TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical

VCAP5-DCA: Objective 6

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Objective 6 is what I believe is the core basis of the DCA exam as being able to effectively troubleshoot anything in your environment means you know all the varying methods to do things and how things are tied together and that is real administration. For this section I’ve been doing loads and loads of lab time from just building my lab and coming across certain problems or failures along the way which I’ve been trying to fix via the vMA, the command line and even the DCUI and purposely breaking things/causing problems just so I can practice fixing them . I think the best way of really learning these skills is putting in a solid amount of time in your lab as I believe the reason I failed my VCAP4-DCA the first time was down to not enough lab hours. When you’re under the time and nerve constraints that are part of the VCAP-DCA you make mistakes you wouldn’t normally do. I have also re-watched the Trainsignal VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Training videos as David does a brilliant job covering it all.

There aren’t many differences between the VCAP4-DCA Objective 6 and the VCAP5-DCA Objective six but the differences between the two (thanks to Ed Grigson’s breakdown) are:

  • Use esxcli system syslog to configure centralized logging on ESXi hosts

This is different as with the vMA 5 the syslog feature has been deprecated due to the new VMware Syslog Collector now being available. The steps to do it now via esxcli are covered perfectly on pg10&11 in this VMware PDF. http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-command-line-management-for-service-console-users.pdf

  • Install and configure VMware Syslog Collector and ESXi Dump Collector

This is really simple and is something you can learn to do very quickly in your lab. I tested this part during the building of my Auto Deploy testing. All the steps for the syslog collector are detailed here: http://blogs.vmware.com/esxi/2011/07/setting-up-the-esxi-syslog-collector.html and the steps for the dump collector are here: http://blogs.vmware.com/esxi/2011/07/setting-up-the-esxi-50-dump-collector.html

  • Configure and administer Port Mirroring

A new distributed vSwitch feature. Eric Sloof has done a brilliant video detailing how to do it here: http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1825-Video-How-to-setup-a-vSphere-5-Port-Mirror.html . Pretty simple to set up

  • Utilize Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) and ESXi Shell to troubleshoot, configure, and monitor ESXi networking

This is pretty straight forward I think as you need to know what kinds of things related to networking connectivity you can do via the DCUI (like restoring a standard switch) and how you can use the ESXi shell to change configurations/fix problems. I think this is all about lab playing and learning

  • Use esxcli to troubleshoot multipathing and PSA-related issues

The main difference here is now it is just esxcli so it’s all about being able to do things via esxcli. This part in particular was covered in objective 1.3

  • Use esxcli to troubleshoot VMkernel storage module configurations

Yet again this is down to your knowledge of how to troubleshoot the storage modules via esxcli. How to do this via esxcli is covered in the VMware documentation library here: http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=/com.vmware.vcli.getstart.doc_50/cli_about.html

  • Use esxcli to troubleshoot iSCSI related issues

Another one where you will need to practice and learn how to do it via esxcli. All the commands and some great examples are all listed in the VMware documentation library here: http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.vcli.examples.doc_50/cli_manage_iscsi_storage.7.5.html

  • Utilize Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) and ESXi Shell to troubleshoot, configure, and monitor an environment

This is down to playing around in your lab with it and knowing what kinds of troubleshooting you can do via the DCUI and the ESXi shell. This is VCP5 stuff so you should know this already

I’ve spent 70% of my lab time on this section as while building and trying out things in my lab I end up breaking things or things don’t work the first time and so I’ve been able to just mess around with all the tools and get it working again. As i said at the beginning, i think spending a large amount of time learning and trying out everything in this section is extremely important for the DCA exam.

Gregg

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