Exam notes for CompTIA® Server+ Exam

Server+ Certification awarded by CompTIA organization is a widely recognized certification in the area of server technologies. To attain Server+ certification, one need to score at least 75%. These exams basically test the Knowledge in the areas such as Server installation, configuration, maintenance, troubleshooting, and SANs among others. The exam consists of 80 questions and a maximum allowable time of 90 minutes. For further details, you can visit the official website here.

1. SCSI bus width:

SCSI ID - 0=bootable drive, 7=controller, 1-6=any other devices

3. If the termination is not done, a SCSI devices on the bus will not function properly. This is due to reflection of the signals at the end of the bus. To prevent this, both ends of the SCSI bus need to be terminated. If one end of the SCSI bus is terminated, you may find intermittent problems. Never terminate the bus at a device connected in between.

4. LUN stands for Logical Unit Number. LUN is used to identify a logical device that is an independent functional part of a SCSI device. SCSI-2 specification allows 8 logical units for each SCSI device address. The logical unit addresses are numbered 0 to 7.

SCSI Type Transfer speed bus
SCSI-1 5MBPS 8 bit bus
Fast Wide SCSI 20MBPS 16 bit bus
Wide Ultra SCSI 40MBPS 16 bit bus
Ultra2 SCSI 40MBPS 8 bit bus
Wide Ultra2 SCSI 80MBPS 16 bit bus
Ultra3 SCSI or Ultra 160 160MBPS 16 bit bus
Ultra320 320 MBPS 16 bit bus

6. Important Disk RAID levels:

Note that, compared to disk striping or disk striping with parity; Disk mirroring has more overhead, as the entire disk get copied to another disk.

7. RAID 10 describes Mirrored Striping. It is a mode 0 array, plus a mode 1 array, striped. For example, if you have striped data into two drives, each drive is mirrored in RAID 10. That is a total of 4 drives.

8. SCSI Cables:

Types of cabling used for SCSI:

Cable lengths used by SCSI devices are:

9. Each device in a SCSI chain needs to have unique ID. For a 16-bit Wide SCSI, there are 16 possible SCSI Ids, 0-15. A standard 8-bit SCSI can support only 8 devices (including SCSI card), the Ids allowed are 0-7.

10. RAID is implemented across several platforms: SCSI, FIBRE-SCSI and IDE are the most common implementations of RAID technologies.

11. Given below are important bus types and their characteristics:

Bus Type

Data bus width

Speed

Bandwidth

Comments

ISA

16-bit

8.3MHz

15.9MBPS

Use jumpers to configure

EISA

32-bit

8.3MHz

31.8MBPS

Backward compatible with ISA, uses software/ jumpers for configuration

VESA or VL bus

32-bit

33MHz

127.2MBPS

Backward compatible with ISA cards

PCI

32-bit

33MHz

127.2MBPS

Supports Plug and Play

64-bit PCI

64-bit

66MHz

508.6MBPS

Supports Plug and Play

12. Disk swapping:

Obviously, hot-swap allows for easy replacement of faulty part.

13. EEPROM is used to program dynamically, whereas, EPROM can be erased with ultra violet light and reprogrammed.

14. Usually, a sector contains 512 bytes. To find out the size of a hard disk, use the formula:

(# of cylinders X # of sectors X # of heads) X 0.5 KB

15. MCA architecture is a proprietary architecture.

16. Cable Select, if enabled, determines which drive is the master and which drive is the slave when there are two IDE hard disks.

17. IDE/ATA/ATAPI:

18. There can be a maximum of only two devices that can be connected on a single channel of an ATA/IDE system. In a SCSI bus system, you can connect 7 or 15 or more devices to a SCSI channel (excluding SCSI controller itself). The number of disks (or devices) that can be connected to an IDE channel is a major factor to be considered when planning the disk drive. SCSI allows you to attach a large collection of add-on peripherals like CD recorders, tape drives both inside and outside the case. EIDE/ATA is strictly for devices inside the PC / SERVER case.

19. Clustering:

20. Intel Xeon processor can access physical memory upto 64 GB (Gig).

21. Two most widely used types of RAM:

22. SIMMs & DIMMs: SIMMs come in both 30 pin (older 386/some 486 compatible) and 72 pin formats. SIMMs must be installed in pairs. On the other hand DIMMs can be installed one at a time. DIMMs usually come in 168 pin configuration.

