So it has Been a While...

So it has Been a While...

But I did a few things while I was away.

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It feels like it has been a minute since my last post. In fact, it has been 117 days since my last Hashnode post. So what happened?

Well, my day job as an Information Systems & Security Manager got a bit hectic in late October and November. But then there were also the holidays and spending time with my (now) fiancée. Yea! I'm also surprised that she said yes!

In late October, I completed both the VMware Install, Configure, Manage (ICM) vSphere and Optimize and Scale (O&S) vSphere courses through the IT Academy at Cleveland Community College. These virtual courses are $180 tuition plus $16 for a digital textbook for each course; definitely more affordable than a corporate training program. These courses count as the required courses to take the VMware Certified Professional - Data Center Virtualization certification exam.

If you take both ICM and O&$ courses, you will get 70% off both the VCTA and VCP-DCV Exams!

In early November, I went and passed the VMware Certified Technical Associate - Data Center Virtualization certification exam. This certification is the entry-level VMware vShpere certification that validates a basic understanding of virtualization and vSphere concepts. I probably should have prepared more, but I barely passed.

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In late November, I started to study for the AWS Certig also studied and passed the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional certification in mid-January.

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It was a pretty challenging exam, but I credit my success to the following sources:

Go Cloud Architets This program helped me understand the technologies and architectures behind public and private infrastructures more so than just learning the AWS services. I credit Mike Gibbs for giving me the confidence and knowledge to help me succeed. Mike and his team also put out a free comprehensive AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional study guide.

Neil Davis

Neil Davis' AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional course really helped me understand all the AWS services and how they work together. This was easy to understand and came with some fun hands-on labs. I enjoyed his course.

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I believe that these practice exams were probably more difficult than the actual exam. But the explanations that came with these questions were amazing and thorough. Overall, I thank Jon Bonso and his team for preparing me for this tough exam.

In late January, our company was in Las Vegas, NV hosting our winter conference at Caesars Palace. Part of my role includes setup and teardown of the conference, so I was out there for about 6 long days. I'm finally recovering from that trip.

During that conference, I also was able to present to a group of foodservice distributor executives on Ransomware. Although the topic can get super in-depth, I tried to keep it to a high-level and easy-to-understand conversation on what these executives should be asking from their IT support. Some of these companies outsource their IT Support to MSPs. I hope that my presentation made complete sense to them. If not, I'll go into our studio at work and record a better presentation.

Now, I am currently studying for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam which I intend on taking around the end of March. I do plan on building more cloud projects and documenting/blogging more about my adventures, though!

I love infrastructure and I love security, so I need to get all together and start producing quality projects.

Thanks again for your patience!

-Brandon

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