VCAP4-DCA Study Notes

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VDCA410 Section 1 – Implement and Manage Storage

Objective 1.1 – Implement and Manage Complex Storage Solutions

Knowledge

  • Identify RAID levels
  • Identify supported HBA types
  • Identify virtual disk format types

Skills and Abilities

  • Determine use cases for and configure VMware DirectPath I/O
  • Determine requirements for and configure NPIV
  • Determine appropriate RAID level for various Virtual Machine workloads
  • Apply VMware storage best practices
  • Understand use cases for Raw Device Mapping
  • Configure vCenter Server storage filters
  • Understand and apply VMFS resignaturing
  • Understand and apply LUN masking using PSA?related commands
  • Analyze I/O workloads to determine storage performance requirements

Objective 1.2 – Manage Storage Capacity in a vSphere Environment

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
  • Apply VMware storage best practices
  • Configure datastore alarms
  • Analyze datastore alarms and errors to determine space availability

Objective 1.3 – Configure and Manage Complex Multipathing and PSA Plug?ins

Knowledge

  • Explain the Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) layout

Skills and Abilities

  • Install and Configure PSA plug?ins
  • Understand different multipathing policy functionalities
  • Perform command line configuration of multipathing options
  • Change a multipath policy
  • Configure Software iSCSI port binding

 

Section 2 – Implement and Manage Networking

Objective 2.1 – Implement and Manage Complex Virtual Networks

Knowledge

  • Identify common virtual switch configurations

Skills and Abilities

  • Determine use cases for and apply IPv6
  • Configure NetQueue
  • Configure SNMP
  • Determine use cases for and apply VMware DirectPath I/O
  • Migrate a vSS network to a Hybrid or Full vDS solution
  • Configure vSS and vDS settings using command line tools
  • Analyze command line output to identify vSS and vDS configuration details

Objective 2.2 – Configure and Maintain VLANs, PVLANs and VLAN Settings

Knowledge

  • Identify types of VLANs and PVLANs

Skills and Abilities

  • Determine use cases for and configure VLAN Trunking
  • Determine use cases for and configure PVLANs
  • Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify VLAN configurations

Objective 2.3 – Deploy and Maintain Scalable Virtual Networking

Knowledge

  • Identify VMware NIC Teaming policies
  • Identify common network protocols

Skills and Abilities

  • Understand the NIC Teaming failover types and related physical network settings
  • Determine and apply Failover settings
  • Configure explicit failover to conform with VMware best practices
  • Configure port groups to properly isolate network traffic

Objective 2.4 – Administer vNetwork Distributed Switch Settings

Knowledge

  • Explain relationship between vDS and logical vSSes

Skills and Abilities

  • Understand the use of command line tools to configure appropriate vDS settings on an ESX/ESXi host
  • Determine use cases for and apply Port Binding settings
  • Configure Live Port Moving
  • Given a set of network requirements, identify the appropriate distributed switch technology to use
  • Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify configuration items from an existing vDS

 

Section 3 – Deploy DRS Clusters and Manage Performance

Objective 3.1 – Tune and Optimize vSphere Performance

Knowledge

  • Identify appropriate BIOS and firmware setting requirements for optimal ESX/ESXi Host
  • performance
  • Identify appropriate ESX driver revisions required for optimal ESX/ESXi Host performance
  • Recall where to locate information resources to verify compliance with VMware and third party
  • vendor best practices

Skills and Abilities

  • Tune ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine memory configurations
  • Tune ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine networking configurations
  • Tune ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine CPU configurations
  • Tune ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine storage configurations
  • Configure and apply advanced ESX/ESXi Host attributes
  • Configure and apply advanced Virtual Machine attributes
  • Tune and optimize NUMA controls

Objective 3.2 – Optimize Virtual Machine Resources

Knowledge

  • Compare and contrast virtual and physical hardware resources
  • Identify VMware memory management techniques
  • Identify VMware CPU load balancing techniques
  • Identify pre?requisites for Hot Add features

Skills and Abilities

  • Calculate available resources
  • Properly size a Virtual Machine based on application workload
  • Configure large memory pages
  • Understand appropriate use cases for CPU affinity

Objective 3.3 – Implement and Maintain Complex DRS Solutions

Knowledge

  • Explain DRS affinity and anti?affinity rules
  • Identify required hardware components to support DPM
  • Identify EVC requirements, baselines and components
  • Understand the DRS slot?size algorithm and its impact on migration recommendations

