Starting!

Hello Everyone!

On the air, Andrew Romanenko. I am an IT Architect and Instructor. My main specialization and area of professional interests is Virtualization, Cloud Technologies, Infrastructure as a Code and everything that has to do with this topic.

This Blog is an attempt to systematize, summarize and digitize everything that has accumulated in the form of paper diaries, electronic notes, documents, and just the sudden thoughts that have come over the last 20 years. Some notes will be dated as they are written.

I would be glad if every visitor finds something useful here.

Sincerely, Andrew.

P.S. List of study areas and courses, which I can teach is on the Training page. Contact information will be available on the About Me page.

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My Smart Home. Step by step from start to… Part 3. Implementation based on Home Assistant. The first steps. Software Add-0n, Configuration File, Update

(c) 2021, AIRRA

The Next Step


Greetings to all who read the series of publications “My smart home. From the beginning, step by step to… ”. In a previous article, I described the process of installing Home Assistant and its first settings.

Today we will describe how to add and configure additional software components – File Editor, Terminal. Make the first changes to the main configuration file: configuration.yaml. Let’s update Home Assistant to the current version.

So, let’s move on!

Software add-on: File editor


In Home Assistant, many parameters can be configured through the user interface, but there are enough of them, which are in the .yaml configuration files. So we need a tool to edit them.

You can find and install this official Home Assistant component by selecting the Add-on Store tab in the Supervisor section and entering the word File in the search field:

Figure 1: Search for the Text Editor component in the Supervisor section, Add-on Store tab.

Next, select Install:

Figure 2: Read the description of the component and start the installation.

Next, check the Start on boot option. It must be on. Optionally, we can enable the Show in sidebar option – display the File Editor menu in the Navigator on the left. We start the component:

Figure 3: Set the necessary options and start the component.

If the start is successful, this will be indicated by the corresponding green indicator at the top right. There will also be indicators to monitor the load of this component of the processor and memory:

Figure 4: Checking the successful start of the component.

When the File Editor component is successfully installed, open it via the link in the left navigator. Select the shortcut Browse Filesystem, and open the main configuration file: configuration.yaml:

Figure 5: Open the File Editor.
Figure 6: Open the main configuration file: configuration.yaml.

This file now contains the default settings. There are not many of them. And we will gradually make our parameters there.

Figure 7: Configuration file – configuration.yaml. Default values.

Configuration file: configuration.yaml


Let’s start editing the configuration.yaml file. Enter the following parameters:

homeassistant:
# Name of the location where Home Assistant is running
 name: Elephant Home
# Location required to calculate the time the sun rises and sets
 latitude: 50.724928
 longitude: 30.380581
# Impacts weather/sunrise data (atitude above sea level in meters)
 elevation: 109
# metric for Metric, imperial for Imperial
 unit_system: metric
# Pick yours from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones
 time_zone: Europe/Kiev

The green indicator indicates no syntax errors. Do not forget to save the configuration through the appropriate graphic menu item:

Figure 8: Enter the following parameters in the configuration.yaml file. Save the file.

After saving successfully, this graphic element will disappear:

Figure 9: Сonfiguration.yaml file saved successfully.

And to apply these added parameters, you must restart the OS Home Assistant. This can be done through the Configuration – Server Controls section:

Figure 10: Configuration and status management section of Home Assistant OS.

Select the Restart option:

Figure 11: Restart OS Home Assistant to work with new parameters.

Communication with Home Assistant will be lost for a while. After restarting and reconnecting to web services, you can perform a small check of the added settings. To do this, go to the Maps section and see the location of your smart home on the map of OpenStreetMap:

Figure 12: Location of your smart home on the map of OpenStreetMap according to the entered parameters.

Software add-on: Terminal


Before proceeding to configure various integrations, we need another software application: a Terminal.

But before you can proceed, you must enable the Advanced Mode in user profile:

Figure 13: Enable the advanced control mode of the Home Assistant OS.

Now, Find and install this official Home Assistant component is similar to how we installed File Editor, only in the search box by entering Terminal:

Figure 14: Search for the Terminal component in the Supervisor section, Add On Store tab.

Additionally, enable the option Auto update. We start a component:

Figure 15: Set the necessary options for this component and start the component.

Similarly, after starting the component, the CPU and memory monitor indicators will appear:

Figure 16: Checking the successful start of the component.

You can check the operation of the installed application in the Terminal menu:

Figure 17: Terminal functionality in the web interface of Home Assistant OS.

Upgrading Home Assistant components


Some time has passed since the establishment of Home Assistant. Updates to this platform are released regularly. So it’s time to upgrade the system.

The whole sequence of steps can be performed in two ways – through the graphical user interface and through commands in the terminal. I will perform these actions using the console commands of OS Home Assistant.

● ● ●

Step One: System Backup.

To backup the state of the system before performing the update, use the functionality of snapshots.

We open the session of the terminal.

First, let’s learn about the list of existing snapshots:

ha snapshot list

Let’s create a new snapshot:

ha snapshot new --name snapbeforeupdate

Again, ask for a list of snapshots to see its properties:

Figure 18: Request a list of existing snapshots. Creating a new and view its properties.

