Friday, 29 June 2012

VCP - Common Questions

VMware have their own FAQ page for their certifications, but I get emails and have conversations with people all the time who ask me questions like the ones below - so I thought I'd share them with you here...

If I haven't answered your question here, you can always email me at

1. Can I self-study for VCP?

People often ask me if they can self-study for the exam/certification - well anyone that knows the VCP program will tell you "No" - VCP has always had a training requirement for first-time achievers.

For VCP5, you can take a number of different vSphere 5 training classes, here's the reference page for that:

Once you achieve your first VCP, there is always an "upgrade" path to the VCP on the next vSphere release - for a limited time (normally 6 months) you can just pass the new exam and that gains you the new VCP.

2. Do I have to do the training before the exam?

No, it is not essential to take the training first, although it is recommended.

3. How long can I leave between the training and the exam?

Technically you can leave as long a gap as you want - the only deadline is the future availability of the training and the exam for that version. So for VCP5, as long as you can get trained on one of the qualifying vSphere 5 classes and the VCP510 exam is available to take, you can achieve VCP5.

It gets harder to find training on an older version once a new version is released, and the exam for the old version will be retired eventually.

4. Does my VCP expire?

VMware announced a new recertification policy for VCP level certifications on March 10th 2014 - please have a read of this blog post for more information:

5. What vSphere versions hold a VCP certification?

VCP certifications relate to the major version only, so when I say I'm a VCP3 that means my VCP applies to all the 3.x versions. The exams are normally generic across a major version, so you will be asked questions in the VCP510 exam that have answers applicable to all vSphere 5.x versions.

UPDATE: VMware have now released an exam specific to vSphere 5.5 - the VCP550 exam - passing this exam or the VCP510 exam (agnostic across vSphere 5.0/5.1) will gain the VCP5-DCV certification for those who have also met the training requirement.

Monday, 18 June 2012

New certification: VMware Certified Professional 5 - Infrastructure as a Service

VMware have confirmed that they will be launching their first cloud certification - VMware Certified Professional 5 - Infrastructure as a Service (VCP5-IaaS).

The certification is based around vSphere 5 and vCloud Director 1.5, and is designed for those who have the knowledge and skills necessary to install, configure and administer a vCloud environment.

The beta period for the exam is running at the moment, and if the past is any indication it should be around 6-8 weeks from now when the final exam is released.

Here's a couple of useful links:

VMware Education and Certification blog announcement
Eric Sloof's NTPRO.NL blog

So far I've found these posts from people who've taken the beta exam:

Manish Patel
Tomi Hakala

As usual, I will update this blog as and when further information becomes available including the final exam blueprint, and add more blog reports from those who take the exam.

New course: vCenter Operations Manager: Analyze and Predict

VMware have announced the release of the first instructor-led training course for vCenter Operations Manager, titled vCenter Operations Manager: Analyze and Predict [v5.0].

The class is aimed at VMware partners and customers who want to learn how to use vCenter Operations Manager as a forensic and predictive tool.

Here's a brief outline of the topics covered:

- vCenter Operations Management Suite
- Architecture and Concepts
- Dashboards and Badges
- Heat Maps
- Smart Alerts
- Capacity Planning and Reports
- Installing and Configuring vCenter Operations Manager

VMware and VATCs are scheduling this class now for deliveries beginning in July, for more information on the class objectives and to view the latest schedule follow this link:

New course: vSphere: Optimize and Scale

VMware recently announced the release of the first higher-level training class for vSphere 5, titled vSphere: Optimize and Scale [v5.0].

It's a 5-day class that follows on from the popular Install Configure Manage class, and it covers a number of high-level aspects and features of vSphere 5, including:

- CLI access to vSphere, and log files
- Performance and optimization for CPU, RAM, networking, and storage
- Distributed virtual switches
- Storage multipathing, vStorage APIs, policy-driven storage and VM storage profiles
- VM and cluster performance guidelines and troubleshooting
- Image Builder
- Host Profiles
- Linked Mode
- Distributed Power Management
- PowerCLI
- Auto Deploy

The content and labs align closely to the forthcoming VCAP5-DCA certification. VMware and VATCs are scheduling this class now, for further information about dates and locations follow this link:

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Technical/Certification Forums

One of the online contributions I have made over the last 6 years since I began working in virtualization is to contribute on a regular basis to a number of forums. It takes up a lot of time, but I check these forums most days to see if there are questions/discussions that I can contribute to.

VMware Communities
This one is kind of obvious, and I am proud to be a moderator too, most of my work is done in the various Training & Certification areas.
Some great technical discussions in the VMware Virtualization area, the occasional VMware-related post in the Other Certifications area.
A mixture of technical and certification posts in the Virtualization area.

Plenty of certification posts in the VMware Certifications area, technical posts can be found in the Virtual Computing area.

I would highly recommend all of these forums to you - I'm scott28tt on all of them - see you on there!