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VMware is the leader in Virtualization and Cloud Computing technologies and provides solutions in the field of network and desktop virtualization. VMware has changed the tech world from a physical to a software-based virtual world.
Due to the implementation of a virtual environment to consolidate the available hardware, the demands of subject matter experts are increasing day by day in the market. To manage and maintain an organization’s business, an experienced workforce is required, and to choose the top talent from the market for growing an organization’s business; professionals are selected via many technical interviews and HR processes.
Along with the HR processes, technical interviews are also conducted to assess the abilities of a professional in the field of virtualization for continuous business processes. Here are some of the advanced VMware interview questions and answers on data center virtualization technology for fresher and up to 5 years of hands-on experience that may be asked to assess the candidate’s technical and hands-on expertise.
If you’re interested in vSphere certification, check out this foundation exam practice test, it will help you pass the exam. If you want to learn more about VMware vSphere, complete guidance regarding vSphere 7.0 installation, configuration, and management, you can follow the Clear and Simple VMware vSphere 7 Professional VCP 2V0-21.20 course. VMware also announced VCP-DCV for vSphere 7. x (Exam 2V0-21.20) Official Cert Guide (VMware Press Certification) that will help to learn and earn VCP-DCV 2021 certification.
These interview questions are categorized into the following technical areas:
- Fault Tolerance (FT)
- Virtual Networking
- vCenter Server
- Virtual Storage (Datastore)
- What’s New in vSphere 6.0
- Content Libraries
- vApp and
Let’s get it started…
VMware Hypervisor Interview Questions
#1. What is VMKernel, and why is it important?
VMkernel is a virtualization interface between a Virtual Machine and the ESXi host, which stores VMs. It is responsible for allocating all available resources of the ESXi host to VMs such as memory, CPU, storage, etc. It’s also controlled special services such as vMotion, Fault tolerance, NFS, traffic management, and iSCSI. To access these services, the VMkernel port can be configured on the ESXi server using a standard or distributed vSwitch. Without VMkernel, hosted VMs cannot communicate with the ESXi server.
#2. What are the hypervisor and their types?
A hypervisor is a virtualization layer that enables multiple operating systems to share a single hardware host. Each operating system or VM is allocated physical resources such as memory, CPU, storage, etc., by the host. There are two types of hypervisors.
- Hosted hypervisor (works as application i-e VMware Workstation)
- Bare-metal (is virtualization software i-e VMvisor, Hyper-V which is installed directly onto the hardware and controls all physical resources).
#3. What is Virtualization?
The process of creating virtual versions of physical components, i.e., Servers, Storage Devices, Network Devices on a physical host, is called virtualization. Virtualization lets you run multiple virtual machines on a single physical machine which is called ESXi host.
#4. What are the different types of virtualization?
There are 5 basic types of virtualization.
- Server virtualization: consolidates the physical server, and multiple OS can be run on a single server.
- Network Virtualization: Provides complete reproduction of physical network into a software-defined network.
- Storage Virtualization: Provides an abstraction layer for physical storage resources to manage and optimize virtual deployment.
- Application Virtualization: increased mobility of applications and allows migration of VMs from a host to another with minimal downtime.
- Desktop Virtualization: virtualize desktop to reduce cost and increase service
VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) Interview Questions
#5. What is VMware FT?
FT stands for Fault Tolerance very prominent component of VMware vSphere. It provides continuous availability for VMs when an ESXi host fails. It supports up to 4 vCPUs and 64 GB memory. FT is very bandwidth-intensive, and 10GB NIC is recommended to configure it. It creates a complete copy of an entire VM such as storage, compute, and memory.
#6. How many vCPUs can be used for a VM in FT in VMware vSphere 7.0?
In VMware vSphere 7.0, there can be up to 8 vCPUs with the VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus license.
#7. What is the name of the technology used by VMware FT?
vLockstep technology is used by VMware FT
#8. What is Fault Tolerant Logging?
The communication between two ESXi hosts is called FT logging when FT is configured between them. The pre-requisition of configuring FT is to configure the VMKernel port.
#9. Will the FT work if the vCenter Server goes down?
vCenter Server is only required to enable Fault Tolerance on a VM. Once it is configured, vCenter is not required to be online for FT to work. FT failover between primary and secondary will occur even if the vCenter is down.
#10. What is the main difference between VMware HA and FT?
