Archive for October, 2013

VCA-WM Exam Review

October 21st, 2013

Last Thursday while on vacation in Tucson, Arizona, I sat the VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility exam (exam code VCAW510).  This is the third of three currently available VCA level exam I’ve attempted in the last three weeks.  I wrote about the previous VCA exam experiences here and here.

VMware’s take on VCA-WM preparation:

There is no training requirement, however there is a free, self-paced elearning class that can help you prepare.

Snagit Capture

VMware summarizes the VCA-WM certification as follows:

With the VCA-Workforce Mobility certification, you’ll have greater credibility when discussing workforce mobility and end-user computing, the business challenges that VMware Horizon Suite is designed to address, and how deploying the Horizon solution addresses those challenges. You will be able to define workforce mobility and provide use case scenarios of how Horizon and workforce mobility can deliver freedom, flexibility, and manageability while connecting people to their data, applications, and desktops.

VMware further explains that a successful candidate who passes the VCA-WM will realize the following benefits:

  • Recognition of your technical knowledge
  • Official transcripts
  • Use of VCA-WM logo
  • Access to the exclusive VCA portal & logo merchandise store
  • Invitation to beta exams and classes
  • Discounted admission to VMware events
  • Greater opportunities for career advancement

Once again, I recognize two additional benefits to this exam experience:

  • The exam can be taken online from any location with a compatible internet web browser and an internet connection
  • By virtue of the above, coffee is available in the exam room – those who know me know this is a perk

Chris Wahl has a new blog post introducing The New VMware Certified Associate (VCA) Exams.  His video includes VCA exam background, preparation, as well as step by step instructions covering exam registration.

Length for native English speaking vGeeks is 50 questions in 75 minutes.  Both multiple choice and multiple select style of questions.  VMware’s exam summary was consistent with my exam experience.  While I don’t design and manage VMware VDI environments on a daily or even semi-regular basis, I’ve managed one in my own lab for the past few years and I’m familiar with all of the components in the Horizon Suite.  I expected this exam to be slightly more difficult than the VCA-DCV exam but a little easier than the VCA-Cloud exam based on my overall experience with all technologies involved.  Basically, knowledge is needed about each of the features in the Horizon Suite and what is appropriate and where from a product/solution positioning standpoint.  In a word, this exam was frustrating.  I felt good about all of the straight forward questions addressing features and functionality and plowed through those quickly.  However, I encountered about a dozen questions of a particular style in which I wasn’t quite sure what was being asked based on the answers provided.  Without explicitly divulging test questions, the ask was to identify an infrastructure or business challenge that would need to be addressed in order to deploy a given VMware Horizon Suite solution.  That is the way each of the questions of this style was worded.  While that is all well and good, the answers provided seem to discuss areas that the resulting Horizon deployment would implicitly address, rather than areas that needed to be addressed prior to a deployment – and in many cases, each of the provided answers were correct to a degree.  For each, I chose the closest answer but again I didn’t feel any of the answers fit the wording of the question being asked.  I left comments on each of the questions I felt weren’t clear and I also grabbed screenshots of each of these questions which I may reference should VMware wish to contact me regarding my comments.

The laptop I was taking the exam suffered an Internet Explorer crash four times and I had to resume the exam each of the four times.  The test engine appeared to handle these scenarios well.

Snagit Capture

Now… I will move on to the VCAP5-DCA which I’ve been blowing off successfully since its launch.  That exam is scheduled for early November (earliest available slot at my nearby exam centers) with a 70% off voucher, again thanks to my friends on Twitter.

VCA-Cloud Exam Review

October 14th, 2013

Following up on my last post on the VCA-DCV Exam Review and in identical style, Friday evening I sat the VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (VCA-Cloud) exam (exam code VCAC510).

VMware’s take on VCA-Cloud preparation:

There is no training requirement, however there is a free, self-paced elearning class that can help you prepare.

Snagit Capture

VMware summarizes the VCA-Cloud certification as follows:

With the VCA-Cloud certification, you’ll have greater credibility when discussing cloud computing, the business challenges the vCloud Suite is designed to address, and how deploying the vCloud solution addresses those challenges. You’ll be able to define cloud computing and provide use case scenarios of how vCloud and cloud computing can take advantage of private and public clouds without changing existing applications and leverage a common management, orchestration, networking, and security model.

VMware further explains that a successful candidate who passes the VCA-Cloud will realize the following benefits:

  • Recognition of your technical knowledge
  • Official transcripts
  • Use of VCA-Cloud logo
  • Access to the exclusive VCA portal & logo merchandise store
  • Invitation to beta exams and classes
  • Discounted admission to VMware events
  • Greater opportunities for career advancement

Once again, I recognize two additional benefits to this exam experience:

  • The exam can be taken online from any location with a compatible internet web browser and an internet connection
  • By virtue of the above, coffee is available in the exam room – those who know me know this is a perk

Chris Wahl has a new blog post introducing The New VMware Certified Associate (VCA) Exams.  His video includes VCA exam background, preparation, as well as step by step instructions covering exam registration.

