VCP 5 Objective 4.1 – Create and Deploy Virtual Machines












Objective 4.1 – Create and Deploy Virtual Machines

For this objective I used the following resources

  • vSphere Virtual Machine Administration guide
  • Installing and Configuring VMware Tools guide
  • vSphere Storage guide
  • VMware vCenter Converter Standalone User’s Guide
  • VMware KB Article KB340
  • VMware KB article KB1014006
  • VMware KB article KB1022242


Identify capabilities of virtual machine hardware versions

Virtual Hardware Version

Memory Limits

CPU Limits



1011GB (5.x)


Compatible with ESXi 5.0 and later hosts. Provides the latest virtual machine features.


255GB (4.x)


Compatible with ESX/ESXi4, 4.x, and 5.0 hosts. Recommended for sharing storage or VM;s with ESX/ESXi versions 3.5 to 4.1


65532MB (3.5)

16384MB (3.x)


Compatible with ESX/ESXi 3.0 and later hosts. Recommended for VM’s that need to run on ESX/ESXi 3.x hosts

Information provided by VMware KB article KB1014006 as well as pages 81 thru 82 of the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration documentation.

Identify VMware Tools device drivers

Driver Name Description
SVGA Driver This virual driver enabled 32-bit display, high display resolution, and significantly faster graphics performance. When you install VMware Tools, a virtual SVGA driver replaces the default VGA driver, which allows for only 640 x 480 resolution and 16-bit color
On Windows guest operating systems whose operating systems is WInodws Vista or later, the VMware SVGA 3D (Microsoft – WDDM) driver is installed. This driver provides the same base funtionality as teh SVGA driver, and it adds Windows Aero support
SCSI Driver When you create a virtual machine, if you specify that you want the virtual machine to use a BusLogic adapter, he guest operating system uses the SCSI driver that VMware Tools provides. Some recent guest operating systems, howerver, contain LSI Logic Parallel or LSI Logic SAS drivers. For example, Windows Server 2008 defaults to LSI Logic SAS, which provides the best performance for that operating system. In this case, the LSI Logic SAS driver provided by the operating system is used
Paravirtual SCSI Driver This driver is for PVSCSI adapters, which enhance the perfromance of some virtualized applications
VMXNet NIC Drivers The vmxnet and vmxnet3 networking drivers improve netwokr perfomrance. Which driver is used depends on how you configure devices settings for the virtual machine. When you install VMware Tools, a VMXNet NIC driver replaced the default vlance driver
Mouse Driver The virtual mouse driver improves mouse performance. Tis driver is required if you use some third-party tools such as Microsoft Terminal Services
Audio Driver This sound driver is required for all 64-bit Windows guest operating systems and 32-bit Windows Server 2003, WIndows Server 2008, and Windows Vista guest operating systems if you use the virtual machine with VMware Server, Workstation, or Fusion
Kernel Module for Sharing Folder The host-guest file system module, called hgfs.sys on Windows guest operating systems and vmhgfs on Linux and Solaris, is required to use the virtual machine with Workstation or Fusion and share folders between hosts and guests.
ThinPrint Driver This driver enables the virtual printing feature on Microsoft Windows virtual machines. With virtual printing, printers added to the operating system on the client or host appear in the list of available printers in the gust operating system. No additional printer drivers must be installed in the virtual machine
Memory Control Driver This driver is available and recommended if you use VMware vSPhere. Excluding this driver hinders the memory management capabilities of the virtual machine in a vSphere deployment
Modules and Drivers That Support Making Automatic Backups If the guest operating system is Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or other newer Windows operating systems, a Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) module is installed. For other, older Windows operating systems, the Filesystem Sync driver is installed. These modules enable backup applications to create application-consistent snapshots. During the snapshotting process, certain processes are paused and virtual machine disks are quiesced
VMCI and VMCI Sockets Drivers The Virtual Machine Communication Interface driver allows fast and efficient communications between virtual machines. Developers can write client-server applications to the VMCI Sock (vSock) interface to make use of the VMCI virtual device

Chart information provided from pages 8 thru 9 of the Installing and Configuring VMware Tools document as well as VMware KB Article KB340.

Identify methods to access and use a virtual machine console

In vSphere 5 there are now two ways to access a virtual machines console. First the newest way via the vSphere Web Client. To do so you need to download and install the Client Integration Plug-In. Second, and the tried and true way is via the vSphere Client.

