Course Description

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

This class is an intensive 4 day intensive hands on workshop for experienced VMware ESXi and vCenter administrators who want to take virtualization to the next level. The focus on this class is the effective and efficient use of vSphere software to improve deployment, performance, availability, back up & recovery.

Service availability is covered through in-depth looks at VMware High Availability clusters and VMware Fault Tolerance. Performance is extensively covered, helping you keep your vSphere and VMs running at top speed.

VM back up and recovery is addressed using VMware Data Recovery and 3rd party tools. Learn how these tools can be used for daily VM back up and also for Disaster Recovery and remediation.

Windows and ESXi host patching is covered along with Host Profiles. These tools let you set configuration and patch baselines and then help you deploy and update to ensure policy and configuration compliance.

Virtualization introduces new security concerns. These are identified and addressed both by creating awareness and by demonstrating how security can be improved and monitored.

This class includes lectures/labs that use the vCLI and VMware Management Assistant command line. Command line skills are helpful but not required.


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

  • Explain the benefits of virtualization and VM use cases
  • Minimize Windows licensing costs and improve licensing compliance
  • Explain the benefits and limitations of the various vSphere licenses
  • Install ESXi and vCenter according to best practices
  • Configure and manage local and iSCSI SAN storage
  • Create, customize and optimize virtual to physical LAN segments
  • Define and use NAS datastores using command line tools
  • Create virtual machines, install operating systems and applications
  • Install, configure and administer VMware vCenter
  • Improve vCenter availability through the use of Linked Clones
  • Rapidly deployment of VMs using golden-master templates and VM Guest OS Customization Specifications
  • Take advantage of advanced virtual hardware properties such as multi-core vCPUs and hot-plug memory, disks and NICs
  • Improve network and iSCSI performance with Jumbo Frames
  • Design and implement redundant iSCSI storage to improve network performance
  • Manage SAN storage volumes and virtual disks for performance and space efficiency
  • Use VMware Data Recovery to back up and recover VMs and files
  • Create and manage VMware High Availability clusters to protect against VM service loss caused by ESX server failures
  • Use Fault Tolerance to eliminate unplanned VM down time due to hardware failures
  • Configure VM, ESXi host patch management using Update Manager
  • Create and enforce server configuration standards with Host Profiles
  • Troubleshoot common problems
  • Perform common ESXi and VM tasks from the vMA and Windows Power Shell command line
  • Identify, isolate and resolve performance issues
  • Automate the deployment and management of their virtual infrastructure



4 days


Target Audience

  • Senior administrators 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
  • 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 Virtual Infrastructure sees and uses Fibre SAN and iSCSI SAN volumes and NAS datastores


Course Prerequisites

Students should have a good working knowledge of vSphere 4.1 fundamentals (how to create, manage VMs, etc.) as the basics are either covered lightly or assumed in the class.


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

During class, attendees will complete the following hands on labs:

  • Install ESXi onto an HP DL360/365 server. Configure ESXi for efficient power management. Join ESXi to a Windows Domain
  • Create and update Virtual Switches including setting Cisco Discovery Protocol properties. Create NIC teams and optimize for performance. 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 using the Datastore Browser and other tools
  • Convert virtual disks between Thick and Thin format to maximize either performance or space efficiency
  • Hot plug VM hardware including virtual CPUs, memory, disks and NICs
  • Install and configure vCenter. Install vCenter Modules
  • Create redundant vCenter Linked Mode configuration for higher up time
  • Work with Clones and Templates. Rapidly deploy new VMs. Hot clone a VMs. Deploy VMs using Guest OS Customization Specifications
  • Work with virtual disks. Grow non-system volumes and system disk
  • Create custom virtual CPU configurations (such as dual core vCPUs) to minimize software licensing costs and maximize VM performance
  • Use Power Management to dynamically adjust cluster capacity
  • Connecting to shared iSCSI SAN storage. Create robust, redundant, high performance, iSCSI configurations with Jumbo Frame support
  • How to create, tune, span and grow VMFS volumes
  • Use HA clusters to minimize VM down time due to server failures
  • Use VMware Fault Tolerance to deliver 100% VM up time
  • Back up and restore a VM using VMware Data Recovery appliances
  • Perform VM file level recoveries with VMware Data Recovery
  • Create, edit and enforce VMware ESX Host Profiles
  • Apply updates to Windows VMs using VMware Update Manager
  • Update ESXi hosts with VMware Update Manager
  • Install, configure and review VMware Virtual Management Assistant VM
  • Use vMA (virtual Management Appliance) command line tools to monitor, configure and manipulate VMs, ESXi hosts, vCenter, Networking, storage
  • Use Windows vCLI and PowerShell to control your Virtual Infrastructure
  • Use Power Management to control ESXi host capacity

