VMware Datacenter Virtualisation Certification
This page contains details of three forms of VMware certification:
- VMware Certified Professional 5 - Datacenter Virtualisation (VCP5-DCV)
- VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 - Datacenter Administration (VCAP5-DCA)
- VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 - Datacenter Design (VCAP5-DCD)
There are three main elements to getting your VCP5-DCV certification:
- First you should attend a qualifying VMware authorized course,
- Second you should gain some commercial experience with vSphere, and
- Third you will need to pass the VCP5-DCV exam.
As the demand for IT professionals with datacenter virtualisation skills increases, it is important to stand out in the market with a certification that validates your technical capabilities. VCP certification confirms that you can successfully set-up, optimize and manage VMware vSphere environments.
Paths to VCP Certification
There are different paths to VCP certification based on your background.
- VMware vSphere 5.1: What's New if you already hold VCP4 certification
- VMware vSphere 5 Install, Configure, Manage V5.1 if you are new to VMware
- VMware vSphere 5.1: Fast Track for administrators, engineers, and operators who are experienced in VMware technologies
These courses will help prepare you for the exam but it may not provide you with everything you need to pass it.
Preparing for the exam
The exam is a live lab with a time limit of 225 minutes with approximately 26 tasks to complete. Assuming you have taken the course, you are now ready to begin preparing for the exam.
When preparing for the VCP exam, overkill is better than under-kill so start with the blueprint and the vSphere documentation, then practice what you've learned in your VMware virtual test lab, and review it by watching the VMware instructional videos.
In preparation for the exam it is absolutely crucial that you download and completely assimilate the VCP5-DCV exam blueprint.
There is a lot of test prep software and practice exams out there, but be aware that these have been rumored to contain incorrect information, therefore it's best to steer clear of brain dumps and companies wishing to sell you these products.
Most people who have passed the exam agree that the blueprint is an invaluable study tool because it's literally a blueprint for what is covered in the exam. And don't forget to study the links!
If you're curious about how the earlier VCP4 version compares to the latest version a section-by-section breakdown of the VCP5-DCV exam blueprint check out IT Professional, Edward Grigson's blog: http://www.vexperienced.co.uk/2012/04/12/vcap5-dca-whats-new/
VMware vSphere Documentation
In addition to the blueprint, another key paper resource is the VMware vSphere Documentation. The VMware documentation center provides information on how to use vSphere products to create and configure virtual machines and manage your virtual infrastructure.
VMware virtual test lab
Another invaluable tip for exam prep is to build your own VMware virtual test lab and do everything on the blueprint in your lab until you can do it without thinking. Setting up a live environment to practice on is one of the very best ways to apply your knowledge.
For inspiration on how to set up your VMware vSphere lab check out VMware Senior System Engineer Sammy Bogaert's blog about how he successfully did it: http://boerlowie.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/building-the-ultimate-vsphere-lab-part-1-the-story/
VMware instructional videos
Watch VMware instructional videos to help you revise what you have learned. They will go over a lot of what you already know and help you to remember it.
What if I fail?
Don't get discouraged! You're not the first person to fail the VCP exam on the first try.
Maybe you didn't give yourself enough time to study, or you didn't study the links in the VCP exam blueprint - whatever the reason don't give up because you're closer to success having failed than you were before you tried.
If you don't pass the exam you have 7 working days before they let you try it again, but unfortunately there is a fee for retakes.
Better luck next time!
Congratulations! You've Passed
Now that you've passed the VCP exam you can get the VCP logo for your business card. VMware will create a personalized professional logo with all your certifications in a single image file.
Around 10 days after you've passed the exam an email notification will arrive confirming your certification status. The email will include a link to the online VMware Certification Agreement, which you must sign, and a link to the VCP Portal where you can download your new VCP5-DCV logo.
You may be asked for your VCP ID, this can usually be found on your MyLearn transcripts and your score reports, so hang onto them!
After passing the VCP5-DCV you will be eligible to pursue the intermediate level certification:
- VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP)
VCP5-DCV's that are ready to further enhance their skills can chose from:
- VCAP-DCA (Datacenter Administration)
- VCAP-DCD (Datacenter Design)
VCAP is also required before making an application to do your VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification.
After passing the VCP5 exam if your plan is to stick with troubling shooting and administration then you will want to set your sights on getting VCAP5-DCA certification.
Attaining a VCAP5-DCA certification demonstrates your proficiency with VMware vSphere 5, and your ability to use automation tools as well as build virtualised environments.
Achieving VCAP5-DCA certification validates your ability to:
- Set up and administer storage and networking
- Create DRS clusters and manage performance
- Maintain business continuity and safe keep data
- Carry out operational maintenance, advanced troubleshooting, scripting, and automation
- Secure a vSphere environment
To achieve VCAP5-DCA status, you must complete two core validation components:
- be a VMware Certified Professional 5 (VCP5-DCV)
- pass the VCAP5-DCA exam
While it is not required we would recommend taking the VMware vSphere 5.1 Optimize and Scale training course.
The VCAP5-DCA exam is lab-based and you will be expected to perform tasks using actual equipment to verify your skill at installing, configuring, and administering large and complex virtualised environments.
The VCAP5-DCA exam blueprint can be downloaded from here.
A helpful study sheet can be found at: http://wahlnetwork.com/2012/07/02/the-vcap5-dca-study-sheet/
In addition to the Wahl study sheet the author has linked to six other guides to help you.
If it's Design you are interested in then you will want to progress towards the VCAP5-DCD certification. VCAP5-DCD is designed for IT architects who design and integrate VMware solutions in multi-site, large enterprise, virtualised environments.
This certification demonstrates a deep understanding of datacenter design principles, as well as VMware core constituent parts and their relation to storage and networking. Successful candidates will possess a broad knowledge of applications and infrastructure services, and how they relate and integrate with the virtual infrastructure.
Achieving a VCAP5-DCD certification validates your ability to create a vSphere conceptual design and see it through to physical design.
To achieve VCAP5-DCD status, you must complete two core validation components:
- be a VMware Certified Professional 5 (VCP5-DCV)
- pass the VCAP5-DCD exam
While it is not required we would recommend taking theVMware vSphere 5 Design Workshop training course.
The exam blueprint for VCAP5-DCD certification can be found here.