The main difference between VMware HA and FT is: HA is enabled per cluster, and VMware FT is enabled per VM. In HA, VMs will be re-started and powered-on on another host in case of a host failure, while in FT, there is no downtime because the second copy will be activated in case of host failure.
Virtual Networking Interview Questions
#11. What is virtual networking?
A network of VMs running on a physical server that is connected logically with each other is called virtual networking.
#12. What is vSS?
vSS stands for Virtual Standard Switch is responsible for the communication of VMs hosted on a single physical host. it works like a physical switch that automatically detects a VM which wants to communicate with another VM on the same physical server.
#13. What is vDS?
vDS stands for Virtual Distributed Switch acts as a single switch in a whole virtual environment and is responsible for providing central provisioning, administration, and monitoring of the virtual network.
#14. How many maximum standard ports per host are available?
4096 ports per host are available either in a standard switch or distributed switch.
#15. What are the main benefits of a distributed switch (vDS)?
vDS can provide:
- The central administration for a virtual data center
- Central provision, and
#16. What is the VMKernal adapter, and why is it used?
VMKernel adapter provides network connectivity to the ESXi host to handle network traffic for vMotion, IP Storage, NAS, Fault Tolerance, and vSAN. For each type of traffic, such as vMotion, vSAN, etc. separate VMKernal adapter should be created and configured.
#17. What is the main use of port groups in data center virtualization?
You can segregate the network traffic using port groups such as vMotion, FT, management traffic, etc.
#18. What are the three-port groups configured in ESXi networking?
- Virtual Machine Port Group – Used for Virtual Machine Network
- Service Console Port Group – Used for Service Console Communications
- VMKernel Port Group – Used for VMotion, iSCSI, NFS Communications
#19. What is VLAN, and why use it in virtual networking?
A logical configuration on the switch port to segment the IP Traffic where each segment cannot communicate with other segments without proper rules is called VLAN. Every VLAN has a proper number called VLAN ID.
#20. What is VLAN Tagging?
The practice of inserting VLAN ID into a packet header to identify which VLAN packet belongs to is called VLAN tagging.
#21. What are the three network security policies/modes on vSwitch?
- Promiscuous mode
- MAC address change
- Forged transmits
#22. What is the promiscuous mode on vSwitch?
Promiscuous mode is a security policy that can be defined at the virtual switch or portgroup level in vSphere ESX/ESXi. A virtual machine, Service Console, or VMkernel network interface in a portgroup that allows the use of promiscuous mode can see all network traffic traversing the virtual switch.
By default, a guest operating system’s virtual network adapter only receives frames that are meant for it. Placing the guest’s network adapter in promiscuous mode causes it to receive all frames passed on the virtual switch that is allowed under the VLAN policy for the associated portgroup. This can be useful for intrusion detection monitoring or if a sniffer needs to analyze all traffic on the network segment.
#23. What is MAC address changes network policy?
The security policy of a virtual switch includes a MAC address change option. This option affects the traffic that a virtual machine receives.
When the Mac address changes option is set to Accept, ESXi accepts requests to change the effective MAC address to a different address than the initial MAC address.
When the Mac address changes option is set to Reject, ESXi does not honor requests to change the effective MAC address to a different address than the initial MAC address. This setting protects the host against MAC impersonation.
#24. What is the Forged transmits network policy?
The Forged transmits option affects traffic that is transmitted from a virtual machine.
When the Forged transmits option is set to Accept, ESXi does not compare source and effective MAC addresses.
VMware vCenter Server Interview Questions
#25. What are the main components of vCenter Server architecture?
vCenter Server provides a centralized platform for management, operation, resource provisioning, and performance evaluation of virtual machines and hosts.
When you deploy the vCenter Server Appliance, vCenter Server, the vCenter Server components, and the authentication services are deployed on the same system.
The following components are included in the vCenter Server appliance deployments:
- The authentication services contain vCenter Single Sign-On, License service, Lookup Service, and VMware Certificate Authority.
- The vCenter Server group of services contains vCenter Server, vSphere Client, vSphere Auto Deploy, and vSphere ESXi Dump Collector. The vCenter Server appliance also contains the VMware vSphere Lifecycle Manager Extension service and the VMware vCenter Lifecycle Manager.
#26. What are PSC and its components?
