Unofficial Certification Guide:
3V0-623
The  3V0-623 exam tests your skills and abilities in implementation of a vSphere 6.x solution, including deployment, administration, optimization and troubleshooting.

**Please note that a lot of the content in this guide is pulled directly from VMware's official documentation. I will provide hyperlinks to the documents for the sections pulled from those documents. I do not claim to be the original authors of that information.
 

Section 1: Create and Deploy vSphere 6.x Infrastructure Components

Objective 1.1 - Perform Advanced ESXi Host Configuration

Skills and Abilities

  • Configure and Manage Auto Deploy configurations
    • Determine use case for Stateless vs Stateful installs
The Auto Deploy stateless caching feature lets you cache the host's image. The Auto Deploy stateful installs
feature lets you install hosts over the network. After the initial network boot, these hosts boot like other ESXi
hosts.

The stateless caching solution is primarily intended for situations when several hosts boot simultaneously.
The locally cached image helps prevent a bottleneck that results if several hundreds of hosts connect to the
Auto Deploy server simultaneously. After the boot operation is complete, hosts connect to Auto Deploy to
complete the setup.

The stateful installs feature lets you provision hosts with the image profile over the network without having to set up the PXE boot infrastructure.

  • Create / Modify rules and rule sets
  1. Run the Connect-VIServer vSphere PowerCLI cmdlet to connect to the vCenter Server system that Auto Deploy is registered with.

    Connect-VIServer 192.XXX.X.XX

    The cmdlet might return a server certificate warning. In a production environment, make sure no server certificate warnings result. In a development environment, you can ignore the warning.

  2. Using the vSphere Web Client, set up a host with the settings you want to use and create a host profile from that host.

  3. Find the name of the host profile by running Get-VMhostProfile vSphere PowerCLI cmdlet, passing in the ESXi host from which you create a host profile.

  4. At the vSphere PowerCLI prompt, define a rule in which host profiles are assigned to hosts with certain attributes, for example a range of IP addresses.

    New-DeployRule -Name "testrule2" -Item my_host_profile -Pattern "vendor=Acme,Zven",
    "ipv4=192.XXX.1.10-192.XXX.1.20"

    The specified item is assigned to all hosts with the specified attributes. This example specifies a rule named testrule2. The rule assigns the specified host profile my_host_profile to all hosts with an IP address inside the specified range and with a manufacturer of Acme or Zven.

  5.  Add the rule to the rule set.

    Add-DeployRule testrule2

    By default, the working rule set becomes the active rule set, and any changes to the rule set become active when you add a rule. If you use the NoActivate parameter, the working rule set does not become the active rule set.

  • Create and associate Host Profiles for an Auto Deploy reference host
  1. In the vSphere Web Client, click Rules and Profiles and click Host Profiles.
  2. For a new profile, click the Create Profile from a host icon, or right-click a profile that you want to modify and select Edit Host Profile.
  3. Customize your reference host by using vCLI, by using the client UI, or by using the Host Profiles interface.
  4. Click OK to save the host profile settings.

  • Configure Kernel Boot Parameters for scripted install according to a deployment plan
    • Modify scripted weasel install (ks.cfg)

The ESXi installer includes a default installation script that performs a standard installation to the first detected disk.

The default ks.cfg installation script is located in the initial RAM disk at /etc/vmware/weasel/ks.cfg . You can specify the location of the default ks.cfg file with the ks=file://etc/vmware/weasel/ks.cfg boot option.


When you install ESXi using the ks.cfg script, the default root password is mypassword.


You cannot modify the default script on the installation media. After the installation, you can use the
vSphere Web Client to log in to the vCenter Server that manages the ESXi host and modify the default
settings.


The default script contains the following commands:

#
# Sample scripted installation file
#

# Accept the VMware End User License Agreement
vmaccepteula

# Set the root password for the DCUI and Tech Support Mode
rootpw mypassword

# Install on the first local disk available on machine
install --firstdisk --overwritevmfs

# Set the network to DHCP on the first network adapter
network --bootproto=dhcp --device=vmnic0

# A sample post-install script
%post --interpreter=python --ignorefailure=true
import time
stampFile = open('/finished.stamp', mode='w')
stampFile.write( time.asctime() )


More information about the ks.cfg installation script can be found on page 60 of the vSphere Installation and Setup guide.

  • Create / Modify scripted installation

You can quickly deploy ESXi hosts by using scripted, unattended installations or upgrades. Scripted installations or upgrades provide an efficient way to deploy multiple hosts.

The installation or upgrade script contains the installation settings for ESXi. You can apply the script to all hosts that you want to have a similar configuration.

For a scripted installation or upgrade, you must use the supported commands to create a script. You can edit the script to change settings that are unique for each host.

The installation or upgrade script can reside in one of the following locations:

  • FTP server
  • HTTP/HTTPS server
  • NFS server
  • USB flash drive
  • CD-ROM drive

More information about Installing or Upgrading Hosts by Using a Script can be found on page 58 of the vSphere Installation and Setup guide.