● ● ●

Step Two: Check the configuration.

For a successful update, it is recommended to check the configuration of the Home Assistant OS:

ha core check
Figure 19: Check the configuration of the Home Assistant OS.

● ● ●

Step Three: Update the Home Assistant OS.

First we learn about the version number of our system:

ha os info
Figure 20: Get version number of our system.

Next, perform the update:

ha os update

After the upgrade, the system will automatically reboot. We will be informed about this by the lost connection:

Figure 21: Succesfully update OS Home Assistant and automatically Reboot system.

After reconnecting, we will receive up-to-date information about the updated version:

Figure 22: View information about the updated version Home Assistant OS.

● ● ●

Step Four: Update Home Assistant Core.

Similar to the previous step, we first learn about the number of our version:

ha core info
Figure 23: Get version number of our system and latest version number of Home Assistant Core.

Next, perform the update:

ha core update

Similarly, after the upgrade, the system will reboot. The connection will be lost for a while. Also, after rebooting, we will be forced to go through the login process again.

Figure 24: Update Home Assistant Core and automatically Reboot system.

After rebooting, run the command again:

ha core info
Figure 25: Get version number of our system Home Assistant Core.

Congratulations! This completes the update to the current version!

What’s next?


So at this point in time we already have the ability to work with configuration files, monitor the work of Home Assistant using commands in the terminal and we have updated the system to the latest version.

At this stage we will pause, and in the next publication we will tell about:

  • Sensors for monitoring system parameters;
  • Panels display the basic data of the system;
  • Let’s do some hardware upgrades for Raspberry Pi 4;
  • And of course about integration with external devices.

But about this in the next post!

See you,
Sincerely, AIRRA!

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My Smart Home. Step by step from start to… Part 2. Implementation based on Home Assistant. The first steps. Software. Basic settings.

(c) 2021, AIRRA

The Next Step


Hello everyone who reads the series of publications “My Smart Home. From the beginning, step by step to…”. In the previous story, I described the necessary equipment to start implementation.

Now that all the components have arrived and are available, let’s move on to the software part. So we need any computer with Windows (x86 / x64), macOS, Linux x64 (64-bit) / x86 (32-bit), with the ability to work with an SD Card adapter and Internet access.

Let’s get started!

List of Software


The list for downloading software components is as follows:

Software Component NameFile NameSizeLinks
1.Etcher for Windows (x86|x64) (Installer), v.1.5.121balenaEtcher-Setup-1.5.121.exe140 MB
2.Home Assistant image for Raspberry Pi 4 64-bit, v.5.8hassos_rpi4-5.8.img.xz230 MB

Importantly! Other versions balenaEtcher and Home Assistant image will be required for other hardware platforms.

Figure 1: Select the required balenaEtcher software on the download page.
Figure 2: Select the required Home Assistant OS software on the download page.

Image burning


When all the software is available, you can start writing the image to the SD card. Three small steps.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Run balenaEtcher. Select the option “Flash from file”:
Figure 3: Step One: Select the option “Flash from file” in balenaEtcher application:
  1. Choose the SD card that we will use to run the Home Assistant OS on the Raspberry Pi 4 platform:
Figure 4: Step Two: Select SD Card in balenaEtcher application.
  1. Select “Flash!” to start recording an image. When balenaEtcher finishes recording the image and checks the result of the recording with the original, we will receive a confirmation:
Figure 5: BalenaEtcher application: Image recording completed successfully!

Start Up Your Raspberry Pi


So the SD card with the image of Home Assistant is ready! The following sequence of steps is as follows:

  • Insert the newly created installation media (SD card) into the Raspberry Pi 4 slot;
  • Connect the Ethernet cable to the network;
  • Connect the power supply;
  • In a few minutes we will be able to access the Home Assistant page at http: //X.X.X.X: 8123, where X.X.X.X is the address that Raspberry Pi received from the DHCP server:
Figure 6: Within a few minutes after starting the Raspberry Pi, we will get access to the OS Home Assistant and then make the first settings.

The first settings


So, Home Assistant OS is installed, it’s time to start setting it up.

At this stage, the web interface Home Assistant itself will offer to configure the basic parameters.

  1. Create a Home Assistant owner account. This account will be an administrator and will always be able to change any settings. Enter the name, username, password:
Figure 7: Create a Home Assistant owner account. Enter the name, username, password.
  1. Specify the name and location parameters of the house, time zone:
Figure 8: Set your location, time zone, and unit system.
  1. If you want to share information with developers about the work of your copy of Home Assistant in terms of analytics, integration, statistics or diagnostic data – select the necessary items:
Figure 9: If want, set sharing information with developers.
  1. The integration setup phase can now be postponed. We will return to this direction later:
Figure 10: List of integrations found by the Home Assistant setup wizard.
  1. Finish, we get the configured start web interface of Home Assistant:
Figure 11: Home Assistant Starting Page.

Congratulations! And this important stage has been successfully completed!

Testing environment


We will need a test site to test the changes that will be made in the productive environment of Home Assistant. It is not necessary to allocate separate equipment for this task, so we will use the virtualization platform for this purpose.

