Course Description

This class is an intensive 5-day introduction to VMware’s vSphere™ including VMware ESXi™ 4 and vCenter™ 4.1 delivered in 5, 10 hour days. It is intended for experienced Windows and Linux administrators who need to take charge of their VMware implementation/operation and then drive it to the max.

No prior virtualization experience is assumed, but a willingness to work hard is required! This class starts with the basics and rapidly progresses to advanced topics. More than 40% of class time is devoted to labs so technical skill development and best practices are reinforced.

All key aspects of VMware vSphere 4.1 are covered – from installation of ESXi and vCenter through to resource & power management, back up & recovery, monitoring and alarms, load balancing, service availability, and much more. Each topic is presented from the perspective of delivering key business and/or economic value – not just the technical or mechanical aspects of the software. Advanced topics address both vSphere and Virtual Machine scalability, performance, reliability, availability and security.

By the end of the class, attendees will have learned the benefits, skills, and best practices of virtualization. Attendees will be able to design, implement, deploy, configure, monitor, manage and troubleshoot VMware vSphere 4.1.



At the end of the course, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain the many significant benefits of virtualization
  • Install ESXi Server according to best practices
  • Configure and manage local storage
  • Create virtual, distributed virtual, and virtual to physical LAN segments
  • Connect to, and use NAS datastores
  • Create virtual machines, install operating systems and applications
  • Hotplug virtual hardware including CPUs, RAM, NICs, Disks and USB
  • Install, configure and administer VMware vCenter
  • Rapidly deployment of VMs using golden-master templates
  • Create clones – one-time copies of virtual machine
  • Use VMware vNetwork Distributed vSwitches to deliver consistent network configurations
  • Understand and use shared SAN storage including Fibre and iSCSI SANs
  • Perform VM cold migrations, hot migrations and Storage VMotion
  • Use VMware Consolidated Back Up to back up and restore running VMs
  • Use VMware Data Recovery to back up and recover VMs and files
  • Configure, manage, monitor and secure users and groups
  • Create and manage Distributed Resource Schedule load balanced clusters
  • Understand and use Distributed Power Management
  • Create and manage VMware High Availability clusters to protect against VM service loss caused by ESXi server failures
  • Use Fault Tolerance to eliminate unplanned VM down time
  • Monitor and tune both ESXi and virtual machine performance
  • Patch management using vCenter Update Manager
  • Understand how VMware and third party products, including operating systems, are impacted by virtualization
  • Create and run distributed applications using VMware vApp
  • Create and enforce server configuration with Host Profiles
  • Troubleshoot common problems



5 days


Target Audience

  • System architects or others who need to design virtual infrastructure
  • Senior vSphere administrators and/or senior Windows or Linux administrators or others responsible for technical design and implementation of new Virtual Infrastructure projects
  • Security specialists responsible for monitor, managing, securing and administering Virtual Infrastructure
  • Performance and capacity analysts who need to understand, provision, monitor and performance tune Virtual Infrastructure
  • Business Continuity specialists responsible for disaster recovery and high availability
  • Storage administrators who need to understand how Virtual Infrastructure sees and uses Fibre SAN and iSCSI SAN volumes and NAS datastores


Course Prerequisites

Attendees should have user, operator or administrator experience on common operating systems such as Microsoft Windows®, Linux™, UNIX™, etc. Experience installing, configuring and managing operating systems, storage systems and or networks is useful but not required. We assume that all attendees have a basic familiarity with PC server hardware, disk partitioning, IP addressing, O/S installation, networking, etc.


Suggested Follow on Courses

There are a number of options of suitable follow-on courses, depending on your business needs. Please contact us for further details.