  • Configure Advanced System Settings according to a deployment plan
    • Edit System Swap / Scratch Configuration
  1. From the vSphere Web Client, connect to the vCenter Server.
  2. Select the host in the inventory.
  3. Click the Manage tab.
  4. Select Settings.
  5. Select Advanced System Settings.
    The setting ScratchConfig.CurrentScratchLocation shows the current location of the scratch partition.
  6. The field ScratchConfig.ConfiguredScratchLocation, shows a directory path that is unique for the host.
  7. Reboot the host for any changes to take effect

  • Configure ESXi host to use a central Syslog Server
  1. In the vSphere Web Client inventory, select the host.
  2. Click the Manage tab.
  3. In the System panel, click Advanced System Settings.
  4. Locate the Syslog section of the Advanced System Settings list.
  5. To set up logging globally, select the setting to change and click the Edit icon
    Syslog.global.defaultRotate - Sets the maximum number of archives to keep. You can set this number globally and for individual subloggers.
    Syslog.global.defaultSize - Sets the default size of the log, in KB, before the system rotates logs. You can set this number globally and for individual subloggers.
    Syslog.global.LogDir -
    Directory where logs are stored. The directory can be located on mounted NFS or VMFS volumes. Only the /scratch directory on the local file system is persistent across reboots. The directory should be specified as [datastorename] path_to_file where the path is relative to the root of the volume backing the datastore. For example, the path [storage1] /systemlogs maps to the path /vmfs/volumes/storage1/systemlogs.
  6. (Optional) To overwrite the default log size and log rotation for any of the logs.
    a. Click the name of the log you that want to customize.
    b. Click the Edit icon and enter the number of rotations and log size you want.

  7. Click OK.

Changes to the syslog options take effect immediately.

  • Manage/Edit the Core Dump configuration of an ESXi host

A core dump is the state of working memory in the event of host failure. By default, a core dump is saved to the local disk. You can use ESXi Dump Collector to keep core dumps on a network server for use during debugging. ESXi Dump Collector is especially useful for Auto Deploy, but is supported for any ESXi host. ESXi Dump Collector supports other customization, including sending core dumps to the local disk.

  1. Set up an ESXi system to use ESXi Dump Collector by running esxcli system coredump in the local ESXi Shell or by using vCLI.

    esxcli system coredump network set --interface-name vmk0 --server-ip 10
    .xx.xx.xx.xx -- server-port 6500

    You must specify a VMkernel NIC and the IP address and optional port of the server to send the core
    dumps to. You can use an IPv4 address or an IPv6 address. If you configure an ESXi system that is running on a virtual machine that is using a vSphere standard switch, you must select a VMkernel port that is in promiscuous mode.
  2. Enable ESXi Dump Collector.

    esxcli system coredump network set --enable true

  3. (Optional) Verify that ESXi Dump Collector is configured correctly.

    esxcli system coredump network check

The host on which you have set up ESXi Dump Collector is configured to send core dumps to the specified
server by using the specified VMkernel NIC and optional port.


Objective 1.2 - Deploy and Configure Core Management Infrastructure Components

Skills and Abilities

  • Deploy vCenter core components according to a deployment plan:
    • Deploy and Configure a Platform Services Controller (PSC):
      • Determine use case for embedded vs external PSC
        vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller.
        This mode installs all services on the same virtual machine or physical server as your vCenter Server. It’s ideal for small environments, or when simplicity and reduced resource utilization are key factors for the environment.

        vCenter Server with an External Platform Services Controller.

        This mode installs the platform services on a separate system from the one hosting vCenter services. This is ideal for larger environments, where there is a need for a single-pane-of-glass view into the environment and where there are multiple vCenter Servers on the same site.

      • Re-point a vCenter Server Appliance to another External PSC
        Procedure available here.
  • Deploy and Configure Identity Sources for Single Sign-On:
    • Configure Single Sign-On users and groups
      Procedure available here .
    • Change Default domain for Single Sign-On
      Procedure available here .
    • List services registered with Single Sign-on
      "%VMWARE_PYTHON_BIN%" "%VMWARE_CIS_HOME%\VMware Identity Services\lstool\scripts\lstool.py" list --url http://localhost:7080/lookupservice/sdk
    • Deploy and configure vCenter Server
      Installation instructions for Windows vCenter can be found here .
      Installation instructions for vCenter Server Appliance can be found here .
    • Deploy / Configure Enhanced Link Mode
      In order to join vCenter Server systems in Enhanced Linked Mode, connect them to the same Platform Services Controller, or to Platform Services Controllers that share the same vCenter Single Sign-On domain.
  • Manage / Configure vCenter components according to a deployment plan:
    • Configure Global Permissions for vCenter services
      Procedure available
      here .
    • Configure Dump Collector service
      Procedure available
      here .
    • Configure the Syslog Collector / Syslog service
      Procedure available
      here .
    • Managing vCenter Server advanced configurations
      Procedure available here .

Objective 1.3 - Deploy and Configure Update Manager Components

Skills and Abilities

  • Deploy / Configure Update Manager components according to a deployment plan:
    • Configure VUM Update Manager download service
    • Configure a VUM shared repository
    • Configure VUM smart rebooting
    • Manually download updates to a VUM repository
    • Create and modify VUM baseline groups
  • Perform VUM orchestrated vSphere upgrades
  • Troubleshoot Update Manager problem areas and issues
  • Utilize Update Manager to reconfigure VUM settings

Tools

Objective 1.4 - Perform Advanced Virtual Machine Configurations

Skills and Abilities

  • Tune Virtual Machine disk controller configurations according to a deployment plan
  • Configure .vmx file for advanced configuration scenarios
  • Configure a virtual machine for Hot Add features
  • Upgrade virtual machine hardware and VMware Tools
  • Troubleshoot virtual machine deployment issues

Tools