PSC stands for Platform Services Controller, first introduced in version 6 of VMware vSphere, which handles infrastructure security functions. It has three main components.
- Single Sign-On (SSO)
- VMware Certificate Authority (CA)
- Licensing service
#27. What are the two main deploying methods of PSC?
You can install PSC in VMware vSphere 6.7 in two ways:
But, in VMware vSphere 7.0, we can install PSC only in Embedded mode; External PSC deployment has been deprecated in VMware vSphere 7.0 or onwards.
#28. What are the different types of vCenter Server deployment?
It has two deployment types till VMware vSphere 6.7.
- Embedded Deployment
- External deployment
In VMware vSphere 7.0 and onwards, External PSC has been deprecated. We can only install PSC in Embedded mode.
#29. What is vRealize Operation (vROP)
vROP provides the operation dashboards for performance analytics, capacity optimization, and monitoring the virtual environment.
#30. What is vCloud Suite?
vCloud Suite combines multiple VMware components to give a complete set of cloud infrastructure capabilities in a single package, including virtualization, software-defined datacenter services, disaster recovery, application management, etc.
#31. What is the basic security step to secure vCenter Server and users?
Authenticate vCenter Server with Active Directory. By using this, we can assign specific roles to users and can also efficiently manage the virtual environment.
Virtual Storage (Datastore) Interview Questions
#32. What is a datastore?
A datastore is a storage location where virtual machine files are stored and accessed. Datastore is based on a file system which is called VMFS, NFS.
#33. What is the .vmx file?
It is the configuration file of a VM
#34. What information .nvram file store?
It stores BIOS-related information of a VM.
#35. What .vmdk file do and used?
vmdk is a VM disk file and stores data of a VM. It can be up to 62 TB in size in the vSphere 5.5 and onward versions.
#36. How many disk types are in VMware?
There are three disk types in vSphere.
- Thick Provisioned Lazy Zeroes: every virtual disk is created by default in this disk format. Physical space is allocated to a VM when a virtual disk is created. It can’t be converted to a thin disk.
- Thick Provision Eager Zeroes: this disk type is used in VMware Fault Tolerance. All required disk space is allocated to a VM at the time of creation. It takes more time to create a virtual disk compare to other disk formats.
- Thin provision: It provides an on-demand allocation of disk space to a VM. When data size grows, the size of a disk will grow. Storage capacity utilization can be up to 100% with thin provisioning.
#37. What is Storage vMotion?
It is similar to traditional vMotion; in Storage vMotion, a virtual disk of a VM is moved from one datastore to another. During Storage vMotion, virtual disk types think provisioning disk can be transformed to thin-provisioned disk.
What’s New in vSphere 6.0
#38. What is the VM Hardware version for vSphere 6.0?
#39. What VM hardware version for vSphere 6.5?
#40. What VM Hardware version for vSphere 6.7 and vSphere 7.0?
Version 14 for ESXi 6.7, Version 15 for ESXi 6.7 U2, Version 17 for ESXi 7.0, Version 18 for ESXi 7.0 U1, and Version 19 for ESXi 7.0 U2
#41. In which version of vSphere PSC was introduced?
Platform Services Controller (PSC) is introduced in vSphere 6.0. vSphere 6.0 is also known as Virtual hardware version 11.
#42. How many maximum hosts can manage a vCenter Server in vSphere 6.0?
In vSphere 6.0, a single vCenter Server can manage up to 1000 hosts either in Windows or vCenter Appliance (vCSA). In vSphere 6.5 and 6.7, 2000 hosts, and in vSphere 7.0, 2500 can be managed by a single vCenter Server.
#43. How many hosts can be managed by a cluster in vSphere 6.0?
A single cluster can manage a maximum of 64 hosts in VMware vSphere 6.0 and onward versions.
#44. How can maximum VMs be managed by a single cluster?
A single cluster can manage a maximum of 8000 VMs.
#45. What is VVol?
Virtual Volume is a new VM disk management concept introduced in vSphere 6.0 that enables array-based operations at the virtual disk level. VVol is automatically created when a virtual disk is created in a virtual environment for a VM.
#46. How many licensing options are for vSphere 6.0?
There are three licensing options for vSphere 6.0:
- Standard Edition: Contains 1 vCenter Server Standard license, up to 2 vCPUs for Fault Tolerance, vMotion, Storage vMotion, HA, VVols, etc.
