A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend my first VMUG meeting. The Wisconsin VMUG chapter held a half day session at MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus. Frankly, I loved it. There were great presentations from Netech, Daniel Klemz, and Scott Harold, & a Q&A session. I enjoyed being around so many people with a passion for virtualization. Attending this event gave me a bump of motivation towards preparing for the VCP exam.
During the meeting, I was tweeting out thoughts and observations (my Twitter handle is @ExploreVM, if you don't follow me already!), and this tweet is one of my biggest takeaways from the meeting:
"The deeper I get into #virtualization, it becomes more evident that #CiscoUCS may have to be the next step in education"
While listening to Netech's presentation about FlexPod, I had a flash back to a tour of a data center I took a few months beforehand which uses a VCE block system. The common factor, both use Cisco UCS. Now, of course a deep understanding of the ESX hypervisor and the entire suite of VMware products is going to be my entry into the world of data center virtualization, but if I have any aspirations to manage a data center (which believe me, I do), and to become a well-rounded IT professional, learning the Unified Computing System is a likely next step.
The problem with that? Finding the training at a reasonable cost. A quick Google search yields 5 day training sessions and online training courses, but the cost of these courses ($3000+) is nearly prohibitive for a student attempting to further their education. Also, with any boot camp style training sessions, you have to wonder how much you are actually learning and retaining in a meaningful way. An ideal solution would be if the local technical schools or colleges would offer Cisco UCS courses.
Milwaukee Area Technical College offers a great VMware vSphere course taught by amazingly knowledgeable professors, and there has been rumors that the school is working on cloud and storage certificate programs, both of which I would love to attend and I feel help advance the school over other technical colleges in the area. At this point, I would like get on my soapbox momentarily, hoping some of the higher-ups at MATC are listening, and petition the school for a Cisco UCS course. It's becoming more and more obvious that business are implementing pre-configured, converged infrastructure virtualization solutions, and while the VMware vSphere training is an excellent start, adding UCS experience to your graduates portfolio would make them more competitive in the job market, along with increasing their overall technical capability.
Now, my blog may never get noticed by anyone of significance at MATC, but I will close with this, hoping someone is listening. I graduate in 6 weeks, and will be continuing my education at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in the fall, but if MATC adds the Cloud Certificate, Storage Certificate, and Cisco UCS programs, they have me not only coming back, spending my educational dollars at their college, but also touting the IT program to anyone who cares to listen to me.