Time for VCAP6-DCV has come!

Time for VCAP6-DCV has come!

It’s high time to start our journey to VCAP 6 Data Center Virtualization Deployment exam!


I saw few blogs with consolidated materials based on VMware Blueprint in the past. These materials covered VCAP5-DCA exam. Unfortunately, there is no such bible to VCAP6-DCV, I’ve just found a blog related to VCAP6-CMA exam. That’s why we as a team agreed to prepare such consolidated material in one place – on our blog. Even though there would be already such idea on the Internet, we would not change our mind. The reason is pretty simple – I believe it will be the best way to study the whole material and prepare ourselves to pass this exam. Furthermore, I hope it will help others as well..

Well, here we have the main sections and objectives from VMware blueprint which in the future will move you to description of every objective.


Section 1 – Create and Deploy vSphere 6.x Infrastructure Components

Objective 1.1 – Perform Advanced ESXi Host Configuration

  • Configure and Manage Auto Deploy configurations
    • Determine use case for Stateless vs Stateful installs
    • Create / Modify rules and rule sets
    • Create and associate Host Profiles for an Auto Deploy reference host
  • Configure Kernel Boot Parameters for scripted install according to a deployment plan:
    • Modify scripted weasel install (ks.cfg)
    • Create / Modify scripted installation
  • Configure Advanced System Settings according to a deployment plan:
    • Edit System Swap / Scratch Configuration
    • Configure ESXi host to use a central Syslog Server
  • Manage/Edit the Core Dump configuration of an ESXi host


Objective 1.2 – Deploy and Configure Core Management Infrastructure Components

  • Deploy vCenter core components according to a deployment plan:
    • Deploy and Configure a Platform Services Controller (PSC):
      • Determine use case for embedded vs external PSC
      • Re-point a vCenter Server Appliance to another External PSC
    • Deploy and Configure Identity Sources for Single Sign-On:
      • Configure Single Sign-On users and groups
      • Change Default domain for Single Sign-On
      • List services registered with Single Sign-on
  • Deploy and configure vCenter Server
    • Deploy / Configure Enhanced Link Mode
  • Manage / Configure vCenter components according to a deployment plan:
    • Configure Global Permissions for vCenter services
    • Configure Dump Collector service
    • Configure the Syslog Collector / Syslog service
    • Managing vCenter Server advanced configurations


Objective 1.3 – Deploy and Configure Update Manager Components

  • Deploy / Configure Update Manager components according to a deployment plan:
    • Configure VUM Update Manager download service
    • Configure a VUM shared repository
    • Configure VUM smart rebooting
    • Manually download updates to a VUM repository
    • Create and modify VUM baseline groups
  • Perform VUM orchestrated vSphere upgrades
  • Troubleshoot Update Manager problem areas and issues
  • Utilize Update Manager to reconfigure VUM settings


Objective 1.4 – Perform Advanced Virtual Machine Configurations

  • Tune Virtual Machine disk controller configurations according to a deployment plan
  • Configure .vmx file for advanced configuration scenarios
  • Configure a virtual machine for Hot Add features
  • Upgrade virtual machine hardware and VMware Tools
  • Troubleshoot virtual machine deployment issues


Section 2 – Deploy and Manage a vSphere 6.x Storage Infrastructure

Objective 2.1 – Implement Complex Storage Solutions

  • Determine use cases for Raw Device Mapping
  • Apply storage presentation characteristics according to a deployment plan:
    • VMFS re-signaturing
    • LUN masking using PSA-related commands
  • Create / Configure multiple VMkernels for use with iSCSI port binding
  • Configure / Manage vSphere Flash Read Cache
  • Create / Configure Datastore Clusters
  • Upgrade VMware storage infrastructure
  • Deploy virtual volumes
  • Deploy and configure VMware Virtual SAN
  • Configure / View VMFS locking mechanisms
    • ATS-Only mechanism
    • ATS_SCSI mechanism
  • Configure Storage I/O Control to allow I/O prioritization
  • Configure Storage Multi-pathing according to a deployment plan