For step by step instructions on using either of two ways refer to pages 202 thru 203 of the vSphere Virtual Machine Administraiton documentation

Identify virtual machine storage resources

File Usage Description
.vmx vmname.vmx Virtual machine configuration file
.vmxf vmname.vmxf Additional virtual machine configuration files
.vmdk vmname.vmdk Virtual disk characteristics
-flat.vmdk vmname-flat.vmdk Prealocated virtual disk
.nvram vmname.nvram or nvram Virtual machine BIOS or EFI configuration
.vmsd vmname.vmsd Virtual machine snapshots
.vmsn vmname.vmsn Virtual machine snapshot data file
.vswp vmname.vswp Virtual machine swap file
.vmss vmname.vmss Virtual machine suspend file
.log vmware.log  Current virtual machine log file
-#.log vmware-#.log (where # is a number starting with 1) Old virtual machine log entries

Place virtual machines in selected ESXi hosts/Clusters/Resource Pools

– Host or Cluster

  1. On the Host/Cluster page of the New Virtual Machine wizard, select the host or cluster where you want to run the virtual machine
  2. Click Next

– Resource Pool

  1. On the Resource Pool page of the New Virtual Machine wizard, navigate to the resource pool where you want to run the virtual machine
  2. Select the resource pool and click Next

Configure and deploy a Guest OS into a new virtual machine

  1. Open the vSphere Client and log in to the vCenter Server system or host on which the virtual machine resides
  2. Select an installation method:
    • CD-ROM – Insert the installation CD-ROM for your guest operating system into the CD-ROM drive of your ESXi host
    • ISO image – Mount the ISO image from a VMFS or NFS datastore to VM
  3. Right-click the virtual machine and select Power -> Power On
  4. Follow the installation instructions that the operating system vendor provides

Configure/Modify disk controller for virtual disks

  1. From within the vSphere Client select a VM in your inventory
  2. Right click the VM and select Edit Settings
  3. Click the Hardware tab, select a SCSI controller, and click Change Type (Note, the VM needs to be powered down for this option to be available)
  4. Select a SCSI controller type and click OK
  5. Click OK to save your changes and close the dialog box
      For further information refer to page 36 of the

vSphere Virtual Machine Administration


Configure appropriate virtual disk type for a virtual machine

Option Type Action
Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed (zeroedthick) Space required for the virtual disk is allocated during the creation of the disk file. Any data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation, but is zeroed out on demand at a later time on first write from the virtual machine. The virtual machine does not read stale data from disk.
Thick Provision Eager Zeroed (eagerzeroedthick) Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at creation time. In contrast to zeroedthick format, the data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out during creation. It might take much longer to create disks in this format thant ot create other types of disks
Thin Provision Space required for the virtual disk is not allocated during creation, but is supplied and zeroed out, on demand at a later time
Raw Device Mapping (RDM) Allows a VM to store its data directly on a SAN LUN. The RDM file (which ends in .vmdk) contains the LUN mapping information that ESXi uses to process I/O to the assigned LUN

For further information about disk types refer to VMware KB article KB1022242 as well as pages 36 thru 40 of the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration document. For further information regarding Raw Device Mapping (RDM) refer to pages 135 thru 141 of the vSphere Storage document.

Create/Convert thin/thick provisioned virtual disks

  1. From within the vSphere Client select a VM in your inventory
  2. Click the Summary tab and under Resources double click the datastore for the virtual machine to open the Datastore Browser dialog box
  3. Click the virtual machine folder to find the virtual disk file you want to convert. The file has the .vmdk extension
  4. Right-click the virtual disk file and select Inflate

Configure disk shares

  1. From within the vSphere Client select a VM in your inventory
  2. Right click the VM and select Edit Settings
  3. Click the Resources tab and select Disk
  4. In the Resource Allocation panel, select the virtual hard disk to change
  5. Click the Shares column and change the value to allocate a number of shares of its disk bandwidth to the virtual machine
    • Low (500)
    • Normal (1000)
    • High (2000)
    • Custom – Allows for a user-defined share value
  6. Click the Limit – IOPS column and enter the upper limit of storage resources to allocate to the virtual machine
  7. Click OK to save your changes and close the dialog box

