So, let me preface all of this with something. I do not work for Dell Corporate, Dell IT, Dell Enterprise Support, Dell Computers, etc. I work for Dell Services (formerly Perot Systems.) I am a dedicated Virtualization Engineer on one of our largest contracts. While Dell pays my paycheck, I am basically an employee of the company I am on the contract of.
Now, why do I need to say that? I have a common problem (pet peeve?) that I run into when I go to large events with vendors, such as VMUG conferences. Every. Single. Vendor. has to tell me, “Oh, we’re partners of Dell, you should know all about us.” No. I know absolutely nothing about you. When you had that “meeting at my facility” last week, I wasn’t there. Nobody on my team was there. Nobody on my contract was there. And there is a slight possibility, it wasn’t even a person from Dell Services. It was someone from an entirely separate line of business that happens to have an office at the same (rather large) facility my desk is at. Is it that hard to comprehend that with a company of over 100,000 employees, that not everyone in employment is aware of every facet of the business, ever partnership, every vendor? This is not to say that all these vendors I talk to are not very nice to talk to and personable, it just drives me nuts that they assume I have any idea what they are talking about, or that when they name drop some exec that they took out to lunch, I will know who they are.
That is the end of my preface. Now I am going to move on to one of those vendors, and explain the other side of the coin. While it drives me nuts that all vendors assume I am 100% up-to-date with their partnership with Dell, it comes with its advantages. A TON of vendors are partners with Dell. Flashing my badge gets me into the back rooms of many Vendors. Do I mean the literal back rooms with the secret handshakes? No. The partner portals. The free training. The NFR software licenses. That is the bread and butter of what I enjoy about working for Dell, when it comes to external vendors.
One of the partners I have found the most interest in is Nutanix. They offer a hyper-converged solution that is pretty boss. They offer their own hardware, but also have a line of Dell branded appliances, based off the r720 platform. When talking to one of the sales folks at the last VMUG event, they did their normal talk about how I should know all about them, but of course, I had no idea. So I went looking. I came across Community Edition. This is a free version of their software for testing. While digging around there, I found more. Come to find out, I had access to the partner portal. What all is in there, you say? Well, lots of boring partner stuff. How to sell their solutions. Meh. What else is in there? Lots and lots of free training. And free Certifications.
I found the Nutanix Platform Professional certification to be something that would not directly affect my current job, but who knows when it may come in handy. Besides, I have recently come to the conclusion that I need to pile on certs. You know…for science.
I went through the NPP training modules. There is quite a bit of it. I have a OneNote notebook filled to the brim with stuff. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of hands on experience with the product. I feel this may help out with the certification. I have taken the exam once, and got a 68. This is a 50 question, multiple choice, and multiple answer test. A score of 80% is required to pass. I thought I was pretty well prepared, but I was not. Not having the hands on experience kinda screwed me, I think. I have 2 more try’s for the test, so I am going through all the sections that I missed (the test tells you what topic you missed, but not what questions you missed) and working to try and fill the gaps in my knowledge. It is really a cool platform and technology that they have going. I really hope I can get this hammered out and get the certification under my belt. I’ll be posting more on Nutanix as time passes, and hope to get Community Edition going in my lab soon, which should help with the hands-on. Well, I’ve ranted and rambled long enough. More for another day.