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Posted by on Dec 8, 2013 in Certification | 2 comments

VCAP5-CIA Exam Experience

VCAP5-CIA Exam Experience

I sat the VMware VCAP5-CIA lab exam several weeks ago, and finally received my results. I am happy to report that I passed. I’d like to describe my preparation steps here to hopefully assist others who are planning to attempt this exam. First of all, like the DCA, this is a lab exam. You will be operating in a live lab environment, and some tasks will need to be completed properly in order to complete latter tasks. There are a total of 32 items on this exam, each item having multiple tasks.  As you can infer from the blueprint, the products covered in the lab include vCloud Director, Chargeback, and vShield (among others). As always, for me, time management was an issue. You have three and a half hours to complete the exam, and I think I made it through only about 25 of the items. One of these days I am going to learn how to properly manage my time on these exams, but this certainly wasn’t it....

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Posted by on Aug 18, 2013 in Certification | 0 comments

VCAP5-CID Exam Experience

VCAP5-CID Exam Experience

I sat the VCAP5-CID (Cloud Infrastructure Design) exam yesterday, and thankfully managed to pass. I wanted to throw together a quick post explaining my exam experience and the preparation work involved. I hope that this is of assistance to someone out there who may be considering sitting this exam. First off, this was a challenging exam. In terms of difficulty when compared with the other VCAPs I have taken, I would rank this one at the top. This exam is about 3.5 hours and I was under the 3-minute mark when I submitted the last answer. What made this exam the most challenging for me was the networking portions. I consider myself to be very adept at vCloud networking, however I also happen to be a very visual person, and I usually need to draw out or whiteboard most any complex networking design. On this exam, that costs you time, and time is one thing you can’t really afford to waste here. There were 115 questions on my exam,...

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Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 in Certification | 0 comments

VCAP5-DCA Exam Experience

VCAP5-DCA Exam Experience

I sat the VCAP5-DCA exam a few weeks ago, and I am happy to report that I received the notification yesterday that I passed. I would like to document my exam experience here to help others that may be preparing to sit this exam. The primary challenge in this exam is time. It is essentially a 4 hour exam, and it is a race against the clock the entire time. The exam is 100% lab. This means that you are remote-connecting to a real environment and you are expected to make the necessary configuration changes to that environment for each task. There are 26 tasks in total, and each task will have multiple steps. Also, the lab environment is consistent throughout the exam. You don’t get a new environment for each task. So make sure you don’t irreparably break something (like the management interfaces), or you may just have to end the exam and re-schedule. It is certainly possible to lock yourself out of the lab, so be careful....

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Posted by on Jun 8, 2013 in Certification | 2 comments

VCAP5-DCA Preparation

VCAP5-DCA Preparation

As I am now in the preparation stage for the VCAP5-DCA exam, I wanted to take a few minutes to post the list of resources that I am using to prepare. Hopefully this will be of assistance to someone else out there also preparing for the same exam. First, a few notes about the exam: The time allotted for the exam is 225 minutes. Like the DCD exam, if you are taking this in a non-English speaking country, you are allowed an extra 30 minutes. The Exam is 100% lab. There are no multiple choice or drag/drop questions, everything happens in a lab environment. You will be given around 26 separate “questions,” and each question has a set of tasks that you must complete in the lab. The lab environment is constant throughout the exam. This means that the environment you work in on question 1 is the same environment you will be working in on question 26. So if you do something silly like mess up a management...

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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Certification | 3 comments

VCAP5-DCD – In The Bag!

VCAP5-DCD – In The Bag!

I had originally planned on sitting this exam at the end of the month, but I had gotten to the point in my studying that I felt like my brain had absorbed all it was going to, so I went ahead and took the plunge. I’m happy to say that I passed with flying colors. Experience This time around I knew what to expect going in. I managed to finish the exam with more than an hour left on the clock. This had a lot to do with the fact that I was much more familiar with the design tool and how to manipulate the various objects. The design tool is a bit “wonky” to put it in technical terms, but it is usable once you get the hang of it. My biggest advice here is to lay out all the base objects and leave plenty of real-estate between them for the connections. Add in the connections last, and avoid moving anything that has an existing connection attached. I...

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Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Certification | 0 comments

How to crash-and-burn on the VCAP5-DCD exam – an in-depth guide

How to crash-and-burn on the VCAP5-DCD exam – an in-depth guide

So I sat for the VCAP5-DCD exam yesterday and managed to fail it by just a few points. I want to document my exam experience here to hopefully help anyone else attempting  this certification. First off, just to summarize – this test is composed of 100 questions. Most of these will be multiple choice, there will be several drag-drop questions, and between 5-8 design questions (where you have to read a case study and use the in-exam design tool to create a Visio-like design). Each of the design questions took me about 15-20 minutes each. I had 6 of them on this exam. The exam is about 4 hours, and unless you have had a lot of experience with these types of exams, or maybe you are a 10-year-old Asian prodigy with a Stephen Hawking IQ, every one of those minutes is going to be precious to you. I had 30 seconds left on the clock when I hit “Submit” for the final time. You are given a laminated board and...

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