Tag Archives: VCP

VMware launches new delta version of VCP5-DCV exam

VMware LogoToday I received a message from VMware Education Services introducing a new way for current VCP holders to refresh or re-certify before their VCP expires.  Currently as it stands, anyone holding a VCP certification prior to March 10, 2013 has only until March 10, 2015 to re-certify using one of the following methods.

  • Take the most current VCP exam in any of the available tracks (Datacenter Virtualization, Cloud and Desktop – not sure if Network Virtualization qualifies for this or not).  No matter which track you held your VCP in, all will be refreshed with another two years.
  • Take an advanced level exam, meaning the VCAP DCA or VCAP DCD.  Not only will you advance to the next level, you will refresh your VCP expiration as well.

Prior to today, these were your options.  Now however all you VCP holders have a third option, so long as you are currently hold the VCP5-DCV status.

What is a delta exam?

This is something new to VMware certifications.  Basically, this exam is based only on the differences between vSphere 5.0/5.1 and the vSphere 5.5 exams.  Also, instead of your normal 135 questions the delta exam will only have 65.  The biggest difference is how the exam is delivered – you won’t need to drive to a testing center for this one, it is being offered online through Pearson Vue – and I’m assuming this will be a similar fashion to that of the VCA delivery.  Another noticeable difference is price – this one, coming in at $120 USD instead of the normal $220 USD.

Is it worth it?

ScreamingMan-300x225This is something I can’t answer for you – you will have to go through the scenarios in your head.  Currently I have an expiry date of January 2016 for my VCP5 and honestly I’d rather sit a new version of the VCAP then do the VCP again.  That said, can I expect a VCAP6-DCA to be available by Jan 2016?  I have no idea!  Do I want to risk the chance of losing my VCP due to no new VCAP exam coming out or possibly failing the VCAP when it does come out?  It’s all a giant kerfuffle in my head right now!  One note, the email I received said it was only available to those who need to renew their VCP before March 10, 2015.  As noted above, mine was extended to Jan 2016 due the completion of my VCAP in January of this year.  That said, I went through the process of being authorized for this delta exam and had no issues getting into the portion of the Pearson Vue site which allows me to schedule it.  So, try for yourself I guess!

Time’s a wastin!

Oh yah, better hurry and make your mind up.  This delta exam will only be available until November 30th, 2014!  So you have just less than a couple of months to figure out what you are going to do!  Honestly, this whole re-certification process just confuses and puts me in a bad mood Smile  Nonetheless, though I’d share the news!  Oh, I tried to use the VMUG Advantage VCP discount code – didn’t work!

VCP now coming with an expiry date

vcp-expiredJust as you check the expiry on a carton of milk, employers will now have to be keen on checking the expiry of the VMware Certified Profession (VCP) holders they are seeking to employ.  Effective March 10, VMware will begin expiring all of their current and any new VMware Certified Professionals, granting them a period of two years to re-certify in order to maintain their VCP status.

VCP recertification can be achieved in a few different ways; the first being simply take the newest VCP certification in your current track.  Alternatively by achieving VCP status in another solution track can also re-certify your current VCP.  Lastly, achieving the next level VCAP certification will in turn recertify your VCP status.  So, what does all this mean.  Let’s take a look an example of each recertification option

  1. A VCP4-DCV certification is set to expire in 2015.  By passing the requirements for the VCP5-DCV, the VCP-DCV status will be extended 2 years from the the completion date of the VCP5-DCV
  2. A VCP4-DCV certification is set to expire in 2015.  By passing the requirements for the VCP5-Cloud, both the VCP-DCV and the VCP-Cloud certification status will be extended 2 years from the completion date of the VCP5-Cloud.
  3. A VCP4-DCV certification is set to expire in 2014.  By completing the VCAP5-DCA, the VCP-DCV certification status will be extended 2 years from the completion of the VCAP5-DCA.

Hey, it's not as bad as I initially thought…

Honestly I feel that this is a good change from VMware’s part.  Past practice has shown that VMware will release a new version of their flagship hypervisor every year around VMworld.  Recertification allows the certification to maintain credibility, ensuring that any VCP holder is at least certified under one of the latest two releases.  In the past, VMware has given a grace period to VCP holders, allowing them a period of time where they can upgrade to the most current VCP status, without having to partake in any required training classes.  This grace period was most certainly not 2 years, so recertifying on new versions of the VCP, in my opinion, just got a bit easier.

Just don't forget to get new milk…

Failing to recertify within the two years however will essentially result in all access being stripped from the VCP portal, and the rights to market yourself as a VCP and usage the VCP logos will be be revoked.  At this point, anyone looking to recertify will need to start from square one.  Meaning you will not only need to pass the most current exam again, but you will have to obtain a credit in one of the mandatory classes as well – not a very cost effective solution.

