Tag Archives: VCAP

New vSphere 5.5 Version of VCAP5-DCA Exam Available

 

VCAP-DCAToday we released a new exam to qualify candidates for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA) Certification.

This new exam (exam code VDCA550) is based on vSphere v5.5, where the existing exam (exam code VDCA510) is based on vSphere v5.0.

Passing either of these exams will earn VCAP5-DCA certification if you meet the other pre-requisites.

Download the exam blueprint or request exam authorization here.

Tips and Hints on Preparing for VMware Certification Exams

It’s no secret that VMware Certifications require dedication.  Whether you’re just getting started with VCA or preparing for your VCDX defense, the first step is to commit to preparing for the exams.

Everyone has their own goals for obtaining VMware Certifications.  Some enjoy the challenge of keeping their skills sharp and relevant in this fast-paced and ever-changing technology landscape.  Others seek to advance their careers or open up new opportunities. Still others may solely seek the personal satisfaction of the accomplishment.

Whatever your reason may be, we’re here to help you get started.  Benjamin Franklin once warned, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So let’s jump in.

In this video, Linus Bourque, VMware Certified Instructor, provides guidance on how to prepare for your VMware Certification exam, regardless of which exam you plan to take.

Linus walks through the following recommendations for how to prepare:

  • Set a schedule – plan ahead, rather than trying to cram
  • Set up a lab – the practice will give you a chance to apply your knowledge
  • Study with partners – discussions will aid in understanding
  • Tap into available resources:
    • VMware Certification Forums
    • Free practice exams & exam demos
    • Use your reference materials:
      • Exam Blueprint
      • Training courseware manuals
      • Review appropriate vSphere documentation
      • VMware Press Official Cert Guides
      • Watch free, online instructional videos
      • Hone your skills with Hands On Practice

In addition to leveraging the community in VMware Certification forums for help, study tips and program questions; we suggest that you take advantage of our strong community of certification holders.  Having been through the process, they offer a wealth of excellent insight on how to succeed.  This month, we highlight advice from Ray Heffer, VCDX #122.

In these blog posts, Ray recounts the experience of working to achieve VCDX and offers tips for those looking to achieve a similar goal:

Read Part 1 of Ray’s VCDX Preparation & Tips*

Read Part 2 of Ray’s VCDX Preparation & Tips*

We hope these hints help you get started on your path to certification!

* The views expressed in these blog posts and comments of this blog do not reflect the positions or opinions of VMware. The views and technical information are solely those of the owner and have not been validated by VMware.

Online Certificates and VMware Press Discounts for VMware Certified Professionals

Wait and labor no longer ­– now you can show off your certification the minute you receive it. Print it, hang it, share it with your online community. If you tag us (@vmwareeducation) on Instagram, you may even be featured.

Download a print-ready certificate for your VCA, VCP, VCAP, or VCDX right from your online transcript page at vmware.com/certification. The new e-version replaces the old, physical mailings. Electronic delivery of your certificate is faster, convenient, and eco-friendly!

As a bonus, we’re now offering VMware Certified professionals 30 percent off all VMware Press products, including books, certification and study guides, video training and learning tools. Check out vmwarepress.com and enter the discount code VMWARECERT at checkout.

Four New Certification Videos Available

bourque

To help you understand the content and requirements for VMware certification we have just released three new overview videos:

And to help you get ready to pass the exam, we’ve also put together some recommended study tips and best practices from our instructors: How to Prepare for VMware Certification Exams.

Make your 2014 Certification Plan Today

By Erik Ullanderson

IT professionals need to spend around 10 hours per week educating themselves in order to stay relevant in today’s fast-changing technology landscape, David Day noted in his October blog post.

As you look back on 2013 and think about making the most of 2014, I’ve got a couple questions for you: Did you stay on top of current trends and add new skills that will help you solve problems faster and better? If you wanted to get a new certification, did you achieve your goal?

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline,” according to Napoleon Hill, the original success guru. And now is the perfect time to give yourself a deadline for a new certification, and to make a plan to help you meet it. Below you’ll find advice on achieving your certification goals from IT pros who have received advanced VMware certifications.

