Mega Course VMware vSphere 6.7 Optimize Upgrade Troubleshoot

34.5hrs of VMware vSphere 6.7 lectures, lab demos to learn ESXi / vCenter, for VCP / VCAP VMware Certification and more

What you’ll learn

  • In this class you will learn how to install, configure, manage, upgrade, scale up, design, deploy, troubleshoot and use vSphere 6.7
  • Emphasis is placed on good design and implementation, best practices and use cases so you understand not only what you are doing but why you are doing it
  • Performance, scalability and service availability are recurring topics. This course includes many tips to improve server, VM, networking and storage performance, redundancy and how to deliver scalability
  • Troubleshooting tips, tricks and procedures are covered in every chapter. We show you how to work around problems, configure and repair systems from the command line and how to monitor hosts, VMs, networking and storage using esxtop and other tools
  • Command line tools are explained and demonstrated so you can still fix issues when Web interfaces aren’t working
  • Design advice, tips and trade offs are included so you can build the best possible environment with the equipment you have.
  • Exactly how to perform ever task because we include Hands-on Lab Demo lectures in every chapter


  • You should have prior experience with vSphere 4.x, 5.0, 5.5 or higher as an experienced user or junior administrator
  • You should have some familiaity with physical server hardware (CPUs, Memory, Networking and storage technologies)
  • You should understand TCP/IP networking and know how to use tools like ping, traceroute, nslookup, etc.
  • You should have basic knowledge of how to build and run virtual machines
  • You should have some experience managing ESXi hosts and vCenter using vSphere Client or Host Client
  • You should have an understanding of general IT security considerations
  • You should have familiarity with popular Guest operating systems like Windows or Linux (we use Windows 10 in this course)


About this Course

This 34.5 hr course is the longest, most information packed and most complete VMware vSphere 6.7 course you will find on Udemy.

Do you already have basic VMware vSphere / virtualization knowledge and experience and want to take your skills to the next level? Maybe your goal is to skill up so you can pass VCP-DCV or VCAP certification exams, get that promotion or earn a senior position as a VMware vSphere 6.7 administrator?

If so, this 100% downloadable course is for you! Want to be sure? Every chapter in my course has at least one free preview lecture and a 30-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee.

I originally developed the content in this course for 5-day Instructor Led training classes – the kind of class that can cost $4,200+USD/seat  at major training companies. But now, it is here on Udemy – so you can get the same high quality training for a lot less.

Don’t settle for VMware video training that is just a few hours of recorded PowerPoint slides. In this mega-course, I include both lecture and hands-on lab demo videos. In the lecture material, I explain concepts, provide an overview of using vSphere 6.7 and include best practices and design and troubleshooting tips, etc. In the hands-on lab demos, I log into one of our live vSphere rental labs and show you exactly how to get the job done, step-by-step.

Please note that this course does not provide access to live labs but does include video demonstrations of how to complete tasks using vSphere 6.7.

What I Cover In This Course

In this course, I explain step-by-step how to upgrade or migrate from vCenter for Windows or vCenter Appliance to vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 and how to use VMware Update Manager to upgrade ESXi hosts and how to upgrade Virtual Machine virtual hardware and VMware Tools. I also cover advanced topics such as Fibre/iSCSI shared storageRaw Device Maps, working with VMFS 6 FilesystemsStorage ProfilesStorage DRS ClustersHigh Availability ClustersFault Tolerance and Distributed Virtual Switches.

I’ll show you how to diagnoseisolate and fix common problems. We will use Host Client, Web Client, HTML 5 Client and command line tools to explore, configure, update, investigate and zero in on performance bottlenecks and trouble spots. Up to 45% of class time is devoted to labs so concepts, skills and best practices are developed and reinforced.

By the end of the class, attendees will have learned practical, actionable skills in vSphere design, implementation, upgrading, sizing, scaleability, performance optimization and troubleshooting.

Use This Course to Prepare for VMware Certification Exams

Many of my Udemy students use this course to help them prepare for vSphere certification. You can use this course to gain knowledge and skills that are tested for in VMware certifications including:

  • VMware Certified Associate (VCA)
  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP-DCV), and
  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP)

Detailed Chapter by Chapter Topics Covered in this Course

Chapter 0 – Course Overview

  • What this course will cover
  • The technical skills and background of ideal attendees
  • Training with a focus on vSphere Best Practices, Good Design, Diagnosis and Troubleshooting, Scaleability, VM Availability, Performance, Availability, Security and more

