Building a Lab computer

My desktop computer recently died an ignominious death.  And by that, I mean it just refused to boot.  Not even a beep code.  Troubleshooting it seemed to indicate that the old AMD Athlon64 processor had finally croaked.  I was kind of in the market for a new PC anyway, but I’d rather have done a graceful migration, not a dead-PC replacement.

I had a couple of goals I wanted to accomplish:

VMware training and certification on a budget

One of the problems with working for a smaller company is that the money for training is rarely in the budget.  For this reason, I have to find alternative routes that I can afford to pay for myself.  VMware has a fairly expensive barrier to entry in that the prerequisite for the VCP program is a pricey formal class.  I actually like this idea because it rarefies the certification somewhat.  I still remember the heady days of the paper MCSE where anyone could do a test dump and get certified.

VMware has several levels of certification.  They have the Associate program, which requires no class time and certifies that you have a very basic understanding of the product.  They have Professional program at the next level, which does requires class time and has a fairly difficult multiple-choice test.  Then there’s the Advanced Professional (the one I’m currently working on) for which the test is entirely lab work, and lastly the Design Expert level which I liken to a doctoral thesis in that you have to present a design before a review board and defend it.

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