About ESXLab

ESXLab was started by Larry Karnis in 2008. I had just spent the last 8 years working as a RedHat Certified Instructor (RHCI), Examiner (RHCX - meant I could deliver the RH300 certification exam) and RHCE (RedHat Certified Engineer). I was actively recruited by VMware to work as a consultant/mentor because, according to VMware - "You can teach a Linux guy virtualization but it is hard to teach a Windows guy Linux and virtualization". I chose to leave VMware when the terms and conditions under which I was working for VMware were unilaterally and retroactively changed.

Why ESXLab?

I was always a big advocate of VMware's technology... but not so much when it came to some of their business policies and practices...

  • Why does VMware insist that you must sit a very expensive class to earn VMware Certified Professional - Datacenter Virtualization on vSphere 6 (VCP-DCV 6). Why is self-study not good enough? Why not allow people to gain knowledge and experience however they see fit? Microsoft and RedHat (for example) don't care how you get trained. After all, isn't the purpose of a certification exam to test the depth of your understanding and experience, not the depth of your wallet?
    A little background. When I worked for VMware, I used to get students who would sit my class but not participate. When I asked them why, they'd say - "I've already passed the VCP exam but VMware won't give me the cert until I sit their course. I'm a consultant. I need the cert for my job but the cost is insane. I have to spend $4,000 on a course I don't need (because I've already passed the exam) and then tolerate the loss of a weeks revenue by sitting this course rather than working.". I simply couldn't fault their reasoning.
    Note that VMware has since solved this awkward problem by restricting registration to the VCP-DCV 6 exam only to people who can prove they've attended an authorized class.
    IMHO - The requirement to take authorized training before earning certification is nothing more than a cash grab on VMwares part.
    Solution: With our ESXLab Certified Virtualization Specialist (ECVS) certificate, ESXLab offers vendor independent certification on vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.0
  • Why not make VMware vSphere training available to more people? VMware is the platform of choice for enterprise class virtualization. Helping people get trained on it increases the pool of talent, making it easier for businesses to run vSphere. Rather than releasing just overview courses, why not release full, 5-day training courses in self-paced Video-On-Demand format?
    IMHO - Not everyone needs, can afford or can travel to instructor led training. Why not offer options to those who want it.
    Solution: Check out our range of VMware Video On Demand courses at http://vmware-training.esxlab.com.
  • Why does VMware not offer official classes for their most popular licenses? For years, VMware offered just their Install, Configure, Manage and FastTrack classes. These courses teach features available in Enterprise and Enterprise Plus licenses (the most expensive license tiers purchased by large governments and the Fortune 1000 businesses). When measured by units sold, VMware sells far more vSphere 6 Small Business Essentials Plus (SBEP) and vSphere 6 Standard licenses - but has no course offerings that teach only these licensed features.
    IMHO - Paying for high end training that teaches you to use features you are not licensed to use is a waste of time and money
    Solution: Check out ESXLab Video on Demand training targeted directly at SBEP and Standard license holders

    VMware vSphere 6 for SBE+ and Standard Licenses

    Individual training - video training, course books and remote hands on lab rentals
    All in bundle that includes video training, full course books, 2 weeks of lab rentals, weekly Q&A, Ask the Expert and more
  • How do you learn VMware without labs - but how do you build labs if you don't know VMware? Our customers ask us this question a lot. vSphere 6 has very strict hardware requirements that eliminate the vast majority of desktop systems. Most people who want to learn vSphere can't afford server hardware and don't have the knowledge and experience to correctly set up vSphere 6 and use it properly.
    IMHO - this creates a significant barrier to learning vSphere 6
    Solution: Check out our ready to rent, Remote Hands-on Labs for vSphere 6. We offer turnkey, dedicated (not shared) labs starting at just $100USD for 7 days, including a 240+ page lab guide with complete step-by-step instructions. You can get this on its own or bundled in with many of our course bundles such as:

    VMware vSphere 6 with ESXi and vCenter Bundle
    VMware vSphere 6 Boot Camp Bundle
    VMware vSphere 6 for Small Business Essentials Plus / Standard Licenses


What do you think? Please drop me an e-mail and let me know!

Larry Karnis