As a cloud architect, I have my own test demo environment. It works on the basis of VMware vSphere 5.x and 6.x. Home Assistant OS can be successfully run in this virtualization platform, although with some features.

Since we will do such actions periodically, I decided to write a small script in Powershell (PowerCli). It is designed to automate the process of creating a test environment Home Assistant in the form of a virtual machine VMware vSphere 5.x, 6.x.

The script consists of 15 steps:

  1. Define variables;
  2. Download HASS OS vmdk.xz;
  3. Extract HASS OS vmdk, rename from .tar, delete .xz;
  4. Connect to VMware Infrastucture;
  5. Set Datastore properties;
  6. Create HASS OS Virtual Machine;
  7. Copy HASS OS vmdk to Virtual Machine Datastore Folder;
  8. Create Configuration Specification HASS OS Virtual Machine;
  9. Check if there is an IDE COntroller present;
  10. Add IDE harddisk to VM configuration;
  11. Set VM EFI firmware;
  12. Reconfigure HASS OS Virtual Machine;
  13. Start HASS OS Virtual Machine;
  14. Get Ip Address HASS OS Virtual Machine;
  15. Open Web Browser and go to Home Assistant Start Web page.

The script code is below:

<#
.SYNOPSIS
    Automate create Home Assistant test Virtual Machine in VMware vSphere.
.DESCRIPTION
    This script is designed to automate the process of creating
    a test environment Home Assistant in the VMware virtual machine.
.NOTES
    File Name      : HassVmwareTestEnv.ps1
    Author         : AIRRA (roman@airra.net)
    Prerequisite   : PowerShell V2 over Vista and upper, 
                     7zip4powershell module,
                     VMware.VimAutomation.Core snap-in.

    Copyright 2021 - AIRRA
.LINK
    Script posted over:
    http://blogs.airra.net
#>

# Step 1: Define variables
$HassVMDKUrl = "https://github.com/home-assistant/operating-system/releases/download/5.8/hassos_ova-5.8.vmdk.xz" # Home Assitant git download Release Path
$HassVMDKDownloadPath = $env:TEMP # Path to download Folder
$HassVMDKArchiveName = "hassos_ova-5.8" # Home Assitant VMDK Archive Name

$VIServer = "_" # Address of VMware Vcenter Server
$VIServerUser = "_" # User with admin permissions
$VIServerUserPassword = "_" # Password

$VIHost = "_" # Address of of VMware Esxi
$VIDatastoreName = "_" # Datasore Name
$VINetwork = "_" # Network Name
$HassVMName = "hassio.test" # Virtual Machine Name

$HassVMDKSourcePath = $env:TEMP
$HassVMDKSourceFile = "hassos.vmdk"
$HassVMDK = $HassVMDKSourcePath + "\" + $HassVMDKSourceFile
$PathDisk = "[" + $VIDatastoreName + "] " + $HassVMName + "/" + $HassVMDKSourceFile

# Step 2: Download HASS OS vmdk.xz.
[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $HassVMDKUrl -OutFile ($HassVMDKDownloadPath + "/" + $HassVMDKArchiveName + ".vmdk.xz")

# Step 3: Extract HASS OS vmdk, rename from .tar, delete .xz.
Expand-7Zip -ArchiveFileName ($HassVMDKDownloadPath + "/" + $HassVMDKArchiveName + ".vmdk.xz") -TargetPath $HassVMDKDownloadPath
Remove-Item -Path ($HassVMDKDownloadPath + "/" + $HassVMDKArchiveName + ".vmdk.xz")
Get-Item -Path ($HassVMDKDownloadPath + "/" + $HassVMDKArchiveName + ".vmdk.tar") | Rename-Item -NewName $HassVMDKSourceFile

# Step 4: Connect to VMware Infrastucture.
[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [System.Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls,[System.Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls11,[System.Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12
Connect-VIServer -Server $VIServer -User $VIServerUser -Password $VIServerUserPassword

# Step 5: Set Datastore properties.
$Datastore = Get-Datastore $VIDatastoreName
New-PSDrive -Location $Datastore -Name vids -PSProvider VimDatastore -Root ""
Set-Location vids:

# Step 6: Create HASS OS Virtual Machine.
New-VM -Name $HassVMName -VMHost $VIHost -Datastore $VIDatastoreName -MemoryMB 1024 -NumCPU 1 -DiskMB 1 -NetworkName $VINetwork -GuestID debian6_64Guest
Get-HardDisk -VM $HassVMName -Name 'Hard disk 1' | Remove-HardDisk -Confirm:$false -DeletePermanently:$true

# Step 7: Copy HASS OS vmdk to Virtual Machine Datastore Folder.
Copy-DatastoreItem -Item $HassVMDK -Destination vids:$HassVMName

# Step 8: Create Configuration Specification HASS OS Virtual Machine.
$vm = Get-VM -Name $HassVMName
$spec = New-Object VMware.Vim.VirtualMachineConfigSpec

