Sitting my VCAP5-DCA tomorrow

EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
ETA is T-23 hours. I have 2 sets of notes, one's comprehensive which I will go through during the day today and the other one's much more condensed one with some CLI stuff which I'll go through in the morning tomorrow. Feeling fairly confident, I'll remember to not spend too much time on one task - if I cant do it I'll skip it and come back later if there's time. I've memorized the page numbers of where certain items are located in the pdf guides so accessing them should be easier. Stuff like claimrules/SSD tagging/VUM reports isnt something you do everyday, so having the guide to look at should be handy. Gone through the blueprint multiple times and I can perform the tasks at speed. Whether the speed is good enough or not, well, I'll find out tomorrow. Hopefully, the environment wont be too laggy, atleast not as bad as what blargoe experienced. "By the power of Greyskull ... I have the powerrr!!!"
NSX, NSX, more NSX..

Blog >> http://virtual10.com
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Comments

  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,090Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm sure you'll do fine. You don't seem like a slacker unlike me. icon_thumright.gif
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks Dave. Well actually I've put it off twice in the past, I planned on taking it in December but then I had just started a new job so I cancelled it. Then I had it on the 20th of March, then work got in the way. Finally taking it tomorrow, let's see what happens.

    Any tips?
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Good luck!
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,090Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Essendon wrote: »
    Thanks Dave. Well actually I've put it off twice in the past, I planned on taking it in December but then I had just started a new job so I cancelled it. Then I had it on the 20th of March, then work got in the way. Finally taking it tomorrow, let's see what happens.

    Any tips?

    Just the obvious stuff. Go for the low hanging fruits first. Keep track of the ones you've skipped. If you need to take a restroom break, try to get a task going if possible. Avoid scrolling the pdf.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks Dave, handy tips mate. I'll have no water apart from the glass of warm water I have after I wake up. Thanks Pat!

    One thing that escapes me is why is there such a time restraint on this test. I know at our jobs we got to work quickly, but not as quickly as you need to do this exam. Seems like a money-grab to me really. 26 tasks in the 3.5 hours or so is quite absurd, IMO. What's the big hurry. Also, why is the environment so laggy, for the $400 we fork out we ought to get a decent testing environment.

    Anyways, that's my whinge for today, I had to get it out. It's all good though, the entire experience of preparing for this test has been very informative. I've learnt a lot.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    Good luck buddy. You'll do just fine.
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Went through all my notes, went over twice on AutoDeploy, vscsiStats and esxtop. Feeling good about this now. Calling it quits for today and hopefully rise at 5ish tomorrow morning and go over AutoDeploy and my condensed notes again.

    Thanks for the support gents!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • blargoeblargoe Posts: 4,165Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Good luck!
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 1/29/2018 - Passed 70-743 - MCSA 2016 Complete; 1/13/2018 - Passed 70-411 - MCSA 2012 complete
    Working on: Being a better coder, build/test/deploy automation fundamentals
    Future: Renew VCP (due 2/2019), possibly with an adjacent VCP or VCAP
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Back from the testing center, man!, feel like a huge weight's come off my shoulders. The 3.5 hours I had just evaporated in no time.

    This exam was, by a long shot, the fairest I have taken so far. I dare say I found it easier than the VCP. The VCP test asked me more than a few vague questions, stuff you probably would hear/see rarely, if at all. This one was was much more practical, most of the tasks I got was stuff an admin would work on a regular basis. I didnt get any of those funky questions on claimrules/SSD tagging. Most things were what I had done multiple times in my lab.

    Now the issue I faced - The environment was laggy, mildly irritating but you know to expect it. I couldnt finish 5 tasks completely because it threw me some weird errors when I'd click ok. I aint a dumb guy and no matter what I tried, the freaking errors wouldnt go away. I showed to the proctor and advised me to jot down the errors as best as I could on my scrap paper and hand it to her at the end so she could log a case for me with VMware. So out of 26 tasks, I finished 15 completely, 3 mostly, 3 I didnt have time for, 5 questions had issues and were completed to varying degree. I didnt need to open any pdf except for one, I forgot something basic (this was something you do only once in life of a vCenter server). The pdf's were laggy.