Chapter 1 – How to install and configure ESXi according to best practices

  • Selecting and preparing supported hardware for ESXi 6.7
  • Performing install and post install tasks
  • Using advanced settings to review and set password strength rules
  • Connecting ESXi to the management network via the DCUI including tips and best practices
  • Accessing ESXi through the DCUI, server console and via Secure Shell
  • Review and managing host access services from the command line (troubleshooting tip)
  • How to access the DCUI when the DCUI isn’t running (troubleshooting tip)
  • Four different ways to review ESXi logs (web, Host Client, Command line and Console)
  • How to manage local users and permissions from the command line (troubleshooting tip)
  • Sizing ESXi hosts for pCPU, pMemory. and, how to enable Transparent Page Sharing to improve memory efficiency by up to 20%
  • How to use local Flash storage to accelerate ESXi host read I/Os and minimize the impact of host memory stress (performance tip)
  • How to use Lockdown Mode to secure your ESXi host
  • How to install VMware packages (called VIBs) using both Host Client and command line
  • Now to query and restart local host management agents from DCUI and from the command line (troubleshooting tip)
  • Where to find best practices for security your ESXi hosts

Chapter 2 – Introduction to ESXi Physical and Virtual Networking

  • Physical networking hardware supported by ESXi. Includes the latest, ultra fast network hardware
  • The three Virtual NIC options along with use cases to help you select the best vNIC for best performance
  • The three different TCP/IP stacks supported by ESXi (and why)
  • How to create and manage vSwitches, VMkernel NICs and Port Groups using Host Client
  • How to create and manage vSwitches, VMkernel NICs and Port Groups using command line (troubleshooting tip)
  • The basics of Physical NIC teaming
  • Great ESXi command line tools to test networking, verify peer connectivity and troubleshoot networking issues

Chapter 3 – Advanced ESXi Physical and Virtual Networking

  • Virtual / Physical networking design goals
  • The three vSwitch Security Policies (Promiscuous Mode, MAC Address Changes, Forged Transmits) and when to use them
  • Network traffic bandwidth management with Traffic Shaping
  • How to improve network throughput with Jumbo Frames. Includes use cases, how to configure and how to test Jumbo Frame support
  • The five Physical NIC teaming policies:
    1. Route by Originating Port
    2. Route by MAC Hash
    3. Route by IP Hash
    4. Route by pNIC Load
    5. Route by Active / Stand-by
      Includes pros, cons and use cases for each policy
  • The three different ways to do vLAN tagging
    1. Route by Originating Port
    2. vSwitch Tagging
    3. pSwitch Tagging
    4. VM Tagging
      When / how to use each one
  • VMkernel pNIC Offloading including TCP Segment Offloading and TCP Checksum offloading including benefits and how each works
  • Exclusive pNIC to VM ownership and use cases using DirectPath I/O and how to do it
  • Shared pNIC to VM ownership and use cases using Single Root I/O Virtualization and how to do it
  • How to monitor pNIC and VM network traffic using esxtop
  • How to query an ESXi host’s active network connections on the command line
  • How to get detailed pNIC statistics including transmits, receives, errors, etc. on the command line
  • Network design tips and best practices

Chapter 4 – Connecting ESXi to NFS Shares

  • Supported and unsupported (but works) NFS server options (includes Windows as an NFS server)
  • The layout of an NFS network. Includes security concerns and compensating controls to address these issues
  • NFS network design to maximize service access and availability
  • How to publish NFS shares on Linux (works for Windows too) so that ESXi can use the shares
  • ESXi physical network and TCP/IP requirements for connecting to NFS shares
  • How to mount NFS shares using Host Client
  • How to query NFS servers for their share list from the command line (hint – you can’t do this from Host Client)
  • How to mount NFS shares on the command line (troubleshooting tip)
  • Using advanced ESXi configuration parameters to increase the maximum number of supported, concurrent NFS shares
  • Connecting to ESXi to NFS shares from the command line (troubleshooting tip)
  • ESXi / NFS best practices, pros and cons
  • NFS v4.1 features, limitations, how to migrate from NFS v3 to 4.1 and how to avoid data corruption