# Step 9: Check if there is an IDE COntroller present.
$ideCtrl = $vm.ExtensionData.Config.Hardware.Device | where {$_.GetType().Name -eq "VirtualIDEController"} | select -First 1 
if(!$ideCtrl){
    $ctrl = New-Object VMware.Vim.VirtualDeviceConfigSpec
    $ctrl.Operation = "add"
    $ctrl.Device = New-Object VMware.Vim.VirtualIDEController
    $ideKey = -1
    $ctrl.Device.ControllerKey = $ideKey
    $spec.deviceChange += $ctrl
}
else{
    $ideKey = $ideCtrl.Key
}

# Step 10: Add IDE harddisk to VM configuration.
$dev = New-Object VMware.Vim.VirtualDeviceConfigSpec 
$dev.Operation = "add"
$dev.Device = New-Object VMware.Vim.VirtualDisk
$dev.Device.backing = New-Object VMware.Vim.VirtualDiskFlatVer2BackingInfo
$dev.Device.backing.DiskMode = "persistent"
$dev.Device.Backing.FileName = $PathDisk
$dev.Device.ControllerKey = $ideKey
$dev.Device.UnitNumber = -1
$spec.deviceChange += $dev

# Step 11: Set VM EFI firmware.
$spec.Firmware = [VMware.Vim.GuestOsDescriptorFirmwareType]::efi

# Step 12: Reconfigure HASS OS Virtual Machine.
$vm.ExtensionData.ReconfigVM($spec)

# Step 13: Start HASS OS Virtual Machine.
Start-VM -VM $HassVMName

# Step 14: Get Ip Address HASS OS Virtual Machine.
$Ip = (Get-VM -Name $HassVMName).Guest.IpAddress | ?{$_ -notmatch ':'}
Do {
    Start-Sleep -s 10
    }
While ($Ip -eq "" -or $Ip -eq $null)

# Step 15: Open Web Browser and go to Home Assistant Start Web page.
Invoke-Expression "cmd.exe /C start http://$Ip[1]:8123"

Important: The script uses the following components:

  • 7zip4powershell module,
  • VMware.VimAutomation.Core snap-in.

What’s next?


So, at this point we have a deployed and initially set up Home Assistant.

At this stage we will pause, and in the future we will talk about:

  • Software add-on: Text config editor, Terminal;
  • Configuration file: configuration.yaml;
  • Upgrading Home Assistant components to the latest version.

But about this in the next post!

See you,
Sincerely, AIRRA!

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My Smart Home. Step by step from start to… Part 1. Implementation based on Home Assistant. The first steps. Hardware.

(c) 2021, AIRRA

Introduction


Congratulations to everyone who periodically reads my blog. This time it will be about my attempt to implement the smart home model.

It all started down to the banal simple, with the purchase of a small townhouse. And while the main construction work was going on, experiments with different platforms of the Smart Home core began in parallel. Among the candidates were Home Assistant, MajorDoMo, OpenHUB and many others. After testing in a virtual environment, there is one candidate left – Home Assistant, about whom I want to tell you. And also about options of its integration with other systems.

This step-by-step review may be useful to some readers, because it will save the most important thing in our lives, it’s time. Much of what will be described was born of many successful and not-so-successful attempts.

So let’s get started!

Hardware


Let’s start with the hardware. At the first stage, the set of devices is not large, so you will fit into the mini budget.

● ● ●

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

Figure 1: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B appearance.

This is the fourth generation of the main line of minicomputers from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Figure 2: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B placement of components and ports.

The technical characteristics of the board are as follows:

  • Processor: Broadcom BCM2711, Quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8), 64-bit, 1.5 GHz core clock speed.
  • Memory: A choice of three hardware implementations – 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM.
  • Network: Gigabit Ethernet port, 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac Wireless Adapter, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE.
  • Storage Devices: Micro-SD card slot for booting the operating system and storing data.
  • Ports:
    • Multimedia:
      • 2 micro-HDMI ports (up to 4k resolution and 60p frames per second supported);
      • 2-line MIPI DSI display port;
      • 2-line port of the MIPI CSI camera;
      • 4-pole stereo port and composite video port;
      • Hardware coding of H.265 (4kp60 decoding), H264 (1080p60 decoding, 1080p30 coding);
      • Implementation of OpenGL ES 3.1, Vulkan 1.0 specifications.
    • Input, output:
      • 2 USB 3.0 ports;
      • 2 USB 2.0 ports;
      • Standard 40-pin GPIO Raspberry Pi connector (fully backwards compatible with previous boards).
  • Power:
    • 5V DC via USB-C connector (minimum 3A);
    • 5V DC via GPIO connector (minimum 3A).
  • Dimensions:
    • Height / Width / Depth – 2.22 in (56.5 mm) / 3.37 in (85.6 mm) / 0.43307 in (11 mm).
  • Weight: 1.62 oz (46 g).
Figure 3: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B GPIO Connector Pinout.
Figure 4: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Physical Specifications.

● ● ●

Power Supply

Figure 5: Official Raspberry Pi USB-C power supply for Raspberry Pi 4 appearance.

Official Raspberry Pi USB-C power supply for Raspberry Pi 4 specifications:

  • The output direct current is 5.1 V / 3.0 A;
  • Operating range of input AC current – 96-264 V;
  • Built-in protection against short circuit, overload and overheating;
  • 1.5 m 18 AWG cable with USB-C output connector.

