Thursday, 25 August 2016

Kick Start Your Journey Towards VCAP6-DCV Design

Special Thanks to my Travel Team for making such Travel arrangements which allowed me to borrow some time out of my schedule.

Most of us who are already VCP 6 - DCV Certified share a common goal of achieving the next level of certification with VMware "The Advance Certification" and it really take a lot of time / Hard Work and Dedication to achieve these Credentials.


Thought of starting this VMware Certified Advance Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization Design Blog Series  because in most of the Training's i Deliver for VMware Education Services I get a same question from my Audience.


How to Achieve "VMware Design Certification" Well here is the Answer



Where to Start ?

The First and foremost thing to start with is to achieve your VMware Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization Credentials ? 

I Know It's a Question again for some of us on how to achieve VCP6 -DCV these credentials? 


So this is what you need to do ! Attend either one of these Mandatory Training Courses from VMware Education Services or from any VMware Authorised Training Center (VATC) before you appear for your VCP6 -DCV exam.


vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6]
vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6] On Demand
vSphere: Optimize & Scale [V6]
vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V6] On Demand 
VMware vSphere: Bootcamp [V6]
VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V6]
VMware vSphere: Design and Deploy Fast Track [V6]
VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting [V6]
VMware vSphere: Install, Configure and Manage plus Optimize and Scale Fast Track [V6.0]
VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale plus Troubleshooting Fast Track [V6.0] 


All the above mentioned courses are from same track VMware vSphere which doesn't mean you cannot achieve your VCP 6 and VCAP6 credentials in any other Track.

I mentioned only about the VMware vSphere courses here because in this blog post series we will be focussing on VCAP 6- DCV Design Track for all other tracks i would recommend you to follow below links. 

Once you have completed the above training course you can schedule your VCP 6 - DCV exam and my heartiest Congratulations for those who already are VCP's and wishing luck to all the aspiring VCP's.

What's Next ?


Now we are all set to proceed further with VCAP 6 - DCV Design Exam ! What about the Training Prerequisites ! Do we need to complete any Mandatory before appearing for VCAP 6- DCV Design exam ?


Well there is no as such Mandatory training however to align yourself more towards the goal of achieving your VCAP 6 DCV Design credentials, VMware Recommend attending the VMware vSphere: Design and Deploy Fast Track [V6] which talks about the Exam objectives for VCAP6 -DCV Design and gives the audience exposure to Design Scenarios where in they can Create their on Design and can also have a Healthy Discussion with their Instructors about the Design.


To get an Overview about few important aspect related to VMware vSphere Design here is the link which talks about the various stages of a Design Process and also discuss  about Design Qualifiers we need to consider for our Design
VMware vSphere Design Qualifiers

Exam Blueprint 

1) Create a vSphere Conceptual Design-

Objective 1.1- Gather and Analyze Business Requirements.

Objective 1.2 - Gather and Analyze Application Requirements.

Objective 1.3 - Determine Risks, Requirements, Constraints and Assumptions.

2) Create a vSphere 6.x Logical Design from Existing Conceptual Design.


Objective 2.1-  Map Business Requirements to a vSphere 6.x Logical Design

Objective 2.2 – Map Service Dependencies

Objective 2.3 – Build Availability Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design

Objective 2.4 – Build Manageability Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design

Objective 2.5 – Build Performance Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design

Objective 2.6 – Build Recoverability Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design

Objective 2.7 – Build Security Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design


3) Create a vSphere 6.x Physical Design from an Existing Logical Design

Objective 3.1 – Transition from a Logical Design to a vSphere 6.x Physical Design

Objective 3.2 – Create a vSphere 6.x Physical Network Design from an Existing Logical Design

Objective 3.3 – Create a vSphere 6.x Physical Storage Design from an Existing Logical Design

Objective 3.4 – Determine Appropriate Compute Resources for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design

Objective 3.5 – Determine Virtual Machine Configuration for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design

Objective 3.6 – Determine Data Center Management Options for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design

Key Note - It's a Journey dedicated towards achieving these objectives and "VCAP 6 - DCV Design Credentials", I will be writing a series of Blog Post on how to work towards each Objective wherein will be discussing Key Aspects Related to VMware vSphere Design and would also be sharing few useful link's which will be acting as an Helping Hand for us to reach towards our Goal.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

My New VMware Home Lab is Spinning

With my New home lab in place it was time for me to proceed further with the Initial Setup and Configuration by spinning up some Virtual Machines.