    Great learning experience nonetheless, I recommend everyone take this test and prove to yourself and a prospective employer that you have what it takes to get past this one! I may pass, that remains to be seen, but it really tests you.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member
    Great review and good luck - I hope the case is indeed being logged properly so you get a free re-sit (IF needed at all that is).
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks jibba! Yeah hopefully I wont need a resit, I have emailed VMware certification myself too and have been allocated a case number. I'll do a writeup of resources used and some more detail tomorrow, having a few quiet shots of Black Label for now!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    Good work bud, I'm planning this for the future. Keen to see all your resources.
    Hopefully it is a pass. How long do you need to wait?
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,090Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Now the 3 week wait starts. It sounds like it'll be close.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member
    I am still surprised that VMware doesn't have specific requirements for the testing center .. VMware forums are full of complaints about the slowness of the labs ... One testing center I did my VCP had a VCAP guy in the same room - where the staff member had to calm him down because he was fuming ... The PC had a Win98SE sticker at the front - just gives you an idea how old those damn things are ... The whole thing goes over RDP - I know .. but still ...
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    I'm sure you did just fine. I don't know how much of a cut or how it works with testing centers on exams, but it's like they're on welfare or something. I haven't seen a testing center that had anything close to decent equipment.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member
    QHalo wrote: »
    I'm sure you did just fine. I don't know how much of a cut or how it works with testing centers on exams, but it's like they're on welfare or something. I haven't seen a testing center that had anything close to decent equipment.

    The problem is that the testing centers don't really make much money so they tend not to spend any. Which is why most testing centers do VUE / Prometric in addition to their actual business, otherwise they wouldn't be able to afford that ....
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • blargoeblargoe Posts: 4,165Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think I agree with you on your characterization of the VCP vs the VCAP to a degree. VCAP does seem like more toward actual administration, but honestly, expert level knowledge is needed to get through the test. I found the latest VCP exam to ask more questions that no one would give a flying flip knowing/memorizing in real life, compared to say VCP 3.

    I passed VCAP (barely), and you answered more questions than I did. Hopefully, that will make you feel more confident. I don't know whether some of the questions are weighted higher than others (because of the amount of work required for each might be different), though.

    I remember trying to use vCenter client on one of the RDP sessions is slow enough to make a grown man cry for days, and anything that required switching back and forth between windows was excruciating. They have GOT TO fix this.

    I'm surprised you didn't get anything on claimrules or SSD tagging.

    Now, the waiting begins. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 1/29/2018 - Passed 70-743 - MCSA 2016 Complete; 1/13/2018 - Passed 70-411 - MCSA 2012 complete
    Working on: Being a better coder, build/test/deploy automation fundamentals
    Future: Renew VCP (due 2/2019), possibly with an adjacent VCP or VCAP
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member
    Colleague got in contact with VMware regarding this and they don't seem to care. Told him to talk to the testing centre.

    Given the cost of the exam, I am really surprised that the outcry is not louder than it is ... Guess it is fine for most of the people.
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,090Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    Colleague got in contact with VMware regarding this and they don't seem to care. Told him to talk to the testing centre.

    Given the cost of the exam, I am really surprised that the outcry is not louder than it is ... Guess it is fine for most of the people.

    I use 2 different test centers for VCAP level exams. They're both always full, equipments are decent and never really experienced bad lag.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • blargoeblargoe Posts: 4,165Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    Colleague got in contact with VMware regarding this and they don't seem to care. Told him to talk to the testing centre.

    Given the cost of the exam, I am really surprised that the outcry is not louder than it is ... Guess it is fine for most of the people.

    In my case, I raised Cain at the testing center, and the proctor opened a support case for me with Pearson VUE. I also took that information and opened a separate case with VMware. Maybe it was because I had the open ticket with the testing center acknowledging my problems, but other than being slow to get back to me, I had a much more positive experience with VMware support.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 1/29/2018 - Passed 70-743 - MCSA 2016 Complete; 1/13/2018 - Passed 70-411 - MCSA 2012 complete
    Working on: Being a better coder, build/test/deploy automation fundamentals
    Future: Renew VCP (due 2/2019), possibly with an adjacent VCP or VCAP
  • scott28ttscott28tt Posts: 652Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    VCAP exams can only be taken at "Pearson Select" testing centres, which do have a higher set of requirements than other Pearson testing centres. I do not know exactly what those requirements are, but a minimum Internet connectivity requirement is one of them. Of course this does not guarantee an end-to-end RDP session experience back to the datacentre where the DCA labs are hosted.

    You did the right thing in raising a case, and best of luck for the result!!
    VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP5 / VCAP4-DCA / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012
    Blog - http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.com
    Twitter - http://twitter.com/vmtraining
    Email - vmtraining.blog[email protected]
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Bit of a delay in replying/updating this thread, I went away for a couple of days from it all and had no access to a computer (thank God!).