- Enterprise Edition: Same as Standard Edition additionally APIs for Array Integration and Multipathing, DRS, and DPM.
- Enterprise Plus: Includes all Standard and Enterprise Editions features with additional Fault Tolerance up to 4 vCPUs and 64GB of RAM. It also includes Distributed vSwitch and the most expensive licensing option of vSphere 6.0.
#47. How much Maximum RAM can support vSphere 6.0?
It supports up to 12TB of RAM per host in vSphere 6.0 and vSphere 6.5 and 16TB of RAM per host in VMware vSphere 6.7 and 7.0.
Content Libraries Interview Questions
#48. What is the Content Library?
Content Library is the central location point between two different geographical locations with vCenter Servers where you can store VM templates, ISO images, scripts, etc. and share them between geographical locations
#49. What are the main benefits of content libraries?
We create VM templates and share on another geographical location without creating again on other locations. It has many benefits, such as sharing and consistency, storage efficiency, and secure subscription.
#50. How many types of Content Libraries have?
It has three types:
- Local: library of local control.
- Published: local library which contents (VM templates, ISO images, etc.) for a subscription.
- Subscribed: A library that syncs with the published library
#51. What are the requirements and limitations of Content Libraries?
A content library has the following requirements and limitations
- Single storage, which can size up to 64TB
- Maximum of 256 items per library
- Sync occurs once every 24 hours
#52. What is VMFS?
VMFS is a file system for a VM in VMware vSphere. VMFS is a datastore that is responsible for storing virtual machine files. VMFS can also store large files, which size can be up to 64TB in vSphere 6.0. In the latest versions of VMware vSphere, VMFS 6 is used to store VMs.
VSAN Interview Questions
#53. What is vSAN?
Virtual SAN is software-defined storage first introduced in vSphere 5.5 and is fully integrated with vSphere. It aggregates locally attached storage of ESXi hosts, which are part of a cluster, and creates a distributed shared solution.
#54. What is cold migration?
To move a powered-off VM from one host to another is called cold migration.
#55. What is Storage vMotion?
To move a powered-on VM from one datastore to another is called Storage vMotion.
#56. What are the different configuration options for VSAN?
There are two configuration options for vSAN:
- Hybrid: Uses both flash-based and magnetic disks for storage. Flash are used for cashing, while magnetic disks are used for capacity or storage.
- All-Flash: Uses flash for both caching and for storage
#57. Are there VSAN ready nodes are available in the market?
Yes, vSAN-ready, such as VxRail 4.0 and 4.5, are available in the market. VxRail is the combination of min 3 servers that are part of a cluster and can scale up to 64 servers.
#58. How minimum servers/hosts are required to configure vSAN?
To configure a vSAN, you should have a minimum of 3 ESXi hosts/servers in the form of a vSAN cluster. If one of the servers fails, a vSAN cluster will fail.
#59. How are many maximum ESXi hosts allowed for vSAN?
64 hosts are max allowed to configure a vSAN cluster.
#60. How many disk groups and max magnetic disks are allowed in a single disk group?
A maximum of 5 disk groups are allowed on an ESXi host, which is a part of a vSAN cluster, and a maximum of 7 magnetic and 1 SSD per disk group is allowed.
#61. How many types of storage can we use in our virtual environment?
- Direct Attached Storage
- Fiber Channel (FC)
- Network Attached Storage (NAS)
#62. What is NFS?
Network File System (NFS) is a file-sharing protocol that ESXi hosts use to communicate with a NAS device. NAS is a specialized storage device that connects to a network and can provide file access services to ESXi hosts.
#63. What is Raw Device Mapping (RDM)?
Raw Device Mapping (RDM) is a file stored in a VMFS volume that acts as a proxy for a raw physical device. RDM enables you to store virtual machine data directly on a LUN. RDM is recommended when a VM must interact with a real disk on the SAN.
#64. What is iSCSI storage?
An iSCSI SAN consists of an iSCSI storage system, which contains one or more storage processors. TCP/IP protocol is used to communicate between host and storage array. an iSCSI initiator is configured with the ESXi host. an iSCSI initiator can be hardware-based, either dependent or independent, and software-based is known as an iSCSI software initiator.
#65. What is the format of iSCSI addressing?
It uses TCP/IP to configure.
