Category Archives: Certification

VCP5-DCV Delta recertification exam extended

This posting is ~5 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

Originally the VCP5-DCV Delta exam (VCP550D) was available until 30. November. I passed it on 22. November, about one week before the planned ending of availability. Yesterday, VMware announced the extended availability of the delta exam. You can find the announcement on the VMware Education and Certification Blog. The exam will be available through 10. March 2015. Previously requested authorizations are still valid.

This delta exam is focused on the differences between VMware vSphere 5.1 an vSphere 5.5, and it is available to existing VCP5-DCVs who took the VCP510 exam and need to recertify on or before 15. March 2015. The exam consists of 65 questions. You have 75 minutes time to answer them. If you’re a non-native english or japanese speaker, you will granted 30 minutes extra time.

VCP5-DCV Delta recertification exam

This posting is ~5 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

The clock is ticking… Current VCP5-DCVs who need to recertify their VCP can do this until 30. November 2014 by passing the VCP5-DCV Delta exam (VCP550D). The exam can booked online via Pearson VUE and it’s delivered as an online exam. This means, that you don’t have to visit a Pearson VUE test center to take the exam. The costs for the exam are 90,- € plus taxes (in my case ~ 107 €).

vcp550_delta

VMware/ vmware.com

This delta exam is focused on the differences between VMware vSphere 5.1 an vSphere 5.5, and it is available to existing VCP5-DCVs who took the VCP510 exam and need to recertify on or before 15. March 2015. The exam consists of 65 questions. You have 75 minutes time to answer them. If you’re a non-native english or japanese speaker, you will granted 30 minutes extra time.

I recommend to take the chance and take the exam. You have the choice: Answer 65 questions about vSphere 5.5, or pass a complete VCP5 (DCV, Cloud, EUC, NV) or VCAP exam. I would choose the lesser evil. ;) When you’re an experienced VCP, then you will pass the delta exam without much prep. Check the blueprint and you will see: No nasty stuff, IMHO quite simple stuff. I passed the exam in the first attempt between breakfast and lunch. ;) Go, go, go!

EDIT

The VCP550D availability was extended until 10. March 2015.

Exam experience JNCIA-Junos

This posting is ~5 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

The Juniper Networks Certification Program (JNCP) consists of different tracks, which enable you to demonstrate your skills with Juniper products and technologies in the areas most pertinent to your job function and experience. There are three main areas:

  • Junos
  • Support
  • Product and Technology

The Junos area consists of three tracks:

  • Service Provider Routing and Switching
  • Enterprise Routing and Switching
  • Junos Security

The “Service Provider Routing and Switching” track focuses on service provider and telecommunication (M-, MX-Series, Routing with OSPF, BGP, MPLS etc.), the “Enterprise Routing and Switching” on enterprise routing and switching in LAN and WAN (EX-Series, MX-Series, Spanning-Tree, VLANs, Routing etc.) and the “Junos Security” track is focused on the Juniper Security products (SRX-Series, Routing, Firewall, VPN etc.). All three tracks have the Juniper Networks Certified Associate – Junos (JNCIA-Junos) as a prerequisite. This is an entry-level certification and it covers the following objectives:

  • Networking Fundamentals
  • Junos OS Fundamentals
  • User Interfaces
  • Junos Configuration Basics
  • Operational Monitoring and Maintenance
  • Routing Fundamentals
  • Routing Policy and Firewall Filters

The certification is compareable to Cisco CCNA (Routing & Switching, Security) or HP ATP (FlexNetworks or TippingPoint Security). The certification can be achieved by passing the JN0-102 exam, that can be booked at Pearson VUE and which is delivered as an proctored exam. The exam costs ~100 € (depending on taxes). A Fast Track program for different certifications is available, so also for the JNCIA-Junos. If you pass a pre-assessment exam, you can get a 50% discount exam voucher for Pearson VUE. I strongly recommend to take the pre-assessment exam and save 50% costs. The voucher can only be used one time. So if you fail the first attempted, you have to pay the full price for the second attempt. It’s strongly recommended to get a CertManager ID before you schedule the exam. Otherwise you can’t get your eCertificate. You can get a CertManager ID later and connect it with your Juniper accounts. You can get a CertManager ID here.