23. SANs: Advantages of Storage Area Network (SAN):

24. Processors:

25. Fiber channel:

Fiber Channel supports three (3) topologies:

26. FC-AL supports full-duplex data-transfer rates of 100MBps and is compatible with SCSI.

It is often recommended to lay the fiber for backbone, since it is immune to EMI and also can carry higher bandwidths.

27. Servers using RISC processors are usually designed for high end applications with high availability and larger processing power. Hence, RISC based servers are usually much more expensive than Intel processor based servers.

28. SDRAM is faster compared to DRAM, VRAM, EDORAM.

29. A fail-over describes a mechanism, where if the primary node in a cluster fails, and the secondary node takes over the load of the failed node. During a fail-over, usually the failure (or fail-over) is not noticed by the clients.

30. With Write-Through cache, each write operation to the cache is accompanied by a write operation to the main memory. That means, the data is written to the cache and the main memory at the same time.

With Write-Back cache, the CPU writes to the cache first. But the actual updating of main memory takes place at a later time.

31. EDO (Extended Data Out) memory is a type of RAM chip that will make improvements on the time to read from memory.

ECC (Error Checking and Correcting) memory means that data that is being read or transmitted will be checked for errors and, if necessary, corrected immediately.

With Registered memory, the memory chips contain registers that will re-drive the signal as it goes through the memory chip.

32. Processor package types:

33. Hot swapping/ hot spare:

34. Unbuffered: Here the chipset controller communicates directly with the memory.

Buffered memory: A buffer isolates the memory from the controller chipset to minimize the load times that the chipset experiences. The load times can be bigger as the memory size increases.

35. Bus Mastering is a feature supported by some bus architectures that enables a controller connected to the bus to communicate directly with other devices on the bus without going through the CPU. Most of the recent bus architectures, including PCI, support bus mastering.

36. SDRAM is the standard used for mother boards that support 100MHz memory buses. Older DRAM technologies, such as EDO DRAM are designed for use with 66MHz memory bus.

37. While using Microsoft operating systems, only computers with Windows NT 4.0 or above can work as DHCP server. Any computer with Windows operating system can be a DHCP client.

38. The following tools are available for monitoring and optimization in Windows NT server in running in TCP/IP environment:

39. ISA, EISA, and PCI bus:

40. Memory chips:

41. SNMP is a part of TCP/IP suite of protocols and used for management of network. With proper SNMP Manager, it is possible to track network events like logon/logoff, failed authentications, etc.

42. DNS/WINS/HOSTS/LMHOSTS/DHCP:

43. TCP/IP utilities:

44. You have to assign the IP address for your DHCP server statically. A DHCP server can't assign an IP address to itself. Similarly, some other Servers that require static assignment of IP addresses are your DNS server, and WINS server.

45. Servers:

46. Backup methods: There are three main Backup methods:

47. All the following parameters need to be taken care of while choosing the Server room.

48. All the following precautions you need to take while upgrading BIOS:

49. UNIX/ Linux is usually administered by writing scripts and through configuration files. Other operating systems like Windows NT and Netware are GUI based and intuitive.

50. 'eDirectory' is Novell's directory platform that is cross platform and LDAP based. Similarly, 'Active Directory' is Microsoft's solution and based on the LDAP protocol. Windows 2000 Server Operating systems and NetWare are LDAP based.

51. DOS 3.3 or later version of DOS is required for installation of Novell NetWare 5.1.

52. Building a baseline of performance data is an important part of any Server management function. The baseline shows records the performance under certain normal load conditions. The data can be used as a yardstick for measuring the impact of configuration changes or for capacity planning.

53. NIC (Network Interface Cards) load balancing is a technology in which multiple NICs are configured to form a single virtual connection to the external switch. Two or more NICs are grouped together forming one virtual connection. The entire group will have only one IP address. But all the NICs will have individual MAC addresses. There can be more than one group in a Server.

