VCP550 Pass (VCP5-DCV)

xengorethxengoreth Member Posts: 117 ■■■□□□□□□□
I just passed the VCP550 this morning. I've been working with VMware vSphere/Infrastructure (as it was called back in the day) since 2009. It's been a goal of mine for a long time to finally take my acquisition of professional qualifications seriously, which I've been working hard on this year.

Besides tons of work and labbing experience at home with vSphere 5.5, I used the following resources to prepare for the test:
  • Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5 (Scott Lowe): I bought the book given the astoundingly good reviews and found it to be so dry that I got about 1/3 the way through it. It might be more exciting for someone with less experience in the subject matter at hand.
  • The exam blueprint: Funny thing is, the exam blueprint and referenced documentation set for vSphere 5.5 is actually the best way, in my opinion, to study. This, of course, is in conjunction with your home lab. In the context of your home lab, it's great to have a few hosts or at least one host in which you can stand up a few nested ESXi hosts. You might want to do nested ESXi anyway to emulate the hardware needed for VSAN or add tons of NICs, for example. Additionally, having good network equipment (Cisco 3560G or 3750G or equivalent) can be helpful if you want to play with all the little scenarios you can, like PVLANs, LACP, etc.
  • Finally, the VCAP5-DCA Official Cert Guide: VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5- Data Center Administration by Steve Baca and John Davis: This book, while going above and beyond the scope of the VCP, provides much more in-depth coverage on the nuts and bolts and end-to-end solutions of technologies that overlap between the two blueprints. In general, was much more interesting reading than the Scott Lowe book, but I wouldn't call it a required source by any stretch of the imagination.
Also, I'd recommend anyone not in my same boat to instead go for the VCP6-DCV. I took the Stanly class back in 2014 for vSphere 5, so for my goal of the VCP6-DCV I needed to achieve the VCP5-DCV so I can simply take the VCP6-DCV Delta (the other route being VCP6 Foundations -> VCP6-NV -> VCP6-DCV (allowed due to my CCNA)). This route was one less test and didn't involve also learning NSX (which I'd like to do anyway).

As far as Stanly goes, I am really happy this option exists for self-motivated individuals without the $4000 to drop on a Install and Config course. In my case, I work for a company that doesn't reward learning or growth (much less pay for it) so I am on my own for all my training needs. As has been noted in several other threads, the Install and Config course Stanly offers is not sufficient for passing, but will give someone without any virtualization experience a great head start on their journey.
2018 Goals: CCNP R/S, VCP6-NV


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