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9 Posts authored by: ajballard

After a wonderful 5 months in action, the CloudCred Grand Prize winner has been chosen!

Congratulations to user AndreTheGiant for winning the Grand Prize!

Who is he?

AndreTheGiant, known in the professional world as Andrea Mauro, has worked in IT for the past 17 years. Andrea is a virtualization and storage architect specialized in VMware solutions, with experience in Microsoft, Citrix, and Linux solutions.

Andrea has earned numerous technical certifications including VCP, VCAP, VCDX, MCITP, MCSA, MCSE, and CCA as well as being a vExpert from 2010-present. Currently, Andrea works for an Italian IT company, Assyrus Srl, founded in 2000.

Additionally, Andrea is the VMware Italian User Group founder and board member, VMTN Community Moderator, #vBrownbag and Backup Academy contributor, and a passionate blogger. Be sure to check out his technical mastery, as displayed in his blog,

In the CloudCred realm, Andrea has maintained his position at the top of the leaderboard, currently in first place and leading by more than 13,000 points. Andrea has completed a whopping 966 tasks, earning 13 badges along the way. Check out his CloudCred profile for more details on how he has excelled.

He will be awarded 2 passes to VMworld Europe 2013, 2 round-trip airfares to Barcelona for the event, 5 nights of accommodation in a hotel, and some spending money. This prize is valued at $10,000! Congratulations Andrea!

Disappointed you didn’t win? Don’t worry—you’ll have another shot at the new Grand Prize, which we will be announcing in September. Don’t let it keep you from attending VMworld either! Register for VMworld US or VMworld Europe, and earn some major CloudCred points that could help you towards winning the new grand prize. Check out these tasks for more information:

Task 583: Register for VMworld US (San Francisco) 2013

Task 584: Register for VMworld Europe (Barcelona) 2013

Congratulations again to Andrea/AndreTheGiant, and good luck to all CloudCred players. Keep building your CloudCred and you could be the next Grand Prize winner!

We’ve just implemented a new release of CloudCred!

There’s always ways to update and improve. We’ve analyzed CloudCred and decided to implement some changes to make the game better!

What’s New?

Contests Task Tab

On the Dashboard where tasks appear, there is now a new Contests tab. By clicking on this tab, you will be able to view all currently active contests. On a side note, we have created 3 new contests that can be viewed under this tab now. Check them out!

Task Organization

We’ve made it much easier to navigate the hundreds of tasks available with a “sort-by” option on the main Task tab. You can choose your task view from three different organizational views. This view will be saved in your preferences if you leave the page, so you’ll always be able to come back to it. If you want to change your organizational view, simply choose a different option.

Rewards Page

The Rewards page, viewed by clicking on the Rewards tab at the top of the page, has been modified to include a Featured Winners section and a Featured Prizes Section. Under these sections, specific users or prizes will be featured at the discretion of the CloudCred Admin. Additionally, the Grand Prize display indicates that a new Grand Prize will be announced in the near future. Finally, a running total of the awarded prizes, both personal and professional, is displayed as well.

Admin Consul

We now have the ability to reject individual tasks of users. Why is this feature important? Now, we can reject specific tasks that were completed unsatisfactorily, ensuring the game is played more fairly. If a task is rejected, its point value will automatically be subtracted from the users total, and the user will receive an email notification. They will then have the option of re-submitting the task to re-earn the task points.


New releases can sometimes be tricky to figure out. We’re still working out some of the kinks, so please let us know if something confuses you or if something isn’t working the way it should. We’re excited about this update, and hope you enjoy it as well!

We’re proud to announce a new badge to CloudCred - the Data Center Badge!


This isn’t just some ordinary data center badge. It’s brought to you by our vision of the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC).

Whether you’re virtualizing your data center infrastructure, or building and operating a private or hybrid clouds, the Software-Defined Data Center is the ideal architecture. The SDDC architecture virtualizes and cloud-enables all data center domains: compute, storage, networking and security, and delivers comprehensive cloud and virtualization management to help automate and simplify data center operations.

Do you have what it takes in all these areas? Check back daily for new Data Center tasks and prove it! Currently, 15 tasks are included in the Data Center Badge. Here are a few to help you get started:


Task 593: Register for the #vSDDCchat Twitter Chat taking place on June 27th

Task 592: Watch EMC's CEO, Joe Tucci, explain "What is the Software-Defined Data Center"

Task 590: Pop quiz! How many VMDKs are currently in vSphere?

