VMware Cloud Certification
There are two VMware Cloud Certifications available:
- VMware Certified Professional - Cloud
- VMware Certified Advanced Professional - Cloud Infrastructure Design
Detailed below are descriptions of each and suggested courses to undertake prior to attempting certification.
VCP-Cloud certification is an entry level certification that will establish your expertise in managing and monitoring cloud environments. Certification will confirm your ability to install, configure and administer a cloud environment using vCloud Director and other related components.
People aiming for this certification should have an understanding of basic cloud concepts including public, private and hybrid clouds, multitenancy and cloud security.
They should also be able to plan, configure and administer a vCloud infrastructure. They should be able to extend vSphere virtualization throughout the Cloud by creating and managing vApps, service catalogues, organization and provider VDC's.
Finally they should be able to administer cloud enabled networking and storage.
There are two paths to earning your VCP-Cloud certification. Path 2 is for those who do not hold any prior VMware certification.
Pass the IaaS Exam
The following course is suggested to help you prepare but is not required:
If you have no prior VMware certification then the following course is required:
Then you must pass the VCP-Cloud Exam
Preparing for the Exam
The VCP-Cloud exam format:
- Designed to discourage the use of "brain dumps"
- Requires hands-on lab time experience with a vCloud infrastructure. If you don't have access to a lab you're going to need to create your own lab. It's possible to set up a vSphere environment on your laptop using something called nested EXSi
- 85 multiple choice questions on the exam
- The exam is 105 minutes to complete: 15 minutes is allocated to the survey so actually you have 90 minutes to write the exam. In countries where English is not the first language an extra 30 minutes is allocated to the exam
- A score of 300+ is a pass. A scaled scoring method is used to mark the exam using a scale of 100-500. In other words, each question is weighted so it's not about how many questions you get right it's about how many points you get for each question
VMware offers a free practice exam that gives you an idea of how the questions are asked i.e. multiple choice. It's important to pay attention to how many answers they are asking you to tick. Use the process of elimination if you're not sure.
Setting up your Lab:
- VMware vSphere Hypervisor and VMware Server are free to download
- VMware ESXi, VMware vCentre Server, and VMware vCloud Director are available for evaluation
- Check out VirtuallyGhetto for instructions on how to set up a vSphere environment on your laptop using nested ESXi
- Download and read the VCP-Cloud exam blueprint from here
- Use flash cards to help you remember definitions and theories and other important material
- Review your training courseware manuals
- Go through the labs again
- Look at vCloud Documentation
- Take a look at the VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT)
- Watch free vCloud instructional videos
VMware Certified Advanced Professional - Cloud Infrastructure Design (VCAP-CID)
VCAP-CID certification will validate your ability to:
- Create a vCloud Conceptual Design and be able to identify and categorize business requirements that include being able to determine capacity, availability, security and compliance requirements for a Conceptual Design, and create service definitions for your design.
- Create a vCloud Logical Design by determining catalog requirements, organizational and virtual datacenter structures, and being able to define and size resource groups and components for a management cluster
- Be able to create the network, storage, and compute components of vCloud physical Design
- Create a vCloud Security Design with a directory authentication structure and multitenancy vCloud capability
- Create extended vCloud designs i.e. hybrid vCloud and multi‐site vCloud solutions
- Determine and incorporate availability requirements into a vCloud design
- Determine metering and compliance requirements (logging, management policy, chargeback policies, and metrics) for a vCloud design, and isolation requirements for a vCloud workload
- Create a vApp design and demonstrate ability to define a vApp network topology and determine remote access and shared infrastructure requirements for single and multiple vApp instances
To obtain your VCAP-CID certification, you must have at least one of the following certifications:
- VMware Certified Professional 5 - Datacenter Virtualisation (VCP5-DCV)
- VMware Certified Professional - Cloud (VCP-Cloud)
- VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 - Datacenter Administration (VCAP5-DCA)
- VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 - Datacenter Design (VCAP5-DCD)
- VMware Certified Design Expert 5 - Datacenter Virtualisation (VCDX5-DV)
And pass the VCAP-CID exam.
While there are no required training courses the following will help your exam preparation:
Preparing for the Exam
As is the case for all VMware exams, the exam Blueprint will be a very important document for your preparation
The VCAP-CID exam does not allow you to go back to review questions, this is a change that was recently put in place for the VCAP-DCD exam as well making time management all the more critical.
Design exams like the VCAP-CID and VCAP-DCD are really difficult so experience, not only in virtualization, but also in storage and networking and IT project management is highly recommended.
The vSphere Design Workshop course is also helpful in preparing for the VCAP-DCD exam because it answers many questions related to the "why?" side of design.
Blueprint for the VCAP-CID exam can be downloaded from here.
For more info on the VCP-Cloud and VCAP-CID exams check out Tom Fojta's Blog.
VCAP Certifications in the IT Job Market
Based on the most current data available to date from ITJobsWatch, the average salary offered to VMware Certified Advanced Professionals across the UK, not including London is £45,000. 90% of the jobs surveyed offered salaries of £37,500 or higher, and 10% of the jobs used to calculate the national average offered salaries of more than £70,000. In London the average salary jumps to £50k.
In the same survey the average UK contractor rates reported were £300 per day, which is on par with London.