VCAP-DCA 5 Objectives

The following links contain my notes on the exam objectives for the VCAP-DCA exam, based on the official blueprint.

Section 1.1 – Implement and Manage complex storage

1. Determine use cases for and configure VMware DirectPath I/O
2. Determine requirements for and configure NPIV
3. Determine appropriate RAID level for various Virtual Machine workloads
4. Apply VMware storage best practices
5. Understand use cases for Raw Device Mapping
6. Configure vCenter Server storage filters
7. Understand and apply VMFS resignaturing
8. Understand and apply LUN masking using PSA‐related commands
9. Analyze I/O workloads to determine storage performance requirements
10. Identify and tag SSD devices
11. Administer hardware acceleration for VAAI
12. Configure and administer profile-based storage
13. Prepare storage for maintenance (mounting/un-mounting)
14. Upgrade VMware storage infrastructure

Section 1.2 – Manage storage capacity in a vSphere environment

1. Apply space utilization data to manage storage resources
2. Provision and manage storage resources according to Virtual Machine requirements
3. Understand interactions between virtual storage provisioning and physical storage provisioning
4. Apply VMware storage best practices
5. Configure Datastore Alarms
6. Analyze Datastore Alarms and errors to determine space availability
7. Configure Datastore Clusters

Section 1.3 – Configure and manage complex multipathing and PSA plugins

1. Install and Configure PSA plug-ins
2. Understand different multipathing policy functionalities
3. Perform command line configuration of multipathing options
4. Change a multipath policy
5. Configure Software iSCSI port binding

Section 2.1 – Implement and Manage Complex Networking

1. Configure SNMP
2. Determine use cases for and applying VMware DirectPath I/O
3. Migrate a vSS network to a Hybrid or Full vDS solution
4. Configure vSS and vDS settings using command line tools
5. Analyze command line output to identify vSS and vDS configuration details
6. Configure NetFlow
7. Determine appropriate discovery protocol (CDP, LLDP)

Section 2.2 – Configure and maintain VLANs, PVLANs and VLAN settings

1. Determine use cases for and configure VLAN Trunking
2. Determine use cases for and configure PVLANs
3. Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify VLAN configurations


Section 2.3 – Deploy and maintain scalable virtual networking

1. Understand the NIC Teaming failover types and related physical network settings
2. Determine and apply Failover settings
3. Configure explicit failover to conform with VMware best practices
4. Configure port groups to properly isolate network traffic


Section 2.4 – Administer vNetwork Distributed Switch settings

1. Understand the use of command line tools to configure appropriate vDS settings on an ESXi host
2. Determine use cases for and apply Port Binding settings
3. Configure Live Port Moving
4. Given a set of network requirements, identify the appropriate distributed switch technology to use
5. Configure and administer vSphere Network I/O Control
6. Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify configuration items from an existing vDS


Section 3.1 – Tune and Optimise vSphere performance

1. Tune ESXi host memory configuration
2. Tune ESXi host networking configuration
3. Tune ESXi host CPU configuration
4. Tune ESXi host storage configuration
5. Configure and apply advanced ESXi host attributes
6. Configure and apply advanced Virtual Machine attributes
7. Configure advanced cluster attributes


Section 3.2 – Optimize virtual machine resources

1. Tune Virtual Machine memory configurations
2. Tune Virtual Machine networking configurations
3. Tune Virtual Machine CPU configurations
4. Tune Virtual Machine storage configurations
5. Calculate available resources
6. Properly size a Virtual Machine based on application workload
7. Modify large memory page settings
8. Understand appropriate use cases for CPU affinity
9. Configure alternate virtual machine swap locations

Section 3.3 – Implement and maintain complex DRS solutions

1. Properly configure BIOS and management settings to support DPM
2. Test DPM to verify proper configuration
3. Configure appropriate DPM Threshold to meet business requirements
4. Configure EVC using appropriate baseline
5. Change the EVC mode on an existing DRS cluster
6. Create DRS and DPM alarms
7. Configure applicable power management settings for ESXi hosts
8. Properly size virtual machines and clusters for optimal DRS efficiency
9. Properly apply virtual machine automation levels based upon application requirements
10. Create and administer ESXi host and Datastore Clusters
11. Administer DRS / Storage DRS

Section 3.4 – Utilize advanced vSphere Performance Monitoring tools

1. Configure esxtop/resxtop custom profiles
2. Determine use cases for and apply esxtop/resxtop Interactive, Batch and Replay modes
3. Use vscsiStats to gather storage performance data
4. Use esxtop/resxtop to collect performance data
5. Given esxtop/resxtop output, identify relative performance data for capacity planning purposes

Section 4.1 – Implement and maintain complex VMware HA solutions

1. Calculate host failure requirements
2. Configure customized isolation response settings
3. Configure HA redundancy-Management Network-Datastore Heartbeat-Network Partitions
4. Configure HA related alarms and monitor an HA cluster
5. Create a custom slot size configuration
6. Understand interactions between DRS and HA
7. Analyze vSphere environment to determine appropriate HA admission control policy
8. Analyze performance metrics to calculate host failure requirements
9. Analyze Virtual Machine workload to determine optimum slot size
10. Analyze HA cluster capacity to determine optimum cluster size

Section 4.2 – Deploy and test VMware FT

1. Modify VM and ESXi host settings to allow for FT compatibility
2. Use VMware best practices to prepare a vSphere environment for FT
3. Configure FT logging
4. Prepare the infrastructure for FT compliance
5. Test FT failover, secondary restart, and application fault tolerance in a FT Virtual Machine