It took me 6 days to built my initial Home Lab setup not because it was quite big but because of my very busy schedule was packed with another VMware Education Training Delivery this week but I was able to manage some time out of my busy schedule and ended up with this initial setup. 

So what do we got ?

Before we proceed further it's important to understand what do we got in terms of Physical Hardware, if in case you might have missed the initial post i shared about my All New Home Lab here is a quick Reference In Love With My New Home Lab

Now when we have seen the hardware configuration let me inform you it is a High END Physical Desktop not a Physical Server yes It's definitely not a Physical Server and why is that?

Well my pocket doesn't allow me to spend on a Physical Server and that to with a Basic  Configuration when you can get a High End Desktop within the same Budget.

If you are one of those Sponsor's waiting for loaning Sever Hardware you are more than Welcome! :-)

To start with i created Domain Controller Virtual Machine Running with Windows Server 2008 R2, I have dedicated one of the article in my Home Lab Post Series where in I discussed about the Installation and Configuration of this Domain Controller Virtual Machine you can refer the same here Back to Basics- Home Lab Part 2


Post running the DCPromo Command and after successful installation of DNS my new Domain Name was something which was quite obvious HomeLab.Local

For First Machine i used 172.20.x.x Static Ip address and the same 172.20.x.x as Default Gateway.

*Note: Installation/Configurations/Specifications methods used here has been Tested in My Home Lab Nested Environment .

Now Post this all the Windows Virtual Machine I created made them joined to the same domain HomeLab.Local  to ensure there are not any Errors related to FQDN.

However there is an extra step required for all other Non- Windows Machine in your DNS machine that you need to do add a proper entry in the Forward Look Up Zone and also you need to create a New Record in DNS

My Second, Third,Fourth and Fifth Machine Which i Deployed was ESXi 6 Server each one running with 2 vCPU and 6 GB Memory, Believe me Installation of ESXi is the most simplest Installation you would have ever seen have a look here Back To Basics -Home Lab Part 3 

The only difference in the above link and current one is that i used ESXi 5.5 in my last lab  however now i have used ESXi 6.0.

As i mentioned ESXi installation is easy however the Configuration can be tricky sometimes but Thanks to DCUI which makes the configuration a lot more easy.

All the four Virtual machines running with ESXi 6 I used the Static IPv4 addresses 172.20.x.x,172.20.x.x,172.20.x.x,172.20.x.x and also configured the DNS settings by specifying the DNS IP's address.

It's Time to Provision vCenter Server for which i created another Windows Server 2008R2 Virtual Machine and used Windows Based Installation for vCenter Server6 running with an Embedded PSC and Embedded Database, with 2 vCpu and 8GB RAM.


One of another Static IP addresses from 172.20.x.x range I used for vCenter Server and made this Windows Virtual Machine to be part of the same Domain HomeLab.Local. 

But this time when i had Beautiful Hardware Configuration which made me Fall In Love with her, I can't stop myself by not creating another Windows Based vCenter Server 6 running with the same configuration and joined to the same domain running in a Linked Mode.

Well It's time to tell the Truth I Installed an Extra vCenter Server because of the Future Integration and Testing i planned about ! Yes that's right so lot more is coming up with my New Home Lab.

When it come to creating a Virtual Machine for Shared Storage i prefer using OpenFiler again i refer it because the last time i Deployed my Home Lab i used the same here is the link for the configuration of openfiler  Back to Basics - Home Lab Part 4. 

Don't forget to configure the settings related to DNS inside the Openfiler and also make sure we created a proper record in DNS to avoid any further configuration related errors.

All my Shared storage requirements can be satisfied by Openfiler however i also have created NFS share running on one of my Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtual Machine and mounted it to my ESXi hosts. which i will be using as one of the shared repository for ISO Images.



Datastore 1 and 2 are the local datastore for my ESXi's and Shared datastore is created using the LUN's created using openfiler.

