I got so many messages to share my experience with the VCAP5-DCD. So here is my VCAP5-DCD preparation and Exam experience.
VCAP5-DCD, no need to lie, is one of the hardest certification I had to pass; by the way I passed it in my second attempt ;-).
I took this exam on 21st August, 2014. For VCAP5-DCD you need to understand all the nuances of a typical customer scenario which you will be working as an enterprise architect with focus on virtualization of course.
The exam consists of 100 questions with Single choice, multiple choices, drag-drop and 6 Visio like scenario based design questions that need to complete in 275 minutes (including 30 minutes extra for non-English country…was lucky to get this 🙂 ). The exam covers all the topics mentioned in the blueprint. VMware has been doing a good job of making sure that all they give in the blueprint is covered in the exam and also the exam live up to the “Advanced “category which these exams are part.
Make sure that you understand every aspect of a project design such as Goals, Requirements, Constraint, Risks, Assumptions in very details and have a clear understanding of what these are and given a scenario how to recognize them. Read and understand HA/DRS and Resource Pool concepts in great detail, look at all the backup and DR strategies and concepts (e.g. RPO, RTO, WRT and MTD).
There is no practical question but I would encourage people preparing for the exam to do a lot of mock design on paper in networking and storage areas with various permutation and combination of network cards , HBA and storage tiers.
Handling the time in the exam is a critical factor makes sure that you target approximately 25-30 questions per hour which will give you sufficient time in the last hour so that you don’t have to rush and you can concentrate on the Visio type Design questions and also review your answers if necessary. (Good News Review is Available now)
About the books I used for the exam, here the list:-
VMware VCAP5-DCD Exam Blueprint: – https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=47317&ui=www_cert
– VMware vSphere Design 2nd Edition: This is a must read not only for the exam preparation but for all the information’s needed for a good design implementation; all the components are reviewed (storage, network, compute, management …)
– VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide: It’s the VMware Press official book on the VCAP-DCD exam. It’s a good book when you start from the beginning.
– VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive: This is great to read this book wrote by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman, it’s just the reference on HA, DRS and Storage DRS mechanisms.
Don’t forget to look at the VMware Design tool simulator for the VCAP5-DCD exam, Watch at least 3-4 times and will save time in exam.
Here are few links:-
Good luck everyone for trying to pass the VCAP5-DCD exam and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the exam 🙂