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Operations with VMware vSphere

Making sure your applications get what they need from their VMs

Alastair Cooke

Millions of VMware virtual machines run critical applications inside businesses, both large and small. While clouds, containers, and serverless platforms are getting new publicity and new applications, virtual machines continue to be the place where enterprises run most their business.

In this course, we'll explore virtual machines to see how they can be configured to deliver application performance. With mission-critical applications in these VMs, it's crucial that you understand how to safely manage VMs. We'll look at routine VM operations and understand the impacts of snapshots and cloning in a production environment.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, hands-on, online course, you’ll understand:

  • Virtual machine hardware and how it affects applications inside the VM
  • What happens when VMs are snapshotted, cloned, or migrated

And you’ll be able to:

  • Assign the right resources to a VM to deliver application performance
  • Safely snapshot and clone virtual machines

This training course is for you because...

  1. You are an operations engineer with Microsoft or Linux skills and you need to be able to configure the VMs running these operating system on an existing vSphere platform.

  2. You work in application support with deep knowledge of the applications that run the business and you need to understand and manage how the virtual machine configuration impacts your application.


Knowledge of x86 server hardware and operating systems

Recommended Preparation:

VMware vSphere Essential

About your instructor

  • Alastair Cooke has spent the last ten years helping IT professionals understand IT infrastructure. Teaching VMware training courses as a VMware Certified Instructor for eight years made him well known in the Australian and New Zealand virtualization community.

    Working with the vBrownBag crew for the last five has made him an active IT community member around the world. Alastair has spoken at VMworld and multiple VMUG conferences as well as consulting to IT vendors and helping them develop enablement training. Alastair holds advanced certifications from VMware in both datacenter and desktop virtualization.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing


Course Outline (10 min)

  • VM Hardware outline

Lecture - Tour of VM hardware options (20 min)

Demonstration (10 min)

  • Hardware configuration of a typical VM in my lab

Break (10 min)

Demonstration (10 min)

  • Adding NIC & RAM to VM

Open discussion—leading questions (15 min)

  • What hardware components are most important for database servers?
  • What about a web server?
  • Is there anything missing? Hardware in your data centre that isn’t here
  • VM Disks

Lecture (20 min)

  • Storage controllers, disks, disk files
  • Thick & thin provisioning
  • Eager and lazy zeroing.

Break (10 min)

Demonstration (10 min)

  • Growing a VM disk and expanding partition

Open Discussion—leading questions (15 min)

  • How big should a VM disk be?
  • Why would you have more than one disk on a VM?

Snapshots (20 min)

  • Snapshots change IO

Break (10 min)

Demonstration: how to snapshot a VM (15 min)

Open Discussion

  • When should you use snapshots?
  • What are the dangers of a snapshot?

Closing Q&A


Review of Day 1 (20 min)

  • VM hardware
  • VM disks
  • Snapshots
  • Q&A

Cloning VMs (20 min)

  • Lecture—What is a VM clone?
  • Demo—Cloning a VM and guest customization

Break (10 min)

Templates (20 min)

  • Convert a VM to template
  • Clone a VM to a template
  • Deploy a VM from template
  • Convert a VM to a template

Open Discussion (20 min)

  • Why use templates?
  • Why not just clone VMs?

Migration (20 min)

  • Types of migration

  • vMotion

  • Storage vMotion

  • Long-distance vMotion

Break (10 min)

vMotion Demo (10 min)

  • Within cluster
  • Across cluster boundary

Open Discussion (10 min)

  • How much VM mobility do you need?

Closing summary (10 min)

  • VM cloning
  • Templates
  • Migration

Closing Q&A (30 min)