VCP5About 2 weeks ago I passed the VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 (VCP510) exam. Since I already had VCP410 I decided to be fast and upgrade without following any courses (for those working on it this can be done until the end of February). I must say the exam was quite the challenge. I must agree with everyone else: comparing it with VCP4, this one is truly harder.

The exam itself is in the same format as VCP4, this means 85 multiple-choice questions and 90 minutes time (an extra 30 minutes if English isn’t your native language). I think about 60-70% of the questions require you to choose multiple answers (being 2 or 3 answers). This is where the hard part comes in. I noticed that as soon as you read the question you better know the answer without even reading the possible answers provided. A lot of the answers are formed in a (very) misleading way.

Another small but important note about the questions: use the “mark for review” button! It is there for a reason. If you want you can also review the whole exam but this might influence your answers and eventually your final grade (remember you need 300 / 500 for a pass), it is better that you only review questions on which you are not sure at first.

I must honestly say that I have the luck on running a (very) small homelab (2 servers and a NAS with NFS/iSCSI) and a testing lab at the company which I work for. I highly advice people to experiment with ESXi 5. I am not saying it is needed but it’s a big advantage to have some hands on lab experience.

During my preparation I mixed my time with reading the documents listed in the Exam Blueprint, watching Trainsignal videos and playing around in the lab. I can also recommend Scott Lowe‘s book: Mastering VMware vSphere 5.

Another useful thing is running some practice exams which can be found on various websites such as Simon Long‘s blog.

As a final note: a very nice collection about the whole VCP5 experience can be found at VLADAN’s “Resources To Prepare VCP 5” page. He has a collection of people posting their experience and some other useful links like practice exams, communities posts,…

Let’s sum it all up:

  • Follow the Exam Blue print
  • Read Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 5 book
  • Watch Trainsignal videos
  • Run practice exams
  • Read experiences by other people
  • Try to get hands on lab experience

I wish you good luck in becoming VCP 5.

My next aim/step(s): VCAP5-DCA and VCAP5-DCD (coming soon).

When enabling SSH or ESXi shell on a ESXi host you will get a warning in the client summary tab.

This can be disabled by changing the UserVars.SuppressShellWarning to 1. To do this follow the steps below:

  1. Select the ESXi host
  2. Click the Configuration tab
  3. Under Software, choose Advanced Settings
  4. Navigate towards UserVars
  5. Change the value of UserVars.SuppressShellWarning to 1
  6. Save the change by clicking OK

The warning will be gone after this. You can enable it again by changing the value back to 0.

This is something that happened quite a few times to me when installing a new Linux VM. While pressing a key the character gets repeated quite some times. This is quite annoying since this will result in wrong passwords, servernames,… and a lot of frustration.

To resolve this problem you can do the following (using the vSphere client):

  1. Power off the specific VM
  2. Right click the specific VM and select Edit Settings
  3. Click Options, General and finally Configuration Parameters
  4. In the new window: Click Add Row
  5. Under Name enter keyboard.typematicMinDelay with a Value set to 5000000
  6. Close the Configuration Parameters by clicking OK
  7. Close the VM Properties by clicking OK
  8. Power on the virtual machine

This will change the repeat time to 5 seconds. You can always decrease or increase it. Just keep in mind the value is set as micro-seconds.

A small update on the iPad vSphere Client has been released.

v1.2 client includes the following new features:

  • Migrate virtual machines without downtime using vMotion. The feature is available via Host & VM action menus. Virtual machines can also be two-finger flicked/dragged from the Host detail view to enter vMotion mode
  • Ability to email vMotion validation error details to others
  • View task progress reporting on VM cards
  • Ability to refresh vCenter host list
  • Support for ESX 3.5
  • Support for VMware vSphere 5.0

More information can be found at the Communities page and you can get it via the Apple store.

While doing a VMware tools check in my homelab I found a few Linux VMs with the message “Out of date“. These machines were from an old test and I recently started them again for some testing. My first idea on seeing the message was: ‘nothing wrong, I just run a PowerCLI script and everything will be updated‘. After running the script I noticed 3 test servers still being “Out of date” but in my task list the machines did receive the message “Initiated VMware Tools install or upgrade”. I ran the script again to see if it would fix the problem but the machines kept being “Out of date“. Time for a manual intervention!

I did a right click on the machine and noticed the following while running “Install/Upgrade VMware Tools“:

It gave me the idea that VMware tools had crashed or failed to run at boot so I logged on to the machines. Below is the output what happened after a status check and a stop and start.

server02:~# /etc/init.d/vmware-tools status
vmtoolsd is running
server02:~# /etc/init.d/vmware-tools stop
Stopping VMware Tools services in the virtual machine:
   Guest operating system daemon:                                      done
   Virtual Printing daemon:                                            done
   Unmounting HGFS shares:                                             done
   Guest filesystem driver:                                            done
   Guest memory manager:                                               done
   VM communication interface socket family:                           done
   VM communication interface:                                         done
server02:~# /etc/init.d/vmware-tools start
   Checking acpi hot plug                                              done
Starting VMware Tools services in the virtual machine:
   Switching to guest configuration:                                   done
   Guest memory manager:                                              failed
   VM communication interface:                                        failed
   VM communication interface socket family:                          failed
   Guest operating system daemon:                                      done
   Virtual Printing daemon:                                            done

As u can see, 3 services failed so I probably had to reinstall the whole package.

Another right click on the machine with the idea to run “Install/Upgrade VMware Tools” and suddenly I got the following screen:

I could select “Automatic Tools Upgrade” and after waiting for a few minutes for the installer the status changed from “Out of date” to “OK”.

Problem solved and everything is up to date again!