Interviewing for VMware vSphere Support Engineer job role. Part 3: Second Level engineer

This is a Part 3 of  ‘Interviewing for VMware vSphere Support Engineer job role’ series of posts.

In my previous post I covered some of the questions which I ask when interviewing for a Junior Engineer position.

In this part, I will cover questions and scenarios intended for a more advanced, Second Level (Level 2) vSphere support engineer.

Second Level (Level 2) vSphere support engineer.

This role in my team requires a lot of practical knowledge. Engineer should be able to solve most of the problems which can appear. In addition (s)he should be able to  read provided design documents and perform builds according to those.

As you may notice some of the questions are directly related to some question asked in Junior level questions. This is done intentionally, so that you can properly evaluate knowledge of the candidate by jumping from simple questions to more complex ones.

Question: Which vSphere feature is required for DRS to dynamically balance computing capacity across ESXi hosts?

Checking if candidate knows dependencies between certain features.

Question: Tell me about Rules you can create in a DRS cluster. What are those used for? List some use cases.

Checking more in-depth  knowledge of DRS.

Question: What is HA admission control? List 3 admission control policies. what are the differences and use case for those?

Checking more in-depth  knowledge of HA.

Question: What are resource pools used for? What are 3 controls/metrics you have in Resource Pool?

Resource Pools basics.

Scenario (on paper or on whiteboard):

rp

Resource Pool is created with 3000MHz CPU reservations and ‘Expandable Reservation’ set to NO.
2 VMs are added to that Resource pool. One of the VMs has 2500MHz CPU Reservation, and second one has 1000MHz CPU reservation.
Administrator tries to start both VM. What will be outcome of that operation?

Checking more in-depth  understanding of Resource Pools, although still nothing complicated.

Question: How to determine VM’s Swap file size.

This one is tricky, I’ve met a lot of architects who don’t know this

Scenario:
Administrator is called during night and reported that several VMs in vSphere environment became unresponsive.
After a fast check, the administrator discovers that several VMs are suspended and are in ‘question pending’ state.
Describe how would you troubleshoot this situation please. What is the Root Cause in your opinion? How would you resolve this situation?
The known facts:
  1. 3 VMs are affected.
  2. All 3 affected VMs are hosted on the same datastore.
  3. The datastore size it 1TB.
  4. Each VM has 16GB of RAM
  5. One of the VMs hosts a DB with data disk of 600GB
  6. A full DB restore was executed during production change right before issue happened.
  7. At the beginning of the production change on DB a snapshot was created.

Checking problem solving skills combined with knowledge of the topic. There is no single answer for the scenario above.

Question: You have a VMware Update manager installed on a machine without internet access. Can it be used for patching?

A bit of in-depth VUM.

Question: You need to update VMware Tools and HW version on 100 VMs. Is there any automation tool which can be used for this?

Not everyone can answer this, which is quite strange.

Question: What will be the output of the following PowerCLI line of code?

Checking knowledge of PowerCLI.

Conclusion

And again, this post is not covering all questions you can ask, it is not even covering all areas you can ask about. The questions in this post are built in a way to be in sync with questions from previous parts so that the interviewer can move between complexity levels without issues.

Thanks a lot for your time and meet you in Part 4: Level 3/advanced engineer questions. Theoretical and practical.

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Aram Avetisyan is an IT specialist with more than 15 years experience. He has rich background in various IT related fields like Cloud, Virtualization, SDN, Disaster Recovery, and so on. He holds several industry level certifications including but not limited to VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-NV, VCAP-CIA. As VCI Aram is delivering VMware authorised courses. For his contribution to the community, he was recognised as vEXPERT in years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

About Aram Avetisyan

Aram Avetisyan is an IT specialist with more than 15 years experience. He has rich background in various IT related fields like Cloud, Virtualization, SDN, Disaster Recovery, and so on. He holds several industry level certifications including but not limited to VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-NV, VCAP-CIA. As VCI Aram is delivering VMware authorised courses. For his contribution to the community, he was recognised as vEXPERT in years 2014, 2015 and 2016.
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