Subsequently, after the initial start-up and adjustment, this power supply was replaced by Mean Well on a DIN rail 15W 3A 5V HDR-30-5.

Figure 6: Mean Well on a DIN rail 15W 3A 5V HDR-30-5 appearance.

● ● ●

Micro SD Card

You will also need a class SD card no worse than A1 to work as a Home Assistant services.

Figure 7: SanDisk 32 GB microSDHC memory card UHS-I U3 Extreme Pro A1 + SD Adapter Kit appearance.

SanDisk 32 GB microSDHC memory card UHS-I U3 Extreme Pro A1 + SD Adapter specifications:

  • Type – microSDHC;
  • Capacity – 32 GB;
  • Speed class – 10;
  • UHS Class – UHS-I Class 3 (U3);
  • Video recording class – V30;
  • Class for applications – A1;
  • Data read speed – 90 MB / s;
  • Data write speed – 60 MB / s;
  • Adapter included.

● ● ●

Case for Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

In its design of a smart home, it was decided to place its control components as much as possible in electrical switchboards. So we will need a housing for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B on a DIN rail.

Figure 8: The DIN rail case for Raspberry Pi 4 Model B appearance.

The DIN rail case for Raspberry Pi 4 Model B specifications:

  • Length – 88 mm;
  • Width – 90 mm;
  • Height – 58 mm;
  • The base material is plastic;
  • Material type – Polycarbonate;
  • Color – Gray.

● ● ●

Bill of materials


So the starting list for purchasing components is as follows:

Component NamePart NumberPrice, USD
1.Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, 2Gb~75$
2.Official Raspberry Pi USB-C power supply for Raspberry Pi 4~15$
3.SanDisk 32 GB microSDHC memory card UHS-I U3 Extreme Pro A1 + SD AdapterSDSQXCG-032G-GN6MA~13$
4.The DIN rail case for Raspberry Pi 4 Model B~19$
Total:122$

Prices for components are given in $, based on data from online stores in Kyiv, Ukraine. In your area, they can vary to a greater or lesser extent.

My set of starter components:

Figure 9: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.
Figure 10: Official Raspberry Pi USB-C power supply for Raspberry Pi 4.
Figure 11: SanDisk 32 GB microSDHC memory card UHS-I U3 Extreme Pro A1 + SD Adapter Kit.
Figure 12: The DIN rail case for Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.

● ● ●

The next step


The components have been ordered and are expected to arrive. So what do we do next? Download the necessary software and start the installation phase.

But about this in the next post!

See you,
Sincerely, AIRRA!

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VMware vExpert 2021 Award!

Hi to all!

“Hello and welcome to the 2021 vExpert program” – a letter with this message I just received!

More than ten years from the first exam and certificate to this award! Thanks to VMware and everyone who helped me with this. There is still a lot of work ahead!

Sincerely,
Andriy Romanenko

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Vmware, Year 2020. Education, Practice, Certification. Part 1. Education.

Introduction


High-quality work with IT technologies implies the presence of a certain level of competencies, knowledge and experience. The acquisition of these skills usually takes place in three key stages: Training, Practice, Certification.

In this publication, let’s look at what Vmware has prepared for us in the 2020-2021 season regarding training programs.

Everything related to certification, as well as how and where to acquire important practical skills, is the topic of the following articles.

Authorized Training


Authorized training from the vendor is a pointer to the best way to master this or that technology. Training programs vary in duration, difficulty level, target audience, training format. Given the trends of recent events in the world, training centers will have to reorient themselves mainly to online learning.

To understand the list of training programs and directions, you must visit the official resource: VMware Education Services and the corresponding section with the areas of study: VMware Learning Paths.

Currently, Vmware Education has formed four major product training areas:

  • Data Center Virtualization & Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure;
  • Network Virtualization & Security;
  • Virtualization & Cloud Management Platform;
  • Desktop, Application Virtualization & Mobility.

● ● ●

Data Center Virtualization & Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Direction of training – Data Center Virtualization & Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure includes training programs on vSphere, vSAN, Site Recovery Manager, VMware Intergrated OpenStack technologies.

VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere is server virtualization software and the heart of a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) that helps you run, manage, connect and secure applications in a shared cloud operating environment.

The main current training programs for vSphere technologies are:

● VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.5 to V6.5 (V6.7)]

  • Duration: 3 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.

The course can be recommended to customers who want to deploy vSphere 6.5 (6.7) in their existing vSphere environment.

● VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.5 (V6.7)]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional 6 (6.5) – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6 (6.5)-DCV).

The course includes intensive hands-on training that focuses on installing, configuring, and managing VMware vSphere version 6.5 (6.7), which includes VMware ESXi and VMware vCenter Server. The course prepares for vSphere infrastructure administration for an organization of any size. This is the foundation of knowledge for most other VMware technologies in a software-defined data center.

● VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V6.5 (V6.7)]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: Understanding of concepts presented in the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional 6 (6.5) – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6 (6.5)-DCV).