Install/Upgrade/Update VMware Tools

  1. From within the vSphere Client select a VM in your inventory
  2. Right click the VM and select Guest -> Install/Upgrade VMware Tools
    • If you are performing a first time installation of VMware tools, click OK on the Install VMware Tools dialog box
    • If you are performing an upgrade/update in the Install/Upgrade VMware Tools dialog box, select Interactive Tools Installation or Interactive Tools Upgrade and click OK
  3. If autorun is not enabled, to manually launch the wizard, click Start -> Run and enter D:Setup.exe, where D: is your first virtual CD-ROM drive
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions
    1. If you use vSphere, to install nondefault components, select the Custom setup
  5. If the New Hardware wizard appears, go through the wizard and accept the defaults
  6. If you are installing a beta or RC version of VMware Tools and you see a warning that a package or driver is not signed, click Install Anyway to complete the installation
  7. When prompted, reboot the virtual machine

Configure virtual machine time synchronization

  1. Open a command prompt or terminal in the guest operating system
  2. Change to the VMware Tools installation directory (refer to table below)
  3. Enter the command to determine whether time synchronization is enabled (refer to table below)
  4. Enter the command to enable or disable periodic time synchronization (refer to table below)
    VMware Tools Installation Directory
Operating System Default Path Utility Name
Windows C:Program FilesVMwareVMware Tools VMwareToolboxCmd.exe
Linux and Solaris /usr/sbin vmware-toolbox-cmd
FreeBSD /usr/local/sbin vmware-toolbox-cmd

Time Sync Commands

Verify Status utility-name timesync status
Disable/Enable utility-name <disable/enable>

For further information read pages 30 thru 31 of the Installing and Configuring VMware Tools documentation

Convert a physical machine using VMware Converter

Modify virtual hardware settings using VMware Converter

Each of these topics could take several pages to fully explain and walk through. For a clear understanding of each of these processes (as well as others) read through the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone User’s Guide.

Configure/Modify virtual CPU and Memory resources according to OS and application requirements

This section is all about right sizing your virtual machines with the correct amount of available resources compared to the needed resources. Does the application require 2 vCPU’s or if you present it 2 vCPU’s would it properly leverage those resources? How about memory, does it need the full 4GB that is mentioned by the application vendor or after trending analysis it can run with only 3GB.

Thankfully with the options vSphere provides if you need to make these needed adjustments (if you plan accordingly ahead of time) on the fly. If need be and if supported by your guest operating system vSphere allows for the “Hot Add” of both vCPU and memory resources. If the above application was configured with 3GB of memory and truly needs 4GB you can add the additional memory without any downtime to the server or application. Same holds for CPU, if additional resources are needed and them on the fly (based guest operating system support)

For further information on both CPU and Memory resource setup and configuration refer to pages 88 thru 106 of the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration documentation

Configure/Modify virtual NIC adapter and connect virtual machines to appropriate network resources

  1. In the vSphere Client inventory, right-click the virtual machine and select Edit Settings
  2. Click the Hardware tab and select the appropriate NIC in the Hardware list
  3. (Optional) To connect the virtual NIC when the virtual machine is powered on, select Connect at power on
  4. (Optional) Click the blue information icon under DirectPath I/O to view details regarding the virtual NIC’s DirectPath I/O status and capability
  5. Select an option for MAC address configuration
Option Description
Automatic vSphere assigns a MAC address automatically
Manual Type the MAC address to use
  1. Configure the Network Connection for the virtual NIC
Option Description
Standard Settings The virtual NIC connects to standard or distribured port group. Select the port group for the virtual NIC to connect to from the Network label drop-down menu
Advanced Settings The virtual NIC connects to a specific port on a vSphere distributed switch. This option appears only when a vSphere distributed switch is available

  1. Click Switch to advanced Settings
  2. Select a vSphere distributed switch for the virtual NIC to use from the VDS drop-down menu
  3. Type the Port ID of the distributed port for virtual NIC to connect to
  1. Click OK to save your changes and close the dialog box

Determine appropriate datastore locations for virtual machines based on application workloads

Storage can be divided into different tiers depending on a number of factors:

  • High Tier – Offers high performance and high availability. Might offer built-in snapshots to facilitate backups and point-in-time restorations. Supports replication, full SP redundancy, and SAS drives. Uses high-cost spindles
  • Mid Tier – Offers mid-range performance, lower availability, some SP redundancy, and SCSI or SAS drives. May offer snapshots. Uses medium-cost spindles
  • Lower Tier – Offers low performance, little internal storage redundancy. Uses low end SCSI drives or SATA

For further information read pages 26 thru 27 of the vSphere Storage documentation


  • vSphere Virtual Machine Administation guide
  • Installing and Configuring VMware Tools Guide
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