Course Content

Hands On Labs

Attendees will complete the following hands on labs during this class:

  • Install ESXi onto an HP DL365 server. Configure ESXi for efficient power management. Join a Windows Domain for improved user management
  • Create and update Virtual Switches including setting Cisco Discovery Protocol. Create NIC teams and explore vSwitch security properties
  • Learn how to test for Jumbo Frame hardware support, determine the maximum frame size and configure ESXi NICs to use Jumbo Frames
  • Connect to and browse NFS file shares. Easily move files between Windows and ESXi
  • Create a Virtual Machine. Install Windows 2003 into the VM. Install VMware Tools into the VM. Add 3rd party tools and utilities to the VM
  • Install and configure vCenter on Windows 2003. Install vCenter Modules
  • Configure vCenter’s inventory views to organize inventory objects
  • Create redundant vCenter Linked Mode configuration for higher up time
  • Work with Clones and Templates. Convert a VM into a template. Rapidly deploy new VMs from template. Copy VMs using cloning. Use guest OS customization to easily change the identity of a VM. Create, update and deploy VMs using Guest OS Customization Specifications
  • Work with virtual disks. Hot add a secondary virtual disk. Grow a non-system volume. Grow a Windows system disk and partition
  • Convert virtual disks between Thick and Thin format to maximize either performance or space efficiency
  • Hot plug VM virtual hardware including memory, disks and NICs
  • Create custom virtual CPU configurations (such as dual core vCPUs) to minimize software licensing costs and maximize performance
  • Work with vCenter permissions. Use and customize Roles
  • Create, update and work with Network Distributed vSwitches. Create NIC Teams for added performance and redundancy
  • Create, configure a router to create isolated virtual LAN segments
  • iSCSI, Fibre Storage Area Networks. Connecting to shared storage
  • VMware VMFS – VMware’s proprietary cluster file system. How to create, tune and grow VMFS volumes
  • Resource management. Work with resource tuning settings. Create, manage and monitor Resource Pools
  • VM migration including Cold Migration, Storage Migration and VMotion
  • Automated VM load balancing with VMware DRS clusters
  • Manage server power consumption with Distributed Power Mgt clusters
  • Use HA clusters to minimize VM down time due to server failures
  • Use VMware Fault Tolerance to deliver 100% VM up time
  • Guided Consolidation. Rapidly discover, monitor and migrate physical machines into VMs
  • Back up and restore a VM using VMware Data Recovery appliances
  • Set up and use VMware Guided Consolidation to import a Windows server
  • Using Converter Enterprise to migrate physical machines to VMs
  • Performance analysis and benchmarking storage and networking
  • vCenter alarms for monitoring key infrastructure objects. Send SNMP traps to a trap receiver on high VM resource consumption
  • Create and edit VMware ESXi Host Profiles
  • Apply updates to Windows using VMware Update Manager


