Next Generation Knowledge Resources

In 2009 on version 1 of this site I made a post entitled “VMware Knowledge Resources” outlining some of the strategies I used to find knowledge for becoming a successful VMware Administrator.

It’s only appropriate to roll a similar post for version 2. DevOps and Cloud Computing can be very overwhelming for the uninitiated. Where do you go for help? How do you get help? How do you even begin to phrase questions appropriately?

  1. DevOps Weekly – excellent weekly newsletter which culls through a lot of the social media noise and posts quality articles and tools.
  2. Rackspace CloudU – conceptual overview of terms like IaaS, PaaS, and how they fit together in the cloud.
  3. Chef Guides / Puppet Documentation – configuration management is a big topic in the DevOps movement- Chef and Puppet are the leaders in this space.
  4. Social Media and GitHub – social coding
  5. Rails Tutorial / Ruby Koans – next generation tools are written with next generation languages. CloudFoundry, Chef, Puppet are written in Ruby- if you are not familiar with Ruby (or Python) it is well worth your time to dive into a next generation language.

VMware Knowledge Resources for the Beginner VI Administrator

I have no problem making it clear I’m relatively new to the virtual world. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn fast.

Here are a few tools I’ve used to become a better VI Administrator:

  1. Training. Pros: Certified knowledge from the source. We hosted a VMware Jumpstart, and that training is without a doubt my catalyst into the rest of the virtual world. Training teaches you how to talk the talk so that other sources of knowledge are useful. Cons: Cost (not just upfront $$, but time cost).
  2. Web Sites to Search. Once you take on the new role, you need to do a considerable amount of reading. Pros: Low cost (aside from time) and can have a particularly high benefit. Cons: Lots of noise. Trouble distinguishing between good and bad sources.
    • VMTN
    • Google Reader and Planet V12n – I may have to write a separate post about my thoughts on V12n, but for the most part it is useful
    • VMware Knowledge Base
    • Google and FoxItReader – VMware’s website can be tedious to use, so using some operators in Google makes it a little more bearable for instance… site:vmware.com filetype:pdf. FoxItReader makes those PDF’s tolerable compared to Adobe Reader – and it has tabs!
    • Free VMworld Videos from 2007 which are still applicable today
  3. “Social” Media. I’m not including VMTN because I rarely post to it. The items below have been useful from an interactive standpoint — not just one sided conversations. There are similar pros and cons to this as websites — e.g., low cost vs. information overload and finding a reputable source.
    • #vmware IRC channel on freenode
    • Twitter – most of the bloggers from PlanetV12 also have twitter accounts, they post when products are released and can also provide quick @replies to your questions
  4. VMware Gold Support Pros: Very thorough, certified support. I am very happy with the support we’ve received from VMware. After I’ve exhausted Google, Social Media, etc., VMware Support has come through for us several times. Cons: Cost. Time being on hold and turnaround times.