TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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VCAP5-DCA: Objective 4.2

Deploy and Test VMware FT

 

This is exactly the same as the VCAP4 Objective so this is all about reviewing and practice in the lab. I watched the Super High Availability with VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) topic in the the Trainsignal VMware vSphere 5 Training course, went through the stuff Ed listed .I have also watched the FT lesson from the Trainsignal VMware vSphere Pro Series Training Vol 2 as my refresher and enabled it, broke it and played around with it in my lab A very simple one once you have played around with it

Knowledge

  • Identify VMware FT hardware requirements
  • Identify VMware FT compatibility requirements

Skills and Abilities

  • Modify VM and ESXi host settings to allow for FT compatibility
  • Use VMware best practices to prepare a vSphere environment for FT
  • Configure FT logging
  • Prepare the infrastructure for FT compliance
  • Test FT failover, secondary restart, and application fault tolerance in a FT Virtual Machine

A very quick and easy one and seeing as Section 4.3 – Configure a vSphere environment to support MSCS Clustering and Section 4.4 – Deploy and maintain vCenter Heartbeat aren’t part of the VCAP5 blueprint so it means that’s Objective 4 completed Smile

Gregg


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VCAP5-DCA: Objective 4.1

Implement and Maintain Complex VMware HA Solutions

There isn’t much that is different for this over what was in the VCAP4-DCA Blueprint objective. I’ve been watching the HA videos from the Trainsignal VMware vSphere 5 Training course and the vSphere 5 Clustering Tech Deepdive book by Frank Denneman and Duncan Epping. Due to HA and DRS being revamped for vSphere 5 I think the book covers it all perfectly and more. Duncan also did a blog posting covering HA here: http://www.yellow-bricks.com/vmware-high-availability-deepdiv/ (it’s a serious deepdive)

Knowledge

  • Identify the three admission control policies for HA
  • Identify heartbeat options and dependencies

Skills and Abilities

  • Calculate host failure requirements
  • Configure customized isolation response settings
  • Configure HA redundancy

Management Network – Simply down to setting two management connections/vmkernel ports

Datastore Heartbeat – this is new to vSphere 5 and is therefore something new to this objective. I’ve learnt it via the clustering tech deepdive book and from this blog posting by Duncan http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2011/07/26/ha-architecture-series-datastore-heartbeating-35/ It is also covered in the trainsignal videos and is something you should know from your VCP5 studies

Network partitions – This is also new and is covered in the book and the deepdive posting. I also learnt how to fix it should a host alert that it is network partitioned as I think this could be a task and so I learnt this kb article http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2012649 it is also covered here

  • Configure HA related alarms and monitor an HA cluster
  • Create a custom slot size configuration
  • Understand interactions between DRS and HA
  • Analyze vSphere environment to determine appropriate HA admission control policy
  • Analyze performance metrics to calculate host failure requirements
  • Analyze Virtual Machine workload to determine optimum slot size
  • Analyze HA cluster capacity to determine optimum cluster size

Due to objective 3 having DRS as objective 3.3 and this objective being about HA it has worked in well that I have been re-reading the vSphere 5 Clustering Tech Deepdive book as it covers both of these 100%. All that you need to do now is practice doing it all in your lab

Gregg


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VCAP5-DCA: Objective 9.2

Install ESXi Hosts Using Auto Deploy

I know this isn’t following the flow but I wanted to get Auto Deploy tested in my lab early so I jumped to this so I could have all of my Auto Deployed Hosts done before doing all my other lab work.

For this objective I would do an install in your lab/on your laptop and learn it as I think this the only way to learn how it all goes together. Duncan Epping has done a great blog posting here: http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2011/08/25/using-vsphere-5-auto-deploy-in-your-home-lab/

Also VMware have done a really great POC step by step that is a really great way of building it and is the one I’ve followed to learn it.  http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=/com.vmware.vsphere.install.doc_50/GUID-A9FFEDEE-1A3D-4EFD-A130-F6E78C727380.html

  • Knowledge
    • Identify Auto Deploy requirements

For me this is about knowing what are all the prerequisites and parts that make up the Auto Deploy solution. There is a really great VMware article that covers this and is what I think they based this objective on as it seems to have links for all the parts of this objective here: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2005131

  • Skills and Abilities
    • Install the Auto Deploy Server

This is really simple and if clicking next,next and finish is all they test you on I’ll be happy as the installation is really easy http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=/com.vmware.vsphere.install.doc_50/GUID-A9FFEDEE-1A3D-4EFD-A130-F6E78C727380.html

I would also learn how to configure the auto deploy server as I think the installation steps above are surely too simple: http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=/com.vmware.vsphere.install.doc_50/GUID-A9FFEDEE-1A3D-4EFD-A130-F6E78C727380.html

    • Utilize Auto Deploy cmdlets to deploy ESXi hosts

Covered here: http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2012/05/esxi-image-builder-and-auto-deploy-powercli-quick-reference.html

    • Configure Bulk Licensing

This is quite straight forward but is something that is also extremely important and therefore is something I think you need to make sure you really who how to do. The steps are detailed on pg75 and 76 of the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.