Skills and Abilities

  • Properly configure BIOS and management settings to support DPM
  • Test DPM to verify proper configuration
  • Configure appropriate DPM Threshold to meet business requirements
  • Configure EVC using appropriate baseline
  • Change the EVC mode on an existing DRS cluster
  • Create DRS and DPM alarms
  • Configure applicable power management settings for ESX Hosts
  • Properly size virtual machines and clusters for optimal DRS efficiency
  • Properly apply virtual machine automation levels based upon application requirements

Objective 3.4 – Perform Capacity Planning in a vSphere Environment

Knowledge

  • Understand the DRS slot?size algorithm and its impact on migration recommendations
  • Identify tools needed for monitoring capacity planning
  • Identify performance metrics related to resource contention and saturation

Skills and Abilities

  • Predict when additional ESX/ESXi Host, network or storage resources will be required by observing
  • an existing environment
  • Determine when to expand or contract provisioned Virtual Machine resources based upon
  • observed Virtual Machine utilization
  • Interpret performance metrics from vCenter to properly size the environment

Objective 3.5 – Utilize Advanced vSphere Performance Monitoring Tools

Knowledge

  • Identify hot keys and fields used with resxtop/esxtop
  • Identify fields used with vscsiStats

Skills and Abilities

  • Configure esxtop/resxtop custom profiles
  • Determine use cases for and apply esxtop/resxtop Interactive, Batch and Replay modes
  • Use vscsiStats to gather storage performance data
  • Use esxtop/resxtop to collect performance data
  • Given esxtop/resxtop output, identify relative performance data for capacity planning purposes

 

Section 4 – Manage Business Continuity and Protect Data

Objective 4.1 – Implement and Maintain Complex VMware HA Solutions

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 in a mixed ESX/ESXi environment
  • Configure HA related alarms and monitor an HA cluster
  • Create a custom slot size configuration
  • Understand interactions between DRS and HA
  • Create an HA solution that ensures primary node distribution across sites
  • 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

Objective 4.2 – Deploy and Test VMware FT

Knowledge

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

Skills and Abilities

  • Modify VM and ESX/ESXi Host settings to allow for FT compatibility
  • Use VMware best practices to prepare a vSphere environment for FT
  • Configure FT logging
  • ©VMware, Inc. All rights reserved May 2010 15
  • Prepare the infrastructure for FT compliance
  • Test FT failover, secondary restart and application fault tolerance in a FT Virtual Machine

Objective 4.3 – Configure a vSphere Environment to support MSCS Clustering

Knowledge

  • Identify MSCS clustering solution requirements
  • Identify the three supported MSCS configurations

Skills and Abilities

  • Configure Virtual Machine hardware to support cluster type and guest OS
  • Configure a MSCS cluster on a single ESX/ESXi Host
  • Configure a MSCS cluster across ESX/ESXi Hosts
  • Configure standby host clustering

Objective 4.4 – Deploy and Maintain vCenter Server Heartbeat

Knowledge

  • Identify the five protection levels for vCenter Server Heartbeat
  • Identify the three server protection options for vCenter Server Heartbeat
  • Identify supported cloning options

Skills and Abilities

  • Install and configure vCenter Server Heartbeat
  • Determine use cases for and execute a manual switchover
  • Recover from a failover
  • Monitor vCenter Server Heartbeat and communication status
  • Configure heartbeat settings
  • Configure shutdown options
  • Configure application protection
  • Add/Edit Services
  • Add/Edit Tasks
  • Edit/Test Rules
  • Install/Edit Plug?ins
  • Add/Remove Inclusion/Exclusion Filters
  • Perform Full System and Full Registry checks
  • Configure/Test Alerts
  • Troubleshoot common vCenter Server Heartbeat error conditions

 

Section 5 – Perform Operational Maintenance

Objective 5.1 – Implement and Maintain Host Profiles

Skills and Abilities

  • Use Profile Editor to edit and/or disable policies
  • Create sub?profiles
  • Use Host Profiles to deploy vDS

