(Beta) VCAP6-DCV Deploy 3V0-623 v1.2

Update 11/22

Kyle Jenner just finished a very, very good study guide for this exam - it's a full, topic by topic analysis with walkthroughs - and updated and complete study guide, with a bunch of useful links included as well. Make sure to give him kudos for this contribution!


Update 06/26

I just took the beta exam today. I like the new HOL interface - you can actually read the question and use the control screen at the same time. The exam still takes about 1/3 of the relatively small screen though, but it's definitely an improvement. I also found the lab to work well.

Copy paste only works in PuTTY, the c# client, and notepad++. You can also highlight something from the exam text and drag it into the control pane (even the browser) and it will paste it.  Not having paste is bad, but also not having backspace is weird, especially in PuTTY.

Yes, you still have the C# client. Yes, it's still much quicker for lots of things. Yes, there are some things you have to do in the web client.

David Stamen wrote a nice post that helped me before my exam and he included excellent resources. Thom Greene made a nice post on strategy that mimics Tim Antonowitz's from the early v5 days, and I used successfully. Read all questions and do all those that you know you can win first, unless they require some other question to build. Leave what you aren't most comfortable for last, as searching in the documentation comes with a high "exam time" price.

Overall I found it very similar to the DCA v5.5 but with a better overall experience. I think as long as people know the new environment limitations, it's a good upgrade!

Study tips:

There's no official study guide yet (this is the beta off the exam) so I'll put what I'm finding out as I'm studying.

Most useful links are covered in the official G+ study group here:


Major must-read - the official Certification Platform Interface guide . Don't open a VM console with the thick client or the VMRC! You will find that having ctrl+alt disabled means you can't escape it!

HOL labs I used to practice:

HOL-SDC-1602 vSphere with Operations Management 6: Advanced Topics . This is a long one that covers VCAP topics quite well, downsides are not much hands on and some VROps topics you must skip. It has a somewhat updated version of 1402 (really needed for NIOC v3) and does have detailed vCenter (AutoDeploy, Content Library, Resource Pools) and Security (cert and local user) tasks

HOL-SDC-1627 - VVol, Virtual SAN & Storage Policy-Based Management (you can extend one hour 8 times) . This one can take a long time to complete but it's worth it, especially since it explains the whole framework that makes VSAN work.

HOL-CHG-1695 vSphere 6 Challenge Lab . Very light for VCAP but good to do some troubleshooting in the HOL interface.

HOL-SDC-1402 - vSphere Distributed Switch from A to Z . This is a 5.5 lab but goes over advanced DVS settings and does a LACP example.

Labs I couldn't do but seem valuable:

HOL-SDC-1604 vSphere Performance Optimization

HOL-SDC-1607 From Beginner to Advanced Features with PowerCLI

This post is based on the 3V0-623 v1.2 Beta blueprint from 12/4/2015. I've summarized what each section is about, and as I study I'll update with particular page numbers or links.

What to focus on if you already did vcap5:

1.1 Auto Deploy

    this is similar to v5 - lab it out on 6.0.0, but there isn't much that has changed, except some of the AutoDeploy options

1.2 PSC and vCenter

    PSC is all new. Pratice the PSC repoint commands, enhanced linked mode

    Know SSO with AD very well

    vCenter options, some new like integrated syslog and dump collector

1.3 Update Manager

    Know VUM advanced options, upgrades and troubleshooting

1.4 Advanced VM options

    VM options like disk controllers, .vmx edits, hot-add, deployment issues

2.1 Storage

    RDMs, VMFS resignaturing, PSA commands, iSCSI, VFRC, datastore clusters, VVOLs

    VSAN deploy and configure

    VMFS locking - ATS-Only and ATS_SCSI

    SIOC, multipathing

2.2 Manage storage

    tag SSDs, VAAI commands

    lots of VSAN managemeent: storage policies, maintenance, scale up and out VSAN

    datastore alarms including VSAN

2.3 Troubleshoot storage

    multi-pathing, failover, connectivity, 


3.1 vSS

    vmkernels, tcp/ip stack, create another stack, use cli tools

3.2 vDS

    LAG migration to LACP

    vSS to hybrid or full vDS

    analyze vDS using CLI

    discovery protocol per hardware vendor (new?)

    VLANs/PVLANs, traffic marking and filtering

3.3 advanced switch settings

    NIC teaming failover

    NIOC v3

    vDS port binding

3.4 Troubleshooting

    vDS Health Check

    CLI and DCUI to correct network settings

4.1 Availability

    HA, custom isolation response, VMCP, configure alarms, the classic isolation IP address, new APD, PDL settings

    FT with multi-vCPU

4.2 DRS

    DPM, EVC, alarms, power management settings

    DRS optimal load distribution

    Storage DRS

    Affinity and anti-affinity

    vMotion and storage vMotion config

    Resource pools

4.3 Troubleshooting clusters

    DRS/HA faults and config issues

    VSAN/HA settings

    FT and vMotion / svMotion issues

5.1 PowerCLI

    install, configure, use, analyze and modify scripts

    AutoDeploy steps (know them well)

    Create reports

5.2 Host Profiles

    Profile Editor edit and disable, create and apply, import and export policies

    deploy vDS and vStorage policies with host profiles

    answer files

    stateful caching and installation on host deployment

5.3 Log files

    Generate log bundles, centralized logging, logging levels

    Analyze for config, identify issues, including inside esxi cli

5.4 Content Library

    Create a global user, CL, subscribe to existing

    CL space efficiency, synchronization

6.1 Monitoring

    esxtop / resxtop custom profiles, interactive, batch and replay modes, collect data and export to file

    vscsistats use

    analyze from a collected sample

6.2 Optimize VM

    Troubleshoot VM performance, latency sensitive

    TPS and large memory page

    Flash Read Cache reservations

7.1 vReplication

    Config (isolate network traffic, data compression), VM settings, configure replication, alerts

    Troubleshoot storage, multiple snapshots, enable/disable

7.2 vDP

    create, edit, clone backup jobs

    backup and restore (file-level and full VM)

    backup verification

7.3 Backup and Recover vSphere config settings

    vDS, resource pool, also using host profile

    export VMs to OVA/OVFs

8.1 Permissions

    manage users, roles, AD integration

    analyze logs for security messages

    ESXi pass phrase, disable MOB (maybe other hardening settings?)

8.2 SSL

    CA, VECS, generate ESXi certificates

    enable/disable cert checking

    replace deffault cert with CA

    configure SSL timeouts

8.3 Hardening

    Lockdown modes, including exception lists

    SSH settings

    Password policies and strong passwords

    VM hardening


And finally sage advice from @sostech_wp for when you are in the exam:

Make sure you have addressed each point for a scenario before moving on. 

Don't stop for ones you need to reference documentation on, write a note about the item and come back.

Don't do anything that isn't asked. Don't worry about anything that isn't mentioned