Originally called just the VCP exam (VMware Certified Professional), VMware have now added “DCV” (Data Center Virtualization) to the end to differentiate between different types of VCP exam.
The exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of VMware’s core datacenter virtualization products. You are allotted 90 minutes to sit the exam and will have to answer up to 80 or so multiple choice questions.
The following resources have been used by us to prepare for the VCP5-DCV exam and suggested by other readers and bloggers to include for anyone else seeking to do the same thing.
Who better to tell you what the exam is like (subject to some restrictions understandably) than people who have already taken it:
- VCP5 Exam review / experience – Sean Duffy
Whilst it’s apparently possible to pass the VCP exam without ever having touched any of VMware’s products (although this may be truer of the VCP3 / VCP4 than with the VCP5), I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not what VMware intended when they created the certification and it can show. (For example, holding a VCP qualification may get you an interview but it won’t necessarily get you through one!) The best knowledge comes from experience and VMware offer 60 day trials of their software if you’re not already using it.
If you do want to experiment without fiddling with a production environment, get yourself a lab setup. At it’s simplest this could be done using VMware Workstation / Fusion to nest ESXi and run a vCenter VM. There are loads of sites out there with lots of information about building home lab environments, including this one!
Articles & Documents
One document you should definitely be familiar with is the exam Blueprint. This tells you what the exam will seek to test you on. Registration with VMware is required to view the document, but that’s free. You can find the link to the Blueprint document on VMware’s page about the exam.
Aside from the “Experiences” listed above, the one thing that you should probably do is RTFM! VMware’s product documentation may not always be perfect, perhaps doesn’t always say why things work the way that they do and can make for very dry reading matter but every button and setting that you could possibly be tested on in the exam.
There are also other resource pages for the VCP5-DV exam. Here are a few of them to get you started:
There are three that I’d recommend taking a look at:
- Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 5, a popular follow-up to his book covering version 4.
- Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman’s VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Deepdive. This book is very focused on a specific area but it covers it in such rich detail that it’s a must read. Also, expect a good few exam questions to be covered off by the content of this book.
- Brian Atkinson’s VCP5 VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 5 Study Guide: Exam VCP-510. If you must buy a book focused on the exam then this is probably the one to go for.
The VCP exam has had a required course element since at least 2007 although there has been some speculation at various times that VMware might drop it. In my opinion the courses are a great foundation but not sufficient in their own right to guarantee you an exam pass. Some extra reading around the subject and hands-on experience certainly goes a long way.
Simon Long has hosted practice exams for the VCP for a couple of years now. You can find the current VCP5 practice exams on his blog.
VMware’s MyLearn site contains a mock exam.