Get Your Read On

I just wanted to spend some time to tell you about two great books recently released by Pearson publishing. Both are focused on VMware vSphere 4 and will help you do two things…learn more about vSphere and how to administer it, then help you to pass the VCP-410 exam which is needed for VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification.

The first book, VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise by Edward Haletkyis now in its second edition which includes details into the new features found in vSphere 4.1. As you may or may not know, Edward runs VirtualizationPractice.comand has been a virtualization evangelist for quite some time. In addition to the blog site, Edward is also the moderator and host of the Virtualization Security Podcast. If you’re looking to expand your vSphere knowledge I’d strongly suggest checking out this book, there is even a free chapter available for download.

Once you’ve read Edward’s book and have configured your own vSphere environment in your home lab, the next thing to do is prepare for the VCP-410 exam. VCP4 Exam Cram: VMware Certified Professional, 2nd Edition has just been revised to include all of the latest updates to the VCP-410 exam. Elias Khnaser takes you through what is needed to become VCP Certified, it provides coverage and practice questions for every exam topic. The book contains an extensive set of preparation tools, such as quizzes, Exam Alerts, and a practice exam, while the CD provides real-time practice and feedback with a 75-question test engine.

There you have it, two great reads on expanding your knowledge around VMware vSphere 4. You don’t have to take my word for it, but the job market around virtualization is growing like crazy so learning as much as you can and becoming certified is the clear cut way to jumping into this great line of work!

Get Your Contest On!

Would you like a free copy of the VCP4 Exam Cram? The nice people at Pearson gave me 10 copies to give away and one of them could be yours! I’ll make this contest really simple, I will be giving away 5 copies to readers that comment on this post and 5 copies to followers on Twitter. That means you have 2 chances to win!

Chance #1: Post a comment on this page expressing your interest in becoming VCP Certified.
Chance #2: Follow me on Twitter(@rick_vmwaretips) and send a tweet to me that says you want to become VCP Certified (example:  @rick_vmwaretips I’d love to get my hands on the VCP4 Exam Cram!)

UPDATE: Contest is now closed, I will be notifying the winners tonight and they must respond by Monday to receive their prize. Entries made after 2/24 at 8:30am PST are ineligible.

Fine print:  Contest ends February 24 at 8:30 a.m. PST.  Winners must respond by February 28 at 11:59 PST or prize will be forfeited.  US residents only.


Created on February 21, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification, Good Reading.

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VCDX4 Annoucement

It makes me very proud to announce that I received my VCAP4-DCD Beta Exam results and much to my surprise (honestly) I passed!

Congratulations on passing the VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere4 – Datacenter Design exam! You will receive an email notification from certification@vmware.com once your certification status has been confirmed and added to your VMware Education Transcript (allow 10 days).

Based on the following VMware Education diagram, currently holding the VCDX3 certification and passing the VCAP4-DCD exam upgrades you to the VCDX4 certification.

VCDX4 Upgrade Path

Thank you VMware for allowing me to be part of such a great education program. Now it’s time to celebrate a little!


Created on January 11, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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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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What’s New with Rick @ VMwareTips

VMwareTips and the website…

Thought I’d give all of my avid readers an update on VMwareTips and my personal life.  For those of you that attended VMworld 2009 you already know there wasn’t too many exciting announcements made.  We have VMware View 4 coming with PC over IP (PCoIP), SRM 4 with its NFS support and more hype of the vCloud and VMware Go, a tool for ESXi users to deploy and manage your systems via a web based tool. Expect some write-ups soon on View 4 and SRM 4, those are set to be released before the end of the calendar year.

As of August 2009 we’ve hit over 70,000 visits per month and over 18,000 unique visitors!  The growth of the site has been phenomenal over the past year and I have no one to thank but my readers!  I pledge to you that the next year will only be better!

Mastering VMware vSphere 4

Earlier this month Sybex published Scott Lowe‘s masterpiece “Mastering VMware vSphere 4”which is available on Amazon.com. I had the honor to be the technical editor of this great book and I truly feel this is a great tool for those of you just learning VMware vSphere or simply need a quick reference tool.

VMware Certified Professional 4 (VCP4) Study Guide

I’ve been asked by McGraw-Hill to be the technical editor on an upcoming publication focused on the VCP-410 exam. This book “VMware Certified Professional 4 (VCP4) Study Guide”should be released by January 2010 and will be available on Amazon.com.  Don’t forget that the requirements for the VCP4 certification are successful passing of the VCP-410 exam and also sitting through a certified VMware training session.

VMware vSphere 4 Administration Instant Reference

In what would be the third VMware book I’ve worked on, Sybex has once again asked me to be a technical editor on Scott Lowe, Jase McCarty and Matthew Johnson’s upcoming release “VMware vSphere 4 Administration Instant Reference”.  Think of this as a smaller pocket guide of the Mastering book. Perfect for those crunch moments, or perhaps some light bathroom reading? Pre-order now on Amazon.com!