On to the exam.  Length for native English speaking vGeeks is 50 questions in 75 minutes.  Both multiple choice and multiple select style of questions.  VMware’s exam summary was consistent with my exam experience.  I’d also add that there was a pretty large focus on hybrid cloud solutions and connectivity.  I found this exam to be more difficult and outside the scope of my daily expertise than the VCA-DCV exam.  While I’ve had quite a bit of experience with vCloud Director and its operational use of storage and networking, and those discussion points weren’t much of a problem, I was at a clear disadvantage in areas covering vFabric Suite, Hyperic, and slightly deeper use of vCOPS.  All of these topics garnered significant focus making it clear that VMware is making a very strong and intentional push into the private/hybrid/public cloud spaces.

I took my time on this exam and did not provide any comments/feedback as I did on the VCA-DCV exam.  At one point I had to stop because lightning, thunder, and rain rolled up on the deck attached to the back of my house where I was taking the exam.  I had to take my laptop, coffee, and cigar to the front of the house which is covered by the stoop.  If the candidate has a basic understanding of VMware’s product portfolio as well as the fundamental features in vSphere, time management shouldn’t be an issue.

I was able to pass the exam adding VCA-Cloud to my suite of certifications.

Snagit Capture

I will now move on to the VCAP5-DCA which I’ve been blowing off successfully since its launch.  That exam is scheduled for early November (earliest available slot at my nearby exam centers) with a 70% off voucher, again thanks to my friends on Twitter.  In the interim, I may also take a look at the VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility (VCA-WM) exam.

VCA-DCV Exam Review

October 11th, 2013

Last week I saw a tweet referring to a link to the Perfect Cloud virtualization blog which contained a free voucher for the VMware Certified Associate – Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV) exam (exam code VCAD510).  Admittedly, in the past I didn’t have much interest in sitting this exam but with the free voucher available, I thought I’d give it an impromptu shot (translated: I’ll be sitting the exam immediately with no preparation. Many test takers refer to this as ‘going in cold‘).  My reasoning was that having sat advanced level VMware certifications in the past, I wasn’t overly concerned with preparation on this one.

VMware’s take on VCA-DCV preparation:

There is no training requirement, however there is a free, self-paced elearning class that can help you prepare.

Snagit Capture

VMware summarizes the VCA-DCV certification as follows:

With the VCA-Data Center Virtualization certification, you’ll have greater credibility when discussing data center virtualization, the business challenges that vSphere is designed to address, and how virtualizing the data center with vSphere addresses those challenges. You’ll be able to define data center virtualization and provide use case scenarios of how vSphere and data center virtualization can provide cost and operational benefits.

VMware further explains that a successful candidate who passes the VCA-DCV will realize the following benefits:

  • Recognition of your technical knowledge
  • Official transcripts
  • Use of VCA-DCV logo
  • Access to the exclusive VCA portal & logo merchandise store
  • Invitation to beta exams and classes
  • Discounted admission to VMware events
  • Greater opportunities for career advancement

Personally, I would add two additional benefits to this exam:

  • The exam can be taken online from any location with a compatible internet web browser and an internet connection
  • By virtue of the above, coffee is available in the exam room – those who know me know this is a perk

Chris Wahl has a new blog post introducing The New VMware Certified Associate (VCA) Exams.  His video includes VCA exam background, preparation, as well as step by step instructions covering exam registration.

On to the exam.  Length for native English speaking vGeeks is 50 questions in 75 minutes.  Both multiple choice and multiple select style of questions.  VMware’s exam summary was spot on, at least for the latter parts (I’m still awaiting peer/industry feedback on the increase of my credibility part).  Most of the questions dealt with a variably complex business need revolving around… yep you guessed it – datacenter virtualization, and the requirement to recommend a corresponding VMware product or feature that meets the customer need.  Most of the Q & A was straightforward but there were a few I came across which either the question or answers provided were vague enough such that the resulting answer will be left to interpretation leading either to a correct or incorrect answer.  Having plenty of time to complete the exam, I left comments/feedback on these items.

I completed the exam in 20 minutes including the comments/feedback on a handful of questions.  If the candidate has a basic understanding of VMware’s product portfolio as well as the fundamental features in vSphere, time management shouldn’t be an issue.

And that wraps it up.  I’ve added VCA-DCV to my suite of certifications.

Snagit Capture

I will now move on to the VCAP5-DCA which I’ve been blowing off successfully since its launch.  That exam is scheduled for early November (earliest available slot at my nearby exam centers) with a 70% off voucher, again thanks to my friends on Twitter.