Objective 5.2 – Deploy and Manage Complex Update Manager Environments

Knowledge

  • Identify firewall access rules for Update Manager

Skills and Abilities

  • Determine use case for, install and configure Update Manager Download Service
  • Configure a shared repository
  • Configure smart rebooting
  • Manually download updates to a repository
  • Perform orchestrated vSphere upgrades
  • Create and modify baseline groups
  • Troubleshoot Update Manager problem areas and issues
  • Generate database reports using MS Excel or MS SQL
  • Upgrade vApps using Update Manager

 

Section 6 – Perform Advanced Troubleshooting

Objective 6.1 – Configure, Manage and Analyze vSphere Log Files

Knowledge

  • Identify vCenter Server log file names and locations
  • Identify ESX/ESXi log files names and locations
  • Identify tools used to view vSphere log files

Skills and Abilities

  • Generate vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi log bundles
  • Use vicfg?syslog to configure centralized logging on ESX/ESXi Hosts
  • Test centralized logging configuration
  • Configure the vMA appliance as a log host
  • Use vilogger to enable/disable log collection on the vMA appliance
  • Use vilogger to configure log rotation and retention
  • Analyze log entries to obtain configuration information
  • Analyze log entries to identify and resolve issues

 

Objective 6.2 – Troubleshoot CPU and Memory Performance

Knowledge

Identify resxtop/esxtop metrics related to memory and CPU

Identify vCenter Server Performance Chart metrics related to memory and CPU

Skills and Abilities

  • Troubleshoot ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine CPU performance issues using appropriate metrics
  • Troubleshoot ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine memory performance issues using appropriate metrics
  • Use Hot?Add functionality to resolve identified Virtual Machine CPU and memory performance issues

Objective 6.3 – Troubleshoot Network Performance and Connectivity

Knowledge

  • Identify virtual switch entries in a Virtual Machine’s configuration file
  • Identify virtual switch entries in the ESX/ESXi Host configuration file
  • Identify CLI commands and tools used to troubleshoot vSphere networking configurations
  • Identify logs used to troubleshoot network issues

Skills and Abilities

  • Utilize net-dvs to troubleshoot vNetwork Distributed Switch configurations
  • Utilize vicfg-* commands to troubleshoot ESX/ESXi network configurations
  • Configure a network packet analyzer in a vSphere environment
  • Troubleshoot Private VLANs
  • Troubleshoot Service Console and vmkernel network configuration issues
  • Troubleshoot DNS and routing related issues
  • Use esxtop/resxtop to identify network performance problems
  • Use CDP and/or network hints to identify connectivity issues
  • Analyze troubleshooting data to determine if the root cause for a given network problem
  • originates in the physical infrastructure or vSphere environment

Objective 6.4 – Troubleshoot Storage Performance and Connectivity

Knowledge

  • Recall vicfg-* commands related to listing storage configuration
  • Recall vSphere 4 storage maximums
  • Identify logs used to troubleshoot storage issues
  • Describe the VMFS file system

Skills and Abilities

  • Use vicfg-* and esxcli to troubleshoot multipathing and PSA?related issues
  • Use vicfg-module to troubleshoot VMkernel storage module configurations
  • Use vicfg-* and esxcli to troubleshoot iSCSI related issues
  • Troubleshoot NFS mounting and permission issues
  • Use esxtop/resxtop and vscsiStats to identify storage performance issues
  • Configure and troubleshoot VMFS datastores using vmkfstools
  • Troubleshoot snapshot and resignaturing issues
  • Analyze log files to identify storage and multipathing problems

Objective 6.5 – Troubleshoot vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi Host Management

Knowledge

  • Identify CLI commands and tools used to troubleshoot management issues

Skills and Abilities

  • Troubleshoot vCenter Server service and database connection issues
  • Troubleshoot the ESX Service Console firewall
  • Troubleshoot ESX/ESXi server management and connectivity issues
  • Determine the root cause of vSphere management or connectivity issue

 

Section 7 – Secure a vSphere Environment

Objective 7.1 – Secure ESX/ESXi Hosts

Knowledge

  • Identify configuration files related to network security
  • Identify virtual switch security characteristics

Skills and Abilities

  • Add/Edit Remove users/groups on an ESX Host
  • Customize SSH settings for increased security
  • Enable/Disable certificate checking
  • Generate ESX Host certificates
  • Enable ESXi lockdown mode
  • Replace default certificate with CA?signed certificate
  • Configure SSL timeouts
  • Secure ESX Web Proxy
  • Enable strong passwords and configure password policies
  • Identify methods for hardening virtual machines
  • Analyze logs for security?related messages

