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First, let me start off by saying this is not a study guide to pass the VCAP5-DCA. With a little bit of searching, you will find plenty of study guides out there with tips on how to pass the VCAP5-DCA exam. I passed this exam just over a year ago but came across my study notes while doing some “fall” cleaning. I will offer two tips before diving into the CLI commands I repeatedly studied before the exam.

Tip one: Read the blueprint. OK, that is not really a tip because just about everyone will tell you how important it is. So let me expand on it a little. You should already know that this is a lab based exam. Well, in a lab based exam there are certain things you can and cannot do. There are also items in the blueprint such as “Explain DRS” that would technically be questions you need to answer, but again, this is a lab based exam. So tip number one is to be mindful of the Force. My apologies, I happen to be wearing a Star Wars shirt today and got sidetracked. Tip one, if it can’t be done in a lab or the risk of breaking something, the management network, then chances are it is not on the exam, and you may not want to spend too much time studying it.

Tip two: Relax… No seriously, that is it. Just relax and don’t overdo it. When I first started studying for this exam, I was on the path of seeking all the information I could. I searched everywhere, posted in forums asking for recommendations, and spent many hours watching Jason Nash’s videos on Pluralsight. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Jason Nash’s videos, but to me, that was an information overload and also how I came up with tip one. I eventually stopped watching the videos and then just focused on what was the hardest part for me, and that is CLI.

While I do use CLI quite often, especially PowerShell and PowerCLI, I don’t always remember every command off the top of my head. When you are taking a lab based exam and time is your worst enemy, knowing your commands can be considerably necessary. Below are the exact notes I printed out and studied even in the car before I went in to take the exam. Keep in mind these are my notes and may not entirely make sense to you, but feel free to ask me questions. In my opinion, it was very helpful, and I ended up passing the VCAP exam on the first try.

esxcli storage core claimrule add
esxcli storage nmp satp list
esxcli storage nmp satp set -s VMW_SATP_LOCAL -P VMW_PSP_RR
esxcli storage core device list
esxcli storage nmp satp rule add –satp=VMW_SATP_LOCAL –device naa.6006016015301d00167ce6e2ddb3de11 –options “enable_local enable_ssd”
esxcli storage core claimrule load
esxcli storage core claimrule run
esxcli storage core claimrule reclaim
esxcli iscsi
esxcli network
esxcli network ip connection list restart
/etc/init.d/vpxa restart

Config Files

Generate Host Certificates
mv rui.crt orig.rui.crt
mv rui.key orig.rui.key

Advanced Settings/UserVars – SSH Timeout
SSL Handshake Timeout

Password Policy

esxcli network firewall
esxcli network firewall ruleset list
esxcli network firewall refresh

esxcli system syslog config get


  1. Load esxtop.
  2. Use hot keys to configure how you would like.
    • ‘f’ will add and remove fields.
    • ‘o’ will change the order.
    • other hot keys will give you settings specific to that view.
  3. W’ will save the settings to a new config file.
  4. Next time you load esxtop use the ‘-c’ option to specify a configuration file.

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