VCAP Exam Blueprint

VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Datacenter Administration

Here is a list of the topics covered on the VCAP-DCA exam. Full details can be found by reading the Exam blueprint.

VDCA410 Section 1 – Implement and Manage Storage
Objective 1.1 – Implement and Manage Complex Storage Solutions
Knowledge
• Identify RAID levels
• Identify supported HBA types
• Identify virtual disk format types
Skills and Abilities
• Determine use cases for and configure VMware DirectPath I/O
• Determine requirements for and configure NPIV
• Determine appropriate RAID level for various Virtual Machine workloads
• Apply VMware storage best practices
• Understand use cases for Raw Device Mapping
• Configure vCenter Server storage filters
• Understand and apply VMFS resignaturing
• Understand and apply LUN masking using PSA‐related commands
• Analyze I/O workloads to determine storage performance requirements
Tools
• Fibre Channel SAN Configuration Guide
• iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vscsiStats
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
o vifs
o vmkfstools
o esxtop/resxtop
Objective 1.2 – Manage Storage Capacity in a vSphere Environment
Knowledge
• Identify storage provisioning methods
• Identify available storage monitoring tools, metrics and alarms
Skills and Abilities
• Apply space utilization data to manage storage resources
• Provision and manage storage resources according to Virtual Machine requirements
• Understand interactions between virtual storage provisioning and physical storage provisioning
• Apply VMware storage best practices
• Configure datastore alarms
• Analyze datastore alarms and errors to determine space availability
Tools
• vSphere Datacenter Administration Guide
• Fibre Channel SAN Configuration Guide
• iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vmkfstools
Objective 1.3 – Configure and Manage Complex Multipathing and PSA Plug‐ins
Knowledge
• Explain the Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) layout
Skills and Abilities
• Install and Configure PSA plug‐ins
• Understand different multipathing policy functionalities
• Perform command line configuration of multipathing options
• Change a multipath policy
• Configure Software iSCSI port binding 8
Tools
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• Fibre Channel SAN Configuration Guide
• iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o esxcli
Section 2 – Implement and Manage Networking
Objective 2.1 – Implement and Manage Complex Virtual Networks
Knowledge
• Identify common virtual switch configurations
Skills and Abilities
• Determine use cases for and apply IPv6
• Configure NetQueue
• Configure SNMP
• Determine use cases for and apply VMware DirectPath I/O
• Migrate a vSS network to a Hybrid or Full vDS solution
• Configure vSS and vDS settings using command line tools
• Analyze command line output to identify vSS and vDS configuration details
Tools
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• vNetwork Distributed Switch: Migration and Configuration
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*9
Objective 2.2 – Configure and Maintain VLANs, PVLANs and VLAN Setting
Knowledge
• Identify types of VLANs and PVLANs
Skills and Abilities
• Determine use cases for and configure VLAN Trunking
• Determine use cases for and configure PVLANs
• Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify VLAN configurations Tools
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
Objective 2.3 – Deploy and Maintain Scalable Virtual Networking
Knowledge
• Identify VMware NIC Teaming policies
• Identify common network protocols
Skills and Abilities
• Understand the NIC Teaming failover types and related physical network settings
• Determine and apply Failover settings
• Configure explicit failover to conform with VMware best practices
• Configure port groups to properly isolate network traffic
Tools
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client10
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
Objective 2.4 – Administer vNetwork Distributed Switch Settings
Knowledge
• Explain relationship between vDS and logical vSSes
Skills and Abilities
• Understand the use of command line tools to configure appropriate vDS settings on an ESX/ESXi host
• Determine use cases for and apply Port Binding settings
• Configure Live Port Moving
• Given a set of network requirements, identify the appropriate distributed switch technology to use
• Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify configuration items from an existing vDS
Tools
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
