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VMware VCAP6.5-DCV Design Exam Experience

VMware VCIX6.5-DCV Badge At VMware EMPOWER 2018 in Vienna, I passed the VMware Certified Advanced professional 6.5 Data center Virtualization Design exam or in sort VCAP6.5-DCV. This exam was already for a very long on my certification list, to be more precise for about four years. Because of the large number of new products VMware released the last couple of years, my priorities shifted many times because Data center Virtualization was not really too interesting to study anymore… (sorry Data center Virtualization for calling you not interesting). My experience with VMware vSphere started more than ten years ago and over the years I have been responsible for designing multiple infrastructures for customers.

The VMware way of describing the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization Design certification:

“The VCAP6.5-DCV Design certification validates advanced knowledge of simplifying data center operations through virtualization with vSphere 6.5 and its related components, and is able to recommend and design VMware solutions to meet specific goals and requirements. This industry-recognized certification improves your credibility among your peers and proves that you have a deep understanding of data center virtualization design principles and methodologies.”

 

So where is the exam about: The exam is about the VMware Design Methodology used for designing a VMware vSphere infrastructure the right way. To pass the exam you need to know everything about the following items and make sure you can apply them in real-life examples/use cases:
– AMPRS (Availability, Manageability, Performance, Recoverability and Security).
– RCAR (Requirement, Constraint, Assumption and Risk)
– Non-functional and functional requirements
– RPO (Recovery Point Objective)
– RTO (Recovery Time Objective)
– Conceptual, Logical and Physical Designs
– vSphere 6.5 features, what did the release of vSphere 6.5 provide to each feature and what are the requirements and constraints for implementation.
– vSAN 6.5 features, design and architecture
– Site Recovery Manager features, design and architecture
– vSphere Replication features, design and architecture

Preparation

For me, the preparation of the exam started with a couple of sessions about the vSphere Design Methodology. Jeffrey Kusters was so kind to host a couple of sessions in his spare time about the subject for all the ITQ colleges. Jeffrey Kusters is one of our VMware VCDXs that works at our firm and has a lot of years of experience designing vSphere Infrastructure as an IT architect.

Study Materials

I have used many different material/sources to prepare myself for the exam but watch out. There is so much information available that you can study until 2020 and then you are still not able to read all the information. Focus on the items listed above and you will have a good chance of passing. Important note, sometimes information on a blog or book is a couple of years old and you might expect it to be not relevant. This is not the case the VMware Design Mythology has not changed over the years.

Material list:
Blog – Jeffrey Kusters – Breaking down the conceptual design, RCARs and AMPRS …. VCDX style
Blog – Jeffrey Kusters – Passed VCAP6.5-DCV Design … Yes! Finally VCDX6
Course – VMware – VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V6.5]
Documentation – VMware – vSphere 6.5 Availability Guide
Documentation – VMware – vSphere 6.5 Installation Setup Guide
Documentation – VMware – vSphere 6.5 Platform Services Controller Administration Guide
Documentation – VMware – vSphere 6.5 Security Guide
Documentation – VMware – vSphere 6.5 Upgrade Guide
– Ebook – VMware vSphere Design Second Edition by Scott Lowe, Forbes Guthrie and Kendrick Coleman
– Ebook – VMware vSphere 6.X Datacenter Design Cookbook SE by Hersey Cartwright
– Ebook – vSphere Design Pocketbook 2.0 Blog Edition
– Exam Guide – VMware – Link
Video – Pluralsight – What’s New in vSphere 6.5
Video – Youtube – vBrownbag – VCAP-DCV Design
White Paper – VMware – Storage Protocol Comparison

Conclusion

I passed the exam on the first attempt with a good score. The questions are decent around 12 drag en drop and 48 multiple choices. The questions are decent and require you to have deep knowledge of the products. So basically you know the answer or you just don’t. For me passing the VCAP6.5-DCV Design made me a VCIX6.5-DCV, so I was extra pleased with the result.

Special thanks to Jeffrey Kusters! You have been an absolute help!

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vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager Internet Proxy URLs

Recently I was deploying the vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (vRSLCM) at a customer. One of there requirement was that the appliance only could reach the internet with their internet proxy configured. The deployment was based on the latest version of the vRSLCM appliance version 1.2. The main use case for deploying this appliance at the customer was to reduce the time spend on Lifecycle Management. The appliance is able to maintain vRealize Automation (vRA), vRealize Business (vRB), vRealize Log Insight (vRLI) and vRealize Operations Manager (vROPS).

So for the proxy configuration, we need to identify which URLs are required. Luckily in the VMware Documentation, there is a list of URLs and ports which the vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager uses. So I configured the URLs but it appeared to be not working. The vRSLCM was complaining about the URL (https://my.vmware.com). So after analyzing the proxy logging, I could conclude that the URL list was not complete. Below this section, I display the difference between the official statement and what was required to get it working.

Proxy URLs – Official List:

This is the official URL list from the vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (vRSLCM) v1.2 documentation:

PortsPort NumberBase URLs
My VMware443https://apigw.vmware.com
Solutions Exchange443https://marketplace.vmware.com
Updates443https://vapp-updates.vmware.com
Compatibility443https://vapp-updates.vmware.com

Proxy URLs – Unofficial List:

This is the list that was required to get vRSLCM working through the proxy, keep in mind there are a lot of different functionalities in the vRSLCM appliance and I was not using the entire set of functionalities. There might be even more URLs required…

PortsPort NumberBase URLs
My VMware443https://apigw.vmware.com
Solutions Exchange443https://marketplace.vmware.com
Updates443https://vapp-updates.vmware.com
Compatibility443https://simservice.vmware.com
My VMware443https://my.vmware.com
vConnect443https://vconnect.vmware.com
Download location443https://download2.vmware.com
Download location443https://download3.vmware.com
Icons for marketplace 443https://marketplace-download.vmware.com

Proxy Configuration

In the steps below I explain the proxy configuration in the vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager web interface:

  1. Open the a web browser.
  2. Navigate to the vRSLCM URL (https://%FQDN%).
  3. Log in with an administrator account (admin@localhost).
  4. Navigate to the following page (Settings > My VMware).
  5. Toggle the Configure Proxy to enabled.
  6. Enter the following proxy information:
    1. Proxy Server: %FQDN% or %IP%
    2. Proxy Port: %Port Number%
    3. Proxy Username: %Username%
    4. Proxy Password: %Password%
  7. Click on the Submit button.
  8. Verify if the My VMware communication is working and the appliance is able to download the media.