54. Storage tapes:

55. In Windows NT server, event viewer can be used for analyzing what has gone wrong with the service.

56. Server installation check list:

57. The following bus types are external to the server:

Note that Serial and parallel ports are very slow and not often used for reading or writing to mass storage devices.

58. An SBS (Stand By power Supply) is usually an off-line power supply. It senses the mains power and supplies power to the gear only when the mains power is lost.

On the other hand, a UPS is an on-line power supply. It draws the power from the mains and supplies conditioned power to the server. The power, usually, always flows from the UPS to the server. In the even of mains power failure, UPS continues to supply power to the server through its battery for a limited time.

59. Linux is a freely available operating system software. Linux is used widely on Internet. With the help of other freely available Web servers like Apache, it can used to host Web sites accessible on the Internet.

60. NDS is associated with Novell. It stands for NetWare Directory Services (NDS).

61. Minimum Requirements for installing Windows 2000 Server as specified by Microsoft:

62. Internet Information Server 5 is bundled with Windows 2000 Server products. Windows NT 4 supports Internet Information Server 4, which needs to be installed through an Option Pack CD.

63. Windows 2000 provides the following tools for monitoring resource usage on your computer:

64. 100BaseT (Fast Ethernet) uses IEEE803.2u standard which incorporates CSMA/CD protocol.

65. Tape Backup: Grandfather-father-son (GFS) and Tower of Hanoi are two good rotation schedules providing a long and varied history of file versions. Both provide comprehensive recovery capabilities.

Grandfather-Father-Son: In GFS, "Son" is the incremental or differential daily back-up, "Father" is the full weekly back-up, and "Grandfather" is the monthly full back-up.

Tower Of Hanoi: Multiple media sets are rotated through in incremental and full back-ups. It uses more media sets than GFS for increased safety.

66. Auto Loader: An autoloader holds ten to twelve tapes, and usually only one tape drive. This is useful when the data to be backed up is more than one tape's capacity. It allows the admin to program and attend to other important works than wait for changing the tape.

Tape Library: A Tape Library contains multiple drives in it. As a result, multiple backups can be taken simultaneously. This is useful when you need to take huge backups in short time. However, remember that if the backups are taken across the network, the network speed limitations will come into play.

67. Some of the important commands useful in trouble shooting TCP/IP networks are:

68. DMI is used to automate system management and is particularly beneficial in a network-computing environment where there are many computers.

69. All the following operating systems use TCP/IP as their default network protocol:

In the earlier versions of Windows, Windows NT3.51 or Windows NT4, TCP/IP was optionally installed. Whereas, in Windows 2000, TCP/IP is the default protocol.

70. Following are the hardware requirements recommended by Novell to install NetWare 5.1:

71. ACPI stands for Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface. ACPI define working interfaces between the NOS (such as Windows 2000), the BIOS, and your system's hardware. The interface standard allows the Network Operating system, such as Windows 2000 to control power management.

Acronyms:

ISA: Industry Standard Architecture, 

EISA: Extended Industry Standard Architecture, 

PCI: Peripheral Component Interconnect, and 

MCA: Micro Channel Architecture. 

SCSI: Small Computers Systems Interface. It is pronounced as Skuzzy. 

RAID: Redundant Array of Independent Disks. 

EEPROM: Electrically Erasable Programmable ROM. 

EPROM: Erasable Programmable ROM. 

IDE Integrated Drive Electronics. 

PIO: Programmed Input / Output. 

DMA: Direct Memory Access. 

SAN: Storage Area Network 

RAM: Random Access Memory. 

DRAM: Dynamic RAM 

SRAM: Static RAM. 

SIMM: Single In-line Memory Module 

DIMM: Dual In-line Memory Module 

FC-AL: Fiber Channel Arbitrated Loop 

SDRAM: Synchronous Dynamic RAM 

RISC: Reduced Instruction Set Computing 

CISC: Complex Instruction Set Computing 

SMP: Symmetric Multi Processing. 

AGP: Accelerated Graphics Port. 

DHCP: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. 

SNMP: Simple Network Management Protocol. 

DNS: Domain Name Service 

LDP: Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. 

NDIS: NetWare Directory Services. 

WINS: Windows Internet Name Service. 

DMI: Desktop management interface. 

DMTF: Desktop Management Task Force. 


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