My VMware Certification Experience

I recently received my VCP6-DCV Certification from VMware by Passing the 2V0-621 Proctored Exam with Pearson VUE.

The Journey

For many years I have used VMware products. I distinctly recall getting my hands on VMware Workstation back in 2001, and it was truly an amazing tool. I could emulate Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, QNX, and even a few BSD environments, which I used to learn and troubleshoot issues.

Over the years I continued to use VMware line of products from: Workstation, ESX, GSX, and lastly the introduction of VirtualCenter.

Fast forward to now: The latest products have changed the landscape of running the data center, desktop provisioning, and the rapid deployment of test/development systems.

It was a no-brainer that I should obtain a certificate, but I never felt the need to. This changed when I was made a vExpert in 2017 this year, and that initiated my drive to do more with my knowledge and experience with the product. I now wanted to “prove” to myself, and perhaps others that I had what it takes to pass the exam and have an official recognition backing my previous and current experience levels.

VCP6-DCV Prerequisite

Obtaining the VCP6-DCV Certification requires a set of prerequisites. You need to meet all 3 requirements:

  • Attend an authorized training course
  • Pass the vSphere Foundations exam (2V0-620)
  • Pass the VCP6-DCV exam (2V0-621)

Training

The most difficult part of my path to being a vCP was finding a reputable company to train with in addition to scheduling the time to attend training. The following may sound like a plug and do I assure you that I am not being compensated for writing about them.

I choose to train with a company by the name of StormWind as they offer exceptional VMware Certified professional training which is not only budget friendly, but doesn’t require travel as training is instructor lead; Live in real time and can be done from the comfort of your home or office.

The course I enrolled in was: VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6], with instructor: Vince Rightley.

This was a very engaging class which allowed for attendees to not only be instructed but to participate in supplemental discussions which I personally found to be beneficial. Labs were particularly useful as they allowed for students to get hands on.

Study

vSphere Foundations exam (2V0-620)

After completion of my course I was now qualified to take the vSphere Foundations exam (2V0-620). Admittedly I rushed in to take this exam and FAILD my first attempt.

This was an eye opener that I was not fully prepared to take the test. What I discovered was that many of the resources can be found on VMware’s My Learn site. I would highly recommend following their guidance.

VCP6-DCV exam (2V0-621)

After successful passing the vSphere Foundations exam (2V0-620) it was time to start preparing myself for the VCP6-DCV exam (2V0-621)

VCP6-DCV exam Preparation

I have a few suggestions to make regarding preparation for the VCP6-DCV exam which I believe was beneficial to my success in passing.

Study the materials you obtained in your training course. Continue to leverage the study notes you made for yourself from the Foundations exam (2V0-620). Yes! You should have been keeping notes.

Seek out resources from VMware’s My Learn site. They are beneficial to your success.

Search ‘Google’ for VCP-DCV Study Guides. You will find many results many of great value

Practice Labs

I highly recommend that you gain access to a lab such as VMware’s Hands-On Labs (HOL) to get hands on to all the subject areas covered under the VCP6-DCA as you will need them. I built my own lab so I could have the full experience of building from scratch, to give me a full understanding of the environment.

Test many scenarios including areas of troubleshooting things which are broken (I had to break them, so I could fix).

Familiarizing yourself with acronyms and terms is also very helpful. Example: http://jermsmit.com/vmware-vcenter-terms-acronyms-glossary-tag-your-it/

Find yourself a practice test, and take it once a week to get yourself in accustom to taking tests; In my case it’s been a long time, and practice pays off.

Certification URL

Originally Posted on my LinkedIn

And, that’s it all folks.

–         Jermal

Docker hv-sock proxy (vsudd) is not reachable, Windows 10

Yes, I am playing (or trying to) with Docker.  My first step is to install Docker and get it up and running. So far I am confident that I have all the prerequisites, however Docker fails to properly start with the following error:

Docker hv-sock proxy (vsudd) is not reachable
at Docker.Backend.ContainerEngine.Linux.ConnectToVsud(TaskCompletionSource`1 vmId) in C:\gopath\src\github.com\docker\pinata\win\src\Docker.Backend\ContainerEngine\Linux.cs:line 267
at Docker.Backend.ContainerEngine.Linux.DoStart(Settings settings) in C:\gopath\src\github.com\docker\pinata\win\src\Docker.Backend\ContainerEngine\Linux.cs:line 251
at Docker.Backend.ContainerEngine.Linux.Start(Settings settings) in C:\gopath\src\github.com\docker\pinata\win\src\Docker.Backend\ContainerEngine\Linux.cs:line 123
at Docker.Core.Pipe.NamedPipeServer.<>c__DisplayClass9_0.<Register>b__0(Object[] parameters) in C:\gopath\src\github.com\docker\pinata\win\src\Docker.Core\pipe\NamedPipeServer.cs:line 47
at Docker.Core.Pipe.NamedPipeServer.RunAction(String action, Object[] parameters) in C:\gopath\src\github.com\docker\pinata\win\src\Docker.Core\pipe\NamedPipeServer.cs:line 145

Currently I am researching possible solutions to fix, however non of the suggestions has worked for me. If you have suggestions please feel free to comment and let me know.