Hope this article help's you, do let me know if you are looking for some other functionalities /integration to be tested out you can reach me @kanishksethi on twitter.

I am Really Excited to Test and Integrate more Features and Products with my Home Lab environment and will keep this space updated with all the latest findings.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Demystifying Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1

Dedicated this article to understand the Architecture & Components of Nakivo Backup and Replication v 6.1.

Nakivo Backup and Replication is one stop shop for all our Backup and Replication requirements irrespective of the fact whether we want to Recover the VM's onsite, offsite or to Cloud.

Architecture & Components

1) Director - Centralized Management Interface responsible for Managing our Inventory of Virtual Infrastructure. Well this is the Place Where we will be creating the Back Up Jobs, Managing them and also managing our backup repositories.



We can consider Director as vCenter Server Running with Web client or in another words we are accessing vCenter Server using Web Client wherein the Web Client is giving us Graphical User Interface and vCenter Server is Giving us Centralized Management Capabilities. Again this analogy i used is to explain the Architectural behaviour of Director component of Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1.

So how many Directors should be Deployed ? One instance of Director would be enough to manage our Geographically apart vCenter Servers, Standalone ESXi's and also the Backup Repositories.

2) Transporter -  As the name suggests Transporter the "One Who Transports" is the component which is responsible for performing Replication, Backup, Data Recovery, Compression, Encryption.

By default when we proceed with the installation an Instance of transporter is Installed along with Director called as On Board Transporter.

How many transporters should be Deployed

Single Transporter can simultaneously process VM disks during Backup ,Replication and Recovery which is set to 6 by default again it is a configurable parameter and can be changed.

What if the Jobs contain More Virtual Machine Disks than the Transporter is set to Process Simultaneously, in this scenario the Disks would be Put up in Queue and would be processed by the Transporter once it is free to handle those Disks.

Our Initial Question about How Many Transporters Should be Deployed Still remains Unanswered, Well the Answer depends on how large is the environment? Do we need Multiple VM's to be processed Simultaneously if Yes then we can go with more than one Transporter to distribute the workload among them.

Do we really find a business use case in our environment wherein we need more than one Transporter Yes Maybe If we have two sites over WAN and the VM's are getting replicated between these sites.

In this Example we can go ahead and deploy more than one transporter so as the Transporter at source and destination site can help me encrypt/decrypt the data.

Otherwise one Transporter would be more than enough to be deployed across one site and would be taking care of all our requirement related to Backup, Replication.

3) Backup Repository

Another important component when working with Nakivo Backup and Replication v 6.1 is our Backup Repository (Folder Used for Storing Virtual Machine Backups).

During the initial Setup when adding the Backup Repository a folder get's created by the name of Nakivo Backup based on the location you have specified.

When  Specifying the folder for our Backup Repository we can choose CIFS Share or Local Folder of the Machine where Transporter is Installed choosing this option helps us to choose from any storage types (SAN,NAS).


When it comes to the Management of these Repository each of the Repository is Managed by an Assigned Transporter responsible for performing Read and Write on that Repository.

Virtual Machines Backups are Compressed and Deduplicated at the Block Level giving us an overall Storage Space upto 128 TB.

Now when we are aware about the Architectural Components it's time for us to proceed further and talk about some New Features in Nakivo Backup and Replication v 6.1.

  • Object recovery for Microsoft Exchange 2016 and 2013: Nakivo Backup and Replication v 6.1 enables us to browse, search, and recover Microsoft Exchange 2016 and 2013 objects which could be our emails directly from compressed and deduplicated backups without restoring the Entire VM in the First Place. This is one of the Feature which is my personal favourite because when it comes to Exchange Server i know how critical is could be to find the right email when you really don't want to spend time in recovering the Virtual Machine itself.
  • Job Chaining: Another New Feature in Nakivo Backup and Replication v 6.1 helps us by extending it's job scheduling capabilities which ensure Backup Job can trigger another Job Post t's completion.


Would be dedicating another article where will be talking about the installation and configuration, giving you all heads up well in Advance to Download Free Trial Nakivo Backup and Replication v 6.1 which is available as Windows Installer, Linux Installer, Virtual Appliance,Installer for NAS and Amazon Machine Image for AWS EC2.