VCP6-DCV – Data Center Virtualization | Exam Experience

My VCP5-DCV certification was due to expire at the beginning of March 2017. In order to retain the VCP status, VMware requires that you recertify every two years. The reasoning for me to take the VCP6-DCV was due to work commitments and to keep on top of my current skill set.

The resources I used, have been similar to what I have used before.

I took the vSphere 6 course with 360GSP – Dai, their trainer is excellent and knows the subject inside out, I would highly recommend, especially if a weekend course is more suitable!. Read my review here of the vSphere 6 course with 360GSP.

First place as always, is to review the exam objectivies to get an understanding on what the exam covers.  I used the following additional resources to have all bases covered:


Virtual Langer VCP 6 study guide

VCP6-DCV by TheSaffaGeek


Mastering vSphere 6 by Nick Marshall


Pluralsight –  VMware vSphere 6 Data Center Virtualization by Don Jones

Exam tips:

  • Review the exam objectivies
  • You can book the exam via, make sure your name on your PerarsonVue account matches the ID you’re bringing
  • Make sure you have two forms of ID as per PearsonVue requirements
  • Get a good nights sleep
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early
  • The exam is ~120 minutes and consists of around 85 questions

I took the exam at Nexgenn Consulting Limited, as it was close to where I work. What I was really intrigued by is how thorough they were in ensuring you are not carrying any materials, they asked for all pockets to be pulled out, sleeves rolled up, asked me to pat my trousers down! I’m surprised by what lengths people will go to! The exam centre also provide lockers to store your personal belongs. More than happy to use this test centre again, being close to work is a big convenience.

I decided to go for the full exam (2V0-621) rather than the delta, main reasoning being is that I had a voucher to use, otherwise I would have taken the delta path.

I’m glad to report I passed the VCP6-DCV exam, further renewing my VCP status for another two years. What’s next? At the moment my focus is completing my degree with the Open University, which finishes around September and then I shall decide on what path next!

[Review] 360 GSP – vSphere 6 – Install Configure and Manage (ICM) course

This post is a review of the vSphere 6 – Install Configure and Manage (ICM) course with 360 GSP.


I previously took the vSphere 5 ICM course via 360 GSP, the review can be read here. As I had such a good experience with 360 GSP and the excellent lecturer Dai, I decided to go back to 360 GSP and do the vSphere 6 course. Now already being VCP5-DCV certified I did not need to take the course, I could have taken the VCP6-DCV exam straight away. I liked how the course was run previously and felt this would be beneficial to me in my study plan.

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How to check and install vShield drivers on a Virtual Machine

This post will show you how to check to see if the vShield drivers are installed and if not how to install them via VMware Tools. You may be using an anti-virus software such as Trend Deep Security whereby its throwing up anti-malware engine offline errors which could be linked to the vShield drivers missing.

  1. First thing is to log onto the virtual machine and open up msinfo32 via the run prompt (start > run > msinfo32).
  2. Expand “Software Environment” and then “System Drivers”
  3. Within this list you’re looking for vsepfit as shown below:


If you see the driver listed, then vShield is installed. if not, continue on with this post.

First ensure VMware Tools is installed, it could be as simple as you forgot to install the tools. If not, then vShield may have been implemented after some VMs were created or something odd has happened. Follow the next steps to add the vShield drivers to existing VMware tools.

Locate the VM within vSphere and right-click Guest>Install/Upgrade VMware Tools.VMToolsUpgrade1

Select Interactive Tools upgrade.

Go to the console of the VM and you should see the installation wizard. Click Next.


Ensure Modify is selected. Click Next.


Expand VMware Device Drivers. Click Next.


Expand VMCI Driver, click the drop down on vShield Drivers and select “This feature will be installed on local hard drive”.VMToolsUpgrade6

Now the vShield Drivers should look like the following. Click Next.


VMware Tools is now ready to begin installation. Click Modify.




and we’re done! Click finish.


You will be asked to restart. Assuming now is a good time, click yes.


That’s the vShield drivers installed.

ESXi5 Datastore error – Expected put message. Got: ERROR

When trying to download a VMX file via the datastore browser, I was presented with the following error “Expected put message. Got: ERROR” as shown below:Expected Put Message. Got Error

This had be stumped for a moment as i have never encountered this before. The following knowledge base by VMware explains this behaviour and how to overcome.

Luckily I was in the position to power of the virtual machine and download the VMX file and power back on. Though when I tried again with the virtual machine powered back on, same issue occurred.

I did find when vMotioning between hosts (same datastore) I could then download the VMX file with the virtual machine still on.

I have read that similar people have had issues with brackets in the virtual machine name (wasn’t the case here) that can get confused with the datastores (as brackets define datastores). Might be worth watching out for this one.

This was using VMware ESXi 5.0.0 768111.

Nexus 7 - VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal

VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal iPhone/Android Tablet app

VMware have a nifty app for Android and iOS tablet devices that allow you to read white papers, watch installation videos and best practices on the go. Useful if you don’t have a laptop handy but do have a tablet.

The VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal app provides access to VMware published content, and other rich media. You can use this application to watch installation videos, view helpful demos, read product whitepapers, and benefit from expert advice. We will continue to introduce new versions of videos, demos and the other product documentation right here.

Key Features:

  • Evaluation Videos: A library of support videos and evaluation guides is available to help you learn more about VMware products.
  • What’s New: Complete set of product documentation, datasheets, informative white papers and much more.
  • Best Practices: Best practices and advice from VMware experts on all our offerings.

Nexus 7 - VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal

Download here for both Android and iOS

VMware VCP5-DV Resources

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I managed to pass the VCP5-DV exam (second attempt) and thought I would give a list of the resources I used.

Its worth noting before becoming VCP5-DV certified you need to attend a course, see here for my  review on the course I did via the 360gsp college.

The most important place to start studying is checking out the VMware VCP5-DV Exam Blue Print. Be expected to know everything on the blueprint. You get 85 questions with a time limit of 90 minutes for the exam.

When looking at articles/documentation I tend to clip them to Evernote and tag them so I can reference them later. I use Google Chrome with an Evernote plugin to achieve this.

VMware Documentation:


Scott Lowe – Mastering VMware vSphere 5
VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman 


TrainSignal – VMware vSphere 5 Training
YouTube has some good videos.



The VMware forums are worth contributing to whilst studying and afterwards.


Whilst I didn’t use the AutoLab, it seems like a great resource. The AutoLab pre-configures a vSphere5 environment.

Practice Questions:

Once you have completed the VMware course, VMware have a mock exam via the VMware learn portal.


I would recommend AnkiDroid as a flashcard app for Android, you can download a VCP5 pack which includes maximums and some practise questions, you can also create your own flashcards. Very useful on the go. I have been using this method of flashcards since my ICND1 stuides. There are other flashcard packs for CCNA etc.

And finally…

Google google google! I found googling topics/errors/etc brought me to loads of VMware blogs, reading articles after articles helped with learning and also the real word stuff.

Most of the people that have blogs are on twitter, I would highly recommend getting into Twitter and following bloggers, its a great way to keep an eye on whats happening quickly. I use Tweetdeck and have multiple lists and columns for bloggers – it’s just a fantastic way to easily filter out the noise on twitter.

You can follow me on twitter @ChrisLStark

So whats next for me? Well, I was studying towards the Cisco ICND2 for the CCNA before I saw the excellent offer by 360gsp college so snapped that up. I shall now continue with my Cisco ICND2 studies and when I have time get more familiar with the vSphere 5 PowerCLI.