Objective 7.2 – Configure and Maintain the ESX Firewall

Knowledge

  • Identify vicfg-firewall commands
  • Explain the three firewall security levels
  • Identify ESX firewall architecture with/without vCenter Server

Skills and Abilities

  • Enable/Disable pre?configured services
  • Configure service behavior automation
  • Open/Close ports in the firewall
  • Create a custom service
  • Set firewall security level

Objective 7.3 – Deploy and Administer vShield Zones

Knowledge

  • Identify vShield Zones components
  • Identify the four CLI command modes

Skills and Abilities

  • Configure vShield Zones
  • Backup and restore vShield Manager Data
  • Backup CLI Configuration
  • Create/Delete Layer 2/3/4 firewall rules using VM Wall
  • Install/Uninstall a vShield manually and from template
  • Configure vShield Manager plug?in capability
  • Configure VM Flow charts
  • Update vShield Zones
  • Add/Edit/Delete User Accounts
  • Assign rights to a user
  • Add/Delete Application?Port Pair mapping
  • Execute/Schedule Execution of virtual machine discovery
  • Utilize vShield Zones CLI commands to configure and monitor vShield Zones
  • Analyze traffic using VM Flow to determine root cause of network related issues

 

Section 8 – Perform Scripting and Automation

Objective 8.1 – Execute VMware Cmdlets and Customize Scripts Using PowerCLI

Knowledge

  • Identify vSphere PowerCLI requirements
  • Identify Cmdlet concepts
  • Identify environment variables usage

Skills and Abilities

  • Use VMRun to execute commands in a guest OS
  • Install vSphere PowerCLI
  • Install Update Manager PowerShell Library
  • Use basic and advanced Cmdlets to manage VMs and ESX Hosts
  • Use Web Service Access Cmdlets
  • Use Datastore and Inventory Providers
  • Given a sample script, modify the script to perform a given action

Objective 8.2 – Administer vCenter Orchestrator

Knowledge

  • Identify vCenter Orchestrator requirements
  • Identify default Orchestrator plug?ins

Skills and Abilities

  • Install and Configure vCenter Orchestrator
  • Configure vCenter Orchestrator database
  • Configure vCenter Orchestrator LDAP connection
  • Configure vCenter Orchestrator vCenter server connections
  • Run a Workflow
  • Administer Actions, Tasks, Workflows and Policies
  • Administer Packages
  • Identify appropriate Workflow for a given management activity

Objective 8.3 – Administer vSphere Using the vSphere Management Assistant

Knowledge

  • Identify vMA prerequisites
  • Identify vMA specific commands
  • Determine when vMA is needed

Skills and Abilities

  • Install and Configure vMA
  • Add/Remove target servers
  • Perform updates to the vMA
  • Use vmkfstools to manage VMFS datastores
  • Use vmware-cmd to manage VMs
  • Use esxcli to manage Storage Multipathing
  • Troubleshoot common vMA errors and conditions

 

Section 9 – Perform Advanced vSphere Installations and Configurations

Objective 9.1 – Install ESX Server with custom settings

Knowledge

  • Identify Service Console memory defaults and maximums
  • Identify default and optional ESX partitions

Skills and Abilities

  • Configure optional ESX partitions during installation
  • Install/uninstall custom drivers
  • Configure advanced bootloader options
  • Configure kernel options
  • Given a scenario, determine when to customize a configuration

Objective 9.2 – Plan and Execute Scripted Installations

Knowledge

  • Identify default installation scripts
  • Identify boot options for scripted installation

Skills and Abilities

  • Perform a scripted ESX Host installation
  • Perform a scripted ESXi Host installation
  • Configure media repository
  • Edit installation script parameters
  • Configure pre/post script tasks
  • Evaluate use cases for scripted installation

Objective 9.3 – Configure vCenter Server Linked Mode

Knowledge

  • Identify Linked Mode Prerequisites
  • Identify differences between Linked and non?linked vCenter Server Configurations
  • Identify when a role requires reconciliation

Skills and Abilities

  • Reconcile Roles in a Linked Mode Configuration
  • Create and Join a Linked Mode Group
  • Determine use cases for vCenter Server Linked Mode
  • Troubleshoot Linked Mode Configurations
 
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