#66. What are iSCSI naming conventions?
iSCSI names are formatted in two different ways:
- the iSCSI qualified name (IQN)
- extended unique identifier (EUI)
vApp Interview Questions
#67. What is vApp?
vApp is a container or group where more than one VM can be package and manage multi-tiered applications for specific requirements; for example, Web server, database server, and application server can be configured as a vApp and can be defined their power-on and power-off sequence.
#68. What settings can be configured for vApp?
We can configure several settings for vApp, such as CPU and memory allocation, and IP allocation policy, etc.
Miscellaneous Interview Questions
#69. What is VMware Tanzu?
VMware Tanzu is the suite or portfolio of products and solutions that allow its customers to Build, Run, and Manage Kubernetes-controlled container-based applications. This technology is introduced in VMware vSphere 7.0.
#70. What is VMware DRS?
DRS stands for Distributed Resource Scheduler, which automatically balances available resources among various hosts by using clusters or resource pools. With the help of HA, DRS can move VMs from one host to another to balance the available resources among VMs.
#71. What are share, limit, and reservation?
Share: A value that specifies the relative priority or importance of a VM access to a given resource.
Limit: Consumption of a CPU cycle or host physical memory that cannot cross the defined value (limit).
Reservation: This value defines in the form of CPU or memory and must be available for a VM to start.
#72. What are the alarms why we use them?
An alarm is a notification that appears when an event occurs. Many default alarms exist for many inventory objects. Alarms can be created and modified using vSphere Web Client;
#73. What are the hot-pluggable devices that can be added while VM is running?
We can add HDDs and NIC while VM is running.
#74. What is a Template?
When a VM is converted into a format that can be used to create a VM with pre-defined settings is called a template. An installed VM can be converted into a template, but it cannot be powered on.
#75. What is Snapshot?
To create a copy of a VM with the timestamp as a restore point is called a snapshot. Snapshots are taken when an upgrade or software installation is required. For better performance, a snapshot should be removed after a particular task is performed.
#76. How to convert a physical machine into a VM?
Three steps are required to convert a physical machine to a VM:
- An agent needs to be installed on the Physical machine
- VI client needs to be installed with Converter Plug-in
- A server to import/export virtual machines
#77. What is vMotion, and what is the main purpose of using it in a virtual environment?
It is a very prominent feature of VMware vSphere used to live migrate running VMs from one ESXi host to another without any downtime. Datastores and ESXi hosts can both be used while vMotion.
#78. What is the difference between a clone and a template?
A clone is a copy of a virtual machine. Cloning a VM will save time if multiple VMs with the same configurations are required to configure. While a template is a master copy of an image created from a VM, which can be later used to create many clones. After converting a VM to a template, it can’t be powered-on or edited.
#79. What monitoring method is used in vSphere HA?
- Network Heartbeat
- Datastore Heartbeat
#80. How is the master host elected in vSphere HA?
When HA is enabled in a cluster, all hosts take part in a selection process to be selected as a master host. A host which has the highest number of datastores mounted will be selected as a master host. All other hosts will remain slave hosts.
#81. What is the purpose of VMware Tools?
It is a suite of utilities that are used to enhance the performance of a VM in the form of graphics, mouse/keyboard movement, network card, and other peripheral devices.
#82. What is VMware DPM?
Stands for Distributed Power Management is a feature of VMware DRS that is used to monitor required resources in a cluster. When the resources are decreases due to low usage, VMware DPM consolidates workloads and shut down the hosts which are not being used, and when resources are increased it automatically power on the un-used hosts.
#83. What is the ESXi Shell?
It is a command-line interface. It is used to run the repair and diagnostics of ESXi hosts. It can be accessed via DCUI, vCenter Server enables/disable, and via SSH.
#84. How to run ESXTOP on the ESXi host?
To run ESXTOP on an ESXi host, we’ll need two pre-requisites:
- Install vSphere Client on a host where you want to configure
- Enable SSH from DCUI by using the “Troubleshooting Options” link
#85. What is VMware vCenter Enhanced Linked Mode and How It Works?
VMware vCenter Server Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM) is one of the vSphere advanced features that allows connecting multiple vCenter Servers to provide a single interface where you can view, search, and manage permissions, replications of roles, policies, and licenses between multiple vCenter Servers.
It allows you to simplify enterprise virtual environments deployed in the same or multiple sites with multiple vCenter Server while deploying vCenter Server as VCSA or Windows Servers.
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