Section 3 – Deploy DRS Clusters and Manage Performance
Objective 3.1 – Tune and Optimize vSphere Performance
Knowledge
• Identify appropriate BIOS and firmware setting requirements for optimal ESX/ESXi Host performance
• Identify appropriate ESX driver revisions required for optimal ESX/ESXi Host performance
• Recall where to locate information resources to verify compliance with VMware and third party vendor best practices 11
Skills and Abilities
• Tune ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine memory configurations
• Tune ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine networking configurations
• Tune ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine CPU configurations
• Tune ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine storage configurations
• Configure and apply advanced ESX/ESXi Host attributes
• Configure and apply advanced Virtual Machine attributes
• Tune and optimize NUMA controls
Tools
• vSphere Resource Management Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere 4

Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
o Performance Graphs
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
o resxtop/esxtop
o vscsiStats
Objective 3.2 – Optimize Virtual Machine Resources
Knowledge
• Compare and contrast virtual and physical hardware resources
Identify VMware memory management techniques
• Identify VMware CPU load balancing techniques
• Identify pre‐requisites for Hot Add features
Skills and Abilities
• Calculate available resources
• properly size a Virtual Machine based on application workload
• Configure large memory pages
• Understand appropriate use cases for CPU affinity
Tools
• vSphere Resource Management Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Understanding Memory Resource Management in VMware® ESX™ Server 4.1
• VMware vSphere™ : The CPU Scheduler in VMware® ESX™ 4.1
• vSphere Client
o Performance Charts
• vSphere CLI
o resxtop/esxtop
Objective 3.3 – Implement and Maintain Complex DRS Solutions
Knowledge
• Explain DRS affinity and anti‐affinity rules
• Identify required hardware components to support DPM
• Identify EVC requirements, baselines and components
• Understand the DRS Slot‐size algorithm and its impact on migration recommendations
Skills and Abilities
• properly configure BIOS and management settings to support DPM
• Test DPM to verify proper configuration
• Configure appropriate DPM Threshold to meet business requirements
• Configure EVC using appropriate baseline
• Change the EVC mode on an existing DRS cluster
• Create DRS and DPM alarms
• Configure applicable power management settings for ESX Hosts
• properly size virtual machines and clusters for optimal DRS efficiency
• properly apply virtual machine automation levels based upon application requirements
Tools
• vSphere Resource Management Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
o DRS Resource Distribution Chart
Objective 3.4 – Perform Capacity Planning in a vSphere Environment
Knowledge
• Understand the DRS slot‐size algorithm and its impact on migration recommendations
• Identify tools needed for monitoring capacity planning
• Identify performance metrics related to resource contention and saturation
Skills and Abilities
• Predict when additional ESX/ESXi Host, network or storage resources will be required by observing an existing environment
• Determine when to expand or contract provisioned Virtual Machine resources based upon observed Virtual Machine utilization
• Interpret performance metrics from vCenter to properly size the environment
Tools
• vSphere Resource Management Guide
• Overview Performance Charts Help
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Clien
Objective 3.5 – Utilize Advanced vSphere Performance Monitoring Tools
Knowledge
• Identify hot keys and fields used with resxtop/esxtop
• Identify fields used with vscsiStats
Skills and Abilities
• Configure esxtop/resxtop custom profiles
• Determine 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 Purpose
Tools
• vSphere Resource Management Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o esxtop/resxtop
o vscsiStats14
Section 4 – Manage Business Continuity and Protect Data
Objective 4.1 – Implement and Maintain Complex VMware HA Solutions
Knowledge
• Identify the three admission control policies for HA
• Identify heartbeat options and dependencies
Skills and Abilities
• Calculate host failure requirements
• Configure customized isolation response settings
• Configure HA redundancy in a mixed ESX/ESXi environment
• Configure HA related alarms and monitor an HA cluster
• Create a custom slot size configuration
• Understand interactions between DRS and HA
