VCAP-DCD Study Guide: Part 1

So with the recent announcement from VMware that they will be retiring the 5.1 flavours of the VCAP-DCA and VCAP-DCD exams at the end of January 2015 I realise I’m a little late to the party, but for anyone planning to take the VDCD510 exam between now and then this series of posts will hopefully lend a hand in preparing for what is in all honesty, a beast of an exam.

Step One: STUDY!

First of all, there is no shortcut to passing the VCAP-Datacenter Design exam, and in that respect VMware have done a good job in ensuring that only those that really know their stuff are going to pass which is a good thing, however this is undermined somewhat by the eccentricities and in some cases, downright failings of the exam engine, which I will come to later.
So how should you prepare?  Well, if you are designing VMware solutions as your bread and butter then you’ll only need to worry about prepping for the exam itself ( I say ‘only’, this should be a topic in itself).  However it may still be a good idea to do some good old-fashioned studying beforehand, and if you’re new to VMware design then you definitely have some reading to do.  For knowledge then, I cannot recommend the following resources enough.  Yes it may seem like a lot but trust me, it’ll be worth it.
So go gather, but be sure to come back for Part Two for advice on how best to study and use the resources available.

Study Resources

VMware vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive – Amazon – Duncan Epping & Frank Denneman
This is an absolute must-have for any VMware engineer and great for background info
Mastering VMware vSphere 5 – Amazon – Scott Lowe
VMware vSphere Design – Amazon – Forbes Guthrie, Scott Lowe & Kendrick Coleman
This is an absolute MUST for this exam- ignore this one at your peril
VMware vSphere 5.x Datacenter Design Cookbook – Amazon – Hersey Cartwright
Great for those all-important sizing calculations!
VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide – Amazon – Paul McSharry
Probably not as useful as it should be, but still a worthwhile read


VCAP5-DCD Exam Blueprint
Might seem obvious but do not underestimate the blueprint as a resource.  Read it, if there’s anything you aren’t strong on then make sure you read up on it.  Good extra reading list here too (if you don’t have enough to get on with already!)
VMware Exam UI Demonstration
Now we’re getting to the meat of it, this is essential!  I will discuss this in detail in later posts…
Designing VMware Infrastructure – Pluralsight Training Course – Scott Lowe
Probably the single most useful resource for the VCAP-DCD, and I’ll explain why in part 2….


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