This morning, I passed the VCP-IaaS exam making me an official VCP-Cloud.
Overall, I found the test to be a nice add-on to the VCP5 test that I took back in 2011 and not as hard as I was expecting it to be. Don’t get me wrong, you have to know your stuff. But I think of all the tests that I’ve taken from VMware, this one was more in line of what you would encounter on a day-to-day basis as a vCloud Administrator which is what I think certification tests should be rather than pure memorization of the admin guides. This could be that my role over the past 6 months has been to roll out a vCloud environment, produce a bunch of internal documentation and training, and find new and interesting ways to break the environment.
I can’t discuss actual questions from the test itself, but I can tell you what I did to prepare.
- If you have the equipment, setup a home lab. If not, find a way to set it up at work even if it is just a proof of concept somewhere. I was very fortunate that deploying vCloud was one of my main projects so I had a great playground to work with.
- Pour over the documentation. This seems like an obvious answer, but the blueprint spells out exactly what is on the test so read all the documentation surrounding those sections. I find that I read the documentation once, then I go back and look for all the ‘note’ sections and best practices and then try to come up with a question that gives a situation showing the opposite of the best practice. It’s a way of training the brain for some the questions that are going to be coming at you in the test.
- Find study note blogs. There are a ton of them out there and these will often do the work of the previous suggestion for you, but I like to make sure I’ve thoroughly read the documentation before looking at someone else’s cliff notes.
- Listen to the vBrownBag Podcasts. These guys have been knocking it out of the park for a while now. I downloaded and listened to all the VCP-IaaS related podcasts over the past several days to have another avenue of the information coming in. Read it, hear it, do it. I think it covers all the learning styles out there. Surely something will sink in.
By far, the hardest part for me on the test was the ChargeBack items as its the area where I have the least amount of experience. That’s probably where I spent the most time studying for this exam and from what I’ve heard from others, it was a pretty similar experience.
That’s pretty much it. Good luck to anyone out there that is taking the test.
Recently I was spooling up a dedicate cluster of hardware for a customer in our vCloud environment. It’s a smallish cluster of 5 hosts with a dedicated pool of storage. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Created the DRS/HA Host Cluster. The storage guys had already done the various zoning and disk LUN creation so that was added to the cluster and tagged it with a User Defined Storage Capability.
Which then was linked with a Storage profile so we could use that in vCloud. Again, nothing out of the ordinary.
So let’s create a vApp to make sure everything is working as expected.
Son of a #*$&! We missed something here along the way. At least the error message we got was pretty straight forward. </sarcasm>
Licensing error while accessing vSphere Profile-Driven Storage Service, VM Storage Profiles are not enabled for the VMs host.
Uh…what? We have enterprise plus licenses on these hosts which supports storage profiles. So the hosts surely support it. The storage profile setup went through with no problems. So what’s the issue?
The issue turns out to be a setting I missed while setting up the Storage Profiles. On the upper right hand side of the screen (see second screenshot on this post), you will see an option for Enable VM Storage Profiles. Click on that link and you will see your various clusters and sure enough, the cluster I have set up for this vDC has a VM Storage Profile Status of unknown.
Luckily, it’s a simple highlight and click of the Enable button and you are good to go.
So there you have it. I figured this is a minor misstep in my setup process but I should share the knowledge so hopefully others won’t trip up as well.
NOTE: Some screenshots edited to hide host and customer names.
Before VMworld, I laid out a few of my predictions of what I thought we’d see at the conference. Let’s see how I did…
- vRAM is dead. The rumors were true. This was kind of a gimme but I’ll take it. So long vRAM licensing!
- vCloud 2.0. Got this one too though its vCloud 5.1 to line up the numbering scheme with vSphere. We have snapshots and multiple disk levels supported within the provider vDCs. At the conference, I can’t say for sure that the vConsole app was new, but it worked in Chrome which is a huge step forward.
- Virtual Phone for iOS. Yup, but not in the same way that they are doing it for Android. But still a protected application that has some nice tricks like not allowing you to copy and paste from the protect app to another application running on the phone.
- One pane of glass to rule them all. You could argue that the purchase of DynamicOps makes this happen, but its not fully integrated yet. I think next year will be the real integration and we’ll get that one pane of glass feel to managing our environments.
3 out of 4 isn’t too bad.
VMworld is just around the corner and for those in the server / virtualization space, its a pretty exciting time to see what the market leader is doing next. The market is getting more crowded with other hypervisors and some of them are challenging VMware more than others. Yes, even I will admit that Hyper-V is making some noise. A lot of talk within companies about Microsoft’s licensing advantage and features that are “good enough” for most workloads, its a conversation that many shops will be having when that VMware contract comes up for renewal.
But don’t for a second count VMware down and out. They are innovating left and right and I think still have a commanding lead on all the others in the feature department. And we are in a week of announcements next week showing why VMware will continue their lead.
Here are my predections of what we will see.
- vRAM is dead. Its been rumored already so nothing big here. They’ve also rumored a hosted vCloud of their own and Avamar being put into the hypervisor.
- vCloud 2.0. Let’s face it, we know that there are some issues with vCloud. Yeah, it works great for most thing. But there is a lot of room for improvement and some of the simple things you can do in vSphere that you can’t do in vCloud. For example, snapshots. Seriously VMware, this was stupid to leave out. I believe that they will be fixing this as well as some other features such as disk choices for VMs, hopefully some reservation settings and if they pulled out a new HTML5 console app, it would really make my day.
- Virtual Phone for iOS. Last year with the Horizon applications we saw a virtual phone for Andriod, but nothing for the iOS devices out there. VMware has released a lot of iOS apps over the last year and I’m hoping they’ve come up with a partnership with Apple that allows them to put the virtual phone on iOS.
- One pane of glass to rule them all. I know that managing multiple hypervisors is typically a dirty word at VMware. They acknowledge that there is competition, but make it sound like they dont’ want to deal with the lower life forms. Well, guess what, users don’t give a damn. There has been a very strong market for the past couple of years for companies to release a control center for any virtualization environment. AWS, VMware, Hyper-V, OpenStack, KVM, Xen, etc etc etc. Its time for VMware to play ball. I realize that’s the DynamicOps purchase is still pretty new, but I could see VMware announcing that they will have the one pane of glass to rule all of your virtualization platforms. Something I think we would all welcome as things get more diverse in our environments.
I’m excited for the conference and look forward to seeing the various vendors, sessions, and the Hands On Labs. I’ll be at VMunderground helping out the crew as a door man in the beginning. But I’ll be around for many beers and hopefully some great conversations.
Looking forward to seeing everyone!
Recently I spent some time upgrading our corporate VMware environment from ESX4.1 to ESXi 5. Fun times I know. For most of the hosts, I was able to use the update manager to upgrade and only one host was short on space that required a full re-install from CD.
The upgrades weren’t without incident. I had the unfortunate incident of running into an error of “The Unlicensed license for host <hostname> does not include vSphere HA. Upgrade the License”.
Doesn’t my ESXi 5 license include all the bells and whistles? Yes, yes it does. It wasn’t until I dug into this one a bit deeper that I noticed that the vCenter was reporting this for the host:
When looking at the console, you can clearly see that its a 5.0 host.
Luckily, the fix is really easy. Simply remove the host from your vCenter and re-add. Sure you’ll need to re-add it to your dVS if you have one and re-attach your host profile if you are using those. But in the end, its thankfully a very painless fix to what I would call a bug.