Name: Tom Ralph
Twitter Handle: @tomralph
Blog URL: http://www.virtualserverguy.com
Current Employer: VMware, Inc
VCDX #: 51
How did you get into using VMware?
I first started by purchasing an IBM xSeries 1U rack mount server off eBay to try out this new product from VMware. I fired up the server in my home office, installed ESX 2.53, and started to learn about virtualization. After the first 20 minutes, I could see that VMware and server virtualization was the future.
What made you decide to do the VCDX?
As soon as I learned of the VCDX certification, I made it a goal to achieve the VCDX certification and a number under 100.
How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?
I had already had my VCP from 2007, I first took my VMware Design Exam in March of 2010, with the Administration shortly after that. I then defended my design in August of 2010. I then paced around VMworld awaiting my results, which finally came 2 weeks after the show ended.
What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?
If you want it, go for it! I learned more about technology, enterprise architecture, and process than I ever thought I would have. During your defence know when to say ‘I do not know’, it is a hard skill to master but a critical one. Know the smallest details of your design and know them through and through.
If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?
When I first attempted the VCDX certification, I was newly married to a wonderful woman that allowed me to focus 100% on the process. Now we have a 1-year-old child, I am not able to devote the time needed. I would take more time to thoroughly understand and complete my design.
Life after the VCDX? How did your company respond? Was it worth it?
My previous company did not know what to make of the certification or what it really meant. It wasn’t soon after I got the VCDX certification that I made the choice to leave that company and move to VMware. From there, my career has blossomed and continues to do so.