vDCA550 (Study Guide)

Recently, I had completed my VMWare advanced professional (vDCA550) exam.it took me couple of months to prepare the exam. During my exam preparation, I had studied and go through various exam materials, which I had mentioned in my exam experience post. While my preparation, I happen to prepare my own study guide, which I going to share here for everyone, who want to study or prepare this exam, may take benefit from my notes and experience. This study guide is based on vDCA550 exam blueprint version 3.2/3.3, which are the latest one at the time (1-Jan-2015) of writing this post. You can download the vDCA550 version 3.3 exam blueprint PDF here or get the latest one from VMware vDCA550 Following are the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VDCA550 ) Certification exam blue print objectives, which you need to study for this exam. NOTE: During my preparation, i tried to wrote some Scenarios and then provided their solutions. which you will find in the blueprint objectives posts throughout this series. it will help you better understand the objectives and prepare your mind set for exam. because vDCA exam is scenario based LAB exam. for sake of simplicity, i will create a separate post for vDCA550 Scenarios and write them all on that post. so that, you can easily find all scenarios at one place. 

 Section 1 – Implement and Manage Storage

Objective 1.1 – Implement Complex Storage Solutions Skills and Abilities

  1. Determine use cases for and configure VMware DirectPath I/O
  2. Determine requirements for and configure NPIV
  3. Understand use cases for Raw Device Mapping
  4. Configure vCenter Server storage filters
  5. Understand and apply VMFS re-signaturing
  6. Understand and apply LUN masking using PSA-related commands
  7. Configure Software iSCSI port binding
  8. Configure and manage vSphere Flash Read Cache
  9. Configure Datastore Clusters
  10. Upgrade VMware storage infrastructure

You may also find the “Objective 1.1” Study guide PDF here

Objective 1.2 – Manage Complex Storage Solutions Skills and Abilities

  1. Analyze I/O workloads to determine storage performance requirements
  2. Identify and tag SSD and local devices
  3. Administer hardware acceleration for VAAI
  4. Configure and administer profile-based storage
  5. Prepare storage for maintenance
  6. Apply space utilization data to manage storage resources
  7. Provision and manage storage resources according to Virtual Machine requirements
  8. Understand interactions between virtual storage provisioning and physical storage provisioning
  9. Configure datastore Alarms
  10. Create and analyze datastore alarms and errors to determine space availability

You may also find the “Objective 1.2” Study guide PDF here

Objective 1.3 – Troubleshoot complex storage solutions  Skills and Abilities

  1. Perform command line configuration of multipathing options
  2. Change a multipath policy
  3. Troubleshoot common storage issues

You may also find the “Objective 1.3” Study guide PDF here

Section 2 – Implement and Manage Networking

Objective 2.1 – Implement and manage virtual standard switch (vSS) networks Skills and Abilities

  1. Create and Manage vSS components -Part 1
  2. Create and Manage vSS components -Part 2
  3. Create and Manage vmkernel ports on standard switches
  4. Configure advanced vSS settings

You may also find the “Objective 2.1” Study guide PDF here

Objective 2.2 – Implement and manage virtual distributed switch (vDS) networks Skills and Abilities

  1. Determine use cases for and applying VMware DirectPath I/O
  2. Migrate a vSS network to a hybrid or full vDS solution
  3. Configure vSS and vDS settings using command line tools
  4. Analyze command line output to identify vSS and vDS configuration details
  5. Configure NetFlow
  6. Determine appropriate discovery protocol
  7. Determine use cases for and configure PVLANs
  8. Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify VLAN configurations

You may also find the “Objective 2.2” Study guide PDF here

Objective 2.3 – Troubleshoot virtual switch solutions Skills and Abilities

  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 (Part 1)
  5. Configure port groups to properly isolate network traffic (Part 2)
  6. Given a set of network requirements, identify the appropriate distributed switch technology to use
  7. Configure and administer vSphere Network I/O Control
  8. Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify configuration items from an existing vDS

You may also find the “Objective 2.3” Study guide PDF here

Section 3 – Implement and Manage Host Clusters

Objective 3.1 – Implement and Maintain Complex VMware HA Solutions Skills and Abilities