Strike while the iron is hot

If your goal to become a VMware Certified Professional (VCP), your plans will necessarily start with a VMware certified class. When the class finishes, “don’t let that knowledge sit stale,” advises Shawn Bolan, a certified VMware instructor and VCAP-DCA.

“While it’s fresh in your mind, go back to work and set a study plan for yourself; work with the practice tests; build your own lab environment.” Especially for the advanced certifications, Bolan stresses how important it is to prepare by both studying the material and building hands-on experience—it’s not enough to simply do one or the other.

Assess your own abilities

Where should you begin when you’re creating a study plan for yourself? VCDX #97, Travis Wood, outlines a helpful strategy that starts with understanding your current strengths and weaknesses.

Starting with the exam blueprint, he creates a spreadsheet that lists every element of the exam and then ranks himself one-to-three of whether he knows it, whether he needs to develop it, or whether he doesn’t know it. “Once I’ve developed that, I can target the areas I need to develop better, then I go through and research those areas, then go back and reassess myself until I get green down the whole spreadsheet,” he explains.

Engage with the community

One thing that VMware certification holders consistently point to is the size and strength of VMware’s certification community. An easy place to start is with the VMware Certification community forum or by joining your local VMUG chapter. It’s also a good idea to put together a study group, where you can share tips and hold each other to deadlines. Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to current certification holders for advice. Magnus Andersson, one of the first “double” VCDXs, said he has helped several colleagues prepare for their VCDX defence by reviewing their designs and even hopping on calls to walk through questions.

Use all available resources

When we ask certification holders to tell us how they prepared for their exams (their answers can be found on our Certification Pros page), the list of resources seems to lengthen every time. There are hundreds of blogs, plus webinars, accelerated training bootcamps, books from VMware Press, and a bevy of free instructional videos. In fact, if you’re looking for the perfect place to start your VMware certifications, the new VMware Certified Associate does not require a VMware-approved class at all; training is done entirely through free online videos.

I hope these tips have gotten you excited about achieving your certification goals this year. We’ll be sure to have a glass of champagne ready on New Year’s Day 2015 to toast your accomplishments!

Driving Excellence with Education and Certification

by John Yani Arrasjid, Principal Architect, VCDX-001, VMware Inc.

Excellence in developing and maintaining IT infrastructure requires a foundation driven by education and certification. VMware has seen this proven at customer and partner locations worldwide.

This article provides the value proposition, an overview of VMware’s certification levels, the testing centers used, and tools that help a candidate be successful.

Value for Individuals and Companies

There are many reasons for individuals to use education and certification as tools to develop their career paths. The benefits can be career advancement, project opportunities, and the validation that certification holds. These individual benefits extend to a company as well, especially for those that are doing consulting work.

Let’s take a look at the different areas that certifications provide a positive impact on. Your mileage will vary based on your role within your organization and the company you work for.

  • Career path and promotions: Certifications are only one aspect of an employee’s review process. When these certifications further the value of an employee by making them more effective, followed by the experience of using the knowledge gained, they are more likely to meet the expectations of the next career level. Certifications can also allow the individual to move into new areas within their organization.
  • Credibility: Certifications provide validation of an individual’s knowledge and skills.
  • Value: Certifications can influence compensation adjustment during an employee review or during the interview process for a new position. Certifications can also open doors on projects requiring specific skills.

Individuals get recognition and differentiation, while also driving a higher earning potential. Customers get higher productivity, increased stakeholder satisfaction, and as evidenced by various metrics, lower external management and support costs. Partners get increased market credibility, increased customer satisfaction, and greater success in differentiating themselves from competitors.

VMware Certification Overview

Let’s now look at what the VMware certification levels and tracks are about and how they support the benefits above.

VMware currently offers four types of certifications, including VCA, VCP, VCAP, and VCDX. All certifications and their related tracks are role based. Each certification level has three tracks for Data Center Virtualization, Desktop Virtualization, and Cloud. In the future these will be expanded with the first one to be in Network Virtualization. Watch for a future article that will provide more detail on this new track.