Any change to certifications is always a touchy subject through tech communities so it will be entertaining none the less to see how this one plays out.  That said, by setting a two year/no training grace period, it appears as if VMware has just made it easier for those VCP’s who wish to recertify on a more current version to do so.  Also, the change will help to ensure that those that are VCP’s, are at the very least certified within the last two years adding credibility and proficiency to anyone who calls them self a VCP.  This, along with the recent addition of the VCA certification, seems like another response to the community uproar over the mandatory training requirements inside of the VCP certification.

VCP expiry dates are now live within the mylearn portal.  Just note that the dates displayed do not reflect those that have essentially already met the recertification requirements by complaining a VCAP level exam.  This functionality is expected to roll into the portal in the near future.

Is October the month of certification? – The price is right!

vcaIt's pretty well known that the fact you need to attend that week long training course in order to even qualify to become a VMware Certified Professional was a big pain point among the virtualization community.  In fact, the VCP, which what used to be VMware's entry level certification could end up costing IT pros looking to get certified well over $1500 by the time it was all said and done.  Although I always though that the training was a great way to help hold the certification in high regard I understand how it could also discourage a lot of smart people from taking the exam, people who's companies don't have the training budget or don't have the will to send them on the course.

That said, VMware has listened and once again responded (Remember vRAM – sorry).  During VMworld, amongst all of the software defined storage, network virtualization, rainbows, clouds, and Hyper-V custard announcements VMware's Education and Certification team slipped in their own little announcement centered around the new VCA (Virtual Certified Associate) certification track.  

What is VCA?

VCA is essentially the little brother of the VCP.  The VCA requires no required training, simply recommending that you take the free foundation classes online that correspond with the respective VCA track.  Also, just like the VCP has branched out into Data Center Virtualization, End User Computing (Workforce mobility) and Cloud; so has the VCA.  Now I wrote my VCA-DCV yesterday and passed.  It was certainly not as up to par technical wise as the VCP is, but it's not really supposed to be.  As far as I can see it's really there to satisfy those who want to get some sort of certification with VMware but want to do it affordably and without the training requirement.  The exam comes in with a price tag of $120.00 and is currently 50% off.

So what about October and why is the price right?

Oh yah, before you go and spend the what is now $60.00 on your VCA, stop, look at that voucher/promo code box and type 'VCA13ICS' into the text box.  Why?  Well that will take the initial 50% off and then give you another 100% off of the balance!  Yes, that makes your exam FREE!   Yes, Free as in beer!  So no reason not to try it.  As far as I know this will last all through the month of October so I guess the year of VDI will have to wait!  Anyways get over to mylearn.vmware.com and sign up!  Good Luck!   And who can really say or think about the price is right without thinking of the epic Happy Gilmour fight!  Bob must be habs fan!

Adam Sandler Happy Gilmore movie image

Once again – register and write you VCA for free during October by using the promo code VCA13ICS

More freebies from Veeam!

Just a quick update –  Veeam has announced that their program in which they dole out free NFR licenses to vExperts, VCP’s, VCI’s, MVP’s, MCP’s, and MCTS’s has been updated to now include the lastest release of Veeam Backup and Replication.  So if  you are in any of the following groups be sure to go and grab your 2-socket license and try it out!  For more information on the new features you can check out their promotional video here.

 

vExperts, VCP’s and VCI’s – click here for your copy

MVP’s, MCP’s and MCTS’s – click here for your copy

Book Review – VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 Study Guide by Brian Atkinson

Over that past few weeks I've been lucky enough to be going over a reviewers copy of Brian Atkinson's (blog/twitter) new book VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 Study Guide.  During my VCP journey I have been through a lot, and I mean A LOT of study material (listed here) and let me say I wish I would have had this book during my studies.  

First off, when you purchase this book you get way more than just a book.  In addition to the 753 pages, yes, 753 pages of exam oriented material you get the following…

  • Tear card to help you align exam objectives with page numbers in the book.
  • Practice questions at the end of every chapter (key for evaluating and knowing where you stand in certain areas)
  • ONLINE ACCESS – Wow, you get an assessment test, all the chapter questions from the book, flash cards and a searchable glossary!

Honestly, the name of this book could be a little lacking…sure it's a great Study Guide for the VCP 5 certification, but in my opinion it can be used for way more than that.  As a day to day VMware Administration you can (and I have) use this book as a point of reference to flip through and learn how to perform certain tasks, functions, features, etc…

The book is jam packed full of information and real-world scenarios and it is organzied in such a way that aligns with the VCP 5 blueprint.  Aside from just information, there are a ton of exercises or labs that you can go through in order to gain that hands on experience, as well, each chapter ends with a summary, a section outlining the exam essentials for that chapter, and a set of questions to help you assess what you have just read.  This layout makes it very easy for you to be sure that you have accomplished everything that the blueprint requires and helps you prepare for almost anything the VCP 5 exam can throw at you.

Brian Atkinson, the author of this book has been a vExpert since 2009, and is very well known from within the community.  In my opinion he has hit a homerun with this publication and I would recommend anyone looking to begin studying for the VCP to grab yourself a copy of VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 5 Study Guide.  You won't regret it…  You can check it out officially from the publisher here or also over on amazon.  Also check out Brian's blog over on the VMware communities site.   Good luck on your exam!