Note:

  • vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (vRSLCM) requires ICMP communication with the internet proxy. When configuring a proxy in vRSLCM version 1.3 the configuration validation fails without allowing ICMP.

Documentation:

– vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.2 Installation, Upgrade, and Management
vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.3 Installation, Upgrade, and Management

Article Update:

– 2018-07-16: Added additional proxy URLs for the vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager version 1.3.
– 2018-07-16: Added link for the vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager manual version 1.3.
– 2018-07-16: Added additional note about ICMP.

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Cannot Remove Content Library in VCSA 6.5 Update 1

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Opening vSphere Web Client (Flash) on Windows Server 2016

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No Workflow Output in vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) 7.4

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Removing a Virtual Machine from vRealize Automation with the vRealize CloudClient

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The VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist Exam

VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist - Badge
VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist – Badge

This afternoon I took the VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist and I passed with a score of 456 points. The exam is about… guess what Virtual SAN (vSAN)! To be more precise the latest version of vSAN version 6.6. The exam is a mix of deployment & design questions. In my opinion it is a smaller version of the separated Deploy & Design exams as in the major exam tracks (DCV, NV, CMA, DTM). The questions were really good and realistic, some examples: like about space efficiency, cluster sizing and some customer use cases. The exam contains 60 questions and you have 105 minutes to complete the exam.

Over the years I have done a lot of vSAN deployments, starting in the vSAN 5.5 days. So personally it was not the most difficult exam to pass but a good one to add to my résumé.

Exam description

The official exam description from VMware: “The VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist badge holder is a technical professional who understands the vSAN 6.6 architecture and its complete feature set, knows how to conduct a vSAN design and deployment exercise, can implement a live vSAN hyper-converged infrastructure environment based on certified hardware/software components and best practices, and can administer/operate a vSAN cluster properly.”

The Specialist Exams

At VMworld 2017 three new specialist exams were announced by VMware Education:

  • VMware vRealize Operations 2017 Specialist
  • VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist Exam
  • VMware Validated Designs for Software-Defined Data Center 2017

Currently the remaining two are on my “To Do” list because they all cover my area of expertise. The vSAN Specialist exam is the only one of the three that is done at a test center, the other two are online exams.

Study Material:

There is a lot of free vSAN 6.6 content available, especially the VMworld 2017 sessions are full of useful information. Take a look Duncan Epping his YouTube Channel (the URL listed below).

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PowerCLI 10.0.0 – Error Invalid Server Certificate

Overview

On the 28 of February VMware PowerCLI 10.0.0 was released. The biggest change in this release is the multi-platform support which includes the support for Mac OS and Linux. Oh and they kind of increased the version number a bit… from 6.5.X to 10.0.0 ;).

So I decided to upgrade PowerCLI in my Lab environment. In my Lab environment, I have a Windows 10 virtual machine that runs as an Administrator Workstation. The upgrade was very smooth and it took about one minute but after the upgrade, no connections were possible with my vCenter server.

The following error was displayed in the PowerShell prompt, screenshots are displayed below:
Error: Invalid server certificate. Use Set-PowerCLIConfiguration to set the value for the InvalidCertificateAction option to Prompt exception for this server.

It appears that they have changed the default PowerCLI behaviour regarding certificates.

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NLVMUG 2018 Event

This week I attended the NLVMUG 2018 on the 20th of march. The NLVMUG is the largest VMUG (VMware User Group) in the world and is held in the Netherlands. More than a thousand people attend the NLVMUG. The keynote was given than by no other than Pat Gelsinger the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VMware. The afternoon keynote was given by Joshua McKenty the Vice President from Pivatal.

The NLVMUG 2018 is a wrap but a great success!! Thanks to the VMUG leaders: Joep Piscaer en Dennis Hoegen Dijkhof.

NLVMUG 2018 – Overview

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VMware Certified Implementation Expert – Network Virtualization (VCIX-NV)

I’m very happy to announce that I passed the VCAP6-NV Deploy exam and unlocked the VCIX-NV accreditation!

About the VMware VCIX-NV:VMware VCIX-NV

The VCIX-NV exam consists of approximately 23 live lab activities and the passing score for this exam is 300 (scale is from 100 to 500). The total time for this exam is 210 minutes, but candidates who take the VCIX-NV Exam and have a home address in a country where English is not a primary language will have an additional 30 minutes added to the exam time.

VMware - Network Virtualization Roadmap
VMware – Network Virtualization (NV) Roadmap

 

Study material:

For my study I used the following list of website’s, HOL Labs and Blogs. This helped me to pass the exam:

VMware Hands-on Labs:

VMware Sources:

Blogs:

My best advice is: Build a Home Lab and deploy VMware NSX-V. After the deployment you start using all the features that NSX-V has to offer (yeah, I know that is a lot). Get familiar and deploy and design like you would in a production environment. This will help you to get the best understanding possible for the exam.

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