  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

You may also find the “Objective 3.1” Study guide PDF here

Objective 3.2 – Implement and manage complex DRS solutions Skills and Abilities

  1. Explain DRS / storage DRS affinity and anti-affinity rules
  2. Identify required hardware components to support Distributed Power Management (DPM)
  3. Identify EVC requirements, baselines and components
  4. Understand the DRS / storage DRS migration algorithms, the Load Imbalance Metrics, and their impact on migration recommendations
  5. Properly configure BIOS and management settings to support DPM
  6. Test DPM to verify proper configuration
  7. Configure appropriate DPM Threshold to meet business requirements
  8. Configure EVC using appropriate baseline
  9. Change the EVC mode on an existing DRS cluster
  10. Create DRS and DPM alarms
  11. Configure applicable power management settings for ESXi hosts
  12. Properly size virtual machines and clusters for optimal DRS efficiency
  13. Properly apply virtual machine automation levels based upon application requirements
  14. Create and administer ESXi host and Datastore Clusters
  15. Administer DRS / Storage DRS

You may also find the “Objective 3.2” Study guide PDF here

Objective 3.3 – Troubleshoot vSphere clusters Skills and Abilities

  1. Configure EVC using appropriate baseline
  2. Create and manage DRS and DPM alarms
  3. Properly size virtual machines and clusters for optimal DRS efficiency
  4. Properly apply virtual machine automation levels based upon application requirements

You may also find the “Objective 3.3” Study guide PDF here

Section 4 – Manage Virtual Machines and vSphere Resources

Objective 4.1 – Utilize Advanced vSphere Performance Monitoring Tools Skills and Abilities

  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

You may also find the “Objective 4.1” Study guide PDF here

Objective 4.2 – Optimize Virtual Machine resources Skills and Abilities

  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

You may also find the “Objective 4.2” Study guide PDF here

Objective 4.3 – Manage advanced virtual machine configurations Skills and Abilities

  1. Tune Virtual Machine disk controller configurations
  2. Configure .vmx file for advanced configuration scenarios
  3. Identify pre-requisites for Hot Add features
  4. Configure VMware Fault Tolerance
  5. Upgrade virtual machine hardware and VMware Tools

You may also find the “Objective 4.3” Study guide PDF here

Objective 4.4– Configure and manage vSphere Replication Skills and Abilities

  1. Configure and manage a vSphere Replication infrastructure
  2. Configure and manage vSphere Replication of virtual machines
  3. Troubleshoot vSphere Replication

You may also find the “Objective 4.4” Study guide PDF here

Section 5 – Perform Operational Maintenance

Objective 5.1 – Implement and Maintain Host Profiles Skills and Abilities

  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. Import/Export Host Profiles
  6. Manage Answer Files

You may also find the “Objective 5.1” Study guide PDF here

Objective 5.2 – Utilize Update Manager for patches and upgrades Skills and Abilities

  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

You may also find the “Objective 5.2” Study guide PDF here

Objective 5.3 – Manage vCenter inventory Skills and Abilities

  1. Apply vSphere tags
  2. Search vSphere inventory
  3. Troubleshoot the vSphere inventory infrastructure

You may also find the “Objective 5.3” Study guide PDF here

Objective 5.4 – Configure, manage, and analyze vSphere and SSO log files Skills and Abilities

  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

You may also find the “Objective 5.4” Study guide PDF here

Section 6 – Secure a vSphere Environment

Objective 6.1 – Manage authentication and end-user security Skills and Abilities

  1. Add/Edit Remove users/groups on an ESXi host
  2. Customize SSH settings for increased security
  3. Enable ESXi lockdown mode
  4. Enable strong passwords and configure password policies
  5. Identify methods for hardening virtual machines
  6. Analyze logs for security-related messages
  7. Manage Active Directory integration

You may also find the “Objective 6.1” Study guide PDF here

Objective 6.2 – Manage SSL certificates Skills and Abilities

  1. Enable/Disable certificate checking
  2. Generate ESXi host certificates
  3. Replace default certificate with CA-signed certificate
  4. Configure SSL timeouts
  5. Configure vSphere Authentication Proxy

You may also find the “Objective 6.2” Study guide PDF here

Section 7 – Perform Scripting and Automation

Objective 7.1 – Execute VMware Cmdlets and Customize Scripts Using PowerCLI Skills and Abilities

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

You may also find the “Objective 7.1” Study guide PDF here

Objective 7.2 – Utilize basic workflows using Orchestrator Skills and Abilities

  1. Configure and manage vCenter Orchestrator
  2. Add Orchestrator to vCenter
  3. Create basic vCenter management workflows
  4. Troubleshoot existing workflows
  5. Import/export packages

You may also find the “Objective 7.2” Study guide PDF here

10 responses to “vDCA550 (Study Guide)

  1. Pingback: Overview sobre o VCAP5-DCA - Solutions4Crowds·

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