VCAP6.5-DCV Design – Objective 2.4 Build manageability requirements into a vSphere 6.x logical design


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This seems to be my last blog post for 2019 and it covers covers objective 2.4 (Build manageability requirements into a vSphere 6.x logical design) of the VCAP6.5-DCV Design exam. It is based on the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6.5 in Data Center Virtualization Design (3V0-624) Exam Preparation Guide (last update August 2017).

The necessary skills and abilities are documented in the exam prep guide for the older VCAP6-DCV Design exam (3V0-622). I think they also apply to the current version of the exam:

  • Evaluate which management services can be used with a given vSphere Solution
  • Differentiate infrastructure qualities related to management
  • Differentiate available command line-based management tools (PowerCLI, vMA etc.)
  • Evaluate VMware Management solutions based on customer requirements
  • Build interfaces into the logical design for existing operations practices
  • Address identified operational readiness deficiencies
  • Define Event, Incident and Problem Management practices
  • Analyze Release Management practices
  • Determine request fulfillment and release management processes
  • Determine requirements for Configuration Management
  • Define change management processes based on business requirements
  • Based on customer requirements, identify required reporting assets and processes

While the last blog post has covered the availability requirements, this blog posts focuses on the manageability requirements of a logical design. It’s all about how to manage the proposed solution.

Evaluate which management services can be used with a given vSphere Solution

You can use different “services” to manage a vSphere environment.

  • vCenter and vMA

Both appliances offer you different services to connect to in order to manage your environment, like

  • vSphere Client (Web Client, C# Client)
  • SSH
  • APIs
  • PowerCLI

The different tools help you to manage the different vSphere components, like

  • HA
  • DRS
  • Networking (vDS, vSS)
  • Auto Deploy
  • Host Profiles
  • etc.

Differentiate infrastructure qualities related to management

The different infrastructure qualities are

  • Availability
  • Manageability
  • Performance
  • Recoverability
  • Security

Depending on which infrastructure quality you consider, it affects the manageability of the proposed solution. For example: A single vCenter might not offer the required availability. Or a single datastore might not meet the required performance. But a highly-available vCenter or a SDRS cluster affects the way how you management the solution.

Differentiate available command line-based management tools (PowerCLI, vMA etc.)

You should be able to differentiate between PowerCLI (PowerShell) and vMA (Appliance) or vCLI (command-line tools for ESXi).

Evaluate VMware Management solutions based on customer requirements

Depending on the customers requirements, some solutions might be out of scope. If the customer doesn’t have a vSphere Enterprise Plus license, there’s no way to use Storage DRS.

Build interfaces into the logical design for existing operations practices

This topic is about what existing interfaces (in terms of systems) the customer already using and how to build them into the design. Think about Syslog servers, Active Directory for authentication (infrastructure quality design), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for certificates etc.

Address identified operational readiness deficiencies

Operational Readiness (OR) is the capability of an organization to (efficiently) deploy, operate, and maintain a system and/ or its processes. Before the proposed solution is going to production, any deficits in regard of OR has to be identified and addresses.

Define Event, Incident and Problem Management practices

This sounds like ITIL, and I would assume that the definition of event, incident and problem of ITIL is meant. ITIL defines

  • Event: An event can be defined as any detectable or discernible occurrence that has significance for the management of the IT Infrastructure or the delivery of IT service and evaluation of the impact a deviation might cause to the services. Events are typically notifications created by an IT service, Configuration Item (CI) or monitoring tool. (Wikipedia)
  • Incident: An incident is an event that could lead to loss of, or disruption to, an organization’s operations, services or functions. (Wikipedia)
  • Problem: The Information Technology Infrastructure Library defines a problem as the cause of one or more incidents. (Wikipedia)

The design should include practices for event, incident and problem management. Most customers will already have practices for this, but they might be adjusted for the proposed solution.

Analyze Release Management practices

Release management is the process of managing, planning, scheduling and controlling the deployment of new or modified services. This topic covers the currently deployed Release Management processes of the customers.

Determine request fulfillment and release management processes

This topic is related to the prior topic. You should determine if the customers has already deployed request fulfillment and release management processes, and if they are already deployed, you should check if they are suitable for the proposed solution.

The request fulfillment will allow users to request and receive standardized services. Think about the automated deployment of VMs after requesting a new VM using a portal web site.

Determine requirements for Configuration Management

Changes to the proposed solution will be required over time. Configuration Management covers the management of all Configuration Items (CI). Event if it’s not mentioned in this topic, Configuration Management is related to Change Management, because all changes to CIs has to be documented.

Define change management processes based on business requirements

The objective of change management in this context is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to control IT infrastructure, in order to minimize the number and impact of any related incidents upon service. (Wikipedia)

If a customer already has ITSM processes in place, they most likely will have a change management process. This process has to be defined to fulfill the requirements of the proposed solution.

Based on customer requirements, identify required reporting assets and processes

Especially when it comes down to security, it’s important to talk about monitoring and logging. This topic is about

  • What CIs have to be monitored?
  • What events have to be logged/ tracked?
  • How to keep track of changes to configuration items?
  • How keep documentation up-to-date?

Summary

This objective is full of ITSM/ ITIL. It’s pretty helpful if you were familiar with the concepts of ITSM/ ITIL. You should have a good understanding of the different management tools and management solutions and services of a vSphere design.

Patrick Terlisten
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