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Sep 15 2011

VCAP4-DCD and VCP5 in 7 days

VMW_10Q3_LGO_CERTIFIED_ADV_PRO_4_DTCNTR_DSGN_K-150x150About a month ago I sat the VCP5 Beta exam and after 7 weeks I finally received the news that I passed. Taking Beta exams is harder than regular exams in my opinion. The Beta exam had about 100 questions, many with wrong answers and/or multiple correct answers – and you need to comment them.

On the other hand being part of a Beta exam is very cool because you know you may be amongst of the first get the certification. Anyway, this post is not to talk about the VCP5 that at this point is a vague blur in my mind.

Today I sat the VCP4-DCD exam. I didn’t have time to study because of work commitments and other stuff, however I passed. I must admit that I do have previous experience designing solutions with VMware products from the time I was working for the VMware Professional Services organization. Being a PSO consultant is hard life, but you end up learning heaps.

To be fair, the only 2 pieces of information I read before going to the exam were: Duncan Epping VMware HA post, and the High Availability guide from VMware. It was not waste of time, however I only got one or two questions on the subject.

The exam has a good feeling and is really target to architects that need to design virtualization system and make decisions based on business requirements, constraints, regulations and budget.

Now, if you don’t have previous design experience and intend to take the VCAP-DCD exam I recommend you to forget all those documents listed in the blue print. Hold on, I am not saying not to use them, however you should not read one after the other just like a story book.

My suggestion for you to study for the exam is:

  1. Google for vSphere designs and study them (I’m sure you will find something)
  2. Create a simple fictitious scenario and design a solution
  3. Send the design to someone able to critique the design (if you don’t have anyone, send to your VMware SE. If you don’t have a VMware SE, send to a VCAP-DCD/VCDX blogger pleading for a review).
  4. When you get the critique back, improve the design.
  5. Study high availability and make the design highly redundant.
  6. Study DR/Business Continuity and add to the design
  7. Upgrade storage from FC to iSCSI/FCoE
  8. Move from Standard vSwitch to vNetwork Distributed Switch
  9. etc…

At the end of your studies you should have pretty good knowledge to pass VCAP4-DCD.

1 comment

  1. Damian Karlson

    Very interesting feedback on the DCD. I’m planning on taking the DCD quite soon as well, and I’ve been thinking that reading the usual documentation might not quite cut it, since design is an articulation of the abilities & constraints of VMware in context of business requirements. To me that’s a “soft skill” that isn’t readily learned by reading installation & maximum guides. I think your article makes quite a bit of sense. Thanks for taking the time to write it! 🙂

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