Last Friday I sat the vSphere 5 VMware Certified Professional aka VCP5 exam at the VUE Test/Centre Global Knowledge Nieuwegein in the Netherlands. Since I’m a VMware Certified Instructor, I’ve two options. The first option is to take the VCP-510 exam. I’ve to score 350 or higher otherwise VUE has to reset my account in order to do a re-take of the exam (even though I’ve passed it with a score above 300). The second option is take the VCI-510. This exam has the same questions, the only difference is the pass mark. The VCI-510 is set at 350 so you will automatically fail it, if you don’t reach the instructor level and there’s no account reset needed. That’s why VCI-510 is for VCIs only. Recently I’ve received a free VCP5 voucher from VMware as a thank you for my participation in the original VMware Certified Professional 4 – Desktop program and the VCI-510 exam isn’t open for enrollment yet so I tough what the hack – let’s do it. How difficult can it be. The actual preparation for this exam has started months ago, while I was participating in the beta of vSphere 5, I’ve recorded many vSphere 5 instruction and learning videos which can be found at YouTube and my iTunes channel. I’ve also attended the vSphere 5 What’s New Train The trainer and I’ve delivered the “What’s New” training once already. Besides that, I’m reading a lot of good vSphere 5 articles from my fellow bloggers. I’ve also filled my DropBox with many PDF files that have recently been released by VMware and contain real good information. I didn’t know what to expect so I’ve used the days prior to the exam for building my own exam training, a cool project that eventually has spinned off into a real gig - soon the be announced.
When I started the exam I was pretty comfortable but after the first 10 questions I had something like “is this going to be the same level at the next 75 questions?”. First tip - don’t focus too much on the maximums PDF. It won’t do you any good. There are not a lot of “how many this and how many that” questions in the exam. Second tip - don’t learn all the marketing and licensing stuff by head. Yes you will have a few questions about licensing but you can answer them already, trust me. What you really need to know is how the complete vSphere product suite works. You cannot pass this exam by learning theory from a book or student guide. The exam questions will test you on things that only people with real world experience can answer. If you want to prepare for this exam I can give you one good advice. Create a lab environment and install all the vSphere components you can get your hands on. Also deploy all the appliances like the vCenter, the VSA and even setup auto deploy. Install it - Use it - Play with it - Administrator it and Eat it :-) That’s the only way to get the knowledge needed to pass for this exam. I’ll give you one example whiteout breaching the NDA.
Say you’re an administrator of a vSphere 5 environment and you get a call from an application owner. People are complaining about the performance of their business utility. You’re investigating the problem and eventually you have found the virtual machine with the performance problem, it's part of a DRS resource pool with other virtual machines who run fine. After logging on the ESXi 5 host and starting ESXTop, the following diagram is presented.
To solve the performance problem you have to (click the picture):
a) Add more CPUs to the ESXi host because there’s a very high CPU-Ready value.
b) vMotion virtual machines to another host to free up resources and higher the shares value of the virtual machine in trouble.
c) Higher the CPU limit of the resource pool the virtual machine lives in and higher the resource pool reservation. If expendable reservation is disabled, enable it.
d) Check the log files of the application running in the virtual machine for an error.
So the right answer is d…. The virtual machine with performance problems was configured with a limit on purpose. The software in the virtual machine has the tension to blow up every once in a while so that’s the reason why the virtual machine was configured with a limit otherwise it would dominate a complete core. The (MLMTD) max limited time is the percentage of time the VM world was ready to run but deliberately wasn't scheduled because that would violate the VM’s "CPU limit" settings.
You can only answer this question if you’re familiar with ESXTop otherwise you would go for triggers like resource pools and expandable reservations. You see, that’s what I mean – you have to know how it works not how it can or should work by reading the manual. It’s a fair exam. I’ve scored a perfect 350 and I’m proud of it, good luck with prepping and have fun, VCP5 is a real challenge.