Chapter 5 – Virtual Hardware and Virtual Machines

  • Introduction to the features and capabilities of Virtual Hardware v14
  • pCPUs and vCPUs including configuration options and limits
  • vCPU socket and core hard and practical maximums and guidelines
  • VMemory configuration, sizing and best practices
  • How to select and customize vNIC properties for different use cases
  • The three different virtual SCSI storage controllers and use cases and best practices for each one
  • How to select the best virtual SCSI storage controller for best VM storage performance
  • The purpose, features and capabilities of VMware Tools and why it needs to be in every VM
  • Windows VM configuration and performance tips
  • The files that need to be backed up to capture a powered off VM
  • How Snapshots work. Using the Snapshot Manager
  • Troubleshooting VM Snapshots
  • The Files that are added to a VM when it is snapshotted
  • Guest OS Security tips and best practices
  • Virtual Hardware upgrades and best practices
  • How to list and shut down VMs from the command line
  • How to get a VM’s power status, power on, power off or reboot a VM from the command line
  • How to take ownership and give up ownership of a VM from the command line
  • How to change a running VM’s console screen resolution from the command line (great troubleshooting tip)
  • VM security considerations for Windows VMs
  • How to streamline the virtual hardware layer and Guest OS for runtime efficiency
  • An introduction to the VMware Guest OS Optimization Tool

Chapter 6 – vSphere 6.7 Management with vCenter Server Appliance

  • How to use Javascript Object Notation (JSON) files for automated vCSA installs
  • vCenter for Windows. How to install it, upgrade to it, migrate from it to vCSA and why you want to migrate
  • vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) hardware requirements and how to adjust for your VM and ESXi host needs
  • Platform Services Controller (PSC) and why VMware is strongly encouraging Embedded PSC rather than External PSC
  • How to Upgrade old vCSA to vCSA 6.7
  • How to Migrate from vCenter for Windows to vCSA 6.7
  • An introduction to vSphere Web (flash / flex) Client and new HTML 5 Client
  • Perform vCSA post install / migrate tasks using the Virtual Appliance Management Interface (VAMI)
  • Why you should always upgrade vCSA before you upgrade ESXi hosts (and what to do about it if you accidentally upgrade ESXi first)
  • Why you should review and change vCSA’s default root password management policy
  • How to add vCSA to Active Directory and how to use Active Directory accounts as vCenter administrator accounts
  • How Platform Services Controller Global Permissions and Solution Permissions work
  • Enable and secure ESXi hosts fia Lockdown Mode from vCenter
  • The VMware (Digital) Certificate Authority and its three modes (Default, Enterprise and Custom) and which to use
  • How to maintain high vCSA service availability through vCSA High Availability configurations
  • Two other vCSA high service availability options if you choose not to use vCSA High Availability
  • How to back up and restore vCenter Appliance configurations using vCSA’s VAMI service
  • Best practices for securing ESXi and vCSA
  • Accessing vCSA as root from the command line
  • How to query, start and restart critical vCSA services from the command line (troubleshooting tip)
  • vCSA log files. Where they are and how to view them

Chapter 7 – Virtual Machines, Templates, Clones, Hotplug Hardware and Performance Analysis, Tips and Tricks

  • Rapid VM deployments with Clones and Templates
  • Template theory, benefits and best practices
  • Virtual disk formats explained – Thick Disk Lazy Zero, Thick Disk Eager Zero and Thin Disk
  • Which disk format is best. Performance vs. space efficiency and why Thin Disk is almost always the best format to choose
  • Cold cloning and hot cloning a VM
  • Windows Guest OS Customization using Sysprep and non-Windows Guest OS customization
  • Exporting VMs in Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF) and Open Virtual Machine Archive (OVA) formats
  • Importing OVF / OVA format VMs
  • VM multi-vCPU core sizing and best practices and how to do it
  • VM memory sizing considerations and best practices
  • Hot-add (almost) any virtual hardware with Hot-plug. How to set it up and how to do it
  • Hot-plug vCPU and vRAM strategy, best practices and limitations
  • Hot adding virtual hardware including hot adding virtual disks with no VM down time
  • Hot adding additional vSCSI controllers to a VM. Why do it (hint – performance) and the best vSCSI controllers to use based on use cases
  • Using virtual NVMe controllers and flash backed storage for the ultimate in VM storage performance
  • Monitoring VM performance in real time with esxtop
  • Drilling down to VM pCPU core performance with esxtop
  • Common VM performance issues, how to identify them and how to fix them
  • Great Guest OS performance monitoring tools. What to use, what to believe and what not to believe when using these tools

Chapter 8 – Use VMware Update Manager to Upgrade ESXi hosts

  • Using command line tools to backup and restore an ESXi host’s configuration
  • Configure VMware Update Managers
  • Create ESXi host Patch Baselines
  • Importing a new ESXi install media image
  • Attaching a Host Upgrade patch baseline
  • Performing host compliance scans
  • Upgrading an ESXi host from ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.7

Chapter 9 – Connecting to Fibre & iSCSI Shared Storage

  • General SAN features and capabilities
  • Overview of Fibre Storage Networks
  • VMware APIs for Array Integration (VAAI)
  • Storage network design for performance and redundancy
  • Connecting to Fibre and iSCSI shared storage
  • iSCSI Hardware and Software Initiators
  • iSCSI Static and Send Targets LUN discovery
  • Troubleshooting storage issues
  • Use esxtop to review storage controller and datastores configuration and I/O activity

