My VCP5 upgrade experience 0

Already a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) at version 4, I decided that I would take advantage of the very generous window provided by VMware which allowed me to take the VCP 5 upgrade exam without the training course requirement when taken before February 29th, 2012.

In this post, I will outline my experience.  Please note:  I will NOT go into detail as to the exact questions on the exam.  Doing so would be placing me in violation of the terms of agreement between myself and VMware I accepted when before taking the exam.  I will point out topics that I feel a potential candidate needs to focus on in greater detail with the release of the VCP 5 exam.

First off, I am happy to report that the VCP 5 exam did not seem to cover as many of the configuration maximums as the VCP 4 exam had.  Please do not get me wrong — I feel that a professional needs to be aware of all of the maximum values that a given product or technology can achieve, especially when designing a new environment; however, having to memorize all of those values as compared to knowing where to find those values can be seen as a cruel and unusual punishment.  My recommendation:  be sure you memorize the most “important” configuration maximum values.  These include all of the metrics pertaining to a virtual machine (memory, disk, processors, networking), as well as the hosts themselves.  Stay away from straining your brain over lesser used configuration maximum numbers such as maximum number of virtual machines supported in a linked vCenter Server deployment.  Catch my drift?

As for my next recommendation, I highly recommend that you get hands-on experience with all of the latest vSphere 5 features.  Things such as Auto Deploy, Storage DRS, and the new HA agents are all fair game on this exam.  Hands-on experience is the only way to really master these topical areas.  This experience can be achieved with by running vSphere and ESXi inside of virtual machines on your workstation if necessary.  The bottom line here is that you need to actually get a feel for these new technologies as a whole.  Their configuration, interfaces, etc. are all valid points to know.

Read, ingest, and understand all topics on the VCP exam blueprint (found here).  Expect to encounter at least one question from each and every one of these topical areas on your exam.

My final tip to a prospective VCP candidate, one word:  study.  I have seen many candidates not take this exam seriously.  Do yourself a favor and do not let your ego get in the way of your success.  Even if you work with vSphere and VMware products every day, I am willing to bet that you would not pass the VCP exam without putting in the appropriate amount of study time.  This exam really does cover all areas of the vSphere product.  Be sure you are prepared to answer questions that may be out of your comfort zone.

Here is a list of the study resources that I employed while studying for my VCP 5 upgrade exam:

Best of luck on your exam and future endeavors!