VCAP5-DCA Study Guide is now available


The content of this study guide was first published as a series of posts on this blog.

The posts were written in preparation for my VCAP5-DCA exam and are based on the official VMware Blueprint. At the time I started writing; other great Study guides were available, although most of these guides were based on the VCAP4-DCA exam.

The posts had to meet the following goals:

  • Based on the official Blueprint, follow the objectives as close as possible.
  • Refer to the official VMware documentation as much as possible. For that reason, every Objective starts with one or more references to the VMware documentation.
  • In case the official documentation is not available or not complete, provide an alternative.
  • Write down the essence of every objective (the Summary part).
  • If necessary, provide additional explanation, instructions, examples and references to other posts. All this without providing too much information.

I hope all this will help you in your preparation for your exam. I welcome your comments, feedback and questions.

Download Guide: VCAP5-DCA Study Guide_20121229

VCAP5-DCA Objective 8.2 – Administer vSphere using the vSphere Management Assistant



  • Install and configure vMA
  • Add/Remove target servers (Note: This Objective has been updated per 21-01-2013)
  • Perform updates to the vMA
  • Use vmkfstools to manage VMFS datastores
  • Use vmware-cmd to manage VMs
  • Use esxcli to manage ESXi Host configurations
  • Troubleshoot common vMA errors and conditions

Install and configure vMA

Official Documentation:
vSphere Management Assistant Guide vSphere 5.0, Chapter 2 “Getting started with the vMA”, section “Deploy vMA”.

The vSphere Management Assistant (vMA from now on) and the documentation can be found at:

Note: multiple versions are available! You can deploy vMA 5.0 on vSphere 4.0 Update 2 or later (no vSphere 5.1) and vCenter Server 4.0 Update 2 or later. The vCenter Appliance 5.0 is also supported. After installation, you can target even ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 5 servers.

The vMA comes as a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11‐based virtual machine that includes pre-packaged software such as the vSphere command‐line interface, and the vSphere SDK for Perl. The vMA allows administrators to run scripts or agents that interact with ESXi hosts and vCenter Server systems without having to authenticate each time. The vMA comes as a virtual appliance

Under normal conditions, you will deploy the vMA in your cluster. Another way is to deploy vMA on your workstation and take it with you, with your own tools and scripts.

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