Chapter 10 – Direct VM to SAN Access with Raw Device Maps

  • Explain Physical and Virtual Raw Device Maps (RDMs)
  • Use cases for Raw Device Maps
  • How Raw Device Maps work with VM cold, VMotion and Storage VMotion migrations
  • Using RDMs to implement Virtual and Virtual/Physical Microsoft Fail Over Clusters

Chapter 11 – VMware File System (VMFS)

  • Unique file system properties of VMFS
  • Creating and managing shared Volumes
  • Managing VMFS capacity with LUN spanning and LUN expansion
  • Understand VMware multipath options
  • Benefits of using vendor multipath solutions
  • Understanding and selecting multipathing policies
  • VMFS performance, scalability and reliability considerations
  • Review storage queuing, I/O aborts and other storage issues
  • Diagnose and troubleshoot storage performance
  • VMware vSphere Flash Read Cache description and use cases
  • Troubleshooting VMFS issues
  • Use esxtop to review datastore I/O activity

Chapter 12 – Storage Profiles

  • SAN and user defined storage profiles
  • Using storage speed, replication to define storage capabilities
  • VMware APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA)
  • Creating VM storage profiles
  • VM/Storage compliance checks
  • Remediating incorrectly placed VM
  • Understanding Storage I/O Control
  • Enable priority storage queues with Storage I/O control

Chapter 13 – Storage Load Balancing with SDRS Clusters

  • Creating and using Storage Distributed Resource Scheduling clusters (SDRS)
  • Cluster properties for capacity and I/O load balancing
  • Best practices for building storage clusters

Chapter 14 – VMotion Migration, Cold Migration, Storage VMotion (coming soon)

  • Cold Migrations to new ESXi hosts, datastores
  • Hot Migrations with VMotion
  • VMotion requirements and dependencies
  • How VMotion works – detailed explanation
  • Troubleshooting VMotion
  • Storage VMotion for hot VM disk migrations

Chapter 15 – VMware High Availability Clusters (coming soon)

  • Minimize unplanned VM down time VMware High Availability clusters
  • VM requirements for HA Clusters
  • Storage fault recovery in High Availability clusters (All Paths Down, Permanent Device Loss)
  • Monitoring VM health in HA clusters
  • Admission Control policy settings for predictable pCPU/pRAM resource availability
  • Identifying and troubleshooting issues in VMware HA clusters

Chapter 16 – VMware Fault Tolerance (coming soon)

  • Eliminate VM unplanned down time with VMware Fault Tolerance
  • Role of the Primary and Secondary VM in a Fault Tolerance configuration
  • Explain how Fast Checkpointing keeps the Secondary VM vCPU, vRAM, vDisk up to date
  • Enabling VM Fault Tolerance
  • Initial VM synchronization
  • Testing Fault Tolerance

Chapter 17 – Distributed vSwitch Features and Scalability (coming soon)

  • Features and benefits of Distributed vSwitches
  • Role of the DVUplink port group
  • Adding ESXi hosts to dvSwitches
  • Creating dvSwitch port groups
  • Migrating physical NICs and VMkernel ports to dvSwitches
  • dvSwitch configuration backup and restore
  • Configuring custom VM MAC address generation policies
  • Testing dvSwitch network healt

Chapter 18 – Final Thoughts

  • How to tell if your workload is suitable for virtualization
  • The benefits of virtualizing Enterprise Application workloads
  • How to mitigate the risks of Virtual Machine theft
  • Great tips on where to look for additional, quality information on vSphere
  • How to (Legally) Get all of VMware’s Enterprise Class Virtualization Software for Just $200/year
  • End of Course Wind Down

Chapter 19 – End of Class Lecture

  • A quick review of what we covered in this course
  • A quick introduction to the topics we’ll cover in Part-2 of this course

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone who has prior experience using or administering VMware vSphere (from vSphere 3.x on up)
  • People who are very familiar with other virtualization platforms (like Hyper-V) and who want detailed vSphere knowledge
  • IT professionals who have experience with WIndows, Linux, desktop and server hardware, networking, etc.
  • Most importantly, you should not be entirely new to virtualization / vSphere as this is a fast paced, in depth course that may move to quickly for you
  • Anyone preparing for VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification exams
  • Anyone preparing for VMware Advanced Certified Professional (VCAP) certification exams
  • Anyone who wants to take their vSphere knowledge and skill to the next level to get that job or earn that promotion

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