Chapter 0 – Class Introduction

Virtualization concepts

Class overview

Chapter 1 – Virtualization Infrastructure

Virtualization explained

How VMware virtualization compares to traditional PC deployments

Common pain points of physical deployments

How virtualization effectively addresses issues and brings new

VMware vSphere software products

Chapter 2 – Installing ESXi 4.1

Understanding ESXi

Selecting, validating and preparing your server

Join ESXi to an Active Directory Domain

Set ESXI power policies to balance performance and power consumption

Chapter 3 – Virtual and Physical Networking

vNetwork standard and distributed virtual Switches

Virtual Switches, Ports and Port Groups

Creating VMkernel ports

Creating, sizing Virtual Switches

Enabling and using Cisco Discovery Protocol

Testing for and implementing Jumbo Frame support

Chapter 4 – NAS Shared Storage

Benefits Shared Storage offer to Virtual Infrastructure

Shared Storage options

NFS Overview

Configuring ESXi to use NFS Shares

Troubleshooting NFS connections

Chapter 5 – Virtual Hardware and Virtual Machines

VM virtual hardware, options and limits

Creating a new VM

Assigning, modifying and removing Virtual Hardware

Installing an OS into a VM

Customizing virtual hardware

Chapter 6 – vCenter

vCenter feature overview and components

VMware Licensing

Organizing vCenter’s inventory views

Importing ESX hosts into vCenter management

Chapter 7 – VM Rapid Deployment using Templates, Clones

Templates – Virtual Machine Golden Master images

Creating, modifying, updating and working with Templates

Patching, and refreshing Templates

Cloning, one time copies of VMs

Best practices for cloning and templating

Hot-plug virtual CPU, Memory

Manage VM virtual disk capacity, including Basic and System disks

Chapter 8 – ESX and vCenter Permission Model

VMware Security model

Configuring local users and groups

Managing local permissions

vCenter security model

Local, Domain and Active Directory users and groups

How permissions are applied

Chapter 9 – Advanced Virtual Networking

Uplinking Virtual and Physical Network segments using NICs

Distributed virtual switches and distributed Port Groups

NIC teaming for redundancy and Performance

Connecting to vLAN

Enhanced Network Security

Virtual routers and firewalls

Chapter 10 – Using Fibre and iSCSI Shared Storage

Fibre SAN overview

Identifying and using Fibre Host Bus Adapters

Scanning and Rescanning Fibre SANs

iSCSI overview

Virtual and physical iSCSI adapters

Connecting to iSCSI storage

Scanning and rescanning iSCSI SANS

Performance and redundancy considerations and best practices

Configuring Software iSCSI for optimal performance and redundancy

Chapter 11 – VMware File System (VMFS)

Unique file system properties of VMFS

Managing shared Volumes

Creating new VMFS partitions

Managing VMFS capacity with LUN spanning and LUN expansion

Native and 3rd party Multipathing with Fibre and iSCSI SANs

VMFS performance considerations

Chapter 12 – Resource Management and Resource Pools

How ESX delivers resources to VMs

Shares, Reservations and Limits

CPU resource scheduling

Memory resource scheduling

Resource Pools

Chapter 13 – Guided Consolidation

Use Guided Consolidation to discover, Domains, Workgroups and servers

Extract hardware profiles from select servers

Monitor physical server resource consumption

Select and convert physical servers to VMs

Chapter 14 – VM Hot and Cold Migration, Storage VMotion

Cold Migrations to new ESX hosts, datastores

Hot Migrations with VMotion

VMotion requirements and dependencies

How VMotion works – detailed explanation

Troubleshooting VMotion

Storage VMotion for hot VM disk migrations

Chapter 15 – Load Balancing w. Distributed Resource Scheduler

Delegated resource management with Resource Pools

Resource balanced clusters with VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler

DRS Cluster configuration and tuning

Per-VM cluster policy overrides

Chapter 16 – Failure Recover with High Availability Clusters

High Availability options to minimize unplanned VM down time

Setting HA Cluster Admission Control policies

Understanding HA clusters Isolation Response policies

Chapter 17 – VM Back Up, Recovery

Pro’s and Con’s of traditional back up strategies

Backing up VMs with VMware Data Recovery

Backing and restoring your ESXi server configuration

Third party VM back up solutions

Chapter 18 – Consolidation with vCenter Converter

vCenter Converter overview

Converting physical machines, virtual machines and OS Images

Cold migrations of physical machines to virtual machines

Hot migrations of physical machines to virtual machines

Chapter 19 – ESX and vCenter Alarms

Alarm categories and definitions

Creating custom alarms and actions

Reviewing alarms and acknowledging them

Chapter 20 – Patch Management with VMware Update Manager

Configure and enable VMware Update Manager

Establishing a patch baseline

Verifying compliance and patching Windows VMs

Chapter 21 – Managing Scalability and Performance

VMkernel CPU and memory resource management mechanisms

Tuning VM storage I/O performance

Monitoring VM and ESX host performance

Performance and capacity planning strategies

Chapter 22 – vCenter Linked Mode

Using vCenter Linked Mode to provide vCenter management redundancy

Adding a Linked Mode vCenter server to a Stand Alone vCenter server

Administering inventory through Linked Mode peers

Chapter 23 – VMware Fault Tolerance

Overview of VMware Fault Tolerance

Creating and monitoring a Fault Tolerant VM

Use cases for VMware Fault Tolerance

Chapter 24 – ESXi Host Profiles

Create and refine a new Host Profile template

Verify host configuration compliance using Host Profiles

Enforce configuration standards on non-compliant ESXi hosts

Chapter 25 – VMware vApp

Creating and working with vApps

Adding VMs to a vApp

Setting vApp properties such as start up/shutdown sequence

Administering, customizing vApps

Chapter 26 – Final Thoughts

Consolidation guidelines for VMs and Storage

Determining which workloads to consolidate

Other considerations


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