Course Description

CERTIFICATION: Prepares attendees to challenge an independent Certified Virtualization Specialist exam.

This powerful 5-day 10hr/day class is an intensive introduction to VMware vSphere™ 5.1 including VMware ESX™ 5.1 and vCenter™. Assuming no prior virtualization experience, this class starts with the basics and rapidly progresses to advanced topics. 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 stand-alone ESXi servers and progress to shared storage, networking and centralized management. The class continues to advanced topics including resource balancing, high availability, power management, backup and recovery, performance, vCenter redundancy, VM redundancy. Disaster recovery, rapid deployment, hot migration and workload consolidation are also covered.

This class is unique in its approach; which is to identify and eliminate common IT pain points and then to use virtualization to delivers 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.

The 10hr/day format gives attendees the time to learn about and use advanced VMware topics and develop superior VMware management, deployment and troubleshooting skills.

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 5.1.



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
  • Understand and use shared SAN storage including Fibre SAN, iSCSI SAN
  • Define and use file share (NAS) datastores
  • Install, configure Single Sign On services and vSphere Inventory Services
  • Install, configure and administer VMware vCenter for Windows
  • Create virtual machines, install operating systems and applications
  • Configure and use hotplug hardware including hot-add vCPUs and Memory
  • Add and grow virtual disks including system disks and secondary volumes
  • Rapidly deployment of VMs using golden-master templates
  • Create clones – one-time copies of virtual machine
  • Perform VM cold migrations, hot migrations and Storage VMotion
  • Configure, manage, monitor and secure users and groups
  • Understand the benefits and trade offs of network, SAN,
  • Deploy and use VMware Data Protection to back up and recover VMs
  • Create and manage load balanced clusters
  • Enable, configure and use Distributed Power Management to reduce electrical power by soft powering off unneeded ESXi servers
  • Understand, create and manage high availability clusters to protect against VM service loss caused by ESXi server failures
  • Configure VMs for zero unplanned downtime by deploying vSphere Fault Tolerance
  • Monitor and tune both ESXi and virtual machine performance
  • Patch and update ESXi servers using vCenter Update Manager
  • Understand how VMware and third party products, including operating systems, are impacted by virtualization
  • Create, administer, back up and recover vNetwork Distributed Switches
  • Troubleshoot common problems



5 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:

  • System architects or others who need to design virtual infrastructure
  • Security specialists responsible for monitor, managing, securing and administering Virtual Infrastructure
  •  Operators responsible for day-to-day operation of 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
  • Managers who need an unbiased understanding of virtualization before committing their organization to a virtual infrastructure deployment.


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 the class:

  • Install of ESXi 5.1 and perform post-install configurations
  • Create and update network Standard Virtual Switches
  • Define, connect to and browse NFS file shares
  • Create a Virtual Machine and install a guest OS into the VM. Install VMware Tools into the VM. Add 3rd party tools and utilities to the VM
  • Install and configure Single Sign On (SSO). Configure identity sources including Active Directory
  • Install and configure vCenter on Windows 2003. Install vCenter Modules
  • Configure vCenter’s inventory views to organize inventory objects
  • Install and configure the VMware Next Generation Web Client
  • 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 increase it’s partitions without the need for 3rd party tools
  • Configure and test hotplug memory
  • Create multi-core vCPUs
  • Test multihoming a VM by creating a virtual firewall/router
  • Work with vCenter permissions. Use and customize Roles
  • Create, update and work with Network Standard vSwitches. Create NIC Teams for added performance and redundancy
  • iSCSI, Fibre Storage Area Networks. Connecting to shared storage
  • Configure and add a Virtual Raw Device Map to a VM
  • 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 resource load balancing with DRS clusters
  • Create a DRS Power Managed DRS cluster. Test Power Management
  • Use HA clusters to minimize VM down time due to server failures
  • Configure a Fault Tolerant VM. Simulate a ESXi host failure to ensure no VM down time
  • Back up and restore VMs using VMware Data Protection
  • Using Converter Enterprise to migrate physical machines to VMs
  • vCenter alarms for monitoring key infrastructure objects. Send SNMP traps to a trap receiver on high VM resource consumption
  • Set up VMware Update Manager to patch/update ESXi hosts
  • Enable and test VMware Storage I/O control to implement share based disk I/O scheduling
  • Create and test a Storage DRS LUN cluster
  • Create a distributed virtual Switch. Back up and restore the vDS configuration
  • Performance analysis and benchmarking storage and networking