A course in advanced skills to configure and support a highly accessible and scalable virtual infrastructure. Through a combination of lectures and practical exercises, students configure and optimize the features of VMware vSphere 6.5 (6.7), which form the basis for a truly scalable infrastructure. This course will deepen your understanding of vSphere and how advanced features and controls can benefit.

● VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting Workshop [V6.5 (V6.7)]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage. Experience in working with a command-line interface is highly recommended, as is completion of VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional 6 (6.5) – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6 (6.5) -DCV).

This hands-on course provides advanced knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve troubleshooting competency in VMware vSphere 6.x. The course enhances skills and knowledge in using the command line interface, VMware vSphere Client, VMware vRealize Log Insight and other tools for analyzing and solving problems.

vSAN

VMware Virtual SAN (or vSAN) is a distributed storage concept that is fully integrated with VMware vSphere at the ESXi cluster level. vSAN is a software storage system that allows you to abstract from the “iron” data warehouse and work with resource pools without worrying about where the virtual machine data is located.

Key ongoing vSAN training programs:

● VMware vSAN: Deploy and Manage [V6.7]

  • Duration: 3 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: Storage administration experience on block or file storage devices. Understanding of concepts presented in the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course.

In this course, students focus on deploying and managing a software-defined storage solution using VMware vSAN 6.7. The course provides knowledge of how vSAN, an important component of the VMware data center software, functions. Students receive practical experience working with vSAN concepts and perform hands-on laboratory exercises.

● VMware vSAN: Production Operations [V6.7]

  • Duration: 2 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target Audience: Administrators.
  • Prerequisites: Understanding of concepts presented in the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course. Storage administration experience with block or file storage devices. Completion of the VMware vSAN: Deploy and Manage course or equivalent experience with vSAN is desirable.

In this course, students acquire the skills to configure and perform common administrator and end-user tasks using VMware vSAN 6.7.

● VMware vSAN: Troubleshooting Workshop [V6.x]

  • Duration: 2 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: Understanding of concepts presented in the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course. Completion of the VMware vSAN: Deploy and Manage course or equivalent experience with VMware vSAN.

In this course, students will learn the tools and skills needed to troubleshoot a VMware vSAN 6.x implementation. They gain hands-on experience with vSAN troubleshooting concepts through hands-on lab exercises.

Site Recovery Manager

VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is a business continuity and disaster recovery solution for planning, testing and restoring virtual machines from a protected, primary site to a backup recovery site.

Current Site Recovery Manager Technology Curriculum:

● VMware Site Recovery Manager: Install, Configure, Manage [V8.2]

  • Duration: 2 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers, Architects, Integrators.
  • Prerequisites: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course.

The course gives experienced VMware vSphere administrators the knowledge to install, configure, and manage VMware Site Recovery Manager 8.2. This course also shows how to write and test disaster recovery plans that use Site Recovery Manager.

VMware Intergrated OpenStack

VMware Integrated OpenStack is a VMware-supported version of the OpenStack infrastructure that simplifies the operation of the OpenStack production environment, deployed over the existing Vmware infrastructure.

Current VMware Integrated OpenStack Technology Curriculum:

● VMware Integrated OpenStack: Install, Configure, Manage [V5]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: This course requires the completion of the following course: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage, VMware Integrated OpenStack Fundamentals, VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals.

The course provides skills for creating a private cloud using VMware Integrated OpenStack in a software-defined data center environment based on Vmware technologies. This course develops skills in installing, configuring, and managing VMware Integrated OpenStack. Students will learn how to offer IaaS and PaaS advanced networking and security to end users using VMware Integrated OpenStack.

● ● ●

Network Virtualization & Security

Direction of training – Network Virtualization & Security includes training programs on technologies VMware NSX, NSX-T:

VMware NSX

VMware NSX is a network virtualization and security platform for software data centers, making it possible to create and run network services on existing network equipment.

The main current training programs for VMware NSX technologies are:

● VMware NSX: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.2 (V6.4)]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers, Architects.
  • Prerequisites: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage. Understanding of concepts presented in the VMware Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals course. Understanding of the concepts presented in the VMware Introduction to Network Virtualization with NSX course.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional 6 – Network Virtualization (VCP6-NV).

The course introduces VMware NSX as part of a data center software. Students will learn how to use logical switches and will also detail logical routing between different virtual environments. The course shows how to use the gateway services, firewall configurations, and security services to protect and optimize the NSX environment.

● VMware NSX: Micro-Segmentation [V6.3]

  • Duration: 3 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.

The course introduces the security-oriented features of VMware NSX 6.3, including the distributed firewall and Service Composer, which will help ensure the successful deployment of microsegmentation.

● VMware NSX: Troubleshooting and Operations [V6.3, (V6.4)]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Expert.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers, Architects.
  • Prerequisites: VMware NSX: Install, Configure, Manage course.

The course provides students with advanced knowledge, skills and tools to achieve operational competency and troubleshooting in VMware NSX V6.3 (V6.4).

VMware NSX-T

VMware NSX-T is a network virtualization platform for next-generation heterogeneous architecture applications.

Key current VMware NSX-T technology training programs are:

● VMware NSX-T Data Center: Install, Configure, Manage [V2.4]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: Solid understanding of concepts presented in the following courses: VMware Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals, VMware Introduction to Network Virtualization with NSX, VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization 2019 (VCP-NV 2019).

