This is an introduction to my unofficial VMware vSphere 7.x - VCP-DCV Study Guide. This page is a collection of all exam blueprint sections and objectives for the certification. The VMware Certified Professional - Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV) certification validates candidate skills to implement, manage, and troubleshoot a vSphere infrastructure.
VMware Certified Professional - Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV)
The VMware Certified Professional - Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV) certification validates candidate skills to implement, manage, and troubleshoot a vSphere infrastructure. It uses best practices to provide a robust, flexible, and secure foundation for business agility that can accelerate the transformation to cloud computing.
The exam consists of 70 questions with a passing score of 300 using a scaled method. Candidates are given an exam time of 130 minutes, which is an adequate time to complete the exam for non-native English speakers.
VCP-DCV 2021 Version
The latest VMware vSphere 7.x certification is VCP-DCV 2021. VMware states that having a "year" designator as its version is due to the frequent updates on Data Center Virtualization solutions. This allows VMware to better maintain the exam and training content. More importantly, it provides certification candidates to communicate how current their skills are concerning other certifications.
Requirements to VCP-DCV
With the VCP‑DCV, there are some prerequisites that you need to be aware of, and these can be different based on what existing certifications or training you might have.
These are the requirements for the VMware vSphere 7.x - VCP-DCV:
- Gain experience with vSphere 7.x - (Recommended)
- Attend one of the required training courses (Required)
- Pass the Professional Data Center Virtualization Exam (Required)
VMware firmly recommends completing the requirements in the order listed, although it is not mandatory.
Minimally Qualified Candidate for VCP-DCV
According to VMware, a minimally qualified candidate (MQC) should have 6-12 months of hands-on experience implementing, managing, and troubleshooting vSphere 7 infrastructure. Typically, MQCs are administrators capable of deploying and administering a virtual infrastructure using vSphere. The candidate also should have experience with storage, networking, hardware, security, and business continuity and disaster recovery concepts.
VMware vSphere 7.x - VCP-DCV Study Guide
Motivation to Study the VCP-DCV
After a long time considering it, I decided to create VMware vSphere 7.x - VCP-DCV Study Guide. This study guide aims to introduce all the VCP-DCV exam sections and objectives in an organized manner; with my own format and style.
I don't hold any VMware Certification at the moment of creating this page. I always considered good working skills and an active hands-on experience with VMware enough. And I have been significantly engaged and occupied working with VMware solutions for the storage realms in the past years.
My primary focus was on VDI, which I considered one of the most challenging and comprehensive solutions when architecting for systems infrastructure. So designing, managing, and troubleshooting vSphere was always part of my daily working routine.
Circumstances have changed my roles and occupations in the past and I started to lose touch with VMware. So, it is time to come back to the basics of one of my favorite technologies, the one that molded my career, VMware vSphere!
Disclaimer - About This Guide
Most of the material of this study guide is taken from https://docs.vmware.com/. However, creating this guide is not about re-writing the VMware docs; it is about organizing the information better to match the order and requirements of sections and objectives of the exam.
To create this guide, I am studying each topic carefully, then editing and adding information based on what I consider critical. This includes my previous experience, other articles, and guides. This material will also be helpful if you just want to explore or strengthen your knowledge on a particular VMware topic.
Whether you decide to take the certification or not, following this guide is an excellent procedure to get into the VMware career field, as you will gain an understanding of all vSphere essential concepts. On the other hand, taking the VCP-DCV is perfect for staying refreshed with virtualization technologies and validating your knowledge of VMware. All of the above is precisely why I am creating this study guide.
This is a work in progress; this guide (page) will be updated frequently.
- Content of articles based on the objectives will also be updated; as I find or explore more and better material.
- I’ll add any additional learning resources based on feedback.
- Typos are bound to happen; I'll come back here often to double-check the information.
I've been swamped with many projects this year, so (temporally) I have to stop writing this guide. I hope I can get hands on this again soon.
Sections Included in the VCP-DCV 2021 Exam
Section 1 –Architectures and Technologies
- Objective 1.1 – Identify the pre-requisites and components for a vSphere implementation
- Objective 1.2 – Describe vCenter Server topology
- Objective 1.3 – Identify and differentiate storage access protocols for vSphere (NFS, iSCSI, SAN, etc.)
- 1.3.1 – Describe storage datastore types for vSphere
- 1.3.2 – Explain the importance of advanced storage configuration (VASA, VAAI, etc.)
