VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Beta)

I had the opportunity to take the VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Beta) exam last week.

The beta is still ongoing and costs $100 (regularly $400). A few notes:

It’s HOL based (HTML5 rather than RDP) so performance has improved quite a bit. But as expected, the vSphere Web Client is still quite laggy. The vSphere Client is still available, though some tasks must be completed through the vSphere Web Client.

Another improvement is that you can see the lab console and the instructions at the same time. But this posed a major issue with the screen resolution, in particular being able to see all of the vSphere Web Client.

CTRL and ALT are disabled, which you are warned about at the beginning of the exam. However, the exam does not warn you that the backspace key is also disabled. This irked me to no end throughout the test and slowed me down quite a bit when I was doing command line. (I don’t normally use the arrow key and then delete)

Copy and Paste does not work in the vSphere Web Client (another thing you are not warned about), only in the vSphere Client, PuTTY and Notepad++.

There are 27 questions, and the exam is 4 hours long. Ensure to pace yourself. If you get up to use the restroom mid-exam, the time will keep ticking down.

The content was decent, it stayed on track with the exam blueprint. I didn’t feel as rushed for time as with previous versions of the VCAP-DCA exam.

Here are a few other blogs that discuss the beta exam experience:

VCAP6-DTM Design (Beta)

Today I had the opportunity to sit the VCAP-DTM Design portion of the VCIX-DTM certification. A few notes to share:

– My biggest complaint by far is that there is no calculator. Make sure that you are comfortable with multiplication and division.

– No more multiple choice questions, all drag & drop and designs.

– Ensure that you are very comfortable with all components of the Horizon suite, to include VSAN, Mirage, and AppVolumes. Make sure you know ports as well.

– I felt like there was sufficient time. I’ve always felt that the hardest part of the VCAPs was the time limit but I finished this one with a lot of time still on the clock.

– Out of 38 questions, 10 of them were designs.

Good luck to all the test takers out there!

Book Review – “Mastering VMware vSphere Storage”

For a book titled “Master VMware vSphere Storage,” about 1/3 of the book is spent discussing other topics. Storage does not get directly discussed until 88 pages in and begins by discussing storage APIs. I can understand giving a brief overview of vSphere but a majority of the review should be focused on the storage protocols and storage architecture rather than beginning with storage APIs and storage profiles. Once the book finally delves into configuring, optimizing, and troubleshooting storage, it does a good job covering the topics…though out of order at times (i.e. discusses optimizing before how to configure storage). Many great screenshots and diagrams demonstrating the points of discussion. However, for a book written for vSphere 5.1 / 5.5, there are quite a few screenshots from the vSphere Client rather than the vSphere Web Client. Overall 3/5.


You can find the book here.

Standard vSwitch Port Scale

Reading through the documentation for vSphere 5.5 something caught my eye…thought I’d share:

“For hosts running ESXi 5.1 and earlier, you can configure the number of ports that are available on a standard switch as the requirements of your environment change. Each virtual switch on hosts running ESXi 5.1 and earlier provides a finite number of ports through which virtual machines and network services can reach one or more networks. You have to increase or decrease the number of ports manually according to your deployment requirements.

NOTE Increasing the port number of a switch leads to reserving and consuming more resources on the host.If some ports are not occupied, host resources that might be necessary for other operations remain locked and unused.

To ensure efficient use of host resources on hosts running ESXi 5.5, the ports of virtual switches are dynamically scaled up and down. A switch on such a host can expand up to the maximum number of ports supported on the host. The port limit is determined based on the maximum number of virtual machines that the host can handle.”

I learn something new every day!!