VMware VCAP4-DCD BETA Exam Experience

Just like Jason Boche and Chris Dearden I was able to take part in the VCAP4-DCD Beta experience. I took my exam in San Diego on Tuesday (11/9) which was a lot nicer than having to drive up to Orange County like I did for the DCA exam.

Both Jason and Chris did great write-ups on it, the exam was 131 questions and they gave you 3hrs 45mins to complete. The first portion is the NDA acceptance then on to a questionnaire asking you to set your level of understanding. The test had three different types of questions, including;

  1. Traditional Multiple Choice (select 1, 2 or 3 of many)
  2. Visio-like tool to create architecture drawings
  3. GUI style tool where you drag options and drop them on answers

I was able to finish the exam with about 15 minutes to spare, and luckily for me I answer every single question as I was surprised to see no options for going back to review after you finished. I did think I would have a final opportunity to provide input at the end of the exam, but unfortunately I was not presented with that option but I did leave some good feedback on questions that were incorrect or if I felt were unnecessary. A few of the questions did require vendor specific knowledge, I answered these to the best of my ability but left comments that I do not think having vendor specific questions is a good idea for this style of exam. Oh BTW, the Visio style tool is a LOT better than the one in the VCDX3 Design Exam….but it does take a little time getting use to it!

I did not have any fun confrontations with the Pearson staff like Jason did, but I did get into a good discussion about security with a Pearson employee about their new “Palm Vein Scanning Device” that they’re pushing over traditional finger prints. Pretty cool stuff as it ensures identity protection but keeps their information database unappealing to law enforcement (for e-discovery types of things – ie: you leave finger prints at crime scenes, not vein layouts).

Anyways, I feel like I did fairly well – it was a good experience and the information in the blueprint was extremely helpful in my preparation.  I’m excited to see what my results are, if I pass I obtain the DCD certification as well as an upgrade to VCDX4.


Created on November 11, 2010 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification, Training.

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VCAP4 and VCDX4 Certifications

Have you been wanting to start down the VCDX3 track and were a little hesitant because you knew the VCDX4 would be shortly approaching? Well here is some information that could help you with your planning. VMware has recently made public some changes to their certifications program.

As many of you already knew there is the VCP certification which requires taking a VMware Approved class as well as passing the VCP exam (currently VCP410). Then early last year they added the VCDX3 program which requires a VCP but also adds in two exams (Enterprise Administration and Design) as well as a submitting a VCDX Application (design document) and then sitting through a defense.

For vSphere4 they’ve added a new certification track, VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP4) with two available specialties, Data Center Administration (DCA) and Data Center Design (DCD). If you haven’t already guessed it they are basically the upgradesto the Enterprise Administration and Design Exam necessary for the VCDX3. The problem was that many people wanted to take that next step in their virtualization education and certification, but unless you’re a pre-sales engineer for a partner or a systems architect the need of obtaining a VCDX is low (unless you’re a vDiva like me).

So what does that mean if you’ve already taken the VCDX3 Enterprise Administration and Design Exam? Not to worry, there is an upgrade path for those of you that have already started your journey (or already have a VCDX3). Simply take the VCAP4-DCD exam when it is made available (around August) and you’ll be qualified to obtain the VCDX4 (or will be upgraded if you’ve already obtained a VCDX3). The chart on the right highlights your certification options and the path you would take depending on where you’re at. The * denotes the exam will be available at a discounted price.

The VCAP4-DCA exam will be available around mid-July and the VCAP4-DCD exam around the August time-frame. VCDX4 defenses will still happen at VMware global events (VMworld, PEX, etc). But now you have almost endless options and certification choices when it comes to VMware.


Created on May 30, 2010 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification, Training.

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Pre-Order VMware vSphere 4 Administration Instant Reference

VMware vSphere 4 Administration Instant Reference, written by Scott Lowe, Jase McCarty and Matthew Johnson is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. I was fortunate enough to work on this book as a technical editor, and must say that it is the perfect vSphere quick reference book for both the beginner vSphere admin as well as the seasoned veteran. Be one of the first to get your own copy, and order it now for under $20, it makes the perfect holiday gift!


Created on December 9, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Good Reading, Training, vSphere.

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Train Signal vSphere Video Launch!

I’m proud to announce the release of the latest series of video based training from Train Signal… VMware vSphere! This video series will include over 18 hours of vSphere training, jam packed on to 3 DVDs. You also get the videos in multiple file formats such as iPod Video, Mp3 Audio, WMV and high quality AVI. Finally, you get the instructors notes in PDF format to help you follow along with the videos and take more organized notes!

Instructor and fellow vExpert David Davis takes you through the entire course, covering over 36 different topics. On a side note, I know that you’ll really enjoy this video series….why do you ask? Because I was the Technical Editor on this video series, so I know you’re getting quality. This video training series gets the VMnut Stamp of Approval!

Not only do you get over 18 hours of vSphere training, with every paid purchase you also get FREE Downloadable updates to the vSphere Series!  What this means is that any time a new video (or update) is added to the vSphere series, you will get the chance to download it absolutely free!

Don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself with the video sample below. When you are ready to purchase visit the Train Signal website and use discount code VSPHERE25 to take $25 off your purchase. Think of this as our little way of saying Thanks. You better do it fast though, the offer ends 09/07/09.

VMware vSphere Training Demo

For those of you attending VMworld 2009, here are some events that Train Signal is helping – be sure to check them out!


Created on August 20, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Good Reading, Training.

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