The course provides training on installing, configuring, and managing the VMware NSX-T Data Center environment. It covers the core features and functionality of the NSX-T Data Center offered by NSX-T Data Center 2.4, including common infrastructure, logical segments, logical routers, network and security services, microsegmentation, and firewalls.

● VMware NSX-T Data Center: Troubleshooting and Operations [V2.4]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: Before taking this course, you should have completed the VMware NSX-T Data Center: Install, Configure, Manage [V2.4] course.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization 2019 (VCP-NV 2019).

The course provides advanced knowledge, skills and tools for achieving competency in work and troubleshooting in the VMware NSX-T Data Center environment.

● ● ●

Virtualization & Cloud Management Platform

Direction of training – Virtualization & Cloud Management Platform includes training programs on VMware vRealize technologies: Operations, Log Insight, Automation, Orchestrator.

VMware provides a comprehensive cloud management platform that can manage hybrid (multi-cloud) environments that run everything from traditional to containerized (cloud) workloads. The VMware vRealize family of products accelerates the provision of IT services through automation and predefined policies, providing a high level of flexibility for developers and business lines while maintaining management and control.

The main current training programs for VMware vRealize technologies are:

● VMware vRealize Automation: Install, Configure, Manage [V7.6 (V8)].

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: This course requires completion of the following course: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional – Cloud Management and Automation 2019 (VCP-CMA 2019).

During this, students focus on installing, configuring, and managing VMware vRealize Automation, and how vRealize Automation can be used to automate the delivery of virtual machines, applications, and personalized IT services to various data centers and hybrid cloud environments.

● VMware vRealize Automation: Orchestration and Extensibility [V7.6]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Expert.
  • Prerequisites: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage, VMware vRealize Automation: Install, Configure, Manage courses.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.

The course aims to use VMware vRealize Orchestrator to extend the functionality of VMware vRealize Automation. Students will learn how to provide something as a service (XaaS) and implement machine life cycle extensibility using the vRealize Automation Event Broker. Also, how to create vRealize Orchestrator workflows. Functions include a basic script implementation along with logical processing to implement various functions used in a virtual environment. This course describes the implementation of debugging, loops, conditions, and user interaction in vRealize Orchestrator.

● VMware vRealize Operations: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.6, (V7.x, V8)]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage, VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale.

The course is intended for experienced users of VMware vSphere®, will teach you how to use VMware vRealize Operations as a tool for analysis and forecasting. Based on VMware ESXi 6.5 (6.7), VMware vCenter Server 6.5 (6.7), and vRealize Operations 7.x (8.0), this course includes information on advanced features, including configuration and management.

Data Center Automation with vRealize Orchestrator and vSphere PowerCLI

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Expert.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course.

This course provides experienced VMware vSphere® administrators with knowledge of the automation tools that all vSphere clients have access to. Using real-world use cases, students will learn how to automate day-to-day administration tasks with VMware vSphere PowerCLI and VMware vRealize Orchestrator.

● VMware vRealize Log Insight: Deploy and Manage [V4.7]

  • Duration: 2 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course.

The course is based on the deployment, use and management of VMware vRealize Log Insight. Students will learn about the configuration and use of vRealize Log Insight to collect and manage the logs of various VMware and third-party products. This course discusses how vRealize Log Insight interacts with other systems to monitor, troubleshoot, and secure your data center.

● ● ●

Desktop, Application Virtualization & Mobility

Direction of training – Desktop, Application Virtualization & Mobility includes training programs on VMware Horizon, Workspace ONE technologies:

VMware Horizon

Convert desktop and application virtualization. VMware Horizon is revolutionizing traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) with unprecedented simplicity, flexibility, speed and scalability.

Core VMware Horizon Technology Education Program:

● VMware Horizon 7: Install, Configure, Manage [V7.7 (V7.10)]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Prerequisites: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course. Attendees should also have the following Microsoft Windows system administration experience:
    • Configure Active Directory services, including DNS, DHCP, and time synchronization;
    • Restrict user activities by implementing Group Policy objects;
    • Configure Windows systems to enable Remote Desktop Connections;
    • Build an ODBC connection to an SQL Server database.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional – Desktop and Mobility 2019 (VCP-DTM 2019).

The course provides knowledge about the technologies for delivering virtual desktops and applications through a single platform of virtual desktop infrastructure. This course develops skills in installing, configuring, and managing VMware Horizon 7.x. Students will learn how to configure and deploy virtual machine pools, manage machine access and security, and provide a custom desktop environment for end users.

VMware Workspace ONE

VMware Workspace ONE is a convenient and secure enterprise platform for providing and managing any applications on any smartphone, tablet or laptop.

● VMware Workspace ONE: Deploy and Manage [V19]

  • Duration: 5 days.
  • Level of difficulty: Professional.
  • Target audience: Administrators, Engineers.
  • Certification: VMware Certified Professional – Digital Workspace 2019 (VCP-DW2019).