- 1.3.3 – Describe storage policies
- 1.3.4 – Describe basic storage concepts in K8s, vSAN and vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols)
- Objective 1.4 – Differentiate between vSphere Network I/O Control (NIOC) and vSphere Storage I/O Control (SIOC)
- Objective 1.5 – Describe instant clone architecture and use cases
- Objective 1.6 – Describe ESXi cluster concepts
- 1.6.1 – Describe Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)
- 1.6.2 – Describe vSphere Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC)
- 1.6.3 – Describe how Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) scores virtual machines
- 1.6.4 – Describe vSphere High Availability
- 1.6.5 – Describe datastore clusters
- Objective 1.7 – Identify vSphere distributed switch and vSphere standard switch capabilities
- 1.7.1 – Describe VMkernel networking
- 1.7.2 – Manage networking on multiple hosts with vSphere distributed switch
- 1.7.3 – Describe networking policies
- 1.7.4 – Manage Network I/O Control (NIOC) on a vSphere distributed switch
- Objective 1.8 – Describe vSphere Lifecycle Manager concepts (baselines, cluster images, etc.)
- Objective 1.9 – Describe the basics of vSAN as primary storage
- 1.9.1 – Identify basic vSAN requirements (networking, disk count + type)
- Objective 1.10 – Describe the vSphere Trust Authority architecture
- Objective 1.11 – Explain Software Guard Extensions (SGX)
Section 2 – VMware Products and Solutions
- Objective 2.1 – Describe the role of vSphere in the software-defined data center (SDDC)
- Objective 2.2 – Identify use cases for vCloud Foundation
- Objective 2.3 – Identify migration options
- Objective 2.4 – Identify DR use cases
- Objective 2.5 – Describe vSphere integration with VMware Skyline
Section 3 – Planning and Designing
- There are no testable objectives for this section.
Section 4 – Installing, Configuring, and Setup
- Objective 4.1 – Describe single sign-on (SSO) deployment topology
- 4.1.1 – Configure a single sign-on (SSO) domain
- 4.1.2 – Join an existing single sign-on (SSO) domain
- Objective 4.2 – Configure VSS advanced virtual networking options
- Objective 4.3 – Set up identity sources
- 4.3.1 – Configure Identity Federation
- 4.3.2 – Configure Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration
- 4.3.3 – Configure Active Directory integration
- Objective 4.4 – Deploy and configure vCenter Server Appliance
- Objective 4.5 – Create and configure VMware High Availability and advanced options (Admission Control, Proactive HA, etc.)
- Objective 4.6 – Deploy and configure vCenter Server High Availability
- Objective 4.7 – Set up content library
- Objective 4.8 – Configure vCenter Server file-based backup
- Objective 4.9 – Analyze basic log output from vSphere products
- Objective 4.10 – Configure vSphere Trust Authority
- Objective 4.11 – Configure vSphere certificates
- 4.11.1 – Describe Enterprise PKIs role for SSL certificates
- Objective 4.12 – Configure vSphere Lifecycle Manager/VMware Update Manager (VUM)
- Objective 4.13 – Securely Boot ESXi hosts
- Objective 4.14 – Configure different network stacks
- Objective 4.15 – Configure Host Profiles
- Objective 4.16 – Identify boot options
- 4.16.1 – Configure Quick Boot
Section 5 – Performance-tuning, Optimization, Upgrades
- Objective 5.1 – Identify resource pools use cases
- 5.1.1 – Explain shares, limits and reservations (resource management)
- Objective 5.2 – Monitor resources of vCenter Server Appliance and vSphere environment
- Objective 5.3 – Identify and use tools for performance monitoring
- Objective 5.4 – Configure Network I/O Control (NIOC)
- Objective 5.5 – Configure Storage I/O Control (SIOC)
- Objective 5.6 – Explain the performance impact of maintaining virtual machine snapshots
- Objective 5.7 – Plan for upgrading various vSphere components
Section 6 – Troubleshooting and Repairing
- There are no testable objectives for this section.
Section 7 – Administrative and Operational Tasks
- Objective 7.1 – Create and manage virtual machine snapshots
- Objective 7.2 – Create virtual machines using different methods (OVF templates, content library, etc.)
- Objective 7.3 – Manage virtual machines
- Objective 7.4 – Manage storage (datastores, storage policies, etc.)
- 7.4.1 – Configure and modify datastores (expand/upgrade existing datastore, etc.)
- 7.4.2 – Create virtual machine storage policies
- 7.4.3 – Configure storage cluster options
- Objective 7.5 – Create Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) affinity and anti-affinity rules for common use cases
- Objective 7.6 – Configure and perform different types of migrations
- Objective 7.7 – Configure role-based user management
- Objective 7.8 – Configure and manage the options for securing a vSphere environment
- Objective 7.9 – Configure and manage host profiles
- Objective 7.10 – Utilize baselines to perform updates and upgrades
- Objective 7.11 – Utilize vSphere Lifecycle Manager
- 7.11.1 – Describe Firmware upgrades for ESXi
- 7.11.2 – Describe ESXi updates
- 7.11.3 – Describe component and driver updates for ESXi
- 7.11.4 – Describe hardware compatibility check
- 7.11.5 – Describe ESXi cluster image export functionality
- Objective 7.12 – Configure alarms