Objective 2.2 – Manage Complex Storage Solutions

  • Identify and tag (mark) SSD and local devices
  • Administer hardware acceleration for VAAI
  • Configure, administer, and apply storage policies
  • Prepare storage for maintenance
  • Apply space utilization data to manage storage resources
  • Provision and manage storage resources according to Virtual Machine requirements
  • Configure datastore alarms, including Virtual SAN alarms
  • Expand (Scale up / Scale Out) Virtual SAN hosts and diskgroups


Objective 2.3 – Troubleshoot Complex Storage Solutions

  • Analyze and resolve storage multi-pathing and failover issues
  • Troubleshoot storage device connectivity
  • Analyze and resolve Virtual SAN configuration issues
  • Troubleshoot iSCSI connectivity issues
  • Analyze and resolve NFS issues
  • Troubleshoot RDM issues


Section 3 – Deploy and Manage a vSphere 6.x Network Infrastructure

Objective 3.1 – Implement and Manage vSphere Standard Switch (vSS) Networks

  • Create and manage vSS components according to a deployment plan:
    • VMkernel ports on standard switches
    • Advanced vSS settings
  • Configure TCP/IP stack on a host
  • Create a custom TCP/IP stack
  • Configure and analyze vSS settings using command line tools


Objective 3.2 – Implement and Manage vSphere 6.x Distributed Switch (vDS) Networks

  • Deploy a LAG and migrate to LACP
  • Migrate a vSS network to a hybrid or full vDS solution
  • Analyze vDS settings using command line tools
  • Configure Advanced vDS settings (NetFlow, QOS, etc.)
  • Determine which appropriate discovery protocol to use for specific hardware vendors
  • Configure VLANs/PVLANs according to a deployment plan
  • Create / Apply traffic marking and filtering rules



Objective 3.3 – Scale a vSphere 6.x Network Implementation

  • Configure appropriate NIC teaming failover type and related physical network settings
  • Determine and apply failover settings according to a deployment plan
  • Configure and manage network I/O control 3
  • Determine and configure vDS port binding settings according a deployment plan


Objective 3.4 – Troubleshoot a vSphere 6.x Network Implementation

  • Perform a vDS Health Check for teaming, MTU, mismatches, etc.
  • Configure port groups to properly isolate network traffic
  • Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify configuration issues
  • Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify VLAN configurations
  • Use DCUI network tool to correct network connectivity issues


Section 4 – Configure a vSphere Deployment for Availability and Scalability

Objective 4.1 – Implement and Maintain Complex vSphere Availability Solutions

  • Configure a HA cluster to meet resource and availability requirements
  • Configure custom isolation response settings
  • Configure VM Component Protection (VMCP)
  • Configure HA redundancy settings:
    • Management network
    • Datastore heartbeat
    • Network partitions
  • Configure HA related alarms and analyze a HA cluster
  • Configure VMware Fault Tolerance for single and multi-vCPU virtual machines


Objective 4.2 – Implement and Manage Complex DRS solutions

  • Configure DPM, including appropriate DPM threshold
  • Configure / Modify EVC mode on an existing DRS cluster
  • Create DRS and DPM alarms
  • Configure applicable power management settings for ESXi hosts
  • Configure DRS cluster for efficient/optimal load distribution
  • Properly apply virtual machine automation levels based upon application requirements
  • Administer DRS / Storage DRS
  • Create DRS / Storage DRS affinity and anti-affinity rules
  • Configure advanced DRS / Storage DRS settings
  • Configure and Manage vMotion / Storage vMotion
  • Create and manage advanced resource pool configurations

Objective 4.3 – Troubleshoot vSphere clusters

  • Analyze and resolve DRS/HA faults
  • Troubleshoot DRS/HA configuration issues
  • Troubleshoot Virtual SAN/HA interoperability
  • Resolve vMotion and storage vMotion issues
  • Troubleshoot VMware Fault Tolerance