• Create an HA solution that ensures primary node distribution across sites
• Analyze vSphere environment to determine appropriate HA admission control policy
• Analyze performance metrics to calculate host failure requirements
• Analyze Virtual Machine workload to determine optimum slot size
• Analyze HA cluster capacity to determine optimum cluster size
Tools
• vSphere Availability Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
Objective 4.2 – Deploy and Test VMware FT
Knowledge
• Identify VMware FT hardware requirements
• Identify VMware FT compatibility requirements
Skills and Abilities
• Modify VM and ESX/ESXi Host settings to allow for FT compatibility
• Use VMware best practices to prepare a vSphere environment for FT
• Configure FT logging15
• Prepare the infrastructure for FT compliance
• Test FT failover, secondary restart and application fault tolerance in a FT Virtual Machine
Tools
• vSphere Availability Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
Objective 4.3 – Configure a vSphere Environment to support MSCS Clustering
Knowledge
• Identify MSCS clustering solution requirements
• Identify the three supported MSCS configurations
Skills and Abilities
• Configure Virtual Machine hardware to support cluster type and guest OS
• Configure a MSCS cluster on a single ESX/ESXi Host
• Configure a MSCS cluster across ESX/ESXi Hosts
• Configure standby host clustering
Tools
• Setup for Failover Clustering and Microsoft Cluster Service
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
Objective 4.4 – Deploy and Maintain vCenter Server Heartbeat
Knowledge
• Identify the five protection levels for vCenter Server Heartbeat
• Identify the three server protection options for vCenter Server Heartbeat
• Identify supported cloning options
Skills and Abilities
• Install and configure vCenter Server Heartbeat
• Determine use cases for and execute a manual switchover
• Recover from a failover16
• Monitor vCenter Server Heartbeat and communication status
• Configure heartbeat settings
• Configure shutdown options
• Configure application protection
• Add/Edit Services
• Add/Edit Tasks
• Edit/Test Rules
• Install/Edit Plug‐ins
• Add/Remove Inclusion/Exclusion Filters
• Perform Full System and Full Registry checks
• Configure/Test Alerts
• Troubleshoot common vCenter Server Heartbeat error conditions
Tools
• vCenter Server Heartbeat QuickStart Guide
• vCenter Server Heartbeat Reference Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
Section 5 – Perform Operational Maintenance
Objective 5.1 – Implement and Maintain Host Profiles
Skills and Abilities
• Use Profile Editor to edit and/or disable policies
• Create sub‐profiles
• Use Host Profiles to deploy vDS
Tools
• vSphere Datacenter Administration Guide
• VMware vSphere™ 4: Deployment Methods for the VMware® vNetwork Distributed Switch
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
Objective 5.2 – Deploy and Manage Complex Update Manager Environments
Knowledge
• Identify firewall access rules for Update Manager
Skills and Abilities
• Determine use case for, install and configure Update Manager Download Service
• Configure a shared repository
• Configure smart rebooting
• Manually download updates to a repository
• Perform orchestrated vSphere upgrades
• Create and modify baseline groups
• Troubleshoot Update Manager problem areas and issues
• Generate database reports using MS Excel or MS SQL
• Upgrade vApps using Update Manager
Tools
• VMware vCenter Update Manager Installation and Administration Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vmware-umds
Section 6 – Perform Advanced Troubleshooting
Objective 6.1 – Configure, Manage and Analyze vSphere Log Files
Knowledge
• Identify vCenter Server log file names and locations
• Identify ESX/ESXi log files names and locations
• Identify tools used to view vSphere log files
Skills and Abilities
• Generate vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi log bundles
• Use vicfg‐syslog to configure centralized logging on ESX/ESXi Hosts
• Test centralized logging configuration
• Configure the vMA appliance as a log host
• Use vilogger to enable/disable log collection on the vMA appliance
• Use vilogger to configure log rotation and retention
• Analyze log entries to obtain configuration information
• Analyze log entries to identify and resolve issues
Tools
• vSphere Management Assistant Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• vSphere Datacenter Administration Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vicfg-syslog
• vilogger
Objective 6.2 – Troubleshoot CPU and Memory Performance
Knowledge
• Identify resxtop/esxtop metrics related to memory and CPU
