2nd Dutch PowerShell User Group – DuPSUG meeting with additional resources

Future events

Before starting with my summary of 2nd DuPSUG meeting, I want to inform you about some future events first:

  • Dutch PowerShell User Group Meetings
    • To keep track of news, use the links  to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the RSS feed on the DUPSUG website.
    • In the future, the plan is to meet every June and November.
    • The next meeting will probably be at November 7th at VX Company.
    • The idea is that community members will also present their own experiences, use cases, scripts, tools, methods. If you want to do so, please contact the DUPSUG group.
      • Remko Weijnen | Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn might be one of the people presenting at a future DUPSUG meeting.
    • Jeff Wouters might be able to arrange one or more copies of the PowerShell Deep Dives book from Manning since he’s contributing to it. The book isn’t complete and released yet, but Manning has an Early Access Program which means that you will get access to the completed chapters now and will get the full version when it’s done. Until June 13 there’s even a promotion to get a 40%-50% discount and it also applies to other great PowerShell books.
  • Inter Access Microsoft Summer Summit (Hilversum, July 2nd 2013 17:30-22:00 CET)

This event

Last Thursday I attended the second Dutch Powershell User Group meeting in Hilversum hosted at Inter Access and sponsored by Sapien Technologies Inc.

Just like I mentioned in the summary of the first meeting there were manu interesting sessions that provided me with more insight and inspired me for practical uses. It was also great to discuss current developments with other knowledgeable and passionate people. The main differences with the previous meeting was that:

  • This meeting was completely in Dutch, while the previous one was completely in English. As such, the workshop descriptions were also in Dutch and you needed to bring your own laptop.
  • The format of this meeting was more of a workshop, while the previous one was mainly presentations.

Thanks go out to all attendees, especially those presenting, organizing and sponsoring the event. Special thanks to Daniel Bot for helping me fix a (stupid mistake in a) script I was working on :)

Goodies and giveaways

Workshops / presentations

And now on with the really interesting stuff, the sessions/workshops. Below are the sessions with some info about the speakers and their sessions. I also added notes I took and other information I looked up afterwards. If you come across any errors or have comments, please leave a reply so I can fix it.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Microsoft – Recordings for “Using Microsoft VDI to Enable New Workstyles Jump Start” available on MVA

The recordings for “Using Microsoft VDI to Enable New Workstyles Jump Start” are available now on Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA).

These Jump Starts are a great way to quickly get up-to-date about a subject. Also there’s a great team of people working behind the scenes to answer questions and provide more detailed resources. Other attendees often also share their experiences and provide valuable insights. So be sure to check out the Q&A log as well.

 

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Microsoft – Free Windows Azure for IT Professionals Jump Start

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is hosting the “Windows Azure for IT Professionals Jump Start” at May 16th. Information and registration is available on the website: https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/liveevents/Windows-Azure-for-IT-Professionals?CR_CC=200206715

I’ve attended a couple of Jump Starts and I think it’s a great way to quickly get up-to-date about a subject. Also there’s a great team of people working behind the scenes to answer questions and provide more detailed resources. Other attendees often also share their experiences and provide valuable insights.

Also it’s only been a couple of weeks since Windows Azure IaaS is live in production backed by an enterprise SLA, supported by Microsoft Support, and ready for your production applications. Therefore it is a great time to start learning more about it.

I hope to see you there.

 

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