VMware Training and VCPs/VCAPs Stats

VMware is giving away a free 6 month premium subscription to VMware Learning Zone for everyone. You need to register by November 6, 2020 and your subscription will expire 6 months after you register. That makes it easier to plan ahead to take advantage of a time frame that works best for you. You can even sign up with a personal email address. Check out the official article from VMware for more details and how to register.

VMware released details on the amount of VCPs and VCAPs. I like looking at statistics and it’s fascinating when vendors release numbers on certification holders. VMware last did this a few years ago. Unfortunately, I could not find the past numbers directly from VMware, but I did find it on vInfrastructure Blog. I will reference the data from the aforementioned sites in this article.

There are only 3,850 VCAPs in the United States and a total of 13,580 around the world. There are 98,576 VCPs in the United States and a total of 335,371 VCPs around the world. VCAPs have nearly tripled in the past few years and over 6 times more VCPs. I wonder if that is due to VMware changing their strict 2 year expiration on VCP certs.

The United States is on par with the world total of only roughly 4% of VCPs going ahead to achieve the VCAP certification. There are some overachieving countries like Egypt, which has 10% of VCPs getting their VCAP. Hopefully, VMware will give a list of totals in all countries. I made a comment requesting additional data and I will edit this article if I receive it.

VCAP-DCV Deploy 2020 Exam Experience

I passed the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 2018 – Data Center Virtualization Deployment exam (3V0-21.18) with a score of 400. I am glad the certification is considered 2020 so it doesn’t look as old already. I passed the VCAP-DCV Design exam a couple years ago. Oddly enough, the exam I just took earned me the VCIX badge for 6.5 and 2020. The Design exam also gave me the VCIX 6.0 badge a couple years ago when paired with my VCAP5. Funny how that worked out with the extra badge.

I received my results and badges the following day after I took the exam. I was pleasantly surprised to receive my results that fast, especially considering VMware says it can take 4-6 weeks. I received emails from VMware and Acclaim. I read some exam takers who didn’t receive an email from VMware and never even found out their score. They simply knew they passed only because they received the badge.

The exam begins as soon as you hit start and loads. You see what looks nearly identical to a VMware HOL lab and you can start reading the question manual before everything finishes loading. Then you have 210 minutes to complete everything, which is actually slightly longer than what the exam blueprint says. By the way, VMware says you cannot press the control key and right-click. Both worked for me.

I made my first run through of all 17 questions with about one hour left. I was only stumped on one question and a part of another. When I first took the VCAP exam four years ago, I didn’t have enough time and didn’t answer all the questions. Though, I still passed. I am not sure if the exam got easier or just my added experience got me through it much quicker. Anyway, I spent a half hour double checking my work and then finally clicked what to do with the one question I was stumped on. I was only stuck on one part of a question. I was fairly positive I did very well when I ended the exam. I don’t mean to sound braggadocious, but I honestly thought I would have had scored more than 400.

I might have lost some points on typos. The question manual was visually clear, but everything else was a little fuzzy within the environment. This made a lot of the text difficult to read and I couldn’t figure out a way to make the text sharper. Another problem was almost every time I hit a key, multiple letters were outputted. It was very annoying. I tried to drag and drop from the manual as much as possible. Other than that, the exam ran well. Much better than the past version of it.

I am sure most people practicing for the exam are using one vCenter Server. That’s fine. It’s easy to next your way through a wizard. However, remember that the exam has multiple vCenter Servers so you have to be very careful you are always working on the vCenter Server you are required to for the question. I knew this coming into the exam and I still had to go back to correct a mistake I made.

Here are a couple links to practice VCAP questions to try out. I forgot to post them in my last article. They were helpful to prepare for the exam to get in the mindset of possible questions. The HOLs they refer to are no longer available, but you can pull up other related HOLs to run through most of the questions or use your own lab.
https://www.jortechnologies.com/vcap-dcv-deploy-hol-based-simulator-free http://virtualg.uk/vcap6-dcv-deploy-exam-simulator-free

The exam sounds more daunting than it actually is. Most people with a lot of VMware experience can pass it with some studying and focusing on features they have never used. Be ready to stay focused for a few hours and you will be fine. Good luck!

Studying for VCAP6-DCV Deploy Certification

I have been studying for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 2018 – Data Center Virtualization Deployment exam (3V0-21.18) for the past couple of months. It is based on vSphere 6.5. I just found out the vSphere 6.7 version of the exam is now out (3V0-22.19). The 6.5 version retires on February 28th so I need to take the exam soon. I rather keep pushing forward than change the exam I will take since I am far along with studying. One good thing is passing either test counts towards VCAP-DCV Deploy 2020. There was never a VCAP-DCV 2019 so passing the exam last year would have still been called 2018. Makes the certification look old if passed last year when it should have not. Though, no need to worry now.

Of course, the best place to start studying is looking at VMware’s exam blueprint to get an overview of the exam. The 6.5 and 6.7 versions both have identical objectives on their blueprints. Perhaps nothing major has changed between the exams.

I recommend watching a presentation by Joshua Andrews. He discussed all of VMware’s certifications and focuses on the VCAPs. The video is from December 2018 so it’s still kind of recent. He use to work on making certification exams at VMware so I think he is a great source to learn from. He also has an excellent blog and an article on VCAP exam links.

Ricardo Conzatti has an awesome exam simulator. He gives you a legit environment to RDP to and lab questions to solve in fleshed out scenarios. Then he will give you the answers after your exam simulator session. First, you need to schedule and pay $10. He received a lot of no shows in the past so understandable he wants to try to hold people accountable. Make sure to check your email’s spam folder. I thought I didn’t receive an email for how to connect the day of my scheduled session, but turned out the email was in my spam folder and I lost a little time to eventually find it.

VMware HOL is also a great place to try out your skills. Since the exam environment is based on the HOL, you can get a good feel with how the interface will look and do some tweaks to get the screen to look good. The challenge and vSAN related labs would be good to do. See how it is to have HOL open on one screen and to go back and forth with the manual.

I will be sure to post when I have the results of my exam. I will share my experience and anything else I come across that may be helpful.