Task 588: Review a business brief on the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)

Task 558: Learn about encrypting your data on a Virtual Machine

Keep building your CloudCred and make your way to owning the Data Center Badge. Good luck!


CloudCred Admin

We’re got another contest for our Cloud experts:


Win Bonus CloudCred Points: Learn About and Experiment With Log Insight


Log Insight, part of VMware vCenter, delivers automated log management through log analytics, aggregation, and search, extending VMware’s leadership in analytics to log data. We want to help you learn about and get experience with this great service!


We have 3 new technical tasks revolving around Log Insight so far, which are a part of the contest.


Contest Details:

Complete all 3 tasks = earn 400 bonus CloudCred points!

(Once you complete the 3 tasks, complete Task 577: CloudCred Contest: Win Bonus CloudCred Points: Learn About and Experiment With Log Insight and we will manually award the 400 points to users who have adequately completed the contest tasks.)


The contest will run until Monday, July 1st.


Here are the contest tasks:


Task 563: Download and install Log Insight beta version

Task 575: Share Log Insight launch blog post on LinkedIn

Task 576: Define extracted field in Log Insight


Show your technical expertise and desire to learn by participating in this contest. Keep your eyes peeled for additional Log Insight tasks and possibly a Log Insight Badge in the upcoming weeks and months!


  CloudCred Admin

The 2013 vExperts have been announced!


This year, a record 581 vExperts were named. 444 of the 581 were previously named as vExperts as well. See the list of 2013 vExperts and some information about them here.




What does it mean to be a vExpert? Individuals given the vExpert title have access to private betas, free licenses, early access briefings, exclusive events, free access to VMworld conference materials online, and other opportunities to interact with VMware product teams. Additionally, vExperts get access to a private community and networking opportunities, hosted by VMware.


How do you become a vExpert? vExperts are chosen from a pool of applicants. Individuals can apply to be a vExpert, stating their credentials, or recommend someone else to apply. There are three paths to being designated a vExpert: the Evangelist Path, Customer Path, and VPN Path. For more information about the paths to vExpert, visit the vExpert VMTM blog post here.


How are vExperts chosen? The prestigious award of vExpert is given to individuals who stand out as individuals who have significantly contributed to the VMware community over the past year by sharing their knowledge and passion for VMware technology. This year, the judges selected people who were particularly engaged with their community and who had developed a substantial personal platform of influence in those communities.


Congratulations to the 2013 vExperts! Think you could be a vExpert? Test your knowledge by checking out the CloudCred vExpert Badge!


As always, keep building your CloudCred!


  CloudCred Admin

This week, we want to spread the word about the advantages of VMware’s vSphere over Microsoft’s Hyper-V. vSphere is preferable to Hyper-V because it is more modern and built to last throughout the future, is associated with a lower total cost of ownership, is more reliable, and has the capability to virtualize entire data centers.


This weeks contest is Win an Xbox: See Why It’s the Only Microsoft Product Worth Learning. We have crafted 28 tasks centered around revealing why VMware’s vSphere is superior to Microsoft’s Hyper-V. Of those 28 tasks, 12 are sharing-oriented; we want to help inform professionals of the real benefits of using vSphere over Hyper-V. The remaining 16 tasks are more technical and included in the Tech VM badge, requiring you to review resources about vSphere and its advantages over Hyper-V.


When you complete a task on the list below, you will be entered once into the drawing to win an Xbox 360. Completing more tasks on the list means you will be entered into the drawing more times, increasing your chances of winning the Xbox.


If you complete all 28 tasks before the contest ends, you can submit this task as completed: Task 550: Contest task: Win an Xbox: See Why It's the Only Microsoft Product Worth Learning. As a reward for your dedication and demonstrated desire to learn and share your knowledge with others, those who complete all 28 tasks and submit Task 550 will be entered into the drawing 5 additional times.


Please feel free to reference Task 550 at any point throughout the contest, as it contains most of this information in its description. The contest ends on July 1st (extended from June 17th), so get cracking!


Here are the tasks included in the Win an Xbox: See Why It’s the Only Microsoft Product Worth Learning contest:

Sharing tasks:

Technical tasks:


Don’t forget that completing these tasks will also help you earn more CloudCred points. Good luck to everyone, and keep building your CloudCred!


