My VCAP exam experience

After being VCP for a very long time it was time to move on towards the next step: VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) Datacenter Deployment.

I’m not goning to drill down too much into details on what to learn and how to prepare. There are plenty of good blog articles around to read. I’d rather give you some soft-skills to tackle the exam and to (hopefully) succeed.

The VCAP Datacenter Deployment exam is unlike many ther VMware exams not a series of multiple chioce questions, but an entire Hands-on-Labs (HOL) environment where you have to solve problems and track down issues. Just like in real life.

During exam you have to solve 27 tasks in 205 minutes. That’s a bit more than 7 minutes per task. Please keep that in mind:

You only have 7 minutes per task

I can’t emphasize this enough. This is not a customer project where you completely finish one task before you’ll advance to the next! If you cannot solve a problem in 7 minutes, skip it and continue with the next one. Time is crucial! Don’t make the same dumb mistake I made on my first attempt. I wasted plenty of time on the first five tasks, because I stubbornly tried to troubleshoot the problem, instead of moving on. So I ran out of time after 20 questions without even reading the last 7 questions. Finally it wasn’t the tasks that lead to failure – it was just the lack of strict time management. Biting the keyboard and banging your head to the wall doesn’t help. Instead I got a valuable (and expensive) lesson on keeping an eye on the clock. Anyway. Fall down, stand up, adjust your crown and move on. My second try was much better and as far as I can remember I only left out a single task.

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New publications in IT-Administrator Magazine

Optimization, troubleshooting and monitoring of virtual infrastructures is like a scientific subject in itself and one of my IT-passions. Together with my buddy Dr. Jens Söldner I have published two articles in german IT-Administrator magazine (German Language), which cover the subjects above.

First article covers strategies for vSphere troubleshooting, best practises and useful tools like VeeamOne, RVTools, vRealize Log Insight or Runecast-Analyzer.

Second article covers vSphere management, administration, automatization and deployment.

IT-Administrator – Special Edition 01/2019

This special edition is available well-assorted magazine stores or can be obtained directly from the publisher’s website.

NSX 6.4 UI problem with older vCenter versions

I’m a great fan of vSphere-Client a.k.a HTML5 client. The user interface based on project clarity is an eye catcher and the user experience is great. But sometimes you’re forced to use the old Flash based flex-client. Not with latest vCenter Server 6.7 but with older releases like vSphere 6.0.

We were facing compatibility issues between flex-client 6.0 and NSX 6.4.4 although it’s a supported combination.

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Enable SSH cluster-wide with PowerCLI

This article shows how to quickly enable SSH service on one, more or all hosts in a cluster.

Start service

Login to vCenter.

Connect-VIServer <myVC>

The command below will activate SSH on all hosts registered in in your vCenter.

Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostService | Where Key -EQ "TSM-SSH" | Start-VMHostService

TSM means “Technical Support Mode”

Stop SSH service

To stop SSH service on all hosts, use the command below.

Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostService | Where Key -EQ "TSM-SSH" |  Stop-VMHostService -Confirm:$False

Selective activation

It’s possible to limit the scope of the command to one host. Just add the FQDN after Get-Host.

Get-VMHost myESX.myDomain.local | Get-VMHostService | Where Key -EQ "TSM-SSH" | Start-VMHostService