This is the second part to my VCAP-DCA study guide on storage (section 1.1 of the blueprint). As mentioned in part 1, I intend to focus these study notes on what you need to know with essential learning points. There is a big section on LUN masking using PSA related commands in this part of my study guide, and also an introduction to analysing performance stats with esxtop. Whilst esxtop is covered in many of the VCAP-DCA blueprint sections, 1.1 is the first section it is mentioned in regards to assessing storage performance, so at the very end of this post I have included the topic ‘Using ESXTOP for Storage Performance Analysis’.
This is the very first subject on the VCAP-DCA blueprint, and I intend to focus these study notes on what you need to know with essential learning points. Throughout my study notes I have made a few assumptions about the reader. You will:
- Already have a good grasp of vSphere and are comfortable using the vSphere client.
- Have a good understanding of storage types, RAID levels, iSCSI, fiber channel, NFS.
- Have some basic Linux knowledge, such as using Vi or Nano, and navigating around the file system.
- Not be very familiar with using the vMA, PowerCLI, Service Console, or DCUI (at least not for anything advanced).
- Need further guidance on using ESXTOP / RESXTOP and other performance and troubleshooting methods.
With that in mind I recommend that rather that following the exam blueprint in order, you try and focus on the topics you find the hardest. If I’ve not included notes on some topics (RAID for example) it is because there is already a wealth of information available. This way, your VCAP-DCA study can be focused on key learning points that target gaps in your knowledge or areas of weakness. Also bear in mind that at the time of writing this I haven’t taken the VCAP-DCA yet, but as a former virtual infrastructure team lead and admin, in addition to recent knowledge in the field I hope my notes help not only myself, but others to pass the certification too.