To pass the exam you have to answer 70 multiple-choice questions in 90 minutes. I can’t tell you the passing score, because it’s not officially published by Juniper. But it’s compareable to other entry-level exams I passed in the last years. Nothing special. You get the result (if you passed or failed) immediately after the exam. But, and this was new to me, you get only a provisional score report! Juniper states on its homepage:

Juniper Networks then performs industry standard statistical analyses on all exam results to ensure compliance with the Juniper Networks Candidate Agreement and JNCP exam security policies.

It seems that Juniper tries to avoid that people pass the exam that have used braindumps or that have thrown a coin at each question. You get the final score report within three business days. I passed the exam on friday (based on the provisional score report) and today I had the exam listed as “passed” in my CertManager account.

Exam preparation

You can prepare for the exam in many ways. Juniper offers three different trainings that cover some of the exam objectives:

You don’t have to take a classroom or virtual training, you can prepare yourself for the exam. Juniper offers an excellent free software documentation, the Fast Track Self-study Guides and different Day One Guides (e.g. Day One: Exploring the Junos CLI). If you like CBT, try the course on Pluralsight: Juniper JNCIA-Junos – Introduction to Junos OS (thanks to Chris Frisch for developing the course!). Hands-on experience is strongly recommended! You can get cheap SRX 100 or 110 on eBay. Or try Juniper Firefly Perimeter, a virtual SRX. You can use it for 30 days without a license. Don’t make the mistake and buy Juniper 5GT or SSG series! They are running ScreenOS, not Junos! If you think you are well prepared, try the practice test that is offered by Juniper. If you pass the practice test schedule your exam at Pearson VUE.

The exam

I passed the Fast Track pre-assessment exam some weeks ago and scheduled an appointment for last friday (24. October). I had not much time to prepare for the exam. I used the Fast Track Self-study Guides (two PDF with ~ 160 pages) and a Juniper Firefly Perimeter to prepare for the exam. Since I’m quite familar with the SSG and SRX, I know how firewalls policies, routing and routing protocols work. As above mentioned the exam consists of 70 questions that have to be answered in 90 minutes. There is no bonus time for non-native speaker. Some questions can be answered really quick, but some questions, especially question with an exhibit, need more time. As far as I’ve seen all exam objectives were covered. I can’t reveal any details, but reading the study guides is not enough to pass the exam! You should be familiar with converting decimal to binary and IPv6. You should also be familiar with IP routing, subnetting, longest route match etc. Know the Junos CLI and the syntax for the important commands. You should also know how Junos routing engine and packet forwarding engine act together. Don’t waste to much time with basic questions. And very important: READ CAREFULLY! Some questions are nasty if you haven’t read the question, the exhibit and the answers…

I finished the exam after round about 60 minutes and passed it. I felt the exam as challenging, compared to other entry-level exams.

What’s next? I think I will start prepare for JNCIS-SEC and maybe JNCIS-ENT. The latter is more of a hobby because my employer does not sell Juniper EX. But in any case: It opens future options and learning new things is always a good thing.

VMware VCP certification has now an expiration date

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

This morning a tweet from Josh Coen (VCDX #129) shocked me a bit:

So far the VMware certification had no expiration date. If you had a VCP for ESX2, this was still valid up to today. I quickly checked my VMware Training account and noticed a tiny exclamation mark above my certifications.

vmware_training_vcp_expiration

As you can see the expiration date is two years after the certification date. Interestingly my VMware Certified Associate (VCA) and VMware Technical Sales Professional (VTSP) certifications have no expiration date. Unfortunately the “Learn more” link is going nowhere, so currently I can only guess how to extend the validity. One ways is, to get certified as VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP). Currently you get a VCP, if you are certified as VCAP. For example you get a VCP-Cloud, if you get certified as VCAP-CIA, or a VCP-DT if you get certified as VCAP-DTD. So in the future you will have to get a new VCP (e.g. for vSphere 6) or another, higher certification to extend the validity of you certifications. This is nothing special. Other vendors do the same, like Cisco oder HP. It seems that VMware moves with the time. VMware has published the recertification policy.

Feel free to comment this post and write down your opinion. Also take a look at vninja.net. Christian Mohn also wrote an article. His article has a lot of good comments about this topic.

Edit 20.11.2014

Recertification candidates for the VCP5-DCV certification have the  limited time opportunity (until 30. November 2014) to take VCP5-DCV delta exam. This exam can be taken online and can booked at Pearson VUE. For more information check the MyLearn portal.