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VMware Certified Associate - Data Center Virtualization

This course covers VMware vSphere products and technologies, and the business needs that can be met by them. The course focus is on concepts, products, and features. For training on the implementation and management of these features in a VMware vSphere environment, please watch the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) course....
This course covers VMware vSphere products and technologies, and the business needs that can be met by them. The course focus is on concepts, products, and features. For training on the implementation and management of these features in a VMware vSphere environment, please watch the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) course.

Note: The exam associated with this course was retired August 1, 2016. However, this course still retains value as a training resource.

Recommended Experience
  • Familiarity with basic networking and server concepts
Recommended Equipment
  • None required
Related Certifications
  • VMware Certified Associate, Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV)
Related Job Functions
  • IT professionals
  • Server administrators
  • Virtual administrators
  • Storage administrators
  • Network administrators
  • Security administrators
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Managers and Executives interested in Business Continuity (BC)
Keith Barker has been a CBT Nuggets trainer since 2012 and holds a variety of networking and security certifications, including CCIE R&S, CCIE Security, (ISC)2 CISSP, Palo Alto CNSE, and VMware VCP5-DCV.
 show less
1. Welcome and Overview (11 min)
2. Give me a "V" (22 min)
3. ESXi Hypervisor (20 min)
4. vMotion (17 min)
5. Virtual Storage (24 min)
6. vCenter (5 min)
7. Networking (17 min)
8. vCenter Operations Manager (6 min)
9. VCM, VDP & SRM (11 min)
10. Final Prep (12 min)

Welcome and Overview


Hello. My name is Keith Barker. And on behalf of the entire CBT Nuggets family, welcome to this VMware-Certified Associate course focusing on data center virtualization. Let's begin. Several years ago, someone introduced the idea that everyone is listening to a specific radio station and is tuned in and paying attention to this radio station most of the time.


This applies to individuals and companies. And after they had my attention, I thought to myself, well, what the heck is WII FM? And then it was explained to me that WII FM represents What's In It For Me. And my question for you is, regarding virtualization, what are the benefits for a company to turn to virtualization?


And it's important that you and I are aware of some of these benefits. For example, I was at a friend's house last week. And he was on Windows 7, which is not the latest and greatest version of Windows, but he showed me how to use a new technique to create a virtual folder.


And I thought to myself, holy schnikers! I never knew that was possible in Windows 7. And now I can use that feature because, guess what? I'm aware of it. And in business, a business is not going to leverage or take advantage of a virtualization technology unless they are aware that that possibility exists.


So a big part of this course is two things. Number one, you and I get to identify some significant and real benefits of using virtualization. And then, armed with the knowledge of the benefits of virtualization, we'll take a look at specific products from VMware that are used to implement those solutions that solve those business problems.


We're going to break down into four separate categories some of the challenges that businesses are facing today, and then identify specifically the individual solutions by VMware and what's referred to as a vSphere virtual environment to provide solutions for each of those areas.


Now, one of the challenges in learning any new technology is the vocabulary. So in this course, we're going to be very specific as we go through it together in describing the terms and concepts in a VMware vSphere environment so that at the end of the course, you'll be more comfortable with each of those and those features and exactly what they do.


And in that light, let's take a look at what the heck vSphere is all about. What is vSphere? Well, vSphere is not just one piece or one product. It's a suite of products and tools from VMware that, all working together, can assist us in virtualizing our servers and virtualizing our network and virtualizing our storage.


So whenever you and I hear the word vSphere, that's a trademark name from VMware that's relating to a suite of products. For example, as part of vSphere virtualized enterprise, we would have some physical computing devices. We would have some centralized management tools.


And in a vSphere environment, the centralized management platform is called vCenter. These computers are running specialized software from VMware. That software specifically is called ESXi. And that specialized software from VMware running on these computers allows these computers to create virtualized environments for virtual machines.


And one of the cool things about a virtual machine is that that virtual machine on its own doesn't know that it's running in a virtualized environment. This virtual machine thinks that it has its own little dedicated server that it's running on hardware-wise.


And as we start integrating these features together in a vSphere environment, we have some really sweet solutions regarding high availability, scalability, optimization, and management of our enterprise. A couple of questions that often come up regarding the VMware-Certified Associate for Data Center Virtualization, which, by the way, is what this course was based upon, the blueprint for that certification.


One of the questions that comes up is, how much hands on is there in this course regarding the implementation and troubleshooting and monitoring of a VMware vSphere environment and all of its features? And the answer to that for this course is absolutely zero.


This course is focused on the benefits of virtualization and the specific products from VMware that provide those features. And that's a good thing, because it's important for you and I, first of all, to make sure that we understand all of these features and the acronyms and what they represent.


And the tangible benefits of that for you and I is, number one, we'll make sure we have the vocabulary down. So that as we're talking and working with our coworkers, and they're bringing up terms and features, we'll have a very clear idea of exactly what those features do and the benefits that those features provide.


And secondly, we'll be able to make recommendations. For example, let's say that you and I and several other people from our company are all sitting at a table, and we're brainstorming about ways to improve availability for a web server that we're managing at the company.


Currently is it's down for maybe 10 or 15 minutes a week, and we're trying to improve that availability. Well, what you and I could do after going through this course, we could say, well, regarding availability, we could use a feature like Fault Tolerance.