    A senior certification Program Manager from VMware came back to me via email on Friday (the day after my exam) and said he'd get the technical team to have a look into my environment. He said he'd give me a 100% voucher if the issues I pointed out did cause me to fail the exam. Let's see what happens, he said he'd get back to me sometime this week.

    Here are the resources I used:

    1. VCAP5-DCA Diaries | Adventures in a Virtual World >> This was my primary resource.
    2. VCAP5-DCA Objectives - The Foglite >> Second resource.
    3. vBrownbags >> Great video resource, free and comprehensive. Someone of them can see to drag on a bit, so drag the slider across when needed.
    4. My own lab, nested ESXi setup running a Starwind iSCSI SAN in a VM. Worked a treat for the most part, there are a few niggles but it's good.

    Lab, lab and more lab - The only way to prepare for this one folks. No other way.

    Some more links I found very useful >>

    1. Migrating portgroups from a vSS to a VDS | >> You MUST know this!
    2. http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/using-vscsistats-the-full-how-to/ >> VERY helpful. The entire website is great, the AutoDeploy section is a very good read too.
    3. Jon Kohler's Blog - Blog - vSphere 5 Image Builder >> Another good link to Image Builder.
    4. VMware VCAP-DCA exam command-line **** sheet | IVOBEERENS.NLIVOBEERENS.NL >> Nice for a quick recap.
    5. VMware Arena: VM Tricks
    6. VMware Communities: esxtop replay mode problems >> About ESXTOP. Another must read.
    7. ESXTOP - Yellow Bricks >> One of the best links on ESXTOP.
    8. The world of Marc O'Polo – Blog VCAP5-DCA Objective 3.4
    9. Configuring Jumbo Frames on a VMware Distributed Switch via @ChrisWahl | Wahl Network >> MUST read!

    Testing strategy > VCAP5-DCA Testing Strategy and Tips | whiteboardninja

    There a few instances in the questions where they say - DO NOT do this at this time. This will be because that question depends on another question. Mark those questions on your scrap paper so you know which ones relate.

    Scrolling the pdf's was slowwwwwww, in fact opening them was slow too. You got to know what your looking for and where it's located. I only had access to 5 pdf's, I didnt have access to the storage guide or the vMA guide. This sucked because I had forgotten something about the vMA and the darn pdf wasnt there. I've raised this with VMware too. Remote Desktop to vCenter was slow too, in fact intolerably slow at times.

    This wait is almost excruciating, I check my email half a dozen times a day. Hopefully I'll know something sometime this week. Will update then.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,090Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Essendon wrote: »
    This wait is almost excruciating, I check my email half a dozen times a day. Hopefully I'll know something sometime this week. Will update then.

    Don't bother checking until 15 business days have passed.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I passed!!

    Got an email back from the Program Manager telling me I had passed despite the problems I had. He couldnt give me a score but said I'd receive the score and all via the usual channels. Probably done enough!

    What a perfect start to the day!! (it's 4.30am here)

    Onwards and upwards to the DCD. Thank you for all the support guys!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • meadITmeadIT Posts: 581Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats! That wait is the worst.
    CERTS: VCDX #110 / VCAP-DCA #500 (v5 & 4) / VCAP-DCD #10(v5 & 4) / VCP 5 & 4 / EMCISA / MCSE 2003 / MCTS: Vista / CCNA / CCENT / Security+ / Network+ / Project+ / CIW Database Design Specialist, Professional, Associate
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,090Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congratulations. That was very quick. icon_thumright.gif
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    Awesome man, I knew you passed. Enjoy a cold one!
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    @meadIT - yeah that wait is bad, fortunately they expedited my scoring process for me.

    @dave - For sure it was, looks like I got hold of the right person!

    @qh - Thanks man! I'll have more than one cold ones tonight!! Though the missus wants me to take her out for a nice dinner...
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • About7NarwhalAbout7Narwhal Posts: 761Member
    Congrats! Good luck on the next one.
  • blargoeblargoe Posts: 4,165Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Congrats!
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 1/29/2018 - Passed 70-743 - MCSA 2016 Complete; 1/13/2018 - Passed 70-411 - MCSA 2012 complete
    Working on: Being a better coder, build/test/deploy automation fundamentals
    Future: Renew VCP (due 2/2019), possibly with an adjacent VCP or VCAP
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