Friday 31 August 2012

VCAP5-DCD – My Experience Part 2

After failing my very first attempt at a VCAP exam, namely the VCAP5-DCD exam, I re-sat it again today in Leeds.  In my previous post I wrote about what I used to prepare for the exam and that design isn’t really my day to day job but it was something that I wanted to improve on hence preparing for and taking the exam.  This time around I used exactly the same material but made tons of notes along the way.  I can also recommend the following video by Scott Lowe and TrainSignal:

I’ve put a copy of my notes in my dropbox account so if you want grab a copy then click here (Please excuse all spelling and grammatical mistakes as this was mainly for my use).  You’ll be glad to know that I passed the exam this time around.  It was closer than I’d like but a people always say, a pass is a pass.  I think I’ll take the weekend off and then start the VCAP5-DCA which hopefully I should find a little easier.

Saturday 25 August 2012

RouterBOARD – Connecting an external antenna

The external antenna can be connected to the RouterBOARD RB751G-2Hnd via the MMCX connector at the front:


The part that you need can be found here.  You can either connect the antenna to the MMCX connector and leave it dangling or you can actually fit it into the casing, which is extremely easy to do.  To fit it into the casing take the RouterBOARD casing apart with a flat head screwdriver from the bottom.  Once apart you will notice the cover which can be peeled off revealing four slots:


Simply choose a hole to connect the antenna to and push out the slot.  Carefully put the sticky cover back on and cut out the hole with a knife or screwdriver:


It doesn't need to be neat as the antenna will slide over the edges.  Once you have cut the hole in the cover simply feed the antenna cable through hole and back out the antenna slot hole and connect to the MMCX connector.  Replace the bottom of casing and ensure the antenna is fitted securely into the slot:


To enable the antenna log into your RouterBOARD and go to Wireless and then the Interfaces tab.  Double click your wireless interface and select the HT tab and set the Antenna Mode to be Antenna B:


Friday 24 August 2012

RouterBOARD – Backup / Restore Config

To backup your RouterBOARD configuration log on via the Winbox and select the Files menu item:


Click the Backup button and then simply drag the file from the GUI onto your desktop.  To restore your configuration simply highlight it and click the restore button.  You will be asked to confirm and then reboot your device:


If the file you want to restore is not one the device then simply drag it into the files list and it will be copied up to the device.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

RouterBOARD – Time Configuration

With all firewall devices you want to ensure the time on the device is correct to ensure accurate logging.  RouterBOARD comes with two methods to configure the time, Manual and SNTP Client:
Manual Time Setup
Log into your RouterBOARD and select System and then Clock:
Configure the correct date / time and time zone.
SNTP Client
Log into your RouterBOARD and select System and then SNTP Client:
Enable the service and then select Unicast as the mode.  This will allow you to enter a primary and secondary NTP server.  Within my settings I have configured it to pick up it’s time from and which are part of the servers.

RouterBOARD - Factory Reset

In order set reset the RouterBOARD back to factory default you need to grab a paper clip and push down the reset button at the rear of the device (highlighted in red):
Wait 10 seconds and then remove the power to the device whilst keeping the reset button pushed down, after 10 seconds power the device back on and keep the button down for a further 10 seconds (30 seconds in total).  The time might actually be a lot loss but 10 seconds worked for me.  The device should then boot up within 30 seconds.  Connect your laptop to any port apart from 1 (This is used as the WAN port and is set to be a DHCP client by default).  Once connected you should pick up an IP address in the / 24 range.  Point your browse to and you should now have access to the RouterBOARD web interface:
From here select your method of connecting to the device and configure away.

MikroTik RouterBOARD RB751G-2Hnd

After seeing a recent post by Eric Sloof regarding the Mikrotik RouterBOARD RB751G-2Hnd firewall / router / AP it came just in time.  I was actually looking for something to trunk my layer2 linksys switch to support VLANs for my home ESXi5 lab and to replace my VirginMedia SuperHub after the reported wireless issues with the latest firmware.  After researching I took the plunge and purchase the following from LinITX:

MikroTik RouterBOARD 751G-2HnD (RouterOS L4) with UK Power Supply
2.4-5.8GHz Omnidirectional Swivel Antenna with cable and MMCX connector

I have to give LinITX credit, the order process was nice and simple and the items arrived the very next day.  Anyways, I’ve just changed the VirginMedia SuperHub into gateway mode and hooked up my RouterBOARD.  So far I’m very impressed with it.  There are multitude of options to configure and it’s going to take me a while to get my head around it but so far so good.  I’ve only performed a few basic operations to get me started such as setting up wireless, configure NAT for my external services (remote access and VPN) and configured firewall logging but I’m definitely going to get more involved with it when I get time.  I’ll be blogging about certain features and setting up the device purely for my knowledge as it’s quite a complex bit of kit.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

VCAP5-DCD – My Experience

Well today I sat and unfortunately failed the VCAP5-DCD exam with a score of 289 (Passing score was 300).  I am a little disappointed but this is the first time I have sat any VCAP exam and VMware design is not actually my day to day job.  I’m going to try and book in again for two weeks time and study like mad.  I went for the same approach as Jason Boche blogged here which served me very well.  I finished with 25 minutes spare which I should have really used to go over all my answers but then you start doubting yourself.  Anyway, below is a list of resources that I used to prepare of the exam which might help other people:

VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V5.0]

VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive

Mastering VMware vSphere 5

VMware VSphere Design

Professional VMware vBrownBags

The vBrownBags were very helpful and the guys over at Professional VMware are doing an excellent job with the content.  So, good luck anyone else looking to take the exam and hopefully I’ll pass it next time.

Sunday 12 August 2012


It’s amazing how long you can use a product and then find out something you never knew.  I just found out recently that you can actually open the DCUI interface via an SSH session into an ESXi host.  Simply open an SSH session into your ESXi host and then type DCUI:


Once in the DCUI via SSH you can then perform the same functions as per the actual console session.