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Connecting your Students with Virtualization Reality
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My name is Ted Simpson, lead author of the second edition of our new Hands-on Virtual Computing textbook. I have been a Cengage author since 1991 when I wrote the first book in Course Technology’s new Networking Series, “Hands-on NetWare 3.12”.  The field has sure changed a lot since then, and changes are coming at us even faster today.





Along with teaching Security and IT technologies such as operating systems, networking, database, and now the new field of virtual reality, I believe many IT students can increase their job opportunities by having a foundation in virtualization concepts and products. I like to call this foundation “Virtualization Reality”. The challenge is how to do this with the limited time we have in our curriculums.

 First, I'd like to answer the question of why teach virtualization topics. I think most IT professionals will agree that over the past decade virtualization has become a major player in most data centers and cloud computing environments. While many schools currently teach students how to use virtualization as a tool when working with other software environments, there are a number of additional virtualization topics that can help increase student employment opportunities in today’s virtualized data centers.  These virtualization topics include:


  • hyperconvergence
  • clustering
  • high availability
  • load balancing
  • cloud computing
  • virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).


Our Hands-on Virtual Computing book provides coverage for each of these topics using popular virtualization products such as Oracle VirtualBox, VMware vSphere, and Microsoft Hyper-V.


The Hands-on Virtual Computing text is also available online through MindTap. In addition to all the powerful teaching tools available in MindTap, we have worked with the Practice Lab company to put most of our hands-on activities into the Live Virtual Machine labs. This means students can do all the MindTap activities using only their Browser, no lab setup is required. Over this summer I will also be adding questions to each of the Live Virtual Machine labs. These questions are intended to help ensure students are learning important concepts and techniques by doing that activity.

Students can do all their MindTap exercises inside their browser.

One of the challenges both authors and instructors face is finding ways to deal with the constant changes and product updates that affect our classes and materials. One of the primary goals in my blog is to help you keep up with changes to virtualization and cloud computing products as well as provide you with any necessary updates to our chapter activities. In addition to the many Cengage resources, I also have a personal Blog,, where I will be posting updated activities, demonstration videos, and short PowerPoint presentations from our textbook chapters.


While Hands-on Virtual Computing is not a certification text, it provides the base students need to study for certification or take a certification boot camp. In this blog I will also be providing information, questions, and links to sites students can use to further their virtualization training and help prepare for certification.


Thanks for your attention and please stay tuned for regular updates.