Monday, 21 June 2010

VCAP4-DCA exam - beta feedback

I was invited a couple of weeks ago to sit the beta version of the new VCAP4-DCA exam, my work schedule has prevented me from taking it, and even though VMware asked me if I would be able to take it if the beta period was extended I just don't have the time - my day job getting in the way... but hey, it's good to be busy!

I read a couple of blog posts today from others who have taken the beta exam, and it sounds just like I would expect it to given my previous VCP exam experiences and the VI3 Enterprise Admin exam from the VCDX3 program.

Here's the blog posts:
Chris Dearden:
William Lam:

I'll be waiting now to take the final exam when it is launched in July. I'm also developing some ideas to help those wanting to take the exam - check back around the date that the exam launches for more news on that...

Update - June 22nd
Here's another review of the beta exam from Jason Boche:

Update - June 30th
Duncan Epping from Yellow Bricks has posted his feedback too:

Update - July 11th
Dave Convery over at Daily Hypervisor has posted his feedback:

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

VCAP4-DCA exam blueprint now available

The VCAP4-DCA exam is currently going through the beta phase, invitations were sent out about a week ago and beta exams are being taken this week. At the same time, VMware also published the exam blueprint document, which as always will be THE most important document for an individual to download and digest when preparing themselves for this VMware exam.
The exam covers the following objectives:
  • Implement and Manage Storage
  • Implement and Manage Networking
  • Deploy DRS Clusters and Manage Performance
  • Manage Business Continuity and Protect Data
  • Perform Operational Maintenance
  • Perform Advanced Troubleshooting
  • Secure a vSphere Environment
  • Perform Scripting and Automation
  • Perform Advanced vSphere Installations and Configurations
The blueprint confirms that the exam is based exclusively on live lab activities, with each lab consisting of a number of scored tasks. The exam will use the same 100-500 scaled scoring system as the VCP4 exam, although the passing score will only be set after the beta period. VMware will also set the time for the exam after the beta period. The exam code with Pearson Vue will be VCDA410, and registration for the final exam opens on July 12th.

Update on June 16th:
The content of the exam is very broad and very thorough at the same time, it looks as though the labs will be challenging, and that the VCAP4-DCA certification will be a very significant step-up from the now foundation-level VCP4.

Whilst VMware have not made it compulsory to attend any training courses to qualify for the VCAP4-DCA certification, the exam contains labs similar to those done during the following courses:

vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage and Manage Availability and Manage Scalability
vSphere: Fast Track
vSphere: Manage for Performance
vSphere: Troubleshooting
vSphere: Manage and Design for Security
vSphere: Automation with vSphere PowerCLI

Monday, 14 June 2010

Becoming a VMware Certified Instructor (VCI)

I get lots of emails from people asking me about becoming a VCI, I've been one since 2006 and thoroughly enjoy holding the title and doing the job too!

VMware have now launched a VCI portal, it can be accessed via the Education Services page, or directly via this link or this link.

The welcome page of the portal outlines the VCI requirements and gives the link for which potential VCIs can use to contact VMware. The requirements for becoming a VCI are strict, even just to deliver a vSphere: Install Configure Manage course a VCI has to meet three key requirements:
  1. Attend the VMware vSphere 4: Install, Configure, Manage course twice
  2. Pass the VCP4 certification exam with the required minimum score (350 or more for a VCI)
  3. Attend and pass a VMware Instructor Certification Workshop (ICW).

There are also specific requirements for delivering other official courses on vSphere, as well as the other products that have instructor-led courses. These are all detailed in the secure area of the VCI portal, and VCIs also have access to a private community forum too where we can exchange ideas with one another and courseware developers.

VMware vExpert 2010

I've just come back from a 2-week holiday, and whilst I was away I received an email from John Troyer at VMware informing me that I'd been designated as a VMware vExpert 2010!

Here's the VMware definition of a vExpert:
The VMware vExpert Award is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. vExperts are book authors, bloggers, VMUG leaders, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These vExperts have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of VMware and virtualization to their colleagues and community.

I'm very proud to be given this status, it's great to get recognition from VMware themselves for all the work that gets put in by all of us within the wide VMware community. As well as this blog, I've just spent a lot of time updating my Think Virtually website, but the biggest thing of all from my perspective is the help I give to the community forums on training and certification.

So, for the next year I will be able to use the vExpert logo as well as make use of the other benefits now available to me. The logo looks good, I feel a new blog banner coming on...

Needless to say the hard work goes on, I'll certainly be trying my best to achieve the vExpert 2011 :-)