Monday, February 28, 2011

VCAP-DCA Section 2 - 2.2

VCAP-DCA Objective 2.2 : Configure and Maintain VLANs, PVLANs and VLAN settings

The video contains information on how to create VLANs and settings. Also has information on the LAB enviroment created and the componets used.

The PDF document used in the video can be found here PDF Document.

The Video is here.

VCAP-DCA Section 2 - Objective 2.2 from Carlos Vargas on Vimeo.

Friday, February 25, 2011

PowerCLI Book Heads Up

PowerCLI a must for any adminstrator of a  virtualised environment.

Here is new book dedicated to PowerCLI.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Configure SNMP ESX

Here is my first video.

VCAP-DCA -SNMP from Carlos Vargas on Vimeo.

How to configure SNMP on ESX. Link at

Sunday, February 13, 2011

VCAP-DCA Certification journey

Thought I would document my certification journey.....


Where to start..... Google search "VCAP-DCA", "VCAP-DCA Certification"
Scrolling over the results it was clear that one of the most popular and one that suited me was Sean Crookston's Blog.
With a well constructed study guide ( PDF Here ) and with most of the information that would be probably need to get at  level to achieve a PASS mark.
As he states in his blog he will no longer update the  study guide but lucky for us who are going to take this journey, Damin Karison at is stepping up and taking over with the updating of the Guide.
Apart from the blogs above and one who likes watching videos. there was one link that started me off searching for training videos and it was on Sean Crookston's VCAP-DCA blog page under the section "Other Great Resources for studying for the VCAP_DCA exam"
I'm a member of a group in LinkedIn called VMware Certified Professional (VCP) and noticed a Discussion by Eric Sloof titled VCAP-DCA Prep Video - Configure SNMP for ESX/ESXi.
With this I'm now inspired to try to emulate Erics video on some of the other sections. My thinking is as I do these videos I'm burning the steps in my head and be in readiness for the exam labs. So that's the theory!
I really don't want to duplicate all the good material out there but will concentrate more on the technical steps of  each section.
So with information above, it's time to get studying.
Starting with Section 1;
Section 1 – Implement and Manage Storage
VCAP-DCA Objective 1.1 : Implement and Manage Complex Storage Solutions
VCAP-DCA Objective 1.2 : Manage Storage Capacity in a vSphere Environment
VCAP-DCA Objective 1.3 : Configure and manage Complex Multipathing and PSA Plug-ins
Section 2 – Implement and Manage Networking
VCAP-DCA Objective 2.3 : Deploy and Maintain Scalable Virtual Networking
VCAP-DCA Objective 2.4 : Administer vNetwork Distributed Switch Settings
Section 3 – Deploy DRS Clusters and manage Performance
VCAP-DCA Objective 3.1 : Tune and Optimize vSphere Performance
VCAP-DCA Objective 3.2 : Optimize Virtual machine Resources
VCAP-DCA Objective 3.3 : Implement and Maintain Complex DRS Solutions
VCAP-DCA Objective 3.4 : Perform Capacity Planning in a vSphere Environment
Section 4 – Manage Business Continuity and Protect Data
VCAP-DCA Objective 4.2 : Deploy and Test VMware FT
VCAP-DCA Objective 4.3 : Configure a vSphere Environment to support MSCS Clustering
Section 5 – Perform Operational Maintenance
VCAP-DCA Objective 5.2 : Deploy and Manage Complex Update Manager Environments
Section 6 – Perform Advanced Troubleshooting
VCAP-DCA Objective 6.2 : Troubleshoot CPU and Memory Performance
VCAP-DCA Objective 6.3 : Troubleshoot Network Performance and Connectivity
VCAP-DCA Objective 6.4 : Troubleshoot Storage Performance and Connectivity
VCAP-DCA Objective 6.5 : Troubleshoot vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi Host Management
Section 7 – Secure a vSphere Environment
VCAP-DCA Objective 7.1 : Secure ESX/ESXi hosts
VCAP-DCA Objective 7.2 : Configure and Maintain the ESX Firewall
VCAP-DCA Objective 7.3 : Deploy and Administer vShield zones
Section 8 – Perform Scripting and Automation
VCAP-DCA Objective 8.1 : Execute VMware Cmdlets and Customize Scripts using PowerCLI
Section 9 – Perform Advanced vSphere Installations and Configurations
VCAP-DCA Objective 9.1 : Install ESX Server with custom Settings
VCAP-DCA Objective 9.2 : Plan and Execute Scripted Installations
VCAP-DCA Objective 9.3 : Configure vCenter Server Linked Mode

Friday, February 11, 2011

vSphere Update 1

February 10,2011 vSphere Update 1 will  be available.

Release notes ;




Some highlights for me;

The VMW_PSP_RR policy is set as the default path selection policy for NetApp storage arrays that support SATP_ALUA

ESX 4.1 Update 1 supports up to 160 logical processors

Monday, February 7, 2011

Storage Performance

Some cool threads on Storage Performance.
All these have one “requirement”  and that is that Iometer is used.