CloudCred Admin

In the past week, 14 users have won VMworld Online Subscriptions by being active users on CloudCred. These subscriptions, a $600 value, give you online access to both VMworld US 2012 and VMworld Europe 2012 Conference Sessions and Labs, letting you experience and learn from all the presentations.


The presentations provide valuable information and insight on Applications, End-User Computing, Infrastructure, IT Transformation, Operations, and more. Sessions and labs are available on-demand in the following formats: videos, flash presentations with audio over the slides, PDF downloads, MP3 podcasts, and Demo videos and scripts.


In preparation of VMworld 2013, all Sessions and Labs from VMworld 2012 will become free on July 25th. As such, we will now begin awarding online subscriptions to VMworld 2013. We will not be giving out the particular subscription codes until September 1st, however, to encourage users to attend the conference in person.


Here are the winners from the past week (click on their usernames to view their CloudCred profile!):


Congratulations to you all, and keep building your CloudCred!


CloudCred Admin

The results are in! After careful evaluation, the winner of the Show Your IBM SmartCloud Cred contest that ended on May 27th has been chosen. The contest required users to complete 16 SmartCloud related tasks, and then post a blog about what they learned about SmartCloud from the contest and tasks. Tasks ranged from watching SmartCloud videos and reviewing SmartCloud articles to more technical tasks which required demoing and installing SmartCloud apps.


After completing all 16 tasks, users were asked to blog about their CloudCred experience. Ultimately, the submitted blog posts were reviewed and the CloudCred Admin deemed user Alex Melching’s blog post to be the best post. Check out his post here:


An iPad will be awarded to Alex for his superior post. Congrats to Alex for a job well done, and thanks to all of our participants. Alex’s blog is also a wonderful resource containing many posts on Cloud subjects and we encourage you all to take a look at it and see what you can learn from him.


For those of you who did not compete in the contest, there are still opportunities to learn about SmartCloud! Here are some tasks that were included in the contest, but are still active and will expand your SmartCloud knowledge.


Task 422: Watch "Build your private cloud with IBM SmartCloud Foundation"

Task 423: Demo the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise System

Task 425: Read "The power of cloud"

Task 428: Install "IBM Cloud for Midsize Businesses" app for your iPad

Task 429: Install "IBM IBV" app on your iPad

Task 430: Read "Success in the cloud: Why workload matters"

Task 431: Install the IBM SmartCloud Provisioning Trial

Task 432: Request a quote from IBM for your business using SmartCloud

Task 434: Review posts on "Thoughts on Cloud"

Task 435: Watch "IBM SmartCloud Services"

Task 436: Read "Choice and control"

Task 438: Install "SmartCloud Quick Reference" mobile app


As always, keep building your CloudCred and check out the current vCloud Hybrid Service contest, which ends June 10th.


CloudCred Admin 

The competition is heating up as July 15th is just over a month away! One user will be awarded the Grand Prize of a trip for 2 to VMworld Europe, taking place in Barcelona this year. The Grand Prize will be awarded to the player with the highest CloudCred score.


VMworld offers an extensive schedule full of learning opportunities that will show you how virtualization and cloud computing can help you spend less time and money supporting underlying IT infrastructure and more time on areas that yield business and competitive value. Check out the VMworld Europe agenda for more details.


In order to ensure that the winner of the Grand Prize has played fairly, the CloudCred Admin has begun auditing the top users. We will be taking a look at players’ completed tasks and evaluating whether the answers provided for each task are sufficient for awarding the task points. The previous top three players were docked a grand total of 42,605 points for unsatisfactory answers, dramatically changing the leaderboard Congratulations go out to user AndreTheGiant for rising to the top of the leaderboard!


Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you determine if you have fairly completed a task:


  1. Have I answered all of the questions included in the task?
  2. If a picture upload is required, have I uploaded a photo that demonstrates I have completed the task?
  3. If a link submission is required, does the URL link directly to what the task was asking for?
  4. If a review about what you learned from a task is required, have I carefully reviewed the paper/article/video and written a thoughtful, reflective paragraph about what I learned?


In general, ask yourself, if you were a CloudCred Admin judging the task completion, would you find your submissions to be satisfactory evidence of thorough completion? If you can’t answer that question with a yes, please reevaluate your past participation and make sure that your future participation is fair and honest.


The quality of your participation is important to us and we encourage you to continue to be enthusiastic about mastering the Cloud and expanding your knowledge of all things technical. Keep working on tasks and building your CloudCred and remember to play fairly for a chance to win the Grand Prize!


CloudCred Admin