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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).

Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 1 Released

With the release of Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 in November there was a announcement made about the vSphere 6.5 support.

“Yesterday, with impeccable timing, VMware announced the general availability of vSphere 6.5. As always, we started work on the full integration of vSphere 6.5 since its beta, however we now need adequate time to integrate the final VDDK code and then perform full regressive testing against the final vSphere 6.5 code to ensure reliability of our advanced vSphere integrations. Therefore, full support for vSphere 6.5 in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 will be delivered as a part of Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 1. And while an exact support timeline will depend on the results of our testing, historically we deliver support for new vSphere releases approximately two months after the final code availability.” Source: https://www.veeam.com/blog/new-veeam-availability-suite-9-5-is-available-today.html

On 20 January, Veeam has finally release update 1 for the Backup & Replication software (download link below).

Platform support:

  • Dell EMC Data Domain OS 6.0 support, including synthetic full backup performances optimizations, backup retention and health check reliability improvements
  • HPE 3PAR 3.2.2 MU3 support, including multiple API interaction improvements for added reliability and performance
  • HPE StoreOnce 3.15.1 support, bringning Instant VM Recovery to Catalyst-based backup repositories
  • Veeam Agent for Linux 1.0 support
  • Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 Public Beta (build 2.0.0.594) support
  • VMware vSAN 6.5 support
  • VMware vSphere 6.5 support
    • Encrypted VMs support
    • VMFS6 support
    • Virtual hardware version 13 support
    • NBD compression
    • New guest interaction API support
    • New VM tag API support

Download link: https://www.veeam.com/kb2222