vSphere 6.5 Foundations - Passed
As I seem to be on a roll and had some free time (duh!), I tackled the Foundation exam right after finishing the "VMware Cloud on AWS" one. This exam felt much more "home" as the previous one, having managed VMware systems in the past. It was a fun ride to go through the preparation resources and figure out what has changed since I last focused on VMware administration.
Materials I used for preparation:
- the 2 part course on vSphere 6.5 Foundations (again by Rick Crisci). Available on Udemy, but I got them via Safaribooks
- the exam practice test by Rick, got this via Udemy in the usual holiday sale
- the (slightly outdated) vSphere 6 Foundations exam Official Guide on Safaribooks by Bill Ferguson
- the VMware docs as usual
This exam has more proper certification characteristics: 70 questions, 105 minutes and again an online-experience. Validity doesn't seem to be limited plus transcripts are available via Certmetrics and the associated badge on Acclaim.
While the course by Rick had overlaps with my recent VCA and VMC exams, it was well-structured. Some lessons repeated 1:1 from the other courses (understandable), but additional lessons got into much more detail as expected. The practice exam was worth a lot, as it's closely aligned to the real thing. Not so much as to be a ****, but more like being a good guide to study documentation on the weak areas afterwards. It helps that the 6 included quizzes (each 20 questions) have good explanations for the answers including links.
In the next step, I went through the official guide and documentation to strengthen points like my missing knowledge on RDM, VVOL and a few vSAN items I was unsure about. My preparation time was about 7 hours total over two days.
The exam is heavy on knowing edition differences as well as limitations on features (when you can use Shared-Nothing or Long-Distance vMotion, when certain features got introduced or changed). It included some decent troubleshooting questions as well as many of the things that got explicitly mentioned in the course and book. Additional documentation study is still needed, especially around vRealize Log Insight (hinthint!). All areas in the exam seemed to be well balanced, there were no noticeable areas of focus.
I will step back from VMware now and turn to the Security/DevOps topics that are more in my area of work/expertise. Continuing the VMware track would only work via taking the mandatory courses my employer won't pay for or doing a CCNA and then go into NSX with the DCP-NV (which I don't think will happen realistically).
Have a good start into the new year!
2019 Goals - LPIC 701, CASP✔, CCNA
2019 Recert - Docker Associate, CySA+✔