VMware vSphere Advanced Administration


Instructor lead advanced class on VMware vSphere 4.1

Course Books

Study Guide (400+ pages). Lab Guide (200+ pages)

vSphere Version

Covers VMware vSphere 4.1 including ESXi 4.1 and vCenter


Remote access via MS Terminal Services (or WebEx) to a rack of HP DL360/DL365 servers and iSCSI SAN, etc. Each attendee gets their own server.

Max Attendees

Limited by server availability. We currently have 150 student servers available for rent


Course can be run from any location that has a reliable Internet connection. One PC per attendee with Microsoft Terminal Services or WebEx Remote Support Access

Lab Time

40+% of class time is devoted to hands-on labs


February, 2011


Prepares attendees to challenge the ESXLab Certified Virtualization Specialist exam
One exam voucher included with this class

Suggested Price



This class is an intensive 4 day intensive hands on workshop for experienced VMware ESXi and vCenter administrators who want to take virtualization to the next level. The focus on this class is the effective and efficient use of vSphere software to improve deployment, performance, availability, back up & recovery.

Service availability is covered through in-depth looks at VMware High Availability clusters and VMware Fault Tolerance. Performance is extensively covered, helping you keep your vSphere and VMs running at top speed.

VM back up and recovery is addressed using VMware Data Recovery and 3rd party tools. Learn how these tools can be used for daily VM back up and also for Disaster Recovery and remediation.

Windows and ESXi host patching is covered along with Host Profiles. These tools let you set configuration and patch baselines and then help you deploy and update to ensure policy and configuration compliance.

Virtualization introduces new security concerns. These are identified and addressed both by creating awareness and by demonstrating how security can be improved and monitored.

This class includes lectures/labs that use the vCLI and VMware Management Assistant command line. Command line skills are helpful but not required.


At the end of the course, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain the benefits of virtualization and VM use cases
  • Minimize Windows licensing costs and improve licensing compliance
  • Explain the benefits and limitations of the various vSphere licenses
  • Install ESXi and vCenter according to best practices
  • Configure and manage local and iSCSI SAN storage
  • Create, customize and optimize virtual to physical LAN segments
  • Define and use NAS datastores using command line tools
  • Create virtual machines, install operating systems and applications
  • Install, configure and administer VMware vCenter
  • Improve vCenter availability through the use of Linked Clones
  • Rapidly deployment of VMs using golden-master templates and VM Guest OS Customization Specifications
  • Take advantage of advanced virtual hardware properties such as multi-core vCPUs and hot-plug memory, disks and NICs
  • Improve network and iSCSI performance with Jumbo Frames
  • Design and implement redundant iSCSI storage to improve network performance
  • Manage SAN storage volumes and virtual disks for performance and space efficiency
  • Use VMware Data Recovery to back up and recover VMs and files
  • Create and manage VMware High Availability clusters to protect against VM service loss caused by ESX server failures
  • Use Fault Tolerance to eliminate unplanned VM down time due to hardware failures
  • Configure VM, ESXi host patch management using Update Manager
  • Create and enforce server configuration standards with Host Profiles
  • Troubleshoot common problems
  • Perform common ESXi and VM tasks from the vMA and Windows Power Shell command line
  • Identify, isolate and resolve performance issues
  • Automate the deployment and management of their virtual infrastructure

Who Should Attend?

  • Senior administrators responsible for technical design and implementation of new Virtual Infrastructure projects
  • Security specialists responsible for monitor, managing, securing and administering Virtual Infrastructure
  • Performance and capacity analysts who need to understand, provision, monitor and performance tune Virtual Infrastructure
  • Backup Administrators who need to understand the impact of existing and new back up strategies in a virtual environment
  • Business Continuity specialists responsible for disaster recovery and high availability
  • Storage administrators who need to understand how Virtual Infrastructure sees and uses Fibre SAN and iSCSI SAN volumes and NAS datastores

