Tweet Chat vSAN vSAN

#vSANChat Wrap-Up: vSAN Specialist Certification

Last month, we gathered on Twitter for our monthly #vSANChat event! What’s a #vSANChat, you ask? It is Tweet Chat – basically an “Ask Me Anything” or typed Q&A session on Twitter. Every month we cover a new topic related to vSAN with our subject matter experts. During the hour of the #vSANChat, we ask a series of questions in a Twitter thread and our expert guests answer. This time around we discussed the vSAN Specialist Certification with Jase McCarty and Paul Bryant!


The vSAN Specialist Certification is a way for you to prove that you have what it takes to properly design a vSAN cluster including the selection of supported hardware, compute and storage capacities, and performance profile. In this #vSANChat we dive into the details on why the exam matters and how to pass the exam. Read on below for a wrap-up of the conversation!


Q1: What is the vSAN Specialist Certification? (link)

Paul: It is a badge that reflects design & mgmt knowledge/skills of vSAN 6.7.

Jase: It is a certification that validates those that take the test can size, manage, and deploy a vSAN environment


Q2: Who would you recommend pursues vSAN Specialist Certification and how could it benefit them? (link)

Paul: I believe this would be valuable for any VMware engineer or current storage engineer looking to move towards a software defined model.

Jase: Everybody! Customers, Partners, or VMware employees who wish to validate their knowledge of vSAN and share their accomplishment.


Q3: What’s the best way to prepare for the vSAN Specialist Certification exam? Are there any materials to study? (link)


Paul: Use the Exam Preparation Guide. Not to do a plug for my own blog, but I wrote an article as a study guide for the #vSAN exam if anyone wants to take a look.

Jase: Work with vSAN!!! Also, follow this prep guide. Take the Hands-On Labs as much as you’d like.


Q4: Which vSAN topics should we expect to see on the vSAN Specialist Certification exam? (link)

Paul: The easiest way I found was logging into your ‘My VMware’ account and go to the certification page and click ‘take exam’. I have posted the link to shortcut here.

Jase: Any of the topics found here could be expected. Rest assured they didn’t let me put my super-duper hard questions on it.


Q5: Is it necessary to have hands-on experience with vSAN prior to taking the vSAN Specialist Certification exam? (link)

Paul: I believe it is always a good thing to have hands-on experience for any solution exam you are pursuing but if you don’t have vSAN I always recommend Hands-On Labs (HOL).

Jase: You have to have a VCP-DCV, and it is recommended to take the vSAN 6.7 Deploy & Manage or vSAN 6.7 Production Operations courses, or the vSAN 6.7 Getting Started HOL.


Q6: What is the best advice you could offer to someone who’s taking the vSAN Specialist Certification exam for the first time? (link)

Paul: Slow down, understand what each question is asking, and be prepared. I know it goes without saying, but don’t be afraid to ask for help from people in the vSAN community or just run questions you have by us. We are always willing to help out those in search of knowledge. And, reading @DuncanYB’s and @CormacJHogan’s vSAN Deep Dive book is also a good move.

Jase: Get to know vSAN by visiting many of our sites such as Storage Hub, the Virtual Blocks Blog and the VMware Hands-On Labs for vSAN. Follow the HOL guide, then break the lab & try to repair it.


Q7: How long is the vSAN Specialist Certification valid for? Is this something that needs to be renewed or updated? (link)

Paul: To my knowledge, it doesn’t expire, but I am sure when 7.0 drops a newer version will be released, and to stay current you would need to pursue that badge at that time.

Jase: The 2019 Certification replaced the 2017 Certification. I don’t think these expire, but the year designator indicates how current the certification is.


Note, the vSAN Specialists 2020 exam is now available here.


Q8: How do you schedule the vSAN Specialist Certification exam? Is there a time limit for the exam? (link)

Paul: Go here, then click on schedule exam if you have already completed the pre-requisites. The exam is 120 minutes.

Jase: There is a link on the vSAN Specialist 2019 Certification page to schedule the exam. You’ll have two hours to complete it.


Q9: How long does it typically take before you find out the results of vSAN Specialist Certification exam? (link)

Paul: I found out as soon as I clicked submit at the end of the exam!


Q10: Once you pass the vSAN Specialist Certification exam, what do you get to prove that you have earned the certification? (link)

Paul: My Acclaim page updated the same week, but I really didn’t monitor it. You can add your verified Acclaim URL link to your LinkedIn page and resume.

Jase: A badge! When you’ve passed, you’ll get an email that will walk you through sharing your badge to social media or email.


And that’s a wrap! A big thank you to our #vSANChat participants! Please drop us a tweet and let us know when you’re taking your vSAN Specialist Certification exam. Have more questions for our experts? Let us know on Twitter!