This content is part of the Essential Guide: The road to success begins with a virtualization certification path

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The road to VMware Certified Professional exam success

When you're studying for your VMware Certified Professional certification, don't forget to learn these 20 crucial terms.

Are you on the hunt for a new job? Would you like to advance your career? Do you simply want to hone a particular skillset? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might want to consider the VMware VCP exam. Despite an industry debate over whether IT certifications have as much value as data center experience, the VMware Certified Professional exam remains VMware's most successful certificate program.

A VMware Certified Professional has demonstrated the ability to install, configure and upgrade vCenter Server as well as vSphere networking and storage. The VCP exam also tests administrators on their knowledge of virtual machines and vApps. Given the steady stream of updates to VMware's product line (i.e., vSphere 5.5 and VMware NSX) and changes to its certification pyramid, a VCP candidate must be well-versed in all virtualization technologies.

Prior to the exam, you must complete an official VMware training course, so be sure to make vocabulary step 1 of your preparation. Without further ado, here are terms you ought to be familiar with before you take the VMware Certified Professional exam.

1. Fault tolerance: Not to be confused with high availability, fault tolerance is a specific backup technology that reacts to and replaces a failed system or component to prevent downtime.

2. Disaster recovery: The disaster recovery umbrella comprises a number of policies and procedures aimed at protecting the data center from harmful events while allowing the organization to maintain or quickly resume critical functions.

3. vApp: VMware vApps combine applications with the required operating system and operate on the Open Virtualization Format.

4. vShield: The VMware vShield suite operates under the centralized management of vShield Manager and provides many virtual infrastructure monitoring capabilities.

5. VMware fling: VMware engineers create these free, unsupported VMware flings that often address a specific problem or offer a utility not found in a VMware product.

6. vNUMA: Virtual non-uniform memory access helps prevent memory-bandwidth bottlenecks, which can be hard to prevent if you have many VMs with multiple vCPUs.

7. VMware Virtual SMP: Virtual Symmetric Multi-Processing allows a virtual machine to simultaneously use two or more processors, which can help minimize system overhead.

8. Transparent page sharing: This memory management technique consolidates redundant memory pages, which can exist when multiple VMs run the same operating system.

9. VMware VMFS: Virtual Machine File System facilitates storage virtualization for multiple vSphere installations and enables the creation of new VMs without storage administrator intervention.

10. VMware DRS: The Distributed Resource Scheduler utility helps with load balancing physical resources among virtual machines.

11. VMware HA: VMware high availability allows for proactive monitoring of servers and VMs as well as automatic server failure detection.

12. VMware NSX: VMware NSX provides software-defined networking that provisions virtual networking environments without command line interfaces.

13. Simple Network Management Protocol: SNMP governs network management and monitors network devices and their functions.

14. Virtual machine monitor: A VMM operates in a similar manner to a hypervisor and allows one computer to support multiple, identical execution environments.

15. VMware backup: VMware backup uses a number of different techniques and applications to accomplish the goal of copying VM data to prevent losses.

16. VMware snapshot: A snapshot is a copy of the virtual machine's disk file. It is used to restore a VM when failure occurs.

17. vSphere Replication: This feature automates the failure of virtual servers to a recovery site and eliminates the need for a storage layer to replicate VMs.

18. Live migration: Live migration allows for the movement of VMs between physical hosts without downtime.

19. vSphere PowerCLI: Based off Windows' PowerShell, PowerCLI is a command-line interface tool for vSphere and vCloud.

20. Virtual switch: The counterpart to Ethernet switches, virtual switches enable communication between VMs.

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