Chapter Outline

Chapter 0 – Virtualization Overview

Chapter 1 – VMware vSphere

Chapter 2 – ESXi Server Installation

Chapter 3 – VMware Command Line Installation & Use

Chapter 4 – Virtual Networking

Chapter 5 – NFS File Shares

Chapter 6 – Virtual Hardware and Virtual Machines

Chapter 7 – vCenter and vCenter Linked Mode

Chapter 8 – Fibre and iSCSI Storage and VMware File Systems

Chapter 9 – VMware High Availability Clusters

Chapter 10 – VMware Fault Tolerance

Chapter11 – VMware DRS Clusters

Chapter 12 – VM Backup with VMware Data Recovery

Chapter 14 – VMware Update Manager

Chapter 15 – ESXi Host Profiles

Chapter 16 – Managing Scalability and Performance

Hands On Labs

During class, attendees will complete the following hands on labs:

  • Install ESXi onto an HP DL360/365 server. Configure ESXi for efficient power management. Join ESXi to a Windows Domain
  • Create and update Virtual Switches including setting Cisco Discovery Protocol properties. Create NIC teams and optimize for performance. Explore vSwitch security properties
  • Learn how to test for Jumbo Frame hardware support, determine the maximum frame size and configure ESXi NICs to use Jumbo Frames
  • Connect to and browse NFS file shares. Easily move files between Windows and ESXi using the Datastore Browser and other tools
  • Convert virtual disks between Thick and Thin format to maximize either performance or space efficiency
  • Hot plug VM hardware including virtual CPUs, memory, disks and NICs
  • Install and configure vCenter. Install vCenter Modules
  • Create redundant vCenter Linked Mode configuration for higher up time
  • Work with Clones and Templates. Rapidly deploy new VMs. Hot clone a VMs. Deploy VMs using Guest OS Customization Specifications
  • Work with virtual disks. Grow non-system volumes and system disk
  • Create custom virtual CPU configurations (such as dual core vCPUs) to minimize software licensing costs and maximize VM performance
  • Use Power Management to dynamically adjust cluster capacity
  • Connecting to shared iSCSI SAN storage. Create robust, redundant, high performance, iSCSI configurations with Jumbo Frame support
  • How to create, tune, span and grow VMFS volumes
  • Use HA clusters to minimize VM down time due to server failures
  • Use VMware Fault Tolerance to deliver 100% VM up time
  • Back up and restore a VM using VMware Data Recovery appliances
  • Perform VM file level recoveries with VMware Data Recovery
  • Create, edit and enforce VMware ESX Host Profiles
  • Apply updates to Windows VMs using VMware Update Manager
  • Update ESXi hosts with VMware Update Manager
  • Install, configure and review VMware Virtual Management Assistant VM
  • Use vMA (virtual Management Appliance) command line tools to monitor, configure and manipulate VMs, ESXi hosts, vCenter, Networking, storage
  • Use Windows vCLI and PowerShell to control your Virtual Infrastructure
  • Use Power Management to control ESXi host capacity

Detailed Course Outline

Chapter 0 – Virtualization Overview

  • Introduction to the class and our remote lab environment

Chapter 1 – VMware vSphere

  • Virtualization benefits and use cases
  • vSphere licensing options, editions, bundles
  • vSphere hardware limitation by license
  • What to virtualize and what not to virtualize

Chapter 2 – ESXi Server Installation

  • Understanding ESXi, ESX
  • Selecting, validating and preparing your server
  • Software installation and licensing
  • Joining ESXi to a Windows Domain
  • Control Power use with Power Management profiles

Chapter 3 – VMware Command Line Installation & Use

  • Overview of VMware Virtual Management Appliance
  • VMware vCLI for Windows, Linux
  • Installing, configuring vMA
  • Overview of vMA scripting capabilities
  • Managing inventory from a Windows/PowerShell environment