VMware vSphere 5 Training by #TrainSignal – Random Thoughts…

Throughout my journey in achieving my VCP 5 there have been several resources which I have utilized and wrote about when compiling my OMG VCP 5 Study Guide.  I have been trying to include a review of them all and one that I have constantly mentioned has been TrainSignal's VMware vSphere 5 training and thought that it might be beneficial to my readers to let you know what I thought about it.

I've always been a fan of TrainSignal's training and have held their VMware vSphere Troubleshooting course in high regards in my review here.  Well, the VMware vSphere 5 training is no different.  This time David Davis (blog/twitter) teams up with Elias Khnaser (blog/twitter) to push out nearly 17 hours of all that is vSphere 5.  The course takes you through a whopping 36 lessons which cover everything that is listed on the VCP 510 Exam Blueprint…and more.  As you can see from the outline below you will be exposed to everything from the core installation of ESXi/vCenter, to management, configuration, administration and even things like how to understand licensing and how to make it all happen with an iPad.

VMware vSphere 5 Training – Course Outline

Lesson 1 – Getting Started with VMware vSphere 5 Training Course

Lesson 2 – Lab Setup

Lesson 3 – Course Scenario

Lesson 4 – Overview of VMware vSphere 5

Lesson 5 – Installing VMware ESXi 5

Lesson 6 – Installing vCenter 5

Lesson 7 – Installing vCenter 5 as a Linux Appliance (vCSA)

Lesson 8 – Using the vSphere 5 Web Client

Lesson 9 – What’s New in vSphere 5

Lesson 10 – Navigating vSphere Using the vSphere Client

Lesson 11 – vCenter 5 – Configuring Your New Virtual Infrastructure

Lesson 12 – Creating and Modifying Virtual Guest Machines

Lesson 13 – Installing and Configuring VMware Tools

Lesson 14 – Understanding and Using Tasks, Events, and Alarms

Lesson 15 – Virtual Storage 101 and Storage Terminology

Lesson 16 – vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)

Lesson 17 – Creating a Free iSCSI SAN with OpenFiler

Lesson 18 – Administering VMware ESXi Server Security

Lesson 19 – vSphere Virtual Networking

Lesson 20 – Using the vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch (dvswitch)

Lesson 21 – Moving Virtual Machines with vMotion

Lesson 22 – Moving Virtual Storage with svMotion

Lesson 23 – Performance Optimization with Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)

Lesson 24 – Implementing High Availability with VMware HA (VMHA)

Lesson 25 – Super High Availability with VMware Fault Tolerance (FT)

Lesson 26 – Upgrading from VMware vSphere 4 to vSphere 5

Lesson 27 – vSphere Command Line Interface (CLI) Options

Lesson 28 – vSphere Auto Deploy

Lesson 29 – Storage DRS

Lesson 30 – Policy-driven Storage

Lesson 31 – Understanding the New vSphere 5 vRAM Pooled Pricing

Lesson 32 – Network I/O Control (NIOC)

Lesson 33 – Storage I/O Control (SIOC)

Lesson 34 – ESXi Firewall

Lesson 35 – VMware Data Recovery (VDR) 2

Lesson 36 – Administering vSphere Using an iPad

I can't go through every lesson as this post would be a mile long, but I will highlight a few of my favorite subjects from the training.

Lesson 15 – Virtual Storage 101 – Honestly, anything and everything you need to know to get you started with storage and vSphere is in this lesson.  Elias takes you through VMFS, vmdk's and all there is to know about setting up and configuring iSCSI, NFS, and Fibre Channel within vSphere 5.  

Lesson 17 – Creating a free iSCSI SAN with Openfiler – In this lesson David takes you through everything you need to know to download, install, and configure OpenFiler on a VM to get yourself an iSCSI SAN.  This is invaluable to those with limited budget for home labs.

All of the lessons dealing with new vSphere 5 features – There are a number of lessons focused around using some of the new features and enhancements in vSphere 5 such as the Web Client, vCenter Server Appliance, Storage DRS, vDR 2.0, AutoDeploy, etc…  These are all invaluable for VCP studying as you may not have the resources to put them within your lab and are all included on the VCP 510 blueprint.

As with all TrainSignal courses you get the DVD's which contain all the videos in formats to watch on your PC or iPad and additionally you get online access to the course through their website, printable pdfs of the notes/outlines/slides.  As many before me have stressed, the key to passing the VCP 5 is to practice and practice and lab and lab  If any training at all can get close to the benefits of having a home lab this is it.  You can watch tasks be performed right before your eyes.  I'd certainly recommend this course to everyone, even if you aren't pursuing the VCP 5 or already have it, these videos can be beneficial to you as an administrator.  And don't stop with just vSphere 5.  There are a slew of new courses from Trainsignal such as vSphere Advanced Networking and VMware vCloud Director Essentials. Go ahead and check out all the VMware training that TrainSignal has available.  You won't regret it 🙂