VCAP5-DCA Practice environment – Test Track v.550 – Lab on a Laptop II

This post was last updated on March 6th, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Test Track has finally been updated to cover DCA550.

I’ve been dragging my feet a little because the DCA510 exam has until recently been more popular, and the existing Test Track environment isn’t radically different from the DCA550.

That said, TT550 is done and available. There are 15 scenarios (the same ones from DCA510, minus one-and-a-half) with scoring and a page at the end of bonus scenarios with no scoring.

With DCA510 you were to perform four scenarios at a time and reset the environment between sets. That is no longer the case – all scenarios can be performed w/o resetting. This is due to dropping an item and a half, tweaking a little, and slightly re-ordering. You can still reset the environment with a script if you want to start over or have blown something up. However the DCA550 environment takes a few minutes longer to reset.

Access to the environment can be had at some VMUGs, both VMworlds or remotely via RDP. For remote access, use the contact page on the blog here or tweet at me @SOSTech_wp (Twitter is usually better, Bluehost isn’t great at mail handling). If you don’t get a response try again later or use a different method.

Remote access is first-reserved-first-served in 4 hour chunks of time. Please shutdown the environment (there is a script) when you are done to save on my electricity and wear and tear on my HVAC unit.

Test Track Components:

TT environments

Alienware 18 laptop – Huge, heavy, terrible for gaming, but it draws a crowd at IT events.
i7-4900MQ – not an extreme, but it gets the job done
32GB RAM. 500GB SSD, 750GB 7200RPM
Windows 7 64-bit
VMware Workstation 11

VMs:
PDC-SQL. Windows 2008 R2.
RDP, Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, NFS (Services for Network File System), Microsoft iSCSI target
VMware client, Firefox, Putty, WinSCP, Adobe Reader
Performs tasks covered by the “ControlCenter” and “PDC-SQL” VMs in real lab environment.

VCS01. Windows 2008 R2.
vCenter 5.5 build 1750787. Simple install. Orchestrator enabled and configured.

ESXi01, ESXi02. ESXi 5.5.0 build 1623387
These host multiple pre-created VMs and templates including vSphere Replication appliance 5.5.1.2 and vma appliance 5.5.0.0

Networks:
172.20.10.0 “Management”
172.20.13.0 “IPStorage”
172.20.11.0 “Production”
172.20.12.0 “vMotion” (used for regular virtual machine traffic on TestTrack)

Storage:
local, iSCSI and NFS storage
Note that the names and sizes do not line up at all with the exam environment.
However, both have similar mix of local, iSCSI and NFS.

Missing from TT that you will see on the exam: vCenter Operation Manager Foundation

Protip: If your RDP client is set to suppress wall paper run the BGInfo link in the Windows Startup folder.

TTDesk

Old Test Track posts:
Connection info
Scoring
Resetting a lab environemnt

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28 Responses to VCAP5-DCA Practice environment – Test Track v.550 – Lab on a Laptop II

  1. Kiran says:

    Josh thanks so much for all the effort you’ve put into this. I look forward to using it.

  2. Hi,

    Do you create Vlan’s on VMware Workstation or do you run the networks on VM network 0 provided by VM workstation.

    Thanks

    • Four networks provided by VMware Workstation. You do create VLANs and PVLANs on Test Track, but Workstation ignores VLAN tags and passed everything on the “wire” so it’s not the same as the real world.

  3. I used his old test lab for my 550 DCA exam. I found it such a massive help….. The first time the questions threw me quite a bit.

    So if anyone is doing the 550, they defo need to get on this lab asap!

  4. Can we get the setup to deploy at home? 🙂

  5. juliano rodrigues says:

    Long life for Admins exams! The VDCA550 is a state of art in measuring your real knowledge and capabilities, targeted in real business scenarios. You will find most common admin tasks that you must know daily during your role job.

    The exam is extremly accurate, in my opinion the time must be set to about 160 minutes. To avoid the user try to memorize some text. This will increase the exam security. And talking about security this exam is blessed comparing to question based exams like vcp that can be easy leak.

    VDCA550 go hard or go home!

  6. I just used the lab, it was awesome. I feel less topics covered on scenarios. Hope we get all topics covered under blue print soon.

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  9. Jake says:

    Hi Josh,

    Could we please organize me to be setup for this Test Track? This weekend, Saturday the 29th would work and we can discuss a time. Flick me an email and I’ll provide my IP also.

    Cheers,
    Jake

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  12. Hello Josh~~

    I sent a MSG a few days ago and was wondering if the time frame I requested was good for you.
    Thanks for your help. I will take the actual exam Monday and would like to use a trial environment to see if I should extend the exam date.

    Tim

  13. Chi.Nguyen says:

    Hi Josh
    I’m going to take the vdca550 on the next Tuesday. So, If your test track is still available now, please give me a session from 2pm GMT+7, tomorrow (15th Oct, 2016).
    Many thanks!

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