Course Description

CERTIFICATION*  Prepares attendees to challenge the VMware authorized VMware Certified Associate (Datacenter Virtualization) – VCA-DV certificate by sitting the VCA-DV exam.

This powerful 5-day class is an intense introduction to virtualization using VMware’s vSphere™ 5.5 including VMware ESX™ 5.5 and vCenter™. Assuming no prior virtualization experience, this class starts with the basics and rapidly progresses to more advanced topics. More than 40% of class time is devoted to labs so concepts, skills and best practices are developed and reinforced.

Initial labs focus on installation and configuration of stand-alone ESXi servers. As the class progresses, shared storage, networking and centralized management are introduced. The class continues on to more advanced topics including resource balancing, high availability, back up and recovery, troubleshooting and more. Disaster recovery, rapid deployment, hot migration and workload consolidation are also covered.

This class is unique in its approach; which is to identify common IT pain points and then clearly explain and demonstrate how virtualization delivers clear, tangible benefits (e.g.: reduced costs, greater consistency, responsiveness, reduced administration, server consolidation, etc.). 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 design, implement, deploy, configure, monitor, manage and troubleshoot VMware vSphere 5.5.


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
  • Install, configure and administer VMware vCenter
  • Create virtual machines, install operating systems and applications
  • 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 Recovery to back up and recover VMs
  • Create and manage load balanced clusters
  • Understand, create and manage high availability clusters to protect against VM service loss caused by ESXi server failures
  • Monitor and tune both ESXi and virtual machine performance
  • Patch and update ESXi servers using vCenter Update Manager
  • Replicate critical VMs to protect against data loss and service loss
  • Understand how VMware and third party products, including operating systems, are impacted by virtualization
  • Troubleshoot common problems

*VCA-DV is a certificate offered by VMware. Candidates must register for and pass the VCA-DV exam before the certificate is awarded. An exam voucher is not included with this course.



5 days


Target Audience

This class is suitable for anyone who want 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 5.5 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
  • Configure Single Sign On (SSO) identity sources including Active Directory
  • Install and configure vCenter Server Appliance
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Use HA clusters to minimize VM down time due to server failures
  • Back up and restore VMs using VMware Data Recovery
  • 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
  • Installing, configuring VMware Replication. Replicating and recovering a VM with VMware Replication
  • Performance analysis and benchmarking storage and networking

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 5.5 Installable (HoL[1])

Understanding ESXi
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 (HoL)

vNetwork standard and distributed virtual Switches
Virtual Switches, Ports and Port Groups
Creating VMkernel ports. Creating, sizing, customizing Virtual Switches

Chapter 4 – NAS Shared Storage (HoL)

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 (HoL)

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, VMware Tools into a VM

Chapter 6 – Identity Sources and Single Sign On (HoL)

The need for Identity Source management
Installing and configuring Single Sign On (SSO)
Connecting to Active Directory and other identity sources

Chapter 7 – vCenter Server and the Next Generation Client (HoL)

vCenter feature overview and components
Single Sign On and Inventory Service
Import and configure vCenter Server Appliance (VSA)
VMware Licensing
Organizing vCenter’s inventory views
Importing ESX hosts into vCenter management
Installing and Using the vSphere Next Generation vSphere Client (NGC)

Chapter 8 – VM Rapid Deployment w. Templates, Clones (HoL)

Templates – Virtual Machine Golden Master images
Creating, modifying, updating and working with Templates
Patching, and refreshing Templates
Best practices for cloning and templating
Adding and resizing virtual disks

Chapter 9 – ESXi and vCenter Permission Model (HoL)

VMware Security model
Configuring local users and groups
Managing local and vCenter permissions
Local, Domain and Active Directory users and groups
How permissions are applied

Chapter 10 – Using Fibre and iSCSI Shared Storage (HoL)

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

Chapter 11 – VMFS – The VMware File System  (HoL)

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 (HoL)

How ESX delivers resources to VMs
Shares, Reservations and Limits
CPU resource scheduling
Memory resource scheduling
Resource Pools

Chapter 13 – ESX and vCenter Alarms (HoL)

Alarm categories and definitions
Creating custom alarms and actions
Reviewing alarms and acknowledging them

Chapter 14 – Host Profiles (HoL)

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 15 – Consolidation with vCenter Converter  (HoL)

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 16 – VM Back Up, Recovery with Data Protection (HoL)

Pro’s and Con’s of traditional back up strategies
Backing up VMs with VMware Data Protection
Options for backing and restoring your ESXi server configuration
Back Up options – VMware Data Recovery and third party VM back up solutions

Chapter 17 – VM Hot and Cold Migration, Storage VMotion (HoL)

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 18 – Load Balancing with DRS Clusters (HoL)

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 19 – Rapid VM Recovery with HA Clusters (HoL)

High Availability options to minimize unplanned down time
VMware High Availability clusters
VMware Fault Tolerance

Chapter 20 – Patching ESXi hosts with Update Manager (HoL)

Configure and enable VMware Update Manager
Establishing a patch baseline
Verifying compliance and patching ESXi hosts

Chapter 21 – VMware Replication

Establishing Time to Recovery requirements
Overview of SAN LUN replication and VMware Site Recovery Manager
Installing and configuring VMware Replication for individual VM replication
Replicating a VM
Recovering a replicated VM

Chapter 22 – Managing Scalability and Performance (HoL)

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 23 – Final Thoughts

Consolidation guidelines for VMs and Storage
Determining which workloads to consolidate
Protecting against virtual machine leakage/theft
Other considerations


Attendees can challenge the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) certificate. Details available at www.vmware.com/go/vca
Attendees have the option to earn ESXLab Certified Virtualization Specialist (ECVS) by challenging a certification exam at the end of the course.

[1]    HoL – Students perform a Hands on Lab at the end of the chapter


See more VMware courses