Chapter 4 – Virtual Networking

  • Virtual Switches, Ports and Port Groups
  • Management and VMkernel ports
  • NIC team and vLAN configurations
  • Jumbo frame compatibility, configuration and performance
  • Distributed vSwitches
  • NIC Team load balancing policies and performance options

Chapter 5 – NFS File Shares

  • Defining and connecting to NFS shares
  • Moving files between ESXi and Windows
  • Use command line to define/modify NFS share properties

Chapter 6 – Virtual Hardware and Virtual Machines

  • Creating, modifying and customizing Virtual Hardware
  • Optimizing Windows Guest OS performance
  • Defining and using USB devices within a VM
  • Virtual NIC choices, benefits and trade offs
  • Use Storage VMotion to convert VMs from Thick to Thin disk format
  • Using Guest OS customization Specification files
  • Hot plugging virtual hardware including CPUs, RAM, Disks and NICs
  • Advanced virtual hardware techniques; multi-core vCPUs
  • Growing Windows Basic, Dynamic and System disks
  • Inflating Thin disks for improved performance

Chapter 7 – vCenter and vCenter Linked Mode

  • vCenter architectural and feature overview
  • vCenter sizing considerations
  • Importing ESX hosts into vCenter management
  • Redundant vCenter configurations using vCenter Linked Mode
  • Troubleshooting vCenter

Chapter 8 – Fibre and iSCSI Storage and VMware File Systems

  • Fibre SAN and iSCSI overview
  • Configuring storage Multipath properties
  • Optimize software iSCSI for performance and redundancy
  • Creating new VMFS partitions
  • Managing VMFS capacity with LUN expansion and LUN spanning
  • Working with multipath selection policies

Chapter 9 – VMware High Availability Clusters

  • Creating, configuring VMware HA clusters
  • Admission control, Isolation Response policies and settings
  • Maintenance mode
  • Troubleshooting HA clusters

Chapter 10 – VMware Fault Tolerance

  • Fault Tolerance overview, features and limitations
  • Configuration, monitoring and recovery
  • FT ESXI hosts and network compatibility requirements
  • Creating and administering FT VMs

Chapter 11 – VMware DRS Clusters

  • Creating, configuring VMware DRS clusters
  • DRS cluster troubleshooting
  • Managing capacity and power consumption with Power Management

Chapter 12 – VM Backup with VMware Data Recovery

  • Data Recovery virtual appliances overview
  • Installing and configuring VMware Data Recovery
  • Defining backup storage volumes and shares
  • Creating and running backup jobs
  • Full VM restores and File level restores within VMs
  • Use 3rd party tools to perform hot VM synchronization to a Disaster Recovery site
  • Saving and restoring ESXi host configurations

Chapter 14 – VMware Update Manager

  • VMware Update Manager overview
  • Installing, configuration VUM
  • Selecting and downloading patch lists
  • Creating, updating patch baselines
  • Scanning ESXi Hosts for patch compliance
  • Remediating out of compliance VMs
  • Patching ESXi hosts

Chapter 15 – Host Profiles

  • Create and refine a new Host Profile template
  • Verify host configuration compliance using Host Profiles
  • Enforce configuration standards on non-compliant ESX hosts

Chapter 16 – Managing Scalability and Performance

  • VMkernel CPU and memory resource management mechanisms
  • Basic Performance Monitoring tools
  • Analyzing VM CPU performance
  • Monitoring VM Memory use
  • Tuning VM storage I/O performance
  • Identifying and resolving resource contention
  • Measuring and improving Network Performance

For More Information

This class can be customized to meet your unique training and delivery needs, including:

  • On-site delivery at your facility
  • Custom timetables including 3-day rapid delivery boot-camps
  • Content and Lab customization to meed your unique training needs
  • Distance training
  • Mentoring, implementation planning and assistance

To purchase this content directly, please visit the ESXLab bookstore. For group discounts or content for instructor lead deliveries please contact your authorized ESXLab.com training partner, or sales@esxlab.com

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Last modified: 2015-07-16, 21:41

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