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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VMware VCAP4-DCA Beta Exam Experience

Sorry this took so long to get out, my new position at EMC has proven to be extremely demanding…which I LOVE! I love going out and evangelizing about what great things we’re doing in the virtualization space. Anyways, back to the review…

Two weeks ago (June 9th) I took the VCAP4-DCA Beta Exam at the Pearson Vue office in Anaheim, CA. The overall process was the same as taking any other VMware exam, you sign-in and verify your identity then they log you into a workstation where the exam awaits.

What’s immediately different about the DCA exam is that it is 100% lab based, no multiple choice questions on this one. Once the Vue administrator signs you into the exam you accept a few disclosures then a RDP-style connection is made with a system probably located at VMware HQ. You switch between the questions and the desktop session using a button located on the screen, you do use the same session for the entire test.

Without breaking NDA it is difficult to explain what’s covered in the exam, but I can say that you will need as much hands-on experience as you can possibly get. It covers many different areas including Installation, Firewall management, NMP management and even some of the add-ons like vShield Zones.

For the beta you get 4 hours to basically get through as much as you can,  I was able to get through about 40 of the questions. I personally haven’t heard how long the exam will be when it goes GA nor how many questions it will have but the one great thing about this exam and the entire VCAP certification is that it will definitely separate the book cramers and good exam takers from the true experienced administrators.


Created on June 25, 2010 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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VMware Certified Professional vSphere 4 Study Guide

After almost 8 long months the time is upon us! The McGraw-Hill published VMware Certified Professional vSphere 4 (VCP410) Study Guide is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com! I had the honor of working on this book as the technical editor and I could tell you that if you’re planning on taking the VCP410 exam to become a VCP that this is the book to study with! The book will start to ship on June 15th and we will probably have it at VMworld as well.

Happy Reading!


Created on May 28, 2010 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Good Reading.

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VCDX Design Exam – Complete

I started the VCDX Design Exam at 2pm (GMT-8 04/02/09), and finished it right before 6pm. It took me the entire 4 hours to complete the exam, luckily I was able to complete all 134 questions within the allowed time. I’ve heard from some people that have taken it that they weren’t able to finish all the questions. I must admit though, when I noticed there was about 20 minutes left I rushed through the remaining questions and did not thoroughly think about my answers as well as I did previously.

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Created on April 2, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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20 Hours Until VCDX Design Exam

I got about 20 hours until I take the VCDX Design Exam, and you know what…I’m not that nervous.  I was lot more nervous about the Enterprise Administration Exam.  Perhaps it was the $200 discount I received on this test, or maybe I’m just confident because of everything I’ve heard about it?

From what I hear the only real thing you need for this exam is true experience. You need to know how to design a full virtual infrastructure from front to back. I’ve done so many that perhaps it is just second nature for me.  Still doesn’t hurt to study what you can though!

I’ve been reading the VCDX Design Exam Blueprint as well as some guides on VMware Partner Central;

  • VMware Business Continuity Jumpstart
  • VMware Plan and Design
  • VMware Virtualization Assessment
  • VMware Operational Readiness Accelerator Kit

Thanks to VirtualTroll.com for providing the above suggestion. I really believe this exam covers the true details of creating a robust, reliable and redundant virtual infrastructure….anyone with thorough systems architecture and virtualization experience should not have a problem with this exam…but only time will tell for me!

I will be sure to publish my thoughts on the test as soon as I complete it.  Wish me luck!


Created on April 1, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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A Great Way to Start Off the Weekend!

This morning I called Tina in the VMware Certification department, it has been 17 days and I still haven’t heard of my VCDX Enterprise Administration Exam results.  Well, Tina looked up my record and said she has yet to hear from the “Exam Admins”, and that should would get back to me.

A few hours later, I receive an e-mail from VCDX@vmware.com and within second a phone call from Tina…

Congratulations on passing this exam. Passing this exam is the second of the four parts required to achieve the VMware Certified Design Expert designation. The next component is the VMware Design Exam. You will be sent registration information and voucher for admission to this exam when it publicly released in late February 2009. Please contact VMware if there are any changes to your mailing address as provided to VMware at the time of registration. Please be sure to watch for important announcements at the VMware VCDX program on the website: http://www.vmware.com/certification

Hooray!  What a great start to the weekend!  Tina informed me that she should be in contact sometime within the next couple weeks to schedule the Design Exam.   Only two more rounds of stress and anxiety to go!


Created on February 20, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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VCDX Design Exam just a few weeks away

Duncan over at Yellow-Bricks came across a response on the VMTN forums from Jon Hall, Technical Certification Developer at VMware, in regards to the VCDX Design Exam (step 3 of 4). Looks like the third portion of the highly anticipated VCDX Certification will be available around the end of February.  Hopefully when I get the results on the Enterprise Exam Tina will let me schedule this next portion.

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Created on February 5, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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VCDX Enterprise Administration Exam Complete

As some of you know, last night I took the VCDX Enterprise Administration Exam.  So, let me paint you the picture of how it worked, first you need to read a sheet that shows the rules and regulations for the testing center. Then you need to show two forms of ID (Drivers License & Credit Card worked for me), then you give a digital signature and they take a photo. After your signed in you then remove all your belongings and put them in a locker (this includes cell phones, watches, wallets, money, cheat sheets or food), you can have nothing in your pocket except for your drivers license and the locker key.

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Created on February 4, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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VCDX Certification – Some Details Revealed

Tina from VMware Certification contacted me today to schedule my VCDX Enterprise Administration Exam, boy was I excited.  I found out some interesting facts of the VCDX process and wanted to share them with you.

As you all know, the VCDX Certification is a three step process, first off your required to be a VCP in 3.x+ then you need to take the qualification questionnaire which is reviewed by the VMware Certification department. Upon approval they will contact you to schedule the first step;

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Created on January 14, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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