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  • May 14, 2015

My Virtual Way: VCA and VCP certification exam prep: Lab setup - Getting started

There are many great guides out there to study for the the VCA and VCP exam, but many of us don’t have access to a proper lab setup to train on. Especially now with VCP6, often times it’s tough to meet the vSphere 6 requirements in the home lab. I’m not as far along in the certification process just yet, but I already have my own ESXi lab. Instead of purchasing hardware or using a hosting provider, I used set up my ESXi lab on AWS. I put together this quick outline hoping to help fellow exam takers.

If you’ve read my previous posts in this series, first of all thanks! Second of all, as many of you are going through the VCP certification process, you’re sending some great questions about running ESXi on AWS using Ravello. To answer some of these questions, I wanted to share some of the Ravello ESXi Smart Lab basics, so that you can have your lab setup up and running and be on your faster way to the VCP certification.

We recently held a webinar discussing how to build ESXi labs on AWS/ Google Cloud. Enjoy the webcast and slides...

[video url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9byjFw5omQ"]

[slideshare id=48986275&doc=20150602esxiwebinar-150604114506-lva1-app6891]

So, to the basics:

  1. You will be running ESXi in the public cloud but you will install, configure and use it exactly as if you were running on hardware servers in your home. For all intents and purposes, it’s like you’re running on infinite capacity (vCPU and GB RAM) if you need to (I’m pretty sure you don’t, though).
  2. You need to bring your own license to build your lab setup.
  3. Pricing is usage based. That means that you will be paying for hours of vCPU and GB RAM consumed. This is perfect for your lab, since you don’t need to buy hardware, and you only pay for what you use. You can see a detailed example of pricing for a home lab or go to our calculator to figure out the cost of your setup.
  4. You don’t need cloud credentials to set this up, your dealings are only with Ravello

I think this almost covers the getting started part. Now just for the outline to get your ESXi lab into shape (the links include easy to follow step-by-step guides, including screenshots and all):

  1. How to install ESXi on AWS and Google
  2. How to set up vCenter on AWS and Google
  3. How to create an ESXi cluster on AWS and Google

If there are some other basics I haven’t covered - please feel free to add your comment to the post and we’ll keep the conversation going. Check it out, and don’t hesitate to comment here or in our support forum, or even send us a guest post describing your experience studying for the VCP exam using Ravello.

Good luck to all of us!

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