The lower tiers are typically extrinsically motivated. Someone, likely a manager or project lead, specifies required skills that are gained through training and experience with validation through certification.

The higher tiers are mostly intrinsically motivated. Many individuals will go above and beyond the time allocated by their organization to achieve advanced certifications. Although the certifications may not be required to maintain a role, they can help and also provide a competitive advantage to the certification holder.

I believe that organizations holding these advanced level certifications have an advantage that makes them experts in developing, implementing, and operating a successful solution that supports business objectives. I also believe that VMware top tier partners that are doing advanced solutions design and implementation should have employees holding vendor specific advanced certifications. For those partners doing design work that hold these top tier certifications need an appropriate matching title to qualify them. As an example, I believe a partner with two or more VCDX and a compliment of VCAP certified team members should be VMware Certified Design Partners.

Testing Centers

Except for the VCA, all other certifications are proctored exams. As a proctored exam, the individual must test in an authorized testing center or at a VMware conference where a temporary authorized testing center is set up for candidates. Pearson VUE provides the testing centers. Please note that there are different levels of testing centers. VMware provides details on the minimum requirements for the testing environment based on the exam taken.

Pearson VUE has a test center network that has four categories testing centers including Pearson VUE® Authorized Test Centers, Pearson Professional Centers, Pearson Test Centers, and Pearson VUE™ Authorized Test Center Selects. For full details on the differences, please see their site. Testing at the first two types of centers provides the optimum conditions for VMware certification candidates.

Tools for Success

There are several tools for success summarized here:

  1. Training – classroom, online, and self-paced learning ensures consistency on what is learned for all candidates and ensures the skills of a Minimally Qualified Candidate are taught. It is up to the student to learn, practice, and study for the exam.
  2. BooksVMware Press provides multiple books that can be used to learn more about the certifications. They also can be used to learn the technical and operational details of each test track.
  3. Boot CampsVMware Education offers a series of boot camps for advanced certifications. These 2-4 hour boot camps provide details on the blueprints, recommendations for studying and taking the exam, and also examples related to each track in each certification level. Boot Camps are offered for VCAP Administration, VCAP Design, and VCDX certifications. They are offered quarterly in various regions, through #vBrownbag online, and as recorded training videos on the VMware certification site.

Conclusion

To open the door to new or advanced opportunities in a job and within a career ladder, education drives success and certification validates an individual. These lead to minimally qualified candidate with skills for success in the area of study.

I encourage you to find the right path to success based on your role, your projects, and your organization.

Although there is no guarantee for an individual on the outcomes of their certifications, all candidates achieving VMware advanced certifications have provided their stories to my team. These stories all demonstrate that education and certification has driven the career path they are in. It also drives the opportunities presented to them. I have yet to find one individual that has not had a positive impact at their current position, or in a position they moved to, once they completed their certification.

I wish you the best on your endeavors. You can follow me on my Twitter handle @vcdx001.

John

New Desktop Certification Released: VCAP-DTA

The new VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Desktop Administration (VCAP-DTA) certification is a new credential to highlight how you’ve continued to enhance your desktop virtualization knowledge and abilities.

VCAP-DTA certification validates your advanced skills in deploying, administering, and troubleshooting large-scale, production ready, virtual desktop infrastructures that enable workforce mobility. It also demonstrates your ability to install and manage highly-available and recoverable Horizon View environments while establishing policies and settings for a secure virtualized infrastructure.

Download the exam blueprint to learn more about the exam objectives or get more information.

Training & Certification Opportunities at Partner Exchange 2014

Make the most of your trip to Partner Exchange 2014 in San Francisco, and take advantage of the pre-event training boot camps and discounted certification exams.

Pre-Event Training Boot Camps

Partner Exchange is a great time to take training. We bring our most popular courses, making it easy for you to get the training you need to succeed. For information and registration details on the boot camps, visit the Partner Exchange site.

