VCDX number 029

Monday 8th of February I was scheduled to participate in the defend session of the VCDX panel at Las Vegas. For people not familiar with the VCDX program, the defend panel is the final part of the extensive VCDX program.
My defend session was the first session of the week, so my panel members where fresh and eager to get started. Besides the three panel members, an observer and a facilitator where also present in the room. The session consisted out of three parts;

• Design defend session (75 minutes)
• Design session (30 minutes)
• Troubleshooting session (15 minutes)

During the design defend session you are required to present your design, I used a twelve deck slide presentation and included all blueprints\Visio drawings as appendix. This helped me a lot, as I am not a native English speaker using diagrams helped me to explain the layout.
There is no time limit on the duration of the presentation, but it is wise to keep it as brief as possible. During the session, the panel will try to address a number of sections and if they cannot address these sections this can impact your score.

The design and troubleshooting session you need to show you are able to think on your feet. One of the goals is to understand your though process. Thinking out loud and using the whiteboard will help you a lot.
So how was my experience? After meeting my panel members I started to get really nervous as one of the storage guru’s within VMware was on my panel. The other two panel members have an extreme good track record inside the company as well, so basically I was being judged by an all-star panel. I thought my presentation went well, but word of advice; read your submitted documentation on a regular basis before entering the defend panel as the smallest details can be asked.

After completing the design defend pane, I was asked to step outside. After the short break the design session and troubleshooting scenarios were next. I did not solve the design and troubleshooting scenarios, but that is really not the goal of those sections.

Thinking out loud in English can be challenging for non-native English speakers, so my advice is to try to practice this as much as possible. I did a test presentation for a couple of friends and discovered some areas to focus on before doing the defend part of the program.

After completing my defend panel, I was scheduled to participate as an observer on the remaining defend panel sessions the rest of the week. After multiple sessions as an observer and receiving the news that I passed the VCDX defend panel, I participated as a panel member on a defend session. Hopefully I will be on a lot more panels in the upcoming year, because sitting on the other side of the table is so much better than standing in front of it sweating like a pig. :)

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29 Responses

  1. Jason Boche says:

    Congratulations Frank! This is really awesome!!!! Job well done - I told you that you could have sold them Hyper-V you are so good :)

  2. Roy Mikes says:

    Great job. Congrats! Enjoy it!

  3. Doug Baer says:


  4. Congrats! I'm still waiting to hear back about my Enterprise Admin results (day 20). Were you in the VCDX Workshop at Partner Exchange? I thought I saw you in there.

  5. frankdenneman says:

    Thanks, Yeah I was the dude standing for the full 2 hours in the back.

  6. Chad Sakac says:

    Congrats Frank - you should feel very proud of yourself!

  7. As always superb post bud. I've had a blast reading your posts and have found them awesome. Don't stop posting

  8. Hany Michael says:

    Congratulations Frank! I expected nothing less!

  9. Sooo wel deserved!, congrats dude!

  10. Unexpected says:

    Excellent! Congratz!! Hope to be there some day as well :-)

  11. Jason Miles says:


  12. Duncan says:

    Congrats Frank,

    You did an excellent job.

  13. Dave Convery says:

    Congratulations, Frank! I know it was hard work, but it is well worth it!

    Dave (VCDX #020)

  14. Maish says:

    Well done Frank!

  15. Martijn says:

    Congrats on becoming a VCDX.

  16. Ivan says:

    Where are you from? Is it a secret? :)

  17. Well done and thanks for the great article on how you did it! Congratulations!

  18. djlaube says:

    Congrats!! Perhaps I saw you at the PEX VCDX session, but there were a lot of people there.. Congrats again and perhaps you'll be on my panel? 😉 If so, take it easy on me hehe

  19. Ken Cline says:

    Congratulations Frank! Job well done and all that. You are now numbered among the elite of the elite. You should be very proud of yourself ... VCDX is no small accomplishment!

  20. Alexander Thoma says:

    Hi Frank,

    congrats and welcome to the VCDX community :-).


    VCDX #26

  21. frankdenneman says:

    Thanks everyone!
    It was a though and bumpy ride to get there, but I'm glad I did it.

  22. Sushil Bhosale says:

    Great Congratulations :-)

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