Chapter 0 – Virtualization Overview

Introduction to the class and our remote lab environment

Chapter 1 – VMware vSphere

Virtualization benefits and use cases

vSphere licensing options, editions, bundles

vSphere hardware limitation by license

What to virtualize and what not to virtualize

Chapter 2 – ESXi Server Installation

Understanding ESXi, ESX

Selecting, validating and preparing your server

Software installation and licensing

Joining ESXi to a Windows Domain

Control Power use with Power Management profiles

Chapter 3 – VMware Command Line Installation & Use

Overview of VMware Virtual Management Appliance

VMware vCLI for Windows, Linux

Installing, configuring vMA

Overview of vMA scripting capabilities

Managing inventory from a Windows/PowerShell environment

Chapter 4 – Virtual Networking

Virtual Switches, Ports and Port Groups

Management and VMkernel ports

NIC team and vLAN configurations

Jumbo frame compatibility, configuration and performance

Distributed vSwitches

NIC Team load balancing policies and performance options

Chapter 5 – NFS File Shares

Defining and connecting to NFS shares

Moving files between ESXi and Windows

Use command line to define/modify NFS share properties

Chapter 6 – Virtual Hardware and Virtual Machines

Creating, modifying and customizing Virtual Hardware

Optimizing Windows Guest OS performance

Defining and using USB devices within a VM

Virtual NIC choices, benefits and trade offs

Use Storage VMotion to convert VMs from Thick to Thin disk format

Using Guest OS customization Specification files

Hot plugging virtual hardware including CPUs, RAM, Disks and NICs

Advanced virtual hardware techniques; multi-core vCPUs

Growing Windows Basic, Dynamic and System disks

Inflating Thin disks for improved performance

Chapter 7 – vCenter and vCenter Linked Mode

vCenter architectural and feature overview

vCenter sizing considerations

Importing ESX hosts into vCenter management

Redundant vCenter configurations using vCenter Linked Mode

Troubleshooting vCenter

Chapter 8 – Fibre and iSCSI Storage and VMware File Systems

Fibre SAN and iSCSI overview

Configuring storage Multipath properties

Optimize software iSCSI for performance and redundancy

Creating new VMFS partitions

Managing VMFS capacity with LUN expansion and LUN spanning

Working with multipath selection policies

Chapter 9 – VMware High Availability Clusters

Creating, configuring VMware HA clusters

Admission control, Isolation Response policies and settings

Maintenance mode

Troubleshooting HA clusters

Chapter 10 – VMware Fault Tolerance

Fault Tolerance overview, features and limitations

Configuration, monitoring and recovery

FT ESXI hosts and network compatibility requirements

Creating and administering FT VMs

Chapter 11 – VMware DRS Clusters

Creating, configuring VMware DRS clusters

DRS cluster troubleshooting

Managing capacity and power consumption with Power Management

Chapter 12 – VM Backup with VMware Data Recovery

Data Recovery virtual appliances overview

Installing and configuring VMware Data Recovery

Defining backup storage volumes and shares

Creating and running backup jobs

Full VM restores and File level restores within VMs

Use 3rd party tools to perform hot VM synchronization to a Disaster Recovery site

Saving and restoring ESXi host configurations

Chapter 14 – VMware Update Manager

VMware Update Manager overview

Installing, configuration VUM

Selecting and downloading patch lists

Creating, updating patch baselines

Scanning ESXi Hosts for patch compliance

Remediating out of compliance VMs

Patching ESXi hosts

Chapter 15 – Host Profiles

Create and refine a new Host Profile template

Verify host configuration compliance using Host Profiles

Enforce configuration standards on non-compliant ESX hosts

Chapter 16 – Managing Scalability and Performance

VMkernel CPU and memory resource management mechanisms

Basic Performance Monitoring tools

Analyzing VM CPU performance

Monitoring VM Memory use

Tuning VM storage I/O performance

Identifying and resolving resource contention

Measuring and improving Network Performance


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