Path to VCP

burfectburfect Senior MemberMember Posts: 128
Looking for some general feedback.

On the path to obtaining a VCP and becoming proficient in virtualization/cloud technologies in general, would it make more sense from an educational standpoint to have a solid understanding of Networking or Storage FIRST.

Obviously virtualization is an aspect of IT that touches all facets of the data center, but in logically mapping out a learning path, I am not sure if it would make more sense to become proficient in networking and then learn storage, or vice versa.

Thanks All


  • tstrip007tstrip007 Senior Member Member Posts: 308 ■■■■□□□□□□
    That was recommended to me before I started studying for it. I didn't listen. It took me about 10 months to get prepared for the VCP. If I could go back I prob. would have went with a networking cert first.
  • burfectburfect Senior Member Member Posts: 128
    Good to know.

    I think my conflict is I am not sure it if it would make sense from educational standpoint to tackle networking OR storage first.
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 Member Posts: 1,186 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I would do networking first then go to storage. Storage is going to use the network to connect to anything you end up using so it will all be based off of networking first.

    Edit: Just to clarify I mean networking and storage knowledge not certs.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT Member Posts: 1,317 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Definately go network first. Some storage like iSCSI uses networking and its important to know why using things like a vLan are important.
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  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Google Ninja Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    No need to go with a network cert first. You need a good, yet basic, understanding. When I got my first VCP, I was able to give a switch a basic config, do some ACLs, configure trunk ports, port channels and VLANs. That's it .. but you need to understand the concept of that rather than just know how to copy / paste the right config.

    So do you need a cert ? Nope, but if it helps you to understand the concepts : yes.

    When you work in a big company, there is a chance that you won't even touch the network kit. BUT if you are the guy setting up a VMware cluster, you usually need to know what VLANs you need and whether the nics are connect to port channels - so you need to know what questions to ask.

    Personally, I got a handful VCPs and other VMware certs and no network or storage related certification :)

    Re Storage: Same thing, concepts is what you need to understand. Whats an IQN, WWN number, difference in ISCSI / FC etc. If you want to go for a cert, choose a vendor un-specific one because you just don't know what your (future) companies will have. EMC, NetApp, Hitachi, HP, Nexenta and others. If you do want to have a storage cert, maybe look at SNIA ...
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  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    I've seen way too many VMware guys lacking on the networking side so I'll have to concur with understanding networking first. Certification is not as important as knowledge.
  • burfectburfect Senior Member Member Posts: 128
    Thanks all. This is in line with what I thought.
  • DeathmageDeathmage Senior Member Banned Posts: 2,496
    this is very interesting to read. I wanted to do VCP soon but I may just go on the track of CCNA and then perhaps the Storage + cert before I even tackle VCP. If i'm going to learn VCP and VMware stuff I'd rather have the fundamental preq's in the bag.
  • jleydon82jleydon82 Member Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I for some crazy reason took CCNA as my first exam years ago and it was a blessing. The certification itself hasn't helped in my career as I never really work on Cisco hardware. However, it was great to have the understanding of networking off the bat. It makes you understand a lot more in all other technologies. Whenever I speak with friends in IT and looking to get certifications for Microsoft/VMware, etc I always advise them to get a networking cert first. CompTIA Network+ is fine - sure it isn't anywhere near as valuable for your career as Cisco's CCNA platform, but the networking fundamentals helps in all other areas of IT.

    Even now I work with people who do server work but do not have an understanding on a lot of Networking fundamentals and it is baffling since some simple concepts are over their head. Definitely a good thing and an easy thing (relatively speaking) to learn and study for.
  • burfectburfect Senior Member Member Posts: 128
    I think a follow up question would be... what background do you guys find a lot of VMWare/Virtualization Admin/Architects coming from?

    It's funny because you see a lot of "religious" discussions on this board about going Network/CCNA vs System/MCSA and that lots of large orgs segment the responsibilities, but most of the VMWare guys I see come from various and both backgrounds. IE: Many hold System+Networking certs.

    So in a nutshell, what do you find is the best path to take towards becoming a virt/vmware "guru"... Networking, Systems, Cisco, Microsoft etc?

    I'm in a unique situation where I was almost tossed into VMWare first and am learning backwards from in the inside out.
  • ande0255ande0255 /threadkiller Banned Posts: 1,178
    For me in a networking role, the VCP is relevant because 95% of the customers at my MSP have their VoIP systems (Call Mgr, Unity Connection, etc) setup on VM's rather than physical servers, and the ability to troubleshoot those environmental issues is pretty in demand right now at my work.
  • burfectburfect Senior Member Member Posts: 128
    ande0255 wrote: »
    For me in a networking role, the VCP is relevant because 95% of the customers at my MSP have their VoIP systems (Call Mgr, Unity Connection, etc) setup on VM's rather than physical servers, and the ability to troubleshoot those environmental issues is pretty in demand right now at my work.

    Thanks for the input... wouldn't mind hearing some more feedback on this from others as well.

    Being in pre-sales I see a lot of VMWare gurus who seem to have more networking/cisco certs, but are pretty fluent in AD as well.
  • gc8dc95gc8dc95 Senior Member Member Posts: 206 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, I am not a VCP yet, still need to take the test, but I will have my CCNA finished before I take the VCP. It seems to be the many of the purely systems guys can be driven away by networking concepts and a lot of network concepts are misunderstood. I can see how a lack of networking knowledge would make virtualization much harder to fully grasp.

    While my role deals more directly with systems, the networking knowledge is invaluable at times.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I completed my Network+ and CCNA before I started my journey to the VCP as I wanted a good background in networking before I started in virtualization. icon_wink.gif
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  • burfectburfect Senior Member Member Posts: 128
    Given the buzzing around SDN... I'm almost wondering if I should just jump straight into VCP and brush up on "traditional networking" after the fact.

    I would have to understand to a higher degree how much CORE networking is a part of VCP I guess...
  • dagwood1990dagwood1990 Junior Member Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Keep in mind that SDN does not radically change the underlying network topology. You still need a high-quality data plane to layer the network virtualization on top of. True SDN really is about optimizing the control plane to make it more efficient/automated and using VXLAN to overlay/tunnel the IP network and limit east-west hair-pinning. There are other advantages, but these are key from a data moving perspective. There is no threat to traditional network architects in SDN. Just wanted to throw my two cents out there.
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