Exam Experience | VCAP-DCV Design 2022

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VCAP-DCV, VCAP-DCV 2022 Design Badge
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In February of 2022, I attempted and passed the exam for the VCAP-DCV Design 2022. This was my second attempt at a VCAP Design exam, with the first one being the VCAP-DCV 6.5 Design. In this blog post, I will talk about my preparation for the exam, what I focused on, what my experience was like, and some exam tips.

VCAP-DCV Cloud Management and Automation Design 2022
Certification Path | Source: https://www.vmware.com/learning/certification/vcap-dcv-design.html

The VMware Certified Advanced Professional - Data Center Virtualization - Design 2022 (quite a mouthful, isn't it?), more often known as the VCAP-DCV 2022 Design certification, as per VMware, validates that you have advanced knowledge of end-user computing environments and components, and are able to recommend and design VMware solutions to meet specific goals and requirements.

Lets break this down further.

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VCF 101 - Understanding Compatibility Sets

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During upgrades of VCF components from the SDDC Manager, we often run into situations where a component upgrade bundle does not show up for a particular VCF version upgrade. This can also present itself as skipping a component through the upgrade process. In this article, I will explain what compatibility sets are, how they work, and how they affect the VCF component upgrade process.


What are Compatibility Sets?

Compatibility sets are set of version entries for the 3 primary core VCF products - namely vCenter, ESXi and NSX(T/V), which are marked as compatible with one another. Lets break it down further.


Example of contents of the compatibility_set table in LCM DB

Each entry in the compatibility sets contains one version each for the vCenter, ESXi and NSX component.

For example, from the screenshot above, the final entry indicates that vCenter version 7.0.3.00300, ESXi version 7.0.3, and NSX-T version 3.1.3.7.4 are basically marked as compatible to work with each other in a VCF environment.

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VCF 101 - Understanding VersionAlias.yml

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The VerionAlias.yml file on a SDDC Manager is referenced quite a bit across several VMware KBs, mostly in the context of "change this value here" or "add this value there" while troubleshooting VCF upgrades. There really aren't any articles online describing what this file really means or how it works. In this post, I will describe the various elements that are in a VersionAlias.yml file, and how to interpret the information available here.


Sample Content of VersionAlias.yml

Lets start with the different versions of each VCF component that we are dealing with:

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Installing HyTrust KeyControl KMS on a VM

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HyTrust (now Entrust) KeyControl is a Key Management Server (KMS) that essentially manages encryption keys for virtual machines, including their rotation, sharing, access etc.
The reason I chose this KMS for use with vCenter is essentially due to the availability of a 60 day trial, which then let me try all the encryption options available within vCenter 6.7

To start off, I downloaded the ISO and uploaded it to a datastore that my ESXi hosts can access. I created a new VM, in this case I called it HyTrust_KeyControl_Test, with the following configuration:

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