    • Provision/Reprovision ESXi hosts using Auto Deploy

Provisioning is covered on pg 81 of the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.

Reprovisioning is covered on pg 82 of the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.

    • Configure an Auto Deploy reference host

This is covered on pg 84 vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.

I think this is something that may be asked as it incorporates host profiles and auto deploy and is something that can be easily tested in the lab. That’s my opinion though.

This objective was really quick and seeing as it is the last on the list I think a fair amount of people may speed through it but I think this is one of the most important as it’s a new feature and also is something any VMware Admin/Architect should be learning as it’s likely to be the way vSphere goes in the future

Gregg


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    VCAP5-DCA : Objective 3

    For Objective 3 I’ve been re-watching the Trainsignal vSphere Performance Monitoring Training videos. I’ve been watching these in the evening via my iPad as with the online training capability of watching it, it means I can watch them this way which i feel is much easier. I’ve also gone through all the links in Sean Cookston’s,Ed Grigson’s and Kendrick Coleman’s Blueprint Breaksdowns for the VCAP4 for Objective 3.

    The differences between the blueprints for Objective 3 for the VCAP4-DCA and VCAP5-DCA aren’t much but the parts that are different are:

    • Configure advanced cluster attributes
    • Tune Virtual Machine memory configurations
    • Tune Virtual Machine networking configurations
    • Tune Virtual Machine CPU configurations
    • Tune Virtual Machine storage configurations
    • Understand the DRS / storage DRS migration algorithms, the Load Imbalance Metrics, and their impact on migration recommendations
    • Create and administer ESXi host and Datastore Clusters
    • Administer DRS / Storage DRS

    For me, I’m going to cover these via the Trainsignal VMware vSphere 5 Training course, the Trainsignal vSphere Performance Monitoring Training videos I mentioned at the beginning and the vSphere 5 Clustering Tech Deepdive book by Frank Denneman and Duncan Epping.

    There is also a fair portion of lab time that needs to be done on all the parts mentioned in Objective 3, which I’ll be doing closer to the exam so it’s all fresh in my mind Smile

    I hope everyone got the dates they wanted for the Beta, I thankfully did and now know what i’m aiming for.

    Gregg


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    VCAP5-DCA: Objective 2.4

    This objective was quite straight forward. I spent a bit of time on it due to watching videos that also cover other networking aspects in troubleshooting and performance.

    Knowledge

    • Describe the relationship between vDS and the vSS

    This is VCP5 stuff so if you don’t know this you probably shouldn’t be doing the exam. For a refresher I used this VMworld Networking Deep Dive video http://www.vmworld.com/docs/DOC-3813

    Also used the networking lessons from the VMware vSphere 5 Training course from Trainsignal.

    David also did a great overview in the Using the vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch lesson from the http://www.trainsignal.com/VMware-vSphere-4-Training.aspx course from Trainsignal

    Skills and Abilities

    • Understand the use of command line tools to configure appropriate vDS settings on an ESXi host

    As I covered in the previous objectives these are covered here http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vcli.ref.doc_50%2Fvcli-right.html

    This is 100% about lab practice of using the commands and how to do things and fix things when you make a mistake.

    • Determine use cases for and apply Port Binding settings

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1022312 Perfect overview of each setting and what they do.

    Also covered in the VMware vSphere 5 Training course’s networking sections.

    Also there is a great posting that has just been posted about deciding on if you should use static or ephemeral. http://vmguy.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/1814

    • Configure Live Port Moving

    Very simply an advanced setting for a port group on a distributed switch. “Live Port Moving: Transfer stand-alone port groups to distributed port groups, assigning settings associated with distributed port group to the stand-alone group” – as detailed in http://www.trainsignal.com/blog/vmware-networking-configuring-vnetwork-2

    • Given a set of network requirements, identify the appropriate distributed switch technology to use

    This is all about knowing what each feature does and how it will meet certain requirements. I think knowing all about the distributed switch and its settings will suffice. Also loads of lab practice with it

    Used the vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch (dvswitch) lesson from the VMware vSphere 5 Training course from Trainsignal

    • Configure and administer vSphere Network I/O Control

    I’ve used the Network IO Control Lesson from the VMware vSphere 5 Training course from Trainsignal for this as it covers it perfectly

    • Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify configuration items from an existing vDS

    Covered in the first bullet point and the troubleshooting steps are covered perfectly in section 6.

