I took the VCAP-DCD exam today and have finally passed. I believe this is one of the unwritten rule that you have to write about your experience so you can share it. I felt like I just tackled a mountain. This was probably one of the hardest exams that I’ve taken in a long time. This was my second attempt at this beast as my first attempt was at VMworld 2014. I’ve been studying off and on for some time now, but after reading some of the other blogs about guys passing this exam on multiple tries I decided what better time than now to take this challenge on. The blog I read was Craig Waiters who passed it on his third attempt; read his journey here.
I did find the 5.5 version has a lot better flow, then the 5.1 exam. I had 42 questions and 8 were the visio-like design questions. After being unsuccessful the first time, I decided I needed to brush up on high level holistic helicopter view of design. I also did some brushing up on PMP skills to help define requirements, assumptions, contraints, and risks.
In preparation for my take two of this exam I used this:
- On-line practice exam http://www.virtualtiers.net I believe it was created by Jason Grierson. The study pack at the end can in very handy also. This site was very useful and it’s just like the VMware community to make something like this for everyone’s benefit.
- VMware vSphere Design book from Forbes Guthrie, Scott Lowe, and Kendrick Coleman
- The blueprint
- I skipped all the questions by flagging them which allowed me to concentrate on the design scenarios while I was still fresh. This left me over an hour and a half left to answer the rest of the questions.
- Know how to apply the infrastructure design qualities of AMPRS: Availability, Manageability, Performance, Recoverability, and Security (Cost can also be thrown in there)
- Requirements, Assumptions, Constraints, and Risks; how to identify these.
- Applying dependencies; upstream and downstream; Good blog by vBikerblog on this Application Dependency – Upstream and Downstream Definitions
- Conceptual, Logical, and Physical designs.
- Storage design best practices; (ALUA, VAAI, VASA, SIOC)
- I’ll be taking the Install,Configure, and Manage (ICM) course for NSX and likely taking the VCP-NV
- Maybe next year I’ll tackle the behemoth of the VCDX; need to finish grad school first