VCAP6 exams retiring in September 2018

If you’re looking at taking one of the VMware Advanced Professional exams listed below, you might want to get your skates on as they’re being retired at the end of September:

  • VCAP6 – Data Centre Virtualization Design (VCAP6-DCV Design)
  • VCAP6 – Cloud Management and Automation Design (VCAP6-CMA Design)
  • VCAP6 – Desktop and Mobility Design (VCAP6-DTM Design)

Slots for these exams will start to run out in the next few weeks, so book up now if you want to take them.

All available exams and certifications are detailed on VMware’s certification page. If you want to check the list of retired or retiring exams, the document detailing those can be found here.

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VCP-NV: Getting Started

So, you’ve decided to take the VCP-NV exam that VMware launched just recently. If you haven’t been living and breathing VMware NSX for the past few months, you’re probably going to need to do some preparation so that you don’t waste the exam fee. Even if you’re an expert, it’s sensible to at least look over the blueprint first and make sure that you have all of the bases covered.

Either way, if you want to get this certification then there are three routes that you can take to do it.

1. You’re new to VMware certification

Before you can earn the certification, you MUST attend the VMware NSX: Install, Configure and Manage course. Then to earn the VCP-NV certification, simply register for and pass the VCPN610 exam.

vcp-nv-route1-option

2. You have any other valid VCP certification

VMware recently implemented a recertification policy. It may change over time (or go away completely) but you need to check and see if your existing VCP is still valid. If it isn’t then you need to go back to option 1.

There are optional courses that you can take but to earn the VCP-NV certification, simply register for and pass the VCPN610 exam.

vcp-nv-route2-option

3. You have a valid Cisco certification

If you have one of these four certifications and you’re reading this before 1st March 2015, you fit in here.

  • CCNA Data Center
  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • CCNP Data Center
  • CCNP Routing and Switching

There are optional courses that you can take but to earn the VCP-NV certification, simply register for and pass the VCPN610 exam.

vcp-nv-route3-option

Exam Blueprint

As far as the VCPN610 exam itself goes, your first step is obtaining the exam blueprint from VMware. This can be found on VMware’s certification page dedicated to the VCP-NV.

Depending on your comfort level, you can now either work through the exam topics by yourself, with colleagues, as part of a study group or make use of other online resources. One that I’ll recommend now is the #vBrownbag EMEA webinar. There’s a series starting tonight covering Objective 1 of the exam blueprint. Register via the link on the #vBrownbag website. (The webinars are recorded an usually available to watch offline later the same week as they are broadcast.)

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VMware Education Offers at VMworld Europe 2013

I popped by the certification area in hall 7 (behind the HoL) at VMworld Europe today to chat to the lovely people working in VMware’s Education team. One of my primary reasons for going there (aside from getting some badges) was to enquire about progress on the exam track for Network Virtualisation. More on that in a minute.

If you’re new to VMware certification or just getting started, there are a couple of good reasons to visit the Education Team whilst at the conference. Firstly they are offering a discount code to take a VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam if you register for it before November 15th 2013.

The VCA certification is VMware’s entry level certification and the exam can be taken online. The current availability and structure of the certification tracks can be seen below.

screenshot466

If you want to take your certification further (to get your VCP5-DCV for example) you need to take a VMware course to qualify. The good news is that the required course, VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage, is available as an on-demand classroom course.

If you sign up while you’re at VMworld, you can take the course for only $499 and replay it for up to 90 days. Since the ICM course typically goes for upwards of $2000, that represents a big saving. For more details, go to the Certification area and ask for Julie.

So, what about the Network Virtualisation exams? No concrete news yet (although I got to meet John Arrasjid, @vcdx001 whilst trying to find that out) but given that NSX went GA today it’ll probably be in the next 3 -6 months.

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VMware Certifications

Whilst doing the rounds in the VMworld Solutions Exchange, I got into a conversation about VMware certifications on VMware’s stand. I was there for quite a while and learned a lot about how VMware choose questions and tasks for their exams. It’s quite an involved process and one designed to ensure that a certain percentage of people sitting the exams are capable of answering each question.

Each question must be carefully considered and researched by a small panel of people before it is submitted in to a pool from which the exams are built. In the case of the VCAP-DCA exam, extra effort is required to automate the creation of a suitable testing environment / conditions for the task and, where possible, a mechanism for automatically marking those tasks is required.

So, all things considered, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that exam development and release can take some time. Indeed, when I pressed for a VCAP5-DCA exam release date I wasn’t given a direct answer. It will take as long as it takes to get it right. There was, however, a strong feeling that it should be possible to sit the exam (or at least book it) before the year is out.