As often, the whole thing started with a tweet. A tweet about my expiring VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification.
Time to prepare the VCP-DCV 6.5 Delta. Otherwise my VCP expires in a couple of months.
— Patrick Terlisten (@PTerlisten) June 30, 2018
To my surprise, several of my followers recommended to go for the VCAP6-DCV Deployment instead. Okay, so many smart people can’t be wrong.
I booked the exam, prepared for the exam, took the exam today – and passed!
27 questions in 205 minutes (25 minutes extension for non-native speaker) is a pretty challenging task. I was able to answer all questions in the given time. I left the test center with a good feeling, and after an hour I got the mail that I have passed the exam! Woohoo!
Preparation is everything
Preparation and time management. That’s all. Easier said than done. ;)
Make sure that you have read the exam guide. This document is intended to provide detailed information about the objectives covered by the exam. It was crucial for me to get a feeling about what I have to learn. I have been working with VMware vSphere since ESX 2.5, that’s a pretty long time, yet I do not know everything. Especially things like vSphere Data Protection, Auto Deploy or some certificate-related tasks are not day-to-day tasks.
I premillary worked with Kyle Jenners VCAP6-DCV Deployment Study Guide and and the VMware Hands-on-Lab. The VCAP6-DCV Deployment is not a MC test, like the VCP exams. You have to do real tasks. So experience is crucial to pass the exam.
Because I don’t have a lab, I used the VMware Hands-on Lab instead. I can recommend these three courses:
- HOL-1911-01-SDC (What’s New in VMware vSphere 6.7)
- HOL-1808-01-HCI (vSAN v6.6.1 – Getting Started), and
- HOL-1827-01-HCI (VMware Storage – Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management)
Unfortunately, there is no course available that covers vSphere Data Protection and vSphere Replication.
But there was also another reason, why I have used the HOL: The VCAP exam environment is based on the interface of the VMware HOL. This was pretty helpful, because I was able to get in touch with the interface prior the exam.
Due to security restrictions, the exam environment does not support some keys and shortcuts, e.g. CRTL and ALT. To my surprise, the Backspace key worked in my enviornment. Many people stated, that the Backspace key isn’t working. Because of this, VMware has published an Interface Guide. Make sure to read it! And learn how to get around these limitations. There is also a pretty handy YouTube video with tips and tricks:
To test yourself, you can use this free VCAP-DCV simulator. The simulation provides scenarios that are equal to the scenarios from the exam. This is pretty handy to get a feeling of how good you are prepared for the exam.
You have ~ 7 minutes per questions. If you don’t have an idea how to answer a question, move on! Write down the number and some keywords, then move onto the next question. Instead of waiting for tasks to finish, move onto the next question and come back later to check the task result.
I took the exam at Blue Consult in Krefeld (Germany). This was a recommendation of one of my followers (Thanks Dominik!). Fortunately, Blue Consult has keyboards with US layout in their test center, which makes it much easier for me. The performance of the exam environment was quite good. No lags or hanging sessions.
I will book the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization Design exam as soon as I passed the NetScaler CCP-N exam, which I have to take until end of December 2018 (Thank you Citrix… NOT!).
VCIX6.5-DCV FTW! :)