Here is a systeminfo of the system I am testing with:

OS Name: Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise
OS Version: 10.0.15063 N/A Build 15063
OS Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation
OS Configuration: Standalone Workstation

System Type: x64-based PC
Processor(s): 2 Processor(s) Installed.
[01]: Intel64 Family 6 Model 30 Stepping 5 GenuineIntel ~2926 Mhz
[02]: Intel64 Family 6 Model 30 Stepping 5 GenuineIntel ~2926 Mhz

Total Physical Memory: 4,096 MB
Available Physical Memory: 2,755 MB
Virtual Memory: Max Size: 4,800 MB
Virtual Memory: Available: 3,167 MB
Virtual Memory: In Use: 1,633 MB

How to demote a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller

In this short write up I will go over steps to demote a Server 2012 domain controller.

If you have worked in Active Directory and Windows Domain Administration over the years you may recall that in previous version of Windows Server that you would use the command line tool of ‘DCPROMO’ to promote or demote a server. Since Server 2012, the use of DCPROMO has been deprecated. In fact, if you attempt to use it you will be inform of this via the Active Directory Domain Service Installed.

In Server 2012 and later versions the use of Server Manager or PowerShell is required to promote / demote a server to/from a Domain Controller (DC). Below I provide steps on how to demote a server with some illustration along the way. Also, here is a quick YouTube video on the process: https://youtu.be/sBK2_APaDdg

Log into the domain controller you intend on demoting and Launch the Server Manager, select the Manage drop down menu, select Remove roles and features.

On the server selection page, select the desired server from the pool.

On the Remove Roles and Features Wizard, un-tick the Active Directory Domain Services box

The Remove Roles and Features dialog box will open. Click Remove features

On the Remove Roles and Features Wizard dialog box Validation Results box will appear. The domain controller must be demoted before continuing. Click on Demote this domain controller.

On the Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard enter the required credentials to demote this server, click Next.

You will have several removal options. From the forced remove of failed domain member, to removing of the last domain in your forest. Make the selections which is appropriate for your remove task and click Next

Finally you will arrive on the New Administrator Password, enter and confirm the new local administrator account password, click Next.

On the Review Options verify the information is correct and click Demote.

After the server has restarted it will no longer be a domain controller

And that is it.

Tech Short: Capturing packets on Checkpoint

I’ve recently found myself capturing network traffic to troubleshoot reported issues. To successfully capture packets the use of tcpdump is required.  And while you may be familiar with using this tool, the use is slightly different on Checkpoint devices.

The devices in this reference is Checkpoint R77.30 and R80 devices.

To capture the correct network packets you must first disable Checkpoints SecureXL feature which is an acceleration solution that maximizes network performance of the Firewall.

To disable SecureXL, run the command:

fwaccel off

To check the overall SecureXL status:

fwaccel stat

Now that SecureXL has been disabled, continue to the capture steps below:

To capture packets, issue the following command:

tcpdump -s 0 -nni <interface_name> -w capture_file_name.pcap

Press Control-C (Ctrl C) to break the capture

Re-enable SecureXL, by running the following command:

fwaccel on

Retrieve the capture file and review using a tool such a Wireshark

Tech Short: Debug VPN in Checkpoint R77.30

The following tech short will provide a list of commands used to enable debugging in Checkpoint’s R77.30 Firewall. To start you must  SSH into firewall host (or active member).

To turn on VPN debug from the expert mode:

# vpn debug trunc

At this point you want to test your VPN connection and verify that IKE Phases. This can be done with the following commands:

# vpn tu (option 1 and 2), you may need to reset tunnel to test. This is done by using (option 7)

To tune off the VPN debug the following commands should be issued:

# vpn debug off

# vpn debug ike off

 

When completed retrieve the logs vpnd.elg and ike.elg – located under $FWDIR/log

Checkpoint has an IKEView tool which is located on their site, and used to review the logs, else using a tool such as Notepad++ for analysis is helpful.