• Identify vCenter Server Performance Chart metrics related to memory and CPU
Skills and Abilities
• Troubleshoot ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine CPU performance issues using appropriate metrics
• Troubleshoot ESX/ESXi Host and Virtual Machine memory performance issues using appropriate metrics
• Use Hot‐Add functionality to resolve identified Virtual Machine CPU and memory performance issues
Tools
• vSphere Resource Management Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o resxtop/esxtop
Objective 6.3 – Troubleshoot Network Performance and Connectivity
Knowledge
• Identify virtual switch entries in a Virtual Machine’s configuration file
• Identify virtual switch entries in the ESX/ESXi Host configuration file
• Identify CLI commands and tools used to troubleshoot vSphere networking configurations
• Identify logs used to troubleshoot network issues
Skills and Abilities
• Utilize net-dvs to troubleshoot vNetwork Distributed Switch configurations
• Utilize vicfg-* commands to troubleshoot ESX/ESXi network configurations
• Configure a network packet analyzer in a vSphere environment
• Troubleshoot Private VLANs
• Troubleshoot Service Console and vmkernel network configuration issues
• Troubleshoot DNS and routing related issues
• Use esxtop/resxtop to identify network performance problems
• Use CDP and/or network hints to identify connectivity issues
• Analyze troubleshooting data to determine if the root cause for a given network problem originates in the physical infrastructure or vSphere environment
Tools
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
o net-dvs
o resxtop/esxtop
Objective 6.4 – Troubleshoot Storage Performance and Connectivity
Knowledge
• Recall vicfg-* commands related to listing storage configuration
• Recall vSphere 4 storage maximums
• Identify logs used to troubleshoot storage issues
• Describe the VMFS file system
Skills and Abilities
• Use vicfg-* and esxcli to troubleshoot multipathing and PSA‐related issues
• Use vicfg-module to troubleshoot VMkernel storage module configurations
• Use vicfg-* and esxcli to troubleshoot iSCSI related issues
• Troubleshoot NFS mounting and permission issues
• Use esxtop/resxtop and vscsiStats to identify storage performance issues
• Configure and troubleshoot VMFS datastores using vmkfstools
• Troubleshoot snapshot and resignaturing issues
• Analyze log files to identify storage and multipathing problems20
Tools
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
o esxcli
o resxtop/esxtop
o vscsiStats
o vmkfstools
Objective 6.4 – Troubleshoot vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi Host Management
Knowledge
• Identify CLI commands and tools used to troubleshoot management issues
Skills and Abilities
• Troubleshoot vCenter Server service and database connection issues
• Troubleshoot the ESX Service Console firewall
• Troubleshoot ESX/ESXi server management and connectivity issues
• Determine the root cause of vSphere management or connectivity issue
Tools
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
Section 7 – Secure a vSphere Environment
Objective 7.1 – Secure ESX/ESXi Hosts
Knowledge
• Identify configuration files related to network security
• Identify virtual switch security characteristics
Skills and Abilities
• Add/Edit Remove users/groups on an ESX Host
• Customize SSH settings for increased security
• Enable/Disable certificate checking
• Generate ESX Host certificates
• Enable ESXi lockdown mode
• Replace default certificate with CA‐signed certificate
• Configure SSL timeouts
• Secure ESX Web Proxy
• Enable strong passwords and configure password policies
• Identify methods for hardening virtual machines
• Analyze logs for security‐related messages
Tools
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-user
o vifs
Objective 7.2 – Configure and Maintain the ESX Firewall
Knowledge
• Identify vicfg-firewall commands
• Explain the three firewall security levels
• Identify ESX firewall architecture with/without vCenter Server22
Skills and Abilities
• Enable/Disable pre‐configured services
• Configure service behavior automation
• Open/Close ports in the firewall
• Create a custom service
• Set firewall security level
Tools
• ESX Configuration Guide
• ESXi Configuration Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-firewall
Objective 7.3 – Deploy and Administer vShield Zones
Knowledge
• Identify vShield Zones components
• Identify the four CLI command modes
Skills and Abilities
• Configure vShield Zones
• Backup and restore vShield Manager Data
• Backup CLI Configuration
• Create/Delete Layer 2/3/4 firewall rules using VM Wall
