If you’ve ever had the task to upgrade a number of ESXi servers, you’ll know that it’s a hell lot of work to be done even before you can upgrade the first host. Is the host still on the VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)? Are my PCIe cards (NIC, HBA, SCSI-controller) still supported? Does the current firmware match the future driver?
Finding answers all of these questions might take hours of research. Especially if you have non-uniform clusters.
Runecast got you covered
We have good news for those of you who already use Runecast-Analyzer to scan their cluster against KB issues. The latest beta (2.7.0) of the HW compatibility tool can now simulate host upgrades. Wow cool is that!
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.
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.