Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Passed VCP-Cloud - Links and Resources

I attempted the BETA Exam and missed it by few. Saw all the Tweets when the BETA results was announced as people were passing. I had nothing but to take that as an opportunity to prepare again and Never give up.

For last week or so I have been studying the vCloud, vShield, vCloud Connector and Chargeback.

Today I went to one of the centers to give the VCP-IaaS Exam and after finishing the survey my heart beats are started to becoming little faster. With all the study resources I have gone through which were immensely  helped me to understand the concepts of vClound and other components tied up with it.

Chargeback is definitely a BEAST which will play a crucial role in organizations when it comes to cost and resource allocation. So much new to learn about it and I can see the future of Chargeback is very bright along with the vCloud implementations where the strength of the same can be utilized in both Public and Private Clouds. Now a days everything e.g. Storage, Networking becoming cheaper in the cost per GB per / MB. But still to see if your underlying hardware resources are fully optimized or not and giving you the best ROI with reasonable CAPEX/OPEX involved, it will be a priority subject for any organization which are in the business of using IT infrastructure.

I would probably posts about Chargeback in near future as it keeps attracting me by its features and offerings.

Finishing the 85 questions I got only 90 minutes but was able to finish it within lot of time to review the questions. As I pressed End Exam and I could not see the "Congratulations" word right away but saw your score which was "426", which means I passed. :-). I was excited while attempting the questions so not even bothered to review all the questions but just went back reviews 4-5 flagged about which I was double minded. Now the journey is just started in the vCloud track as VCP-Cloud is the first stepping stone while going for VCAP-CID (BEAT recently finished) and VCAP-CIA (not released yet).

Now lets discuss the resources I have used to prepare for this exam.

1) First of all the official documentation are the highest priority who ever is preparing for the examination. Majority of them are listed here by @davidmdavis.

2) I went through all the videos posted on mylearn.vmware.com for vCloud Training which I blogged about earlier. 

3) vCloud Deploy and Manage Course - offered by VMware Education.

4) VMware vCloud Director Fundamentals - offered by VMware Education.

5) Before going for the exam David Davis also helped me in last few days to review the recently launched training from TrainSignal "VMware vCloud Director Organizations" by @jakerobinson which I highly recommend to anyone who wants learn about vCloud Director and preparing for this certification. Its kind of paced training so the basic requirements includes the knowledge of related components to understand the subject better. there is vCloud Director Essentials Training is also available which will give you the knowledge about vCloud Director setup and other features offered by the same.

6) I'm previous post I have listed some links where similar resources are blogged about community members. but recently I referred the blog from Larus Hjartarson (@lhjartarson). He blogged about VCP-IaaS study notes. 

7) VCAT 2.0/ 3.0 documents

8)  Home LAB :-)

Cheers and Good Luck to all.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

VCP-IaaS Objective 3.2 Configure and Generate vCenter Chargeback Reports

In preparation for the VCP-IaaS Exam majority of the blueprint items are covered by @lhjartarson on his blog, but few objectives are probably in progress or never finished so to help the readers and the VMware community I am putting down here "Objective 3.32 Configure and Generate vCenter Chargeback Reports" from the blueprint of VCPVCD510 Exam Blueprint Version 1.2 (Updated 26 July 2011).

Objective 3.2 – Configure and Generate vCenter Chargeback Reports


  • Identify vCenter Chargeback report types
  • Identify components of the reporting dashboard
  • Given a reporting requirement, determine what report type should be run
  • Schedule reports
  • Manage archived reports
  • Generate custom reports

There are four types of reports one can generate in Chargeback Manager 

vCenter Chargeback Manager enables you to generate following reports for a chargeback hierarchy and for entities in the hierarchy.

1 Cost Reports - A cost report provides the cost and utilization information for each computing resource for the hierarchy or entity on which the report is generated based on the cost configured in the hierarchy and the cost model selected during report generation.

2 Usage Reports - A usage report is similar to a cost report except that it provides only the computing resource utilization data. This report type is useful when you only want to analyze the resource utilization for various entities in a hierarchy.

3 Cost Comparison Reports - A cost comparison report enables you to compare the costs for each resource and entity based on two different cost models.

4 Showback Reports - A showback report lets you analyse how the costs are distributed among the entities based on a specified distribution policy. This report type is useful when you know the total cost and want to analyze how this cost is distributed among the entities by selecting different distribution policies.

Report Dashboard

vCenter Chargeback Manager provides a report dashboard that displays various graphs providing information about the resource cost and usage for a selected hierarchy or entity for the last 30 days excluding the current date.

The report dashboard displays three charts, Cost per Resource, Cost per child Entity, and Cost per Day, for
the selected hierarchy or entity. The dashboard also provides an option to view the following Top N reports:

1 Top N most expensive VMs
2 Top N least expensive VMs
3 Top N CPU consuming VMs
4 Top N Memory consuming VMs

Here, N can take the values 10, 20, and 50.

For a hierarchy that includes a vCenter Server that is integrated with VMware vCenter Operations, the Dashboard provides the following details:

  • The Cost per Resource bar chart in the Cost projection tab shows cost for each resource, which is color coded, for the past 30 days and projected data for next three months in sets of 30 days each.
  • The Cost per Day graph in the Cost projection tab charts the variance in the total cost for the entity for the past 30 days and projected data for next three months.
  • The Cost Optimization tab lists the following optimization opportunities: Oversized Virtual Machines, Undersized Virtual Machines, Idle Virtual Machines, and Powered Off Virtual Machines.
  • For each optimization opportunity, the corresponding virtual machines along with the configured and recommended resource-cost details are listed.


