With incremental changes in technology, brief refresher courses or light materials can often help IT staff understand and work with new features. The question is this: Can administrators expand their knowledge on VMware Cloud on AWS with simple supplementary courses or do they need more in-depth training?
VMware offers a class online -- "VMware Cloud on AWS: Deploy and Manage" -- to help admins familiarize themselves with the technology, but this training alone isn't enough. Comprehensive VMware Cloud on AWS training also includes "VMware vSphere: Install, Configure and Manage." There's a steep learning curve for VMware Cloud on AWS, and admins must be able to manage it from day one.
VMware Cloud on AWS implementation requires expertise
VMware Cloud on AWS is an enterprise-ready platform of VMware products, and there is no entry level when it comes to vSphere products such as ESXi and vCenter. Admins who aren't familiar with ESXi or vCenter might find VMware Cloud on AWS overwhelming, but the cloud platform has a lot to offer: It consolidates and extends a data center's capabilities, and it can help optimize and simplify disaster recovery, which are enticing incentives for many admins despite the learning curve.
Foundational vSphere skills will be crucial. One of the core courses that helps in this regard is "VMware vSphere: Install, Configure and Manage (ICM)." The ICM course helps those with prior knowledge refresh what they already know and helps those who might not have a good grasp on everything vSphere get up to speed. Admins can register for the ICM course through VMware's website. The course costs $5,525 for the online session, which is available year-round. Although this class focuses more on on-premises data centers, at its core is vSphere training. And after all, VMware Cloud on AWS is essentially core VMware technology placed in the cloud.
Admins can't simply start out with a single host and vCenter. To adopt VMware Cloud on AWS, admins must connect their on-premises data center to a software-defined data center (SDDC). VMware's cloud platform also requires a VPN to secure network traffic to and from the SDDC, as well as networking and security configurations such as firewall rules, a domain name system and a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.
Admins should also understand that they pay for VMware Cloud on AWS on a per-hour basis, and the price depends on host specifications. For example, an i3 instance with 36 cores per host that contains 512 GiB of memory per host and relies on non-volatile memory express costs about $8 per host, per hour.
The role of vSAN and NSX
In addition to vSphere, VMware Cloud on AWS has two other core technologies: vSAN and NSX. VSAN eliminates the need for external shared storage, and NSX is a platform that helps admins make changes to their physical networks without hands-on intervention. Admins need to obtain vSAN and NSX, and familiarize themselves with deployment, installation and management.
Newer admins should give precedence to vSAN over NSX because NSX has a simple mode that enables newer admins to get started with networking without the intimidation of everything NSX can do.
NSX also has a more advanced control panel that provides admins with more access to advanced NSX features and configurations, and vSAN doesn't have this capability. Storage is foundational, and this is a feature admins must understand.
'VMware Cloud on AWS: Deploy and Manage' training
Once admins have the foundational vSphere, vSAN and NSX knowledge, they can begin the "VMware Cloud on AWS: Deploy and Manage" training. The course costs $3,885 and is available year-round. It gives admins more specifics about the differences between on-premises and AWS environments, and it explains how on-premises services work with VMware Cloud on AWS. Each VMware Cloud on AWS training course also has a security focus, and some of the security best practices and guidelines can also apply to on-premises environments.
Taking multiple classes might seem like a lot, but it's important to remember VMware Cloud on AWS isn't just a new software package. VMware Cloud on AWS environments will succeed or fail based on how they're managed. Therefore, training is crucial, and many of the available courses have a defined path with VMware vSphere ICM, vSAN, NSX and VMware Cloud on AWS.
The cost for trainings can be daunting. But with multiple delivery models including in-person, online and self-paced classes, admins have a lot of choices. Classes are also offered with discounts through the VMware User Group Advantage program. Organizations that want to make a future investment in VMware Cloud on AWS must invest in staff training as well.