• Install/Uninstall a vShield manually and from template
• Configure vShield Manager plug‐in capability
• Configure VM Flow charts
• Update vShield Zones
• Add/Edit/Delete User Accounts
• Assign rights to a user
• Add/Delete Application‐Port Pair mapping
• Execute/Schedule Execution of virtual machine discovery
• Utilize vShield Zones CLI commands to configure and monitor vShield Zones
• Analyze traffic using VM Flow to determine root cause of network related issues23
Tools
• vShield Zones QuickStart Guide
• vShield Zones Administration Guide
• Introduction to vShield Zones
• Product Documentation
• vShield Manager
• vShield CLI
• vSphere Client
Section 8 – Perform Scripting and Automation
Objective 8.1 – Execute VMware Cmdlets and Customize Scripts Using PowerCLI
Knowledge
• Identify vSphere PowerCLI requirements
• Identify Cmdlet concepts
• Identify environment variables usage
Skills and Abilities
• Use VMRun to execute commands in a guest OS
• Install vSphere PowerCLI
• Install Update Manager PowerShell Library
• Use basic and advanced Cmdlets to manage VMs and ESX Hosts
• Use Web Service Access Cmdlets
• Use Datastore and Inventory Providers
• Given a sample script, modify the script to perform a given action
Tools
• vSphere PowerCLI Installation Guide
• vSphere PowerCLI Administration Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere PowerCLI commands
• vSphere PowerCLI Cmdlets24
Objective 8.2 – Administer vCenter Orchestrator
Knowledge
• Identify vCenter Orchestrator requirements
• Identify default Orchestrator plug‐ins
Skills and Abilities
• Install and Configure vCenter Orchestrator
• Configure vCenter Orchestrator database
• Configure vCenter Orchestrator LDAP connection
• Configure vCenter Orchestrator vCenter server connections
• Run a Workflow
• Administer Actions, Tasks, Workflows and Policies
• Administer Packages
• Identify appropriate Workflow for a given management activity
Tools
• vCenter Orchestrator Installation and Configuration Guide
• vCenter Orchestrator Administration Guide
• Product Documentation
• vCenter Orchestrator Web Configuration
• vCenter Orchestrator Client
• vSphere Client
Objective 8.3 – Administer vSphere Using the vSphere Management Assistant
Knowledge
• Identify vMA prerequisites
• Identify vMA specific commands
• Determine when vMA is needed
Skills and Abilities
• Install and Configure vMA
• Add/Remove target servers
• Perform updates to the vMA
• Use vmkfstools to manage VMFS datastores
• Use vmware-cmd to manage VMs
• Use esxcli to manage Storage Multipathing
• Troubleshoot common vMA errors and conditions
• vSphere Management Assistant Guide
• vSphere Command‐Line Interface Installation and Scripting Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Management Appliance
• vifp
• vima-update
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-*
o vmkfstools
o esxcli
o vmware-cmd
• vSphere Client
Section 9 – Perform Advanced vSphere Installations and Configurations
Objective 9.1 – Install ESX Server with custom settings
Knowledge
• Identify Service Console memory defaults and maximums
• Identify default and optional ESX partitions
Skills and Abilities
• Configure optional ESX partitions during installation
• Install/uninstall custom drivers
• Configure advanced bootloader options
• Configure kernel options
• Given a scenario, determine when to customize a configuration
Tools
• ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere CLI
o vicfg-advcfg
o vicfg-module
• vSphere Client26
Objective 9.2 – Plan and Execute Scripted Installations
Knowledge
• Identify default installation scripts
• Identify boot options for scripted installation
Skills and Abilities
• Perform a scripted ESX Host installation
• Perform a scripted ESXi Host installation
• Configure media repository
• Edit installation script parameters
• Configure pre/post script tasks
• Evaluate use cases for scripted installation
Tools
• ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide
• Product Documentation
• ks-first-safe.cfg
• ks-first.cfg
Objective 9.3 – Configure vCenter Server Linked Mode
Knowledge
• Identify Linked Mode Prerequisites
• Identify differences between Linked and non‐linked vCenter Server Configurations
• Identify when a role requires reconciliation
Skills and Abilities
• Reconcile Roles in a Linked Mode Configuration
• Create and Join a Linked Mode Group
• Determine use cases for vCenter Server Linked Mode
• Troubleshoot Linked Mode Configurations
Tools
• ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide
• vSphere Datacenter Administration Guide
• Product Documentation
• vSphere Client

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