Section 5.1 – Manage host profiles

1. Use Profile Editor to edit and/or disable policies
2. Create sub-profiles
3. Use Host Profiles to deploy vDS
4. Use Host Profiles to deploy vStorage policies
5. Manage Answer Files

Section 5.2 – Deploy and Manage complex Update Manager environments

1. Install and configure Update Manager Download Service
2. Configure a shared repository
3. Configure smart rebooting
4. Manually download updates to a repository
5. Perform orchestrated vSphere upgrades
6. Create and modify baseline groups
7. Troubleshoot Update Manager problem areas and issues
8. Generate database reports using MS Excel or MS SQL
9. Upgrade vApps using Update Manager
10. Utilize Update Manager PowerCLI to export baselines for testing
11. Utilize the Update Manager Utility to reconfigure VUM settings

Section 6.1 – Configure, manage and analyse vSphere log files

1. Generate vCenter Server and ESXi log bundles
2. Use esxcli system syslog to configure centralized logging on ESXi hosts
3. Test centralized logging configuration
4. Analyze log entries to obtain configuration information
5. Analyze log entries to identify and resolve issues
6. Install and configure VMware syslog Collector and ESXi Dump Collector

Section 6.2 – Troubleshoot CPU and memory performance

1. Troubleshoot ESXi host and Virtual Machine CPU performance issues using appropriate metrics
2. Troubleshoot ESXi host and Virtual Machine memory performance issues using appropriate metrics
3. Use Hot-Add functionality to resolve identified Virtual Machine CPU and memory performance issues

Section 6.3 – Troubleshoot Network Performance and connectivity

1. Utilize net-dvs to troubleshoot vNetwork Distributed Switch configurations
2. Utilize vSphere CLI commands to troubleshoot ESXi network configurations
3. Troubleshoot Private VLANs
4. Troubleshoot vmkernel related network configuration issues
5. Troubleshoot DNS and routing related issues
6. Use esxtop/resxtop to identify network performance problems
7. Analyze troubleshooting data to determine if the root cause for a given network problem originates in the physical infrastructure or vSphere environment
8. Configure and administer Port Mirroring
9. Utilize Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) and ESXi Shell to troubleshoot, configure, and monitor ESXi networking

Section 6.4 – Troubleshoot storage performance and connectivity

1. Use esxcli to troubleshoot multipathing and PSA-related issues
2. Use esxcli to troubleshoot VMkernel storage module configurations
3. Use esxcli to troubleshoot iSCSI related issues
4. Troubleshoot NFS Mounting and Permission Issues
5. Use esxtop/resxtop and vscsiStats to Identify Storage Performance Issues
6. Configure and troubleshoot VMFS datastores using vmkfstools
7. Troubleshoot Snapshot and Resignaturing Issues
8. Analyze log files to identify storage and multipathing problems

Section 6.5 – Troubleshoot vCenter Server and ESXi host management

1. Troubleshoot vCenter Server service and database connection issues
2. Troubleshoot the ESXi firewall
3. Troubleshoot ESXi host management and connectivity issues
4. Determine the root cause of a vSphere management or connectivity issue
5. Utilize Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) and ESXi Shell to troubleshoot, configure, and monitor an environment

Section 7.1 – Secure ESXi hosts

1. Add/Edit Remove users/groups on an ESXi host
2. Customize SSH settings for increased security
3. Enable/Disable certificate checking
4. Generate ESXi host certificates
5. Enable ESXi lockdown mode
6. Replace Default Certificate with CA-Signed Certificate
7. Configure SSL timeouts
8. Configure vSphere Authentication Proxy
9. Enable strong passwords and configure password policies
10. Identify methods for hardening virtual machines
11. Analyze logs for security-related messages
12. Manage Active Directory Integration

Section 7.2 – Configure and Maintain the ESXi firewall

1. Enable/Disable pre-configured services
2. Configure service behavior automation
3. Open/Close ports in the firewall
4. Create a custom service
5. Set firewall security level

Section 8.1 – Execute VMware cmdlets and customize scripts using PowerCLI

1. Install and configure vSphere PowerCLI
2. Install and configure Update Manager PowerShell Library
3. Use basic and advanced Cmdlets to manage VMs and ESXi Hosts
4. Use Web Service Access Cmdlets
5. Use Datastore and Inventory Providers
6. Given a sample script, modify the script to perform a given action

Section 8.2 – Administer vSphere using the vSphere Management Assistant

1. Install and configure vMA
2. Add/Remove target servers
3. Perform updates to the vMA
4. Use vmkfstools to manage VMFS datastores
5. Use vmware-cmd to manage VMs
6. Use esxcli to manage ESXi Host configurations
7. Troubleshoot common vMA errors and conditions

Section 9.1 – Install ESXi hosts with custom settings

1. Create/Edit Image Profiles
2. Install/uninstall custom drivers
3. Configure advanced bootloader options
4. Configure kernel options
5. Given a scenario, determine when to customize a configuration

Section 9.2 – Install ESXi hosts using AutoDeploy

1. Install the Auto Deploy Server
2. Utilize Auto Deploy cmdlets to deploy ESXi hosts
3. Configure Bulk Licensing
4. Provision/Reprovision ESXi hosts using Auto Deploy
5. Configure an Auto Deploy reference host


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