TrainSignal vSphere Training

David Davis is at it again with the next edition of their popular video based VMware training series. TrainSignal has asked me to be the Technical Editor for this product and I promise we’ll provide nothing but the best video based training available for VMware vSphere.  Also be sure to keep an eye out for the Cisco Nexus 1000V video training which I will be authoring, this will be included in the vSphere series and should be added around mid November.

I’ve saved the best for last…

Most of you already know, via Twitter, but it is official.  I am now a VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX).  I am one of a few select bunch (< 25), I couldn’t be happier to be part of this elite crew!


Created on September 24, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Good Reading.

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VCDX and VCP Testing at VMworld 2009

Jon Hall from VMware Certification wrote a post on the VMTN Communities page the other day, which Duncan Epping made me aware of.

VMware will be providing onsite testing services at VMworld 2009. A great deal is available on the VCP exam (see my post at http://communities.vmware.com/thread/222191?tstart=0), but more importantly, the VCDX Enterprise Administration and Design Exams will be offered! You must be pre-authorized to take these exams, so if you are already in process to take the Enterprise Administration Exam, contact certification@vmware.com to inquire about the availability of the exam at VMworld. You can register at Pearson VUE for the Design Exam, but again you must already be in process and have authorization from VMware to take the exam. The link for registering with Pearson for the Design Exam is http://pearsonvue.com/vmware/vmworld/ . For the Enterprise Administration Exam only, you must contact us directly.

This reminded me that I still haven’t heard from VMware on the results of my VCDX Design Exam beta.  I was really hoping that I would receive my passing grade (hopeful huh?) and schedule the defense during VMworld.

Well, I called Tina (she’s so famous now!) at VMware and chatted about this.  She sounded hopeful that the results would be sent out by end of business tomorrow (Friday 7/24).  She also informed me that in addition to VCP and VCDX exams being available at VMworld, that VMware will also be scheduling VCDX Defense sessions during the week.  Great news!

Duncan also had this to say on his blog post,

For those who want to do the Enterprise Exam check the mock exam that has also has just been released: Enterprise Administration Mock Exam.

Dave Convery also posted about discounts for these exams, which might be a nice incentive to get you guys studying!


Created on July 23, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification, VMworld.

This blog has 2,134 views and 3 responses.

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Invitation to the VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 Beta Exam

This morning I wake up to find an e-mail from the VMware Certification department, inviting me to take the VCP4 Beta Exam. This is pretty exciting, yet it disappoints me because it reminds me that I still have not received my VCDX Design Exam Beta results (going on 3 months now). However, I did talk to Tina at VMware on Tuesday and she sounded hopeful that these results will be available sometime in July.

It looks like the General Release exam will become available in August, based on the information provided in the e-mail from VMware;

Read More…


Created on July 2, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

This blog has 2,425 views and 4 responses.

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VCP, VCDX….now a Master VCP?!

Jon C. Hall, from VMware’s Certification department posted a comment on Erik Zandboer’s blog today with regards to the VCDX Design Exam.  If you haven’t read Erik’s post, I would strongly suggest it. His comments and concerns about the VCDX Design Exam are the consensus of the majority of the people included in the Design Exam Beta, including myself.

Anyways, back to Jon… In a comment that Duncan saw earlier today, Jon mentioned that they (VMware) are working on a Master VCP program, which will take you above and beyond the VCP – while the VCDX is mainly for Solutions Architects…..

The VCDX, as cool as it is, is specifically targeted at a solution architect level. It is not for everyone. What should be for all of you is a “next” level. This “Master VCP” certification is something that we are working very hard on being able to provide soon. It would involve being a VCP, then taking the Enterprise Administration Exam, which is part multiple choice, part practical. That exam has limited scalability at this point, and we can’t roll out this certification until we resolve that issue. Of course that is only one factor, but it is the main limiting factor at this point.

So for all of you wanted the next level of mastery, just stay tuned and we will have it for you soon…

Jon C. Hall
Technical Certification

Lucky me…another certification I need to work on! :)


Created on April 15, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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VMware VCDX Design Exam (beta) Announced

Just received an e-mail from the VCDX Certification team that the Design Exam (beta) is available for me until April 10th. As part of the beta I would be entitled to a 50% discount ($200) and I would need to send my comments and suggestions to the team after taking the exam.  I’m going to schedule it now, maybe for the week of March 23rd.  I’ll need a couple weeks to study, especially when I’m trying to edit a book, do a day job and all the other fun things life brings me.

Read More…


Created on March 6, 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.

Read More…


Created on February 4, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

This blog has 7,691 views and 20 responses.

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