  • The graphs and optimization reports are generated only if the vCenter Server user, which was used for adding the vCenter Server to vCenter Chargeback Manager, has either the Global.vCenter Operations User privilege or the Global.vCenter Operations Admin privilege assigned on the root folder.
  • Cost projection reports are enabled only with pure usage-based cost model, else graphs based on only past 30 days data are displayed. If the hierarchy is less than 30 days old and is not back-dated, then the graph based on the available data is displayed.

Scheduling reports

When creating a report, you can choose to schedule the report generation from the Create Report screen. You can schedule cost reports, cost comparison reports, and usage reports. Showback reports cannot be scheduled. Other than the create privilege for report and schedule resource types, you must have read privilege on the hierarchy, chargeback hierarchical entities, and cost models to perform this task

On the Schedule page and set the scheduling parameters.

Option                                                  Description
Report Creation Time                    When the report has to be generated.
Recurrence Pattern                         How often the report has to be generated.
Range of Recurrence                      Till when the report has to be generated periodically.

Managing Archived Reports

The Archived Reports page of the Reports tab displays a table listing all the reports archived in the application.

This includes manually generated and saved reports as well as reports generated by report schedules.
All the reports generated by a single schedule have the same name but different Created on and Billing
Period values. 

The reports are listed in the ascending order of their creation time. You can view an archived report by clicking it.

1 Export Archived Report - After a report is generated and archived, it can be exported to the required format at any time.

2 Email Archived Report - After a report is generated and archived, you can send it through email to one or more recipients.

3 Delete Archived Report - You can clear the archive by deleting unwanted reports.

4 Advanced Search for Archived Reports - You can search for specific archived reports by using the advanced search feature of vCenter Chargeback Manager.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ultimate VCAP5-DCD / VCAP5-DCA preparation Links

I have read so many blogs out there discussing and preparing you for VCAP5-DCD. For VCAP5-DCA I did not make any preparation except doing some tasks in my home lab as I have appeared for the BETA exam and passed it.

These blogs are no doubt not to be under rated or such for those who are getting ready as they add more value of course. Now this is not some kind of judgement about which blog is good/bad but actually the nature of content which brought me to a position where I can just suggest to read them/go through while preparing for the exams. So don't go and compare one to another. All the information available through blog posts by our community members are equally important and valuable in their own stance. To add to that this is not some kind of competition where there is a winner or the 1st rank will be given, but simply the Quality of the Content which matters.

But to me one blog just came on the surface while I was looking at the content for VCAP5-DCD

This blog site is maintained by our 3 Engineers of VMware, Jarrett, Joe and Karim. I have personally work with them on numerous occasions and the stuff they have put on the blog is top notch. They have blended the information from everywhere possible to make the flow lot smoother while you are reading. The best thing is to have the links ready for further reading if one needs to dig deeper in a subject. They have also written for VCAP5-DCA so you can check that out too.

Recently @ForbesGuthrie passed his VCAP5-DCD and he mentioned in his Tweet that he used this blog for the preparation. So this is one of the use cases I would say :-) while recommending this site.

Now I have not meet him yet but know him as he was one of the writers of VMware vSphere Design 4 book which help you preparing for VCAP-DCD Version 4. Now most of the content you can definitely use for Version 5 as well as far as the design methodologies and principles are concerned.

One day I was researching for some specific issue and then found about the www.thefoglite.com. This is another Top recommendation for VCAP5-DCA by Ethan Rowe (@rowe_ethan)

Now at the same time I don't want to miss a chance to give the credits to @JoshCoen (Blogpost) and @jaslanger (Blogpost) for their respective contributions for VCAP5-DCA.

Hopefully this will help you in preparing for both VCAPs along with other resources out there which may includes various blog sites, videos, online sessions etc. etc.

My 2c.

Good Luck to all going for VCDX  !!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

VMware Training and Credits

Here is the summary where you can associate the VMware Training and how many training credits that course has.

Its easy to interpret the credits into the training you can attend for the courses offered by VMware Education as of today.

If you have any question and you can visit the Education and Certification site.


Enjoy learning.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Storage Integration Guides for vSphere

Vendor Integration Guides

I am putting here the links for the storage integration guide from various vendors which will help you configure and design your VMware Storage based on the vendor recommendation and best practices.
If you see any storage array not listed here, please leave the comment below and I will update it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

LACP and vSphere 5.1

LACP is the new feature introduced in new vSphere 5.1 VDS (vSphere Distributed Switch).

With that there are some articles published out by VMware for the issues involved with it.

The articles are listed below.

Enabling or disabling LACP on an Uplink Port Group using the vSphere Web Client (2034277)      
LACP is enabled for Virtual Distributed Switch (2036296)      
Inconsistent uplink speeds disable LACP (2036303)

LACP cannot be enabled (2034683)     

Inactive uplinks disable LACP (2036302)  

Duplicate packets or packet loss when using using LACP (2034807)     

Inconsistent uplink duplex modes disable LACP (2036304)      
LACP is disabled for Virtual Distributed Switch (2036299)  


Cannot enable LACP because of incompatible teaming policy (2036300) 


No peer response from uplink disables LACP (2036305)     
Uplink moved out of link aggregation group (2036306)     


Uplink blocked on virtual distributed switch (2036308)      
Uplink unblocked on virtual distributed switch (2036309)     

Uplink disconnected on virtual distributed switch (2036310)    


Uplink connected on virtual distributed switch (2036311)   


@chriswahl has put up a nice video on configuring LACP here.

Enjoy working with LACP