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

Chapter 1 – Virtualization Infrastructure Overview

Virtualization explained

How VMware virtualization compares to traditional PC deployments

Common pain points in PC Server management

How virtualization effectively addresses common IT issues

VMware vSphere software products

Chapter 2 – How to Install, Configure ESXi 5.1 Installable

Understanding ESXi

Selecting, validating and preparing your server

Storage controllers, disks and partitions

Software installation and best practices

Joining ESXi to a Domain

First look at the VMware vSphere Client

Chapter 3 – Virtual and Physical Networking

vNetwork standard and distributed virtual Switches

Virtual Switches, Ports and Port Groups

Creating VMkernel ports

Creating, sizing and customizing Virtual Switches

Chapter 4 – NAS Shared Storage

Benefits Shared Storage offer to Virtual Infrastructure

Shared Storage options

NFS Overview

Configuring ESX to use NFS Shares

Troubleshooting NFS connections

Chapter 5 – Virtual Hardware and Virtual Machines

VM virtual hardware, options and limits

Sizing and creating a new VM

Assigning, modifying and removing Virtual Hardware

Working with a VM’s BIOS

VMware remote console applications

Installing an OS into a VM

Driver installation and customization

Chapter 6 – vCenter Server and the Next Generation Client

The need for Identity Source management

Installing and configuring Single Sign On (SSO)

Connecting to Active Directory and other identity sources

vCenter feature overview and components

VMware Licensing

Registering vCenter with SSO

Organizing vCenter’s inventory views

Importing ESX hosts into vCenter management

Installing and Using the vSphere Next Generation vSphere Client (NGC)

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

Adding and resizing virtual disks

Chapter 7.1 – Advanced Virtual Machines

Enabling and using VM Hotplug in virtual hardware

CPU and Memory hot plug

Virtual NIC hot plug

Customizing Virtual CPUs for optimal performance

Enabling 3D hardware/software Video for desktop VMs

Chapter 8 – ESXi 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 – 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 and scanning and rescanning iSCSI SANS

Performance and redundancy considerations and best practices

Chapter 9.1 – Raw Device Maps

Connecting VMs directly to SAN LUNs

Physical vs. Virtual Raw Device Maps

Impact of vMotion, Storage vMotion on RDMs

Chapter 10 – VMware File System (VMFS)

Unique file system properties of VMFS

Creating and manage VMFS capacity with LUN spanning, LUN expansion

Native and 3rd party Multipathing with Fibre and iSCSI SANs

VMFS performance considerations

Chapter 11 – Resource Management and Resource Pools

How ESX delivers resources to VMs

Shares, Reservations and Limits

CPU resource scheduling

Memory resource scheduling

Resource Pools

Chapter 12 – ESX and vCenter Alarms

Alarm categories and definitions

Creating custom alarms and actions

Reviewing alarms and acknowledging them

Chapter 13 – Host Profiles

Using Host Profiles to capture an ESXi host configuration

Perform configuration compliance scans

Remediating out of compliance configuration issues

Rapid ESXi host deployment/configuration with Host Profiles

Chapter 14 – Consolidation with vCenter Converter Standalone

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 15 – Back Up, Recovery with VMware Data Protection

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

Backing up VMs with VMware Data Protection

Backing and restoring your ESXi server configuration

Third party VM back up solutions

Chapter 16 – VM Hot and Cold Migration, Storage VMotion

Cold Migrations to new ESX hosts, datastores

Hot Migrations with VMotion

VMotion explanation, requirements, dependencies and troubleshooting

Storage VMotion for hot VM disk migrations

Chapter 17 – Load Balancing w. DRS Clusters

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 17.1 – DRS Power Management

Understanding the role of Power Management

Configuring individual ESXi hosts to enable soft power-off

Testing vCenter power-off/power-on of ESXi hosts

DRS Power Management settings

Chapter 17.2 – Storage I/O Control and Storage DRS

Storage I/O scheduling policies

Enabling Storage I/O control to implement share based storage access

Creating DRS Storage Clusters

Tuning DRS Storage Clusters to balance out I/O loads and LUN capacity

Chapter 18 – Failure Recovery with High Availability Clusters

High Availability options to minimize unplanned down time

VMware High Availability clusters

VMware Fault Tolerance

Chapter 18.1 – HA Fault Tolerance

Delivering zero unplanned VM downtime with faulFault Tolerance overview, features and limitations

Configuration, monitoring and recovery

FT ESXi hosts and network compatibility requirements

Creating and administering FT VMs

Chapter 19 – Patch Management with VMware Update Manager

Configure and enable VMware Update Manager

Establishing a patch baseline

Verifying compliance and patching ESXi hosts

Chapter 20 – Advanced Virtual Networking

Understanding, creating and administering vNetwork Distributed Switches

Migrating Standard vSwitch configurations to dvSwitches

Backing up and recovering dvSwitches

Troubleshooting and repairing dvSwitches

vSwitch Security

Traffic Shaping

NIC Teaming strategies – Originating Port, MAC Hash, IP Hash, NIC Load and LACP

Chapter 21 – Managing Scalability and Performance

VMkernel CPU and memory resource management mechanisms

Tuning VM storage I/O performance

Identifying and resolving resource contention

Monitoring VM and ESX host performance

Performance and capacity planning strategies

Chapter 22 – Final Thoughts

Consolidation guidelines for VMs and Storage

Determining which workloads to consolidate

Other considerations


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