My climb to the VCDX

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  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    VMware reckon the VCDX is like the CCDE/CCAr. The CCIE is more like the new VCIX certification.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    Essendon wrote: »
    VMware reckon the VCDX is like the CCDE/CCAr. The CCIE is more like the new VCIX certification.

    Someday I'll be as wise as some, I'm just not that gray yet...
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Essendon wrote: »
    Had to change my design a little bit, removed 2 things, added a few. This is a known problem with fictitious designs. I need to lock it in. Oh, getting some decent practice with Visio! After Excel, Visio is the next best thing MS have come up with.

    Always thought Paint was the best thing MS released. :)
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    So how long does this thing have to be (as in pages) or is it as long as it needs to be in in order to stand up to a defense?
    Niran's was more than 1000 pages.

    My VCDX journey experience
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Wow a 1000 pages, so Ess you must be knocking out a couple of pages of technical documentation every day? Rough maths - 6 months writing 1000 pages / 180 days = ~5.5 pages per day. Something like that?
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Like they say, it's about the quality not quantity. I think I have something complex enough and I'm going to give them exactly what they're looking for. As long as I check all their boxes, that's all that matters. Having said this, I admire Niran's effort, keep in mind he worked with a guy called Agustin Malanco on the same design, so it was a joint effort (yes, they defended the same design and both passed). This is not to take their thunder away from them, it goes to show two people working together can produce fantastic documentation. Niran says, and I agree, that if your design's going to be fully fictitious, your documentation better be top notch, so the two of them produced what's likely the most comprehensive VCDX submission ever.

    My documentation is never going to make it to 1000 pages, never! It'll be more likely between 200-300 pages. I watched a brownbag this morning while commuting to work and John Arrasjid said it clearly - we have 8 hours/panelist to read your entire submission so it's best you keep any filler material out of it. They dont want candidates to be copying entire best practice guides, storage guides and other such stuff. Instead they'd much rather prefer the candidate just says - for such and such step, please read the performance best practices guide (hyperlinked to vmware.com/..).

    As for the number of pages/day, I'm probably doing 2-3/day. This may seem like a snail's progress, and it probably is, but having to write the design from scratch is going to require decent effort. To top it off, I havent locked in the final design yet, though since yesterday I think I've nailed it down. I've been tossing around a few things and after some great advice from a forum member and some folks on Twitter, I think I'm close to locking it in. Once locked, I'll just about set it in stone. It's too easy to get carried away and then with too many moving parts, it's harder for the whole thing to gel together.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    Sorry, I didn't have time for feeding more information.

    Keep in mind that there will also be a number of pages that have diagrams, pictures, tables, etc. A lot would be in the appendix, however, there would still be some throughout.
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    The thing to realize is that the number of page is equal to the amount of detail you need to present that showcases all aspects of your design. It could be 20 pages or 2000.
  • SimonD.SimonD. Posts: 111Member
    So one of the things to remember with your VCDX submission is that it's aimed at one area of specialisation, whether it's Datacenter, View, Cloud etc, you want to ensure that you're covering those in particular rather than bringing in products from outside of that space.

    I know Gregg well, was at the VCDX Bootcamp with him and John Arrasjid earlier this year and saw some of the documents that guys were putting together (Support Docs, Implementation Guides, HLD's etc). I also know that both Gregg and Craig failed their VCDX earlier this year and won't be presenting until April next year at the earliest, the prep is a killer.

    I have heard stories of people taking over 1000 hours to prepare where others have taken 300 hours. It's about knowing your limitations and admiting them, don't bullshit the panel because you don't know who is on it and what they know, don't admit to work you didn't do or understand and always mention others who had a part in the design (again I have heard of people putting in designs that they worked on as a team, two candidates using the same design defending the part of the design that they worked on and assigning the parts of the design to the other person). I have also heard people of have taken a design and submitting it as their own, leaving spelling mistakes in there, it would have been ok had it not been for the fact that one of the panel was the original author.

    VCDX is the pinnicle of VMware Design but it will be interesting to see where they go from now, especially with the VCIX now having been released. I wonder if more VCIX will make an appearance?
    My Blog - http://www.everything-virtual.com
    vExpert 2012\2013\2014\2015
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    IF I ever decide to go down the VCDX route I hope Gregg still works for us :p
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    IF I ever decide to go down the VCDX route I hope Gregg still works for us :p
    Have him over for a few beers and BBQ's and then you won't need to just be working together :P
    SimonD. wrote:
    I have also heard people of have taken a design and submitting it as their own, leaving spelling mistakes in there, it would have been ok had it not been for the fact that one of the panel was the original author.
    I bet that person isn't allowed back..
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
  • SimonD.SimonD. Posts: 111Member
    kj0 wrote: »
    I bet that person isn't allowed back..

