Course Description


Certification: Prepares attendees to challenge an independent Certified Virtualization Specialist exam. Also prepares attendees to challenge the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) certification exam.

This popular 4-day class is an intensive introduction to the advanced features of VMware vSphere™ 5.1. Candidates are assuming to have working knowledge of VMware vSphere 4.x or vSphere 5. We build on that knowledge through a rapid review of common features followed by in-depth presentations of advanced topics including vSphere 5.1 performance, availability, scalability and security. 40+% of class time is devoted to labs so concepts, skills and best practices are developed and reinforced.

Labs start with installation and configuration of ESXi server, vCenter, vCenter Linux Appliance and Virtual Machines. From there, we look at host and storage performance and scalability topics including Hotplug Virtual Hardware, Profile Driven Storage and DRS and Storage DRS clusters and DRS Power Management. Availability is covered in HA Clusters, VM Fault Tolerance, vSphere Replication and vSphere Data Protection. VM network and operating system security topics include vShield App/Edge (network security), vShield EndPoint (VM antivirus).

This class is unique in its approach; which is to identify and eliminate common IT pain points and then to use virtualization to deliver clear, tangible benefits. Each topic is presented from the perspective of delivering key business value; not just the technical or mechanical aspects of the software. By the end of the class, attendees will have learned the benefits, skills, and best practices of virtualization. Attendees will be able to effectively design, implement, scale, secure, back up, recover, manage and troubleshoot VMware vSphere 5.1 environments.



4 days


Target Audience

This class is suitable for anyone who wants to learn how to extract the maximum benefit from their investment in Virtual Infrastructure, including:

  • vSphere Administrators with prior virtualization experience
  • System architects or others who need to design virtual infrastructure
  • 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
  • Backup Administrators who need to understand the impact of existing and new back up strategies in a virtual environment
  • Business Continuity specialists responsible for disaster recovery and high availability
  • Storage administrators who need to understand how VMware ESX uses Fibre SAN and iSCSI SAN volumes and NAS datastores


Course Prerequisites

Attendees should have good familiarity with VMware vSphere 4.x or 5.0. 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 the class:
  • Install of ESXi 5 and perform post-install configurations
  • Create / update Standard Virtual Switches
  • Define, connect to and browse NFS file shares
  • Create a Virtual Machine. Install Guest OS, VMware Tools into the VM. Add 3rd party tools and utilities
  • Install and configure vCenter for Windows
  • Import, install, review and configure vCenter Virtual Appliance
  • Create new VMs using Templates and Clones
  • Use Guest OS Customization Specifications for VM rapid deployment
  • Enable and use Hotplug hardware to hot-add RAM, disks and NICs
  • Work with virtual disks. Hot add a secondary virtual disk. Grow a non-system volume. Grow a Windows system disk and increase it’s partitions
  • iSCSI, Fibre Storage Area Networks. Connecting to shared storage Create/use an iSCSI Raw Device Maps Work with storage Path Selection Policies for better I/O performance
  • VMware VMFS – How to create, tune and grow VMFS volumes
  • Configure Storage I/O Control Create Storage Policies. Perform compliance scans. Remediate non-compliant VM placements Use Storage DRS to automatically address capacity, performance issues
  • Automated VM CPU/RAM resource load balancing with DRS clusters
  • Configure, test cluster dynamic resizing with Power Management
  • Use HA clusters to minimize VM down time due to server failures
  • Enable and test VM Fault Tolerance for 100% VM uptime
  • Create VMware Distributed Switches for consistent virtual networking
  • Install, configure vShield Manager Install, configure vShield App, Edge to enable virtual network security
  • Install, configure vShield EndPoint for batch VM antivirus scans



Attendees have the option to earn ESXLab Certified Virtualization Specialist (ECVS) by challenging a certification exam at the end of the course. Attendees also have the following certification options:

Register for and pass the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) certificate from VMware.

Register for and pass advanced VMware certificates (such as VMware Certified Advanced Professional) provided attendees already hold VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification.

VMware certification subject to additional cost and terms/conditions specified by VMware.

Chapter 1 – Virtualization Overview

Virtualization explained

How VMware virtualization compares to traditional PC deployments

How virtualization effectively addresses common IT issues

VMware vSphere software products

Chapter 2 – Install, Configure ESXi 5.1

Selecting, validating and preparing your server

Software installation and best practices

Joining ESXi to an Active Directory Domain

Chapter 3 – Virtual Hardware and Virtual Machines

VM virtual hardware, options and limits

Creating and sizing VMs

Assigning, modifying and removing Virtual Hardware

Working with a VM’s BIOS

Installing and customizing an OS for best performance

Chapter 4 – vCenter on Windows

vCenter feature overview and components

Importing ESX hosts into vCenter management

vSphere Web Client Installation and Use

Chapter 5 – vCenter Linux Virtual Appliance

vCenter Virtual Appliance feature overview and components

Installing and post-install configuration

Sizing vCenter Appliance

Database options and limitations

Chapter 6 – Advanced VM Deployment, Virtual Hardware

Creating, modifying, updating and working with Templates

Best practices for cloning and templating

Adding, resizing virtual disks and partitions

Enabling and using VM Hotplug virtual hardware

CPU / Memory hot plug

Virtual NIC hot plug

Chapter 7 – Using Fibre and iSCSI Shared Storage

Fibre SAN, iSCSI SAN overview

Connecting to, scanning, rescanning iSCSI SANS

Working with Raw Device Maps

Designing Networks for Optimum iSCSI performance, reliability

Chapter 8 – VMFS 5 File Systems

Unique file system properties of VMFS 5 filesystems

Creating, managing new VMFS partitions

Managing VMFS capacity with LUN spanning and LUN expansion

Native and 3rd party Multipathing with Fibre and iSCSI SANs


Chapter 9 – Storage I/O Control and Profile Driven Storage

Create storage profile policies Perform compliance checks on VM storage placements

Identify and fix VM storage compliance issues

Chapter 10 – Datastore Clusters and Storage DRS

How to manage storage capacity, load using Storage DRS

Create, update Storage DRS datastore clusters

Identify and eliminate storage performance issues

Chapter 11 – DRS Load Balanced Clusters, Power Mgt.

Cold Migrations, Hot VMotion migrations

Storage VMotion for hot VM disk migrations

Create and manage host CPU, memory resources with VMware DRS

VM cluster policy settings including Admission Control

Configuring and enabling Power Management on DRS clusters

Using SSDs to improve VM paging performance

Chapter 12 – VMware HA and Fault Tolerance

VMware High Availability clusters options

Fault Tolerance overview, features and limitations

Configuration, monitoring and recovery

FT ESXi hosts and network compatibility requirements

Creating and administering FT VMs

Chapter 13 – Advanced Virtual Networking

Distributed virtual switches, distributed Port Groups

NIC teaming strategies/options for redundancy and performance

Connecting to vLANs

Enhanced Network Security

Uplinking Virtual and Physical Network segments using NICs


Chapter 14 – VMware Data Protection / Replication

Configuring and using VMware Data Protection to backup, recovery VMs

Hot VM replication with VMware Replication

Chapter 15 – vShield Manager, vShield App, Edge, EndPoint

Installing, configuring vShield Manager Configuring vShield App for enhanced vSwitch security

Enabling and configuring gateway security with vShield Edge

Using vShield Edge to implement hypervisor based antivirus protection


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