Section 5 – Configure a vSphere Deployment for Manageability

Objective 5.1 – Execute VMware Cmdlets and Customize Scripts Using PowerCLI

  • Install and configure vSphere PowerCLI
  • Use basic and advanced PowerCLI Cmdlets to manage a vSphere deployment
  • Analyze a sample script, then modify the script to perform a given action
  • Use PowerCLI to configure and administer Auto Deploy (including Image Builder)
  • Create a report from a PowerCLI script


Objective 5.2 – Implement and Maintain Host Profiles

  • Use Profile Editor to edit and / or disable policies
  • Create and apply host profiles
  • Use Host Profiles to deploy vDS
  • Use Host Profiles to deploy vStorage policies
  • Import / Export Host Profiles
  • Manage Answer Files
  • Configure stateful caching and installation for host deployment


Objective 5.3 – Manage and analyze vSphere log files

  • Generate vSphere log bundles
  • Configure and test centralized logging
  • Analyze log entries to obtain configuration information
  • Analyze log entries to identify and resolve issues
  • Configure logging levels for vSphere


Objective 5.4 – Configure and manage Content Library

  • Create a Global User
  • Create a Content Library
  • Subscribe to a Content Library
  • Configure a Content Library for space efficiency
  • Synchronize a subscribed Content Library


Section 6 – Configure a vSphere Deployment for Performance

Objective 6.1 – Utilize Advanced vSphere Performance Monitoring Tools

  • Configure esxtop / resxtop custom profiles
  • Evaluate 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


Objective 6.2 – Optimize Virtual Machine resources

  • Adjust Virtual Machine properties according to a deployment plan:
    • Network configurations
    • CPU configurations
    • Storage configurations
  • Troubleshoot Virtual Machine performance issues based on application workload
  • Modify Transparent Page Sharing and large memory page settings
  • Optimize a Virtual Machine for latency sensitive workloads
  • Configure Flash Read Cache reservations


Section 7 – Configure a vSphere 6.x Environment for Recoverability

Objective 7.1– Deploy and manage vSphere Replication

  • Configure and manage a vSphere Replication infrastructure:
    • Isolate vSphere Replication network traffic
    • Enable data compression of vSphere Replication traffic
  • Configure and manage vSphere Replication of virtual machines
  • Analyze and resolve vSphere Replication issues:
    • Storage configuration
    • Multiple point in time snapshots
    • Enabling vSphere Replication on VMs


Objective 7.2 – Deploy and Manage vSphere Data Protection

  • Create, edit and clone a vSphere Data Protection backup job
  • Modify a preconfigured backup job.
  • Backup and restore a Virtual Machine (file level restore, full VM backup)
  • Create a replication job according to a deployment plan
  • Configure a Backup Verification job to ensure integrity of restore points


Objective 7.3 – Backup and Recover vSphere Configurations

  • Backup and restore distributed switch configurations
  • Backup and restore resource pool configurations
  • Export Virtual Machines to OVA/OVF format
  • Use a Host profile to recover an ESXi host configuration


Section 8 – Configure a vSphere 6.x Environment for Security

Objective 8.1 – Manage authentication and end-user security

  • Add/Edit Remove users on an ESXi host
  • Configure vCenter Roles and Permissions according to a deployment plan
  • Configure and manage Active Directory integration
  • Analyze logs for security-related messages
  • Enable and configure an ESXI Pass Phrase
  • Disable the Managed Object Browser (MOB) to reduce attack surface


Objective 8.2 – Manage SSL certificates

  • Configure and manage VMware Certificate Authority
  • Configure and manage VMware Endpoint Certificate Store
  • Enable / Disable certificate checking
  • Generate ESXi host certificates
  • Replace default certificate with CA-signed certificate
  • Configure SSL timeouts according to a deployment plan


Objective 8.3 – Harden a vSphere 6.x Deployment

  • Enable and configure ESXi Lockdown mode (Strict / Normal)
  • Configure a user on the Lockdown Mode Exception Users list
  • Customize SSH settings for increased security
  • Enable strong passwords and configure password policies
  • Configure vSphere hardening of virtual machines according to a deployment plan





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