    Now onto objective 3, Performance

    Gregg


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    VCAP5-DCA: Objective 2.3

    This is another objective which is exactly the same as the VCAP4-DCA one .

    Knowledge

    • Identify VMware NIC Teaming policies
    • Identify common network protocols

    Skills and Abilities

    • Understand the NIC Teaming failover types and related physical network settings

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004088 A perfect overview video detailing NIC teaming creations in a vSwitch

    http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/virtual_networking_concepts.pdf page 8 details the varying options for NIC teaming

    http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-networking-guide.pdf page 48 covers teaming and the next section on Failover settings

    NIC Teaming is covered in the vSphere Virtual Networking lesson from the VMware vSphere 5 Training course from Trainsignal

    • Determine and apply Failover settings

    Covered above on pg 48 of the Networking guide mentioned above.

    Failover settings are covered in the vSphere Virtual Networking lesson from the VMware vSphere 5 Training course from Trainsignal

    • Configure explicit failover to conform with VMware best practices

    http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-networking-guide.pdf pg 77

    • Configure port groups to properly isolate network traffic

    Nothing new here and the correct way to isolate them is detailed in the best practices above

    Another straight forward objective if you have already done the VCAP4-DCA. Just a refresher on all the practices and terms and options is required in my opinion

    Gregg


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    VCAP5-DCA: Objective 2.2

     

    This one is exactly the same as the VCAP4-DCA objective so it is all about reviewing it all and making sure you understand what each part does and how to do it. Personally i think this is another one you just need to practice doing in your lab and watch the videos to refresh your understanding.

    Configure and Maintain VLANs, PVLANs and VLAN Settings

    Knowledge

    • Identify types of VLANs and PVLANs

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010691

    Using the vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch (dvswitch) lesson from the VMware vSphere 5 Training course from Trainsignal

    Skills and Abilities

    • Determine use cases for and configure VLAN Trunking

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004252 VLAN trunking example and reasons of why you would do/use it

    • Determine use cases for and configure PVLANs

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010691This gives a great overview of PVLANS and what each setting would be used for.

    • Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify VLAN configurations

    Covered in Objective 2.1 and will be covered better in Objective 6

     

    Chris Wahl has done a brilliant overview of Private VLANS in his blog posting Understanding vSphere Private VLANs For Fun and Profit and also did a brilliant breakdown of the whole objective in the vBrownbag he did which i would highly recommend

    Gregg


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    VCAP5-DCA: Objective 2.1

    This objective has barely changed from the VCAP4-DCA objective. LLDP is new to vSphere 5 as is NetFlow configurations. For this one I’ve spent time practicing in my lab and will be one I’ll also be covering when i rebuild my lab and do the troubleshooting objective (Objective 6)

    Knowledge

    · Identify common virtual switch configurations

    Skills and Abilities

    • Configure SNMP

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1008065 vicfg-snmp method via ESXCli

    http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1688-VCAP-DCA-Prep-Video-Configure-SNMP-for-ESXESXi.html A video by Eric Sloof of how to do it via the vMA which I feel is a much easier method. Just remember to to the –E to enable it which Eric doesn’t show in his video

    http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.vcli.ref.doc_50/vicfg-snmp.html?resultof=%22%76%69%63%66%67%2d%73%6e%6d%70%22%20

    • Determine use cases for and applying VMware DirectPath I/O

    Covered in objective 1.1

    • Migrate a vSS network to a Hybrid or Full vDS solution

    This is all about lab practice firstly

    Used the vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch (dvswitch) lesson from the VMware vSphere 5 Training course from Trainsignal

    • Configure vSS and vDS settings using command line tools

    This is another that can only be learnt in your lab

    http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vcli.ref.doc_50%2Fvcli-right.html – all the commands you should know for both standard and distributed virtual switching

    • Analyze command line output to identify vSS and vDS configuration details

    This is another where lab practice is the best way of learning it.