In this course, students will configure VMware Workspace ONE components and provide a single point of registration and authentication, as well as how to integrate industry-recognized enterprise technologies with VMware Workspace ONE. The principles of enterprise mobility, unified entry points and identity management are discussed throughout the course.

Brief Summary


As we can see, the list of relevant training programs turned out to be rather big. It should be noted that this article also does not mention complex programs such as Fast Track and some rare expert-level training programs. There is also no information on new training programs that are currently in Beta status. I will touch on this topic in the following publications.

I hope this cheat sheet will help you decide on the necessary training yourself and offer the customer the best way to learn.

To be continued…

See you on the air!

Sincerely, Andrey Romanenko

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MCSA, MCSD, MCSE certificates are a thing of the past! Role model-based certification time!

(c) 2020 AIRRA

Microsoft focuses on role-based training and certification, which can help you develop the necessary skills and experience to advance in an accelerated and increasingly competitive, cloud-based world. Role-based training and certificates are based on new features and services that Microsoft is continually adding to the cloud-based solutions, minimizing skills gaps associated with relevant work roles.

Since Microsoft announced its focus on role-based training and certification in September 2018, it has added 34 statuses to its portfolio in Azure, Modern Workplace and Business Applications. Microsoft continues to expand its role-based curriculum offerings, with all other Microsoft Certified Solutions Associated (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) status exams coming past June 30 2020.

If you are working on an MCSA, MCSD, or MCSE certification, you will need to take all the necessary exams before they expire.
If you have MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE certificates, they will remain in your Microsoft transcript even after the exams. These statuses will remain in the active section for two years from 30 June 2020; The certification will then be moved to the “inactive statuses” section.

Certificates with exams scheduled to expire on June 30, 2020:

  • MCSA: BI Reporting
  • MCSA: Dynamics 365 for Operations
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Admin
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Dev
  • MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014
  • MCSA: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSA: Web Applications
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2012
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2016
  • MCSD: App Builder
  • MCSE: Business Applications
  • MCSE: Core Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Data Management & Analytics
  • MCSE: Productivity

Exams that expire on June 30, 2020:
These exams will be suspended until 11:59 PM Central Time on June 30, 2020.

  • 70-333: Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015
  • 70-334: Core Solutions for Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
  • 70-339: Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
  • 70-345: Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
  • 70-457: Developing Mobile Apps
  • 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
  • 70-413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
  • 70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
  • 70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012
  • 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
  • 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases
  • 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
  • 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases
  • 70-465: Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server
  • 70-466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server
  • 70-467: Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
  • 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3
  • 70-483: Programming in C#
  • 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications
  • 70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
  • 70-537: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack
  • 70-705: Designing and Providing Microsoft Licensing Solutions to Large Organizations
  • 70-740: Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
  • 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016
  • 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016
  • 70-743: Upgrading Your skills to MCSA: Windows Server 2016
  • 70-744: Securing Windows Server 2016
  • 70-745: Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter
  • 70-761: Querying Data with Transact-SQL
  • 70-762: Developing SQL Databases
  • 70-764: Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure
  • 70-765: Provisioning SQL Databases
  • 70-767: Implementing a Data Warehouse using SQL
  • 70-768: Developing SQL Data Models
  • 70-777: Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions
  • 70-778: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power BI
  • 70-779: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Excel
  • MB2-716: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customization and Configuration
  • MB6-894: Development, Extensions and Deployment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance
  • MB6-897: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail
  • MB6-898: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources

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Passed Microsoft Exam 70-246: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012!

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Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 – Foundation of Virtualized Data Center. Part 2. Architecture.

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Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 – Foundation of Virtualized Data Center. Part 1. Introduction.

It has been three years since Microsoft acquired Connectix. Finally, Microsoft is releasing a corporate segment management tool for Virtual Server: Virtual Machine Manager 2007, part of the System Center product family.

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 is a complete solution for managing a virtualized data center, which allows you to increase the physical utilization of servers and provide centralized management of the virtual machine infrastructure.

The first edition of System Center Virtual Machine Manager contains the following virtual infrastructure management features:

  • Support for the life cycle of virtual machines;
  • Centralized library for reference images of virtual machines, scripts and ISO images;
  • Fast and reliable conversion of a physical server into a virtual machine (P2V migration);
  • Fast and reliable conversion of a virtual machine into a virtual machine (V2V migration);
  • Providing self-service functionality through a web portal;
  • Enhanced automation scenarios through integration with PowerShell;
  • Integration with System Center Operation Manager 2007 for virtual data center monitoring and capacity planning;
  • Integration with System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to upgrade virtual machines offline;
  • Integration with System Center Manager Data Protection Manager 2007 to backup running virtual machines.
Picture 1: The Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console.

The Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console is built on the familiar Operations Manager 2007 user interface, allowing administrators to quickly and easily manage their virtual machines. Comprehensive monitoring of the health of hosts, virtual machines, library servers, and Virtual Machine Manager components is provided through the Virtualization Management Pack in Operations Manager 2007.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager is also integrated with familiar tools and technologies. For example, Virtual Machine Manager uses a SQL Server database to store performance and configuration data, and reporting capabilities in Virtual Machine Manager use familiar SQL Reporting Services technologies that are actually provided through System Center Operations Manager.

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