Passed VCAP5-DCA

tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
Thanks to everyone on here that posted resources and suggestions on the DCA. I passed it with a 373 on Thursday.

The blueprint is 100% on point for this test. Download it, download a checklist too and check off each point as you are reading and labbing them. I used the pluralsight Optimize and Scale course taught by Jason Nash, I had Staples print and bind the PDF study guide found at https://paulgrevink.wordpress.com, and I used the official documentation to fill in the gaps. I have a home lab (nested ESXi hosts on a Dell T110 server) and used that extensively.

I actually had a hard time finding up to date "trip reports" so I figured I could post some thoughts to help anyone else out. I had heard a lot of people complain about lag and slowdown but I guess VMware has figured it out. I didn't have any delay in clicks, everything ran smoothly, etc. It performed about as well as my home lab performs.

The first thing I did before even doing the pre-test survey thing was write the numbers 1 - 23 on my dry erase board. I left some space for notes, topics, etc. This was crucial for me. I checked off the number if I thought I was done and wrote my last step if I wanted to move on. Once my clock started I opened up the web and thick client and authenticated. While that loaded I read all 23 questions and wrote down the topic. It calmed me down to know there were some topics I knew and had practiced for.

Time management is key. If you don't know, write down the topic and move on. You can always come back. Since you get partial points do the 5 minutes of work you know you can do, note where you left, and move on.

You get access to a ton of documentation and kb.vmware.com. It doesn't index itself as well as google indexes it but you can still search and find some help.

I had worked on all 23 questions 90 minutes in. I spent the remaining 90 minutes finishing up most of them. This is the first time the clock stopped on me. I left some partially finished and one I couldn't start on for either a technical reason or an IT-10T error.

Advice to anyone else working on it: Lab, get a month of pluralsight and watch Jason Nash's Optimize and Scale series. Also invest time in learning all three command lines. I'm taking very basic Linux administration (vi, renaming files, changing directories), PowerCLI and ESXCLI. Know what you can't configure in the GUI. Know what you can only do in the web client.

If you can't afford or don't have access to hardware at work consider doing a virtualized lab in vCloud Air. You can get $300 free credit and there are some blogs out there to help you get started.

I have 9 years experience working with VMware, mostly in SMBs. I changed jobs about a year ago and am in an enterprise level environment with a lot of different features in production. Much of the blueprint points lined up to stuff I needed to do, was in the process of doing, or topics I needed to train to our new employees. I put in about a month of 35+ hour weeks studying to prepare but the year in the enterprise made a huge difference.
I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com

Comments

  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    First of all, congratulations, and welcome to the club! This is a great accomplishment of which you should be proud.

    You have posted some clear, well-stated advise; I agree with everything you said. I was one of the unfortunate ones who had a very laggy environments for my test. I'm glad they fixed that.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    Congratulations!

    Very inspiring insight, will check out those videos myself. :)
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote: »
    First of all, congratulations, and welcome to the club! This is a great accomplishment of which you should be proud.

    You have posted some clear, well-stated advise; I agree with everything you said. I was one of the unfortunate ones who had a very laggy environments for my test. I'm glad they fixed that.

    Thank you. I have been dreaming of taking this test for awhile and it doesn't quite feel real. I'm glad I didn't have to contend with much lag because that would have been the difference I think. The test was actually really fun since it was just "go do this". I wanted to give some advice back to others, it wasn't easy for me to find clear, up to date detail so I'm glad to provide my own.
    Deathmage wrote: »
    Congratulations!

    Very inspiring insight, will check out those videos myself. :)

    Thanks a lot! Those videos are fantastic even if you aren't going to sit the DCA. They really dig deep under the hood. They're written for 5.0 but the delta on the blueprint is basically just Replication and vFlash.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I wonder if he has videos for version 6 yet. I'm about a year out from having to recert. Probably time to start thinking about it.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Jason Nash doesn't have any on Pluralsight but Greg Shields put out a VCP6 class in November 2015. I've seen Jason post on www.reddit.com/r/vmware so I may go over there and see if he's working on a 6 Optimize and Scale.

    VMware themselves have an on demand, online course specifically for the VCP6 delta but it's fairly pricey.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • DAVIS NGUYENDAVIS NGUYEN Member Posts: 1,472 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congrats. Welcome to the club.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Does anyone know how many VCAPs there are now? I saw a post from 2014 that said 3000 or so but that has to have at least doubled since then. Only asking for my ego ;)
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congratulations! Welcome to the most exclusive club out there! (well not really ;))

    Check out the VCP6 vBrownBag videos over on professionalvmware.com . I've done 2 of them myself (shameless plug). There's lots of great stuff for the VCAPs too.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648
    Congrats on the pass.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Essendon wrote: »
    Congratulations! Welcome to the most exclusive club out there! (well not really ;))

    Check out the VCP6 vBrownBag videos over on professionalvmware.com . I've done 2 of them myself (shameless plug). There's lots of great stuff for the VCAPs too.

    I've been looking at the vBrownBags for the DCD. At first I was going to rush and attempt that one but cooler heads have prevailed and I'm going to take my time. I'm targeting May for my attempt. I was able to devote a solid month to the DCA and now all those delayed obligations are popping up.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    tbgree00 wrote: »
    I've been looking at the vBrownBags for the DCD. At first I was going to rush and attempt that one but cooler heads have prevailed and I'm going to take my time. I'm targeting May for my attempt. I was able to devote a solid month to the DCA and now all those delayed obligations are popping up.

    DCD isn't that hard.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • DPGDPG Member Posts: 780 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Congrats and good write up! Are you going to take the VCAP6 Design exam so you can earn the VCIX6?

  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I haven't looked at vSphere 6 but it seems the beta registration for VCAP6 DCD is closed. I was thinking of doing it while it was $100 but missed my chance.

    I'm glad to hear the DCD isn't that hard, I just want to go through the design book and Scott Lowe's videos on pluralsight. Like I said I have a lot of family and vacational obligations coming up that I need to take care of before I could sit the exam. I have also changed from a job where I did designs to a VMware administration only job so I'm rusty on my design principles.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Instead of starting a new thread I figured I'd bump this one to say I passed my DCD today as well! No foolin'

    There was a very wide amount of knowledge covered in this one. Working in a big enterprise helped a lot.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • GBAKER2204GBAKER2204 Member Posts: 91 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on both passes.
    WIP: 2017 - VCP6.5-DCV (Achieved), VCAP6-DCV, Citrix CCA-V
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