VCAP6-DCV Deployment – Objective 1.4 – Perform Advanced Virtual Machine Configuration 1


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Objective for 1.4 are broke down as the following

  • 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

Tune Virtual Machine disk controller configurations according to a deployment plan

Storage controllers appear to VMs as different types of SCSI controllers such as the below.  VMware documentation around controllers can be found here.

  • BusLogic Parallel
  • LSI Logic Parallel
  • LSI Logic SAS
  • VMware Paravirtual SCSI
  • AHCI SATA

The default controller type is different depending on the quest operating system selected during the VM creation and each VM has a maximum of four SCSI controllers and four SATA controllers.  Other limitations are as follows

  •  LSI Logic SAS and VMware Paravirtual SCSI are available for virtual machines with ESXi 4.x and later
    compatibility
  • AHCI SATA is available only for virtual machines with ESXi 5.5 and later compatibility
  • BusLogic Parallel controllers do not support virtual machines with disks larger than 2TB

To add a new controller open the Web Client – VM – Edit Settings – New Device – Add.  Choose either SCSI controller or SATA.

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Select the type of controller

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VMware have a good blog on the different types of SCSI controllers see here.  To change the settings first power down the VM, changes can affect the boot of the VM so make sure the changes are compatible from the above VMware documentation.

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Configure .vmx file for advanced configuration scenarios

Virtual machines are made up of a small number of files, one of those is the .vmx file known as the configuration file.  It is possible to manually edit this and the exam objectives doesnt give any more details other than that.  To edit a .vmx file I need to first open it, I can open it using the Web Client or a text editor.  To configure the vmx file using the Web Client I edit settings on a VM (must be powered off) VM Options – Advanced – Edit Configuration.

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Changes can be made here such as changing the vNIC type.  As a test I will change the vNIC type from VMXNET3 to E1000E by changing the .vmx file direct.  I will change it by using WinSCP, first I connect to the host and browse to the datastore and open the folder to where the VM is running.  I then open the .vmx file

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I find the line that relates to my vNIC card

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I change this to e1000e and save

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Once save I can power back up the VM and go to settings to see the e1000e card is now running

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Referring to the VMware documentation changing the .vmx file is mentioned in relating to security consideration when configuring VMware tools.  Features such as copy and paste can be enabled / disabled.  See the section of VMware documentation here.


Configure a virtual machine for Hot Add features

To change vCPU and vRAM settings the VM must be powered off by default, it is possible to enable hot add feature for vCPU and vRAM but it must be enabled first.  The prerequisites are as follows

  • Power off the VM
  • Ensure the VM has a guest OS that supports CPU / RAM hot add
  • Ensure the VM compatibility is ESXi 4.x and later
  • Ensure that VMware Tools is installed

To enable open the Web Client – VM – Edit Settings – Virtual hardware – CPU – Enable CPU Hot Add – Enable Memory Hot Plug

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Upgrade virtual machine hardware and VMware Tools

Upgrading virtual machine hardware and VMware Tools is a common task that if you are looking at doing the VCAP exam you would have done this many times.  To upgrade virtual machine hardware open the Web Client and right click one the relevant VM – Compatibility – Upgrade VM Compatibility

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To upgrade the VMware Tools right click the relevant VM – Guest OS – Install VMware Tools

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These can also be scheduled using Update Manager


Troubleshoot virtual machine deployment issues

VMware’s troubleshooting documentation details virtual machine issues, rather then repeating this information you can find it here give it a read if you are going to sit the exam.


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