We could virtualize that server. Let's go ahead and put them right there. So there's our server. We'll call it Server X. And we'll run a primary instance of that server right here on this hardware called host ESX3. Now in the background, what we can also do is we can run a secondary instance of that virtual machine over on a different physical host.


So here on ESX2, we run a secondary copy of Server X. So this guy is simply there for the benefit of Fault Tolerance. And if something tragic happens to the first resource that it's running on, ESX Host 3-- it goes down or there's a power problem or something else-- it can switch over control in real time to the secondary instance of that server, which will change it now to be the primary version of that server.


And because it's done in real time, it's likely that our customers will not even be aware that the change happened. That, my friend, is powerful technology to increase availability through Fault Tolerance. And that is only one of many features that we have available to us in a VMware vSphere environment that address specific and real business challenges today.


Now as I think back, this VCA-DCV is a fairly new certification. But if this has been around several years ago, it would have been terrific as a great lunch point to become familiar with the techniques of virtualization, as well as the VMware-specific solutions that can meet those needs.


Another question that I get quite a bit is what is the path for learning new technologies on the networking side? And today in a virtualized environment, the networking side includes a bunch of servers as well. So for the individual who is just starting their journey in the world of networking, I would strongly recommend as a foundation these three courses.


Now, you don't have to get the certifications, but I would strongly recommend the insight and the knowledge and the understanding that these certifications provide. And for most people, the next logical step after the study is to go ahead and obtain those certifications as a demonstration to the world that you understand those basic concepts.


So in this list for foundation, I have CompTIA as Network+. And the CompTIA certifications are not focused on a certain vendor. So it's a great foundation, regardless of which vendor-specific direction you may go beyond that. I would also strongly recommend CompTIA's Security+, because regardless of which vendor you're using, security is also going to be a critical concern for virtually every production network that you'll ever touch.


So having the foundation in security concepts and principles will be very valuable to your career. The other one that I'm also adding to the list is the VMware VCA-DCV, which is about the concepts and the benefits of virtualization, as well as the VMware-specific solutions that provide those features.


And the reason I'm adding this here is because it's not a matter of if you will be touching with or working with a VMware environment. It's a question of when. VMware is one of the biggest players in the virtualization space, and they continue to grow.


The other cool thing I've identified is that individuals who have an understanding of a VMware-virtualized environment can also leverage those skills and that knowledge as they build their own networks, perhaps for design and testing and troubleshooting.


Because it's a lot easier to create a virtualized environment with five or six Windows or Linux servers using one piece of hardware, as opposed to having five physical servers with a single operating system on each one of them. I would also recommend the VMware-Certified Associate for Data Center Virtualization to individuals who perhaps aren't going to be doing hands-on technical work but do want to be aware of the features and the benefits of a VMware vSphere environment.


So the individuals who fall into that pool would be everybody from an end user to a senior executive to middle management who want to be aware of the features and the terminology used so that they're not completely lost in a discussion about a virtualized environment.


But instead, when somebody mentions ESX or SRM or DRS, they can have a very clear understanding of what that feature is and why it would be used. For individuals who want to continue growing their skills and move into the hands-on aspect of implementing these technologies, there are vendor-level associate certificates from Cisco and Palo Alto and Juniper and HP and so forth.


And if you're in an environment that's using Juniper, I would strongly recommend go down the Juniper track. If you're in an environment that is using Cisco primarily or Check Point primarily, I would follow those respective entry-level certifications.


And one of the major benefits of that is if you're using that technology in the environment, you'll have more exposure to it, and your learning will increase as a result of being exposed to it all the time. And that's one secret of being really good at some technology is to immerse yourself in it when possible and practice, practice, practice with that technology.


Because what can happen is if we work with a technology like two years ago and we haven't touched it for two years, a lot of that knowledge, unfortunately, is likely to fade regarding some technology that we were really good at a long time ago but haven't seen recently.


The next step based on these certifications at the associate level for the various vendors, they can then move up to the professional-level certifications from those same vendors. And what I've enjoyed seeing over and over again is that as people study various technologies, they'll see some aspect or some specific area that excites them, that they love.


And when that happens, where possible, I encourage that person to follow that specific track. Because if you love it, you'll be excited about learning it and using it and applying those skills. And as we continue moving up the ladder, there are expert-level certifications and specializations.


And as an example of some of those, back in 2001 I got my Cisco-Certified Internet Work Expert certification in routing. And then 2003, I got my CCIE in security. But the secret is, it doesn't stop there. There's other great technologies. For example, I've got my Check Point Associate Certification.


I've got my Juniper Professional Level Certification. I've got my Palo Alto Entry Level. I've got a Master ASE for HP. And I also didn't list it here, but there's a VMware-Certified Professional also from VMware, which I also have, which brings me to my next point.


If you are interested in learning more about VMware, the actual implementation and configuration and monitoring and troubleshooting of a VMware vSphere environment, the VMware Certified Professional is a great place to go to learn about doing exactly that.


I am very excited about going through this course together. And our very next video is on the specific benefits that virtualization can bring to the table in a business today. So I will see you in the next video. Meanwhile, I hope this has been informative for you, and I'd like to thank you for viewing.

Give me a "V"

ESXi Hypervisor


Virtual Storage



vCenter Operations Manager


Final Prep

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Entry 3 hrs 10 videos


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Keith Barker
Nugget trainer since 2012