How Do I Get Started with SDN and Virtualization?

Here’s a short question I got from one of my readers:

I am a CCIE in SP/DC & working as Technical Architect in US. I follow your website but I don’t know where to start for SDN/Virtualization/Openstack…

I guess he’s not alone, so here’s a long list of resources I put together in the last 5+ years.

Before I get started: you’ll find links to most of these resources on SDN Resources page.

Free SDN resources on

I did a number of free (read: sponsored) webinars on SDN, they're listed on Content web site and gathered in the Introduction to SDN package.

Next, I'm often travelling around the globe delivering presentations on SDN and related topics. The links to videos (where available) are included on my presentations page.

I wrote almost 200 blog posts on SDN; they’re also available as a series of books.

Finally, you might want to subscribe to my SDN mailing list to get SDN tips, information on upcoming training, and latest SDN-related blog posts straight into your Inbox.

SDN Training

When you're ready to start dealing with advanced SDN and network automation topics, you'll find a pretty good (and ever-expanding) coverage in Advanced SDN Training series of webinars.

Occasionally I’m doing SDN and SDDC workshops. You’ll get information on upcoming events by subscribing to the SDN mailing list.

Virtualization and Cloud Computing

I don't have any free webinars for virtualization/cloud networking area (apart from VMware NSX Architecture), but you’ll find plenty of cloud computing and virtualization webinars on

Also, make sure to check my virtualization and cloud-related blog posts – I wrote over 250 blog posts on these topics. They’re not yet available in book form, apart from the hot topics of Overlay Virtual Networking.


OpenStack is not yet covered in my blog posts or webinars, but you'll get at least the basic understanding of how network virtualization works and what the problems are from the virtualization webinars.

Other resources

Finally, here’s a list of SDN- or network virtualization related blogs definitely worth following (taken from my OPML export and thus in random order):

Have I missed another great SDN resource? Please write a comment.


  1. I currently reading through Cisco Press "Policy Driven Data Center with ACI, The: Architecture, Concepts, and Methodology" so far it has a pretty decent introduction to what network virtualization is all about. Mainly focused on Cisco ACI, but provides understanding about other virtualization technologies
    1. I too am going through the Cisco ACI book as well, not bad and gives a good insight into ACI, good and ugly. I suggest Ivan's training first, as using them myself for real world grounding, his links and the free training form VMware, plus read this book from Cisco which is good and covers storage and Nexus 1000v.

      Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals - Cisco Press 2014
  2. Another free and useful resource is the VMware Hands On Labs (, where you'll find several different labs on NSX. Just provide your email address and you'll have several hours to play around in a real lab environment with a lab guide. And you can come back and try more labs (or the same lab) as many times as you want.

    Thanks for the mention, Ivan.

  3. Another decent cloud/devops related podcast resource -
Add comment