Tag Archives: certification

VCAP-DCD practice design by @GreggRobertson5

Great sample company scenario by Gregg Robertson for those preparing for their VCAP-DCD.


As some people may know I am currently preparing to re-take my VCAP5-DCD and I have reached the point in my preparations now where I am doing mock designs and also going through the labs from the VMware Design Workshop and so I thought I would follow the same idea and start creating a mock customer design scenario and also put down the same vein of questions I am being asked from the design workshop labs and hopefully if people are interested they can use it, write down what design choices,the justifications for these  choices and the impacts these choices create on the rest of the design and hopefully everyone will learn from this. Below is a company profile that I made up and I also used some ideas from a scenario Matt Mould one of my Xtravirt colleagues sent me as few months back:

Company Profile
•    Safe &…

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VCAP-DCD scheduled, study notes updated.

Well I did it, I scheduled my VCAP-DCD for Tuesday February 26th.  I have a lot I want to cover between now and then and here is what I will be doing.

  • APAC #vBrownBag VCAP-DCD recordings (done but will likely listen to them a few more times)
  • Clustering Deep Dive (about half way done)
  • VMware Press books – storage and building a vDC
  • Mastering vSphere 5 (re-read)
  • DR/BCP course from VMware available on MyLearn

That doesn’t seem like nearly enough as I write it out.

Back to VCAP-DCD Prep

I let myself lose focus last week, here is the plan:

1.  Watch APAC #vBrownBag recordings
2.  Finish Clustering Deep Dive
3.  Watch DR training on MyLearn
4.  Watch SRM training on VMware.com
5.  Read Storage Implementation from VMware Press
6.  Take notes (from slides) from the VCAP-DCD and VCDX #vBrownbags
7.  Re-read
8.  Review VCAP-DCD blueprint and study guides by Gregg Robertson (@GreggRobertson5) and Shane Williford (@coolsport00)

I also have a small startup looking for a basic office setup so I am going to “design” the hell out of it.

Notes from a Nested ESXi 5 Setup

Guest Post by Kanji B.

These are some notes from my nested lab setup on a Dell OptiPlex 790 from (4x i5-2400 @ 3.10GHz, w/16GBs, and it supports VT!), I hope that these can help others in the VMware community doing the same.

I ran into my first gotcha quite early thanks to Dell’s love for bleeding edge NICs.  It’s one of the few things that drives me nuts about Dell hardware, and I facepalmed as soon as ESXi threw up it’s “No network adapters detected” error so off I went to research how – or even if! – I could inject drivers into the ESXi install, and fortunately stumbled on someone who had already done so on the OptiPlex 790:- http://bohemiangrove.co.uk/esxi-5-0-the-free-one/

A short while later, I had a fresh ESXi install and began installing my nested ESXi, when I ran into the SAME problem! WTF?! The host ESXi had networking, so why wouldn’t the guests?  Turns out that the default Adapter type for RHEL 6 (the Guest type which a few of the nesting guides suggest you base your ESXi guest on) is vmxnet3, and there’s no vmxnet3 driver in ESXi 5.0 and installing VMware Tools to get it wasn’t going to happen.

Poking around, I managed to fix it by using an E1000 adapter instead, and then noticed that virtuallyGhetto touched on this last month (http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2012/09/nested-esxi-51-supports-vmxnet3-network.html) as they noticed that 5.1 fixes this very issue.  That solved, I took another stab at installing a nested ESXi, only to hit another showstopper when the installer didn’t detect any local or remote drives to install on.  Poking around some more, I noticed that the SCSI Controller Type was set to VMware Paravirtual (not recommended for this guest OS), ugh, bitten by RHEL 6 defaults again…  For reference, if you set it to LSI Logic Parallel, ESXi sees the provisioned drive as local; or remote if set to LSI Logic SAS.

Ironically, if I had just gone with Windows 2008 R2 x64 (the default Guest type), I wouldn’t have run into either issue, as VMware defaulted to a supported Adapter and SCSI Controller!

VCP5 Study Prep

In an effort to help others persuing their VCP5, I thought it would be useful to share the steps I am taking to prepare.  A special thanks to all of the people who assembed the various resources I have used so far.

Step 1:  Make up your mind – do you really want your VCP?  I have gone back and forth on this since my first VMware implementation, and for a while it seemed like I could get by without it but more and more I want to focus on VMware so check…I want my VCP5.

2.  Sanity check – how much do I really know, or not know about VMware.  I looked at practice tests from Simon Long and VMware.  You can find Simon’s at http://www.simonlong.co.uk/blog/vcp5-practice-exams/ and the VMware practice exam in VMware’s learning portal myLearn.

3.  Knowledge gap reality check – Look at these 2 exam crams, in combination with the practice test results, start to recognize areas you need to focus / practice on.  The first can be found here http://cosonok.blogspot.com/2011/10/vcp510-vcp-on-vsphere-5-exam-cram-notes.html and Mike Preston’http://blog.mwpreston.net/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/03/OMG-Study-Guide.pdf

4. Get your lab ready – I didn’t want to just blindly read books, and didn’t want to start making unnecessary changes to my production environment.  Though I am normally disappointed with http://www.geeks.com, I am giving them yet another chance.  I just ordered 2 Dell Precision’s with dual Xeon dual-core processors and 4GB of RAM.  I will need to add a multi-port NIC and maybe another hard drive or two but this should be sufficient to run VM’s for AD, vSphere and a few test servers.  My plan to mimic a SAN is to setup FreeNAS and share the local disks like they are actually a SAN/NAS (not sure whether I will do iSCSI or NFS yet).  The Virtual Storage Appliance from VMware is meant to do this (best I can tell since I haven’t used it) but don’t want it to integrate to well into vSphere so going FreeNAS (or OpenFiler or some other baremetal NAS/SAN OS).

Update:  As an alternative to building a physical lab, check out the autolab over at http://www.labguides.com/autolab/

5. Start reading – I picked up Mastering VMware vSphere 5 by Scott Lowe, I read Mastering VMware vSphere 4 a few years ago and it was fantastic so I fully expect this one to be the same.  I also picked up the vSphere 5 Study Guide by Brian Atkinson.

6.  Official training – one of the things I love, and hate about VMware certifications is you have to take one of their courses, and they are not cheap.  On one hand (based on the practice tests) I could probably pass while brushing up on a few areas I don’t have to live in everyday, on the other hand – hopefully this cert will not become meaningless in the future like the A+ or MCSE certifications have become.  Why is this only number 6 on my list?  Well if you flamed out in steps 1-5 you just saved yourself a good chunk of change.

Well, back to step 5.