    Actually I believe they were and used their own design this time (I believe that English wasn't his mother tongue and that there was some confusion), I also seem to recall that they passed the defense the second time around.

    Oh and speak to Gregg about organising a braai, something he has wanted to do for years :)
    My Blog - http://www.everything-virtual.com
    vExpert 2012\2013\2014\2015
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thank you for the input Simon, I too am eager to find out how the VCIX takes off. At first glance, it looks like a VCAP exam with the 17 lab activities but I don't know how difficult those tasks are so cant say with conviction if it's on par with or below (in difficulty) with the CCIE. But interesting for sure.

    There are numerous people I have respect for that didn't pass their first go at the DX. Does it worry me, yes it does. Does it deter me, not in the least. What it does in spades though is provide me motivation to go after this thing like my life depended on it.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    How's the labbing coming along Ess? - thanks for pointing out Wordpress for me, it will take time to build it out. Your posts are posts are awesome to read. :)
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    No labbing yet, it'll only be when I need to test stuff that I'll lab it up. Till then it's just typing and Visio diagrams.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Rebooted my design. Started afresh, used some remnants from previous design. Keep reminding myself - this is a long marathon, keep at it.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • azjagazjag Posts: 579Member
    So Ess, you just about done with the rough draft? Just kidding, Good luck and I'll be following this thread for updates. Just need to finish my VCAP-DCD and I'll be following in your footsteps for the VCDX.

    Azjag
    Currently Studying:
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA) (Passed)
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design (VCAP5-DCD)
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    azjag wrote: »
    So Ess, you just about done with the rough draft? Just kidding, Good luck and I'll be following this thread for updates. Just need to finish my VCAP-DCD and I'll be following in your footsteps for the VCDX.

    Azjag

    The knowledge gap between a CAP and DX is larger than the gap between VCP and CAP.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Do it azjag, it's worth the effort. Lemme know if you need any help with the DCD.

    Dave's spot on with the gap analysis. There's indeed a huge difference in the amount of knowledge required.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • azjagazjag Posts: 579Member
    Luckily I'm in a position where I get to design and build/upgrade VMware environments on a regular basis. I'm about 160 pages into a design I can use for my defense that is real but needs identifying information sanitized. I have about 30 books related to VMware on my Kindle, countless more in dead tree editions, and 40gb of CBT training material. I have every expectation that this requires a mile wide, mile deep understanding of concepts and experience. But that is what makes this challenging cert worth all the hard work.
    Currently Studying:
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA) (Passed)
    VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design (VCAP5-DCD)
  • sunder_sssunder_ss Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Essendon, I just took a look on your blog great info regarding the DCD path.. I took the exam two times and I've failed last time with a 285 score. I will be taking the exam again i hope this weekend. as Soon that im done with this i will start studying for the VCDX.. :)
  • tprice5tprice5 Posts: 770Member
    azjag wrote: »
    Luckily I'm in a position where I get to design and build/upgrade VMware environments on a regular basis.
    What percentage of VCDX's do you believe were/are in similar circumstances? It seems you would be at a severe disadvantage if you weren't doing this day in and day out. It doesn't even appear attainable by simply studying after work but only by waking up and living it everyday.

    Just an outside perspective looking in.
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  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yep, most if not all current and aspiring VCDX's do this kind of work daily to varying extents. It's not just about putting the design together, it's about thinking of the alternatives (pros and cons), the risks (and their mitigation), justification (and benefits) while being mindful of the client's requirements and constraints. Think of the actual defense as being a sustained barrage by heavy artillery from the top of a hill down on a barren valley below!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Pursuit on hold for now, several very interesting projects at work leave no time/energy to keep the design going. Might try to squeeze in an hour every Saturday and Sunday.

    How often do you have work reign in your cert plans?
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    Essendon wrote: »
    How often do you have work reign in your cert plans?
    All the time. The time it really affects ya is when they ask you skill up on a whole new device, Say: Palo Alto/Fortigate and you have no prior experience with anywhere that much networking because you've done MIcrosoft and Vmware.
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Essendon wrote: »
    How often do you have work reign in your cert plans?

    Massively right now - had to put my vCAP on hold as well icon_sad.gif
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
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