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VMware starts invitation-only NSX training

How many of you really need network virtualisation anyway?

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If you visit VMware's certifications portal you may notice there's something missing: Virtzilla currently offers no courses for its NSX network virtualisation product.

The only entry under NSX is for a forthcoming “Associate” level certification, the very lowest of VMware certifications that ask candidates to prove familiarity with products and technologies, not competence wielding them.

The lack of NSX courses is an interesting omission given VMware has spent most of the last year talking up software-defined everything.

But the Reg's virtual grapevine suggests VMware is currently spending more time explaining NSX to customers than selling it. That's because the technology has obvious application in the very complex networks found in larger data centres, but VMware knows smaller outfits need to play with it for a while to understand its significance. Outside of shops that clearly need NSX, VMware is encouraging exploration rather than tabling purchase orders.

Under those circumstances, the lack of certifications looks understandable.

But VMware this week quietly started a different sort of training on NSX. Detailed here by “virtualisation whisperer” Chris Wahl and in this post by Jason Nash, CTO at cloud mobility and security outfit Varrow, the course is “a new expert-level certification” focussed on NSX.

The pair report that training will require three weeks and is cross-disciplinary to give participants an understanding of network virtualisation's wider impact.

Wahl offered this description of the course:

“At this point, the program is undergoing a trial run from a small group of technical professionals from varied backgrounds: CCIEs, VCDXs, infrastructure admins, security professionals, data center engineers, and so on. The idea is to hit the program from as many different angles as possible to really ensure that the hands-on NSX expert certification will be a program that a wide variety of individuals can be successful within, assuming they have the time, drive, and passion to complete the journey (there’s no free lunch!).”

Both describe a private lab VMware has created to let participants play with NSX in an environment unlikely to be required for, or disturbed by, other technologies.

What to make of this? NSX was launched on August 26th, 2013, and became generally available on October 15th, 2013. For VMware to go six months without formal training for the product is not unusual, but also does not signal a stampede of demand for network virtualisation. That Virtzilla is now ensuring its partners and others can pop a certificate on their walls, and a new line on their CVs, shows things are probably warming up. Whether they're warming up enough to excite investors as well as customers will become more apparent next week, when Virtzilla reveals its quarterly results. ®

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