VMware Certified Associate (VCA) Exam

Last week I was browsing the VMware website in an attempt to figure out the certification paths available when I noticed some new certifications had launched, VMware associate. The associate certificate sits at the very start of the certification route, and is available as an on-line exam. No need to head to a testing centre.

VMware offer the associate certification in four flavours:

  • Cloud (VCA-Cloud)
  • Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV)
  • End User Computing (VCA-WM)
  • Network Virtualization (VCA-NV)

The most relevant for me is the Datacenter certification. After registering on the VMware website I sat through the three hour training course. The first part of the course is a high level overview, before part two which covers the VMware products available and the business problems they help solve.

VMware Certified Associate Data Center

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Using Squid and Juniper PBR as a transparent proxy

Organisations can use proxy servers for various reasons; to restrict access to certain content, to cache web pages and reduce internet traffic – whatever the reason various approaches can be used:

  • Explicitly specify a proxy server in applications such as Internet Explorer
  • Use Proxy auto-config
  • Transparently force HTTP traffic through a proxy server

This blog post will focus on the last option, transparently routing traffic through a proxy server. There are some disadvantages to this approach:

  • Authentication can’t be performed on a per-user basis as the web browser is unaware that traffic is bring sent through a proxy server
  • Without having client computers trust a custom CA and performing a man-in-the-middle attack on all HTTPS traffic, SSL/TLS traffic can’t be sent through the proxy

Once implemented, this will look something like the following:

Squid Policy Based Routing
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