I recently attended the new VMware vSphere: Manage for Performance course and thought I would summarize how it went. From what I understand, this course was put together by Scott Drummonds. I've been a fan of Scott in the forums and on his personal blog for a long time, so I had a fairly high set of expectations going into this course.
I prepared for the course by reviewing the course outline and then finding relevant material on VMware's website. A few of the items I read (or mostly, re-read) in preparation for the course were:
The course was well organized and generally covered the "core four" components of cpu, memory, storage and networking. The student manual is very good and contains a good amount of concise information that can be very useful in troubleshooting performance issues. Quite a few of the metrics and thresholds looked very similar to what Duncan Epping put up at Yellow Bricks in his excellent esxtop entry. I will say that a certain amount of the material contained in the student manual was also repeat reading for me, either due to my preparation work and/or following of Scott Drummonds' blog. Many times that I had a question or needed more information/clarification, a quick search of Scott's site would provide the detail needed. As with any new course, the labs had a few minor issues. There were no show stoppers here though, and for the most part the labs were very effective at demonstrating the concepts they attempted to enforce.
Where the course most excelled was in the way it taught the concepts and/or mechanics of how things actually work and then used a lab exercise to demonstrate these principles. Knowing that a certain CPU Ready value is bad is one thing, but actually understanding why this situation occurred to begin with is infinitely better. I would recommend this course for anyone interested in learning more about how VMware vSphere actually works and how to use this information to your advantage. I left with a couple of pages of notes and a handful of burning questions that need answers and some scenarios that needed testing.
As always, thanks for reading!