This post explains a CertBlaster Performance-Based Question for A+ (plus). CertBlaster includes a selection of Performance Based Questions (PBQ) in all the exam simulators applicable to CompTIA exams that have them.
Here we will look at a PBQ in the CertBlaster for the A+ exam with a scenario that falls under “Given a scenario, use Microsoft operating system features and tools.”
This is how the scenario is spelled out.
“Your customer was given a PC from his office to use at home, three hard disks were added and initialized. The PC is configured for RAID 1 now. He is not satisfied with the hard disk read/write speed. He uses data-intensive applications for work that requires optimal drive performance. He is more concerned about performance, and redundancy is unimportant. He wants the machine configured to provide maximum storage space and speed using up all of the available drive space in the machine. Configure the drives to best suit the customer’s needs when you’re finished click Submit.”
In its current configuration, the system uses disk mirroring (RAID 1). This provides excellent data redundancy by maintaining two identical disks, either one of which will seamlessly keep the system running without data loss should one of the disks fail. Some of the disadvantages of RAID 1 are the hardware needed, two identical disks are required, and the fact that performance is negatively impacted by the overhead needed to write data to both disks. Read performance is also impacted. Overall RAID 1 is slower than the alternative, disk striping (RAID 0). RAID 0 is an inexpensive storage solution that allows any free space on disk drives to be configured into a single volume using striping, a method that writes data across all necessary space by splitting a file into sequential segments or blocks and writing them onto separate physical disks. This is much faster than RAID 1. The performance increase should be balanced against the redundancy factor when comparing these technologies. While a striped set can use every bit of available disk space, a disk failure of any disk used in a RAID 0 striped volume will result in the loss of all data in the volume regardless of which physical disk it is stored on.
Our user has clearly stated his preference for performance over security.
To accomplish this task, within the above parameters, start by clicking Start Simulation to enter the Windows simulator. We will here right-click the Start button and choose Disk Management to access the Disk Management Console.
Here you will see the first two disks are a RAID 1 mirrored set, and the other drives are unallocated. Begin by right-clicking on Disk 1 and choosing Remove Mirror. Next, choose Disc 1 in the popup and click Remove Mirror. Confirm the action. In this case, the best speed and largest drive space are created using a RAID 0 striped volume across the available drives. Right-click Disk 1 and choose New Striped Volume. Click Next in the New Striped Wizard volume wizard. You’ll see the available disks and can add them to your Volume using the Add button. Click add for each available disk. When each free disk has been added, click Next. We accept the default settings for the remainder of the Wizard and click Finish when we’re through. Click Yes to confirm this action. You can see that the available disks have all been added as a striped volume.
An important note is that just like at the actual examination, you must click Submit to save and record your response. It’s not enough to just click Next as you do for the other question types. Unless you click Submit before hitting Next, your work will not be graded and will be lost. Be very aware of this fact on your A+ exam and any CompTIA exam that includes PBQs.
Now click submit to record your response. You will get a confirmation that your answer has been submitted so at the actual exam (and in CertBlaster) it’s now safe to click Next. But before that, let’s scroll up to the top navigation bar and click the answer button to review this submission. Here we can see the response is correct and you can also review the steps that were taken in this exercise.
We hope this walk-through of a Performance Based Question for A+ (plus) adds to your understanding of what to expect at the A+ exam.