    The above link in the previous bullet point covers all the things you should know how to do. Personally I’m using it to build, change and troubleshoot my networking in the lab as I have experience in the GUI methods already

    • Configure NetFlow

    http://blogs.vmware.com/networking/2011/08/vsphere-5-new-networking-features-netflow.html

    • Determine appropriate discovery protocol

    CDP

    LLDP

    http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.networking.doc_50%2FGUID-A1B145E9-6454-45C0-8E7E-71E04A3BC9FF.html this covers both and what each provides

    CDP overview in the vSphere Network Troubleshooting How-To lesson in trainsignals http://www.trainsignal.com/VMware-vSphere-Troubleshooting-Training.aspx

    Jason Boche has done two posting covering each of the discovery protocols

    http://www.boche.net/blog/index.php/2011/11/17/link-layer-discovery-protocol-lldp/

    http://www.boche.net/blog/index.php/2011/05/15/cisco-discovery-protocol-cdp-tag-team/

    As I’ve said for Objectives 1.1 and 1.2, the above links are ones I’ve been using in my preparations for the beta exam, for some of the sections I’ve not put any links in as Sean Cookston’s,Ed Grigson’s and Kendrick Coleman’s Blueprint Breaksdowns for the VCAP4 covered them perfectly. This is more about covering the new things i need to learn after having done the VCAP4-DCA exam (twice to be exact)

    Gregg


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    VCAP5-DCA Objective 1.3

    Not many differences in this one. For me it was all about refreshing my understanding of the PSA,MPP’s,PSP’s and SATP’s and in what circumstances would I use what command.

    Knowledge

    • Explain the Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) layout

    Skills and Abilities

    • Install and Configure PSA plug-ins

    http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-storage-guide.pdf pg164

    • Understand different multipathing policy functionalities

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1011340 A really great VMware kb on it all

    http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2009/03/19/pluggable-storage-architecture-exploring-the-next-version-of-esxvcenter/ -Really great for getting your head around what to use when, just remember the esxcli commands have changed for vSphere 5

    http://www.trainsignal.com/VMware-vSphere-Troubleshooting-Training.aspx vSphere Storage Troubleshooting – Terms, Concepts, & Logs

    • Perform command line configuration of multipathing options

    http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc_50%2FGUID-DD2FFAA7-796E-414C-84CE-1FCC14474D5B.html

    • Change a multipath policy

    http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc_50/GUID-C1358DCD-E4F2-49A5-842D-EDADA1784E9A.html

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1017760 <-i really like this one as gives a good overview of the “change” of commands from 4 to 5

    • Configure Software iSCSI port binding

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvD7MDlfh9U this gives a good overview of the steps necessary

    http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/vmware-multipathing-configuration-software-iSCSI-port-binding.pdf A VMware technical white paper showing every single step necessary. I read this one twice as this covers it perfectly and seeing as it is a new feature of vSphere 5 to have the new UI interface to support multipathing configuration for the software iSCSI adapter using port binding i think it’s a technique to know for the exam.

    .

    A fairly straight forward objective once i got my head around all the components again.

    Gregg


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    VCAP5-DCA Objective 1.2

    Objective 1.2 is almost exactly the same as the VCAP4 blueprint’s and a large portion of the things in here are covered better in the troubleshooting sections in my opinion but for the few things that are different that I made sure I covered, I have listed below. As with Objective 1.1,the below links are ones I’ve been using in my preparations for the beta exam, for some of the sections I’ve not put any links in as Sean Cookston’s,Ed Grigson’s and Kendrick Coleman’s Blueprint Breaksdowns for the VCAP4 covered them perfectly.

    Knowledge

    • Identify storage provisioning methods
    • Identify available storage monitoring tools, metrics and alarms

    Skills and Abilities

    • Apply space utilization data to manage storage resources
    • Provision and manage storage resources according to Virtual Machine requirements
    • Understand interactions between virtual storage provisioning and physical storage provisioning

    http://www.vmware.com/pdf/Perf_Best_Practices_vSphere5.0.pdf pg 11,30

    • Apply VMware storage best practices

    http://www.vmware.com/pdf/Perf_Best_Practices_vSphere5.0.pdf pg 30

    • Configure Datastore Alarms

    http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-12145

    http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/how-to-make-vcenter-datastore-alarms-useful/

    • Analyze Datastore Alarms and errors to determine space availability
    • Configure Datastore Clusters

    Storage DRS lesson from VMware vSphere 5 Training course from Trainsignal

    A nice and quick section thankfully, some of the links I used are still related to vSphere 4 but are nice refresher reads Smile

    Gregg