Also cool scripts; these excellent scripts that Clinton Kitson created which collects and processes vscsistats data.

As stated he will have some very cool 3d diagrams...

VMware Certified Associate 4 - Desktop

VMware offers world-class Desktop certifications designed to validate and recognize individuals with the technical capabilities and real-world experience needed to increase efficiency, reliability, and availability when delivering desktops from the datacenter as a managed service.

The VMware Certified Associate 4 – Desktop (VCA4-DT) is the first step toward gaining expertise in desktop virtualization and earning the respect and recognition that comes with being VMware Certified. The exam is designed for Desktop System Administrators who seek to demonstrate their ability to manage, monitor and troubleshoot desktop deployments and VMware View components, as well as their knowledge of adjacent, complementary technologies to VMware solutions.

VMware View Deployments

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or the ability to deliver desktops as a managed service is an attractive and cost effective solution to mange a corporate desktop environment.  The success of virtual desktop deployments hinges on the user experience, availability and performance, security and IT’s ability to reduce desktop operating expenses. 
VDI deployments virtualizes user desktops by delivering them to distinctive end point devices over the network from a central location. Since the user’s primary work tool is now located in a data center rather than their own local machine, VDI can put a strain on network resources while the user experience can be less than desired.  This is due to the large amounts of data required to deliver a graphical user interface (GUI) based virtual desktop.  For users who want to access their desktops and applications from anywhere in the world, network latency can be especially noticeable when the virtual desktop is delivered over a WAN.  Organizations might have to provision more bandwidth to account for the additional network traffic which in turn, reduces any cost savings realized with VDI.  In addition, VMware has introduced the PCoIP (PC over IP) communications display protocol which makes more efficient use of the network by encapsulating video display packets in UDP instead of TCP.  Many remote access devices are incapable of correctly handling this distinctive protocol and this can deteriorate the user experience.
Keeping mobile users connected to their own unique, individual environments can also pose a challenge.  When a user is moving from one network to another, their session could be dropped, requiring them to re-connect, re-authenticate, and navigate to where they were prior to the interruption.  Session-persistence can maintain the stateful desktop information helping users reconnect quickly without the need to re-authenticate.  Secure access and access control are always concerns when deploying any system and virtual desktops are no different.  Users are still accessing sensitive corporate information so enforcing strong authentication, security policies, and ensuring that the client is compliant all still apply to VDI deployments.
Lastly, IT must make sure that the virtual systems themselves are available and can scale when needed to realize all the benefits from both a virtual server and virtual desktop deployment.

The inclusion of BIG-IP APM’s fine grained access control to BIG-IP LTM VE offers a very powerful enhancement to a VMware View deployment. BIG-IP APM for LTM VE is an exceptional way to optimize, secure, and deliver a VMware View virtual desktop infrastructure.  This is a 100% virtual remote access solution for VMware View 4.5 VDI solutions.  In addition, the BIG-IP APM for LTM VE system will run as a virtual machine in a VMware hypervisor environment so you can easily add it to your existing infrastructure.  As the number of users on virtual desktops grows, customers can easily transition from the BIG-IP virtual edition to a BIG-IP physical appliance.

The BIG-IP provides important load balancing, health monitoring and SSL Offload for VMware View deployments for greater system availability and scalability. Network and protocol optimizations help organizations mange bandwidth efficiently and in some cases, reduces the bandwidth requirements while maintaining and improving the user experience.  BIG-IP APM for LTM VE also opens the possibility of making virtual server load balancing decisions based on user’s identity, ensuring the user is connected to the optimal virtual instance based their needs.  F5 also overcomes the PCoIP challenge with our Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) feature. This transport protocol is uniquely capable of providing all the desired security for transporting PCoIP communications but without the degradation in performance.  In addition, F5 supports View’s automatic fallback to TCP if a high performance UDP tunnel cannot be established.  Users no longer have to RDP to their virtual desktops but can now connect directly with PCoIP or organizations can plan a phased migration to PCoIP.
The BIG-IP APM for LTM VE comes with powerful security controls to keep the entire environment secure.  Pre-login host checks will inspect the requesting client and determine if it meets certain access criteria like OS patch level, Anti-virus/Firewall state or if a certificate is present.  BIG-IP APM for LTM VE offers a wide range of authentication mechanisms, including two-factor, to protect corporate resources from unauthorized access.  BIG-IP APM enables authentication pass-through for convenient single sign on and once a session is established, all traffic, including PCoIP, is encrypted to protect the data and session-persistence helps users reconnect quickly without having to re-authenticate. BIG-IP APM for LTM VE simplifies deployment of authentication and session management for VMware View enterprise virtual desktop management.

Original Post psilva's blog can be found here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere 4

Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere 4 focuses on the most common performance problems which affect an ESX host.

Found this document to be handy to get some key metrics for disk, network, cpu and memory. Also found it handy to pass it on to operations team/BAU to help troubleshoot isuues as it has excellent work flows.