  • VMware vCenter Operations Manager: Analyze and Predict [v5.x] – Wed 2/12 – Thu 2/13
  • VMware vCenter Configuration Manager for Virtual Infrastructure Management [v5.x] – Sat 2/8 – Mon 2/10
  • VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [v5.x] – Sat 2/8 – Mon 2/10
  • VMware Horizon Mirage: Install, Configure, Manage [v4.0] – Sat 2/8 – Sun 2/9
  • VMware View: Design Best Practices [v5.x] – Sat 2/8 – Mon 2/10
  • VMware Horizon View: Install, Configure, Manage [v5.2] – Sat 2/8 – Mon 2/10

 

75% Off Certification Exams

There’s no better place to get certified than at Partner Exchange – especially since you can save 75% on any VMware Certified Professional (VCP) or VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) exam. Seating is limited so register now to guarantee your spot.

  • VCP5-DCV
  • VCP-Cloud
  • IaaS Exam
  • VCP5-DT
  • View Exam
  • VCAP5-DCD
  • VCAP5-DCA
  • VCAP-CID
  • VCAP-CIA
  • VCAP-DTD

 

Certification Stories – Words of Wisdom from VCAPs

We recently added a dozen new videos to our Certification Pros page, where VMware certification holders share their experience and advice. As many point out in their comments, the community supporting VMware certifications is an important element of their success. We’re doing our part to strengthen the community by regularly highlighting certification stories here on the Education and Certification Blog, starting this week with VMware Certified Advanced Professionals. Have your own story to share? See the note at the bottom and get in touch!

Why should I get certified?

Timothy Patterson, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DCA, mentions two of the most common reasons for getting certified—challenging himself to improve his skills and opening new doors along his career path. But we especially like his third reason: “It taught me a lot about myself,” he says.

Timothy urges those considering their certification exam not to wait because they feel they’re not ready. “Don’t be afraid of failure; you can always retake an exam,” he reminds us. “It teaches you about your strengths, your weaknesses, and how to succeed in the industry.”

Where do I start?

In addition to the authorized training classes, there are a plethora of other resources available to help you prepare for your exam, including books, online communities, and webinars. For Gurusimran Khalsa, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DCA, preparation always begins with a VMware exam blueprint.

“If I can read through the blueprint and understand everything that’s on there, I know that I’m on track,” he explains. “I’ve never taken an exam where they asked a question that somehow wasn’t related to the blueprint—I’ve never been surprised by content.”

How do I prepare?

As a certified instructor, as well as VCP-Data Center Virtualization, VCP-Desktop, VCP-Cloud, and VCAP-DCA, Shawn Bolan has an expansive perspective on how to successfully prepare for a VMware certification exam. He stresses the importance of a “multi-layered” process, combining studying with hands-on experience.

Labs provide students with an opportunity to experiment with tools they might not be able to in their work environment, he points out. That way they “learn how to use that technology correctly before putting it in place, getting the hands-on experience to make the right decisions back in their business.”

Shawn also urges anyone who has finished a certification class to “strike while the iron is hot.” “You’re making the investment and going to a class; don’t let that knowledge sit stale,” he implores. “While it’s fresh in your mind, go back to work and set a study plan for yourself; work with the practice tests; build your own lab environment.”

Remember, your company made a big investment in the right technology; now it’s time to invest in the people who support that technology. By helping your company grow stronger, you’re also strengthening your own career opportunities.


What’s your certification story? We’d love to feature it on this blog. Contact certificationpros@vmware.com and help strengthen the community by sharing your experiences and insights. We are especially eager to hear about VMware Certified Associates!

Asia-Pacific Japan: Take 75% Off All VCP and VCAP Exams

Save 75% on VMware Certification exams in Asia-Pacific Japan while attending VMware vForum 2013 and selected VMware Solutions Symposium 2013. While you can register at the event, seating is limited, so register today to ensure a seat and lock in the 75% savings.   Visit your country site for offer details and registration directions:

Register today and use the remaining time to …. study!!