Passed VCP550 Today

dopedsmurfdopedsmurf Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
Scored a 393 out of 500. I'll take it...

Comments

  • kj0kj0 Member Posts: 767
    Great work, Congratulations. Can you talk a little about your experiences? Work, Study, preparation for the exam and thoughts (without getting NDA involved of course) :)


    Thanks
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    Are ypu studying for the 550 or the 510 kj0?
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Interested as well to hear what you used to study, did you take a VMware offered class, another bootcamp, Stanly etc? How long did you prepare?
  • dopedsmurfdopedsmurf Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    kj0 wrote: »
    Great work, Congratulations. Can you talk a little about your experiences? Work, Study, preparation for the exam and thoughts (without getting NDA involved of course) :)


    Thanks

    Hi kj0. Thanks for the congrats.

    So, let me start with my experience with the product. I work for a decent sized health care insurance company with approximate 5,000 or so employees. The team I work on is responsible for all of the servers in the enterprise, which is somewhere around 4,500 servers -- approximately 75% of them are virtualized using VMware. We don't own the applications, but we own the operating system on down to the physical layer. This doesn't include racking and stacking them, as the data center team does that, but occasionally we move a blade from one enclosure to another.

    Anyways, over the years the team I am on has been responsible for several VMware upgrades and everything else that's done in our virtual infrastructure. Most recently, (in fact, it's still on-going) we've been migrating our VI from 4.1 to 5.1, which I've played a fairly strong role in.

    Just last week my company sent me to attend the VMware vSphere 5.5: Install, Configure, and Manage 5.5 (VMW-ICM5.5) course. Quite frankly, I found it to be a little boring, and I really wish I would have taken a more advanced one. That being said, it did cover a lot of material that was on the exam, but the material wasn't presented in such a way that made it obvious during the class. For example, when I am taking a course, I like to hear "expect this to be on your exam," etc., but we didn't get any of that.

    In regards to studying, I probably put about 30 hours of studying in this week in addition to spending this week in class (8am - 4pm every day). The first thing I did after passing was take a 4 hour+ nap because I was really worn out. I don't know what I can and can't say about the exam, but as I am sure you know, download the blueprint and make sure you have an understanding of all topics covered. Yes, I know that's very generic advice, but you'd be surprised how many people don't do it.

    I don't know if you've ever heard of quizlet.com, but I highly recommend that you check it out. You can input questions and answers, turn them into flash cards, play matching games, etc. -- it's an excellent resource for any subject. I didn't find the VMware practice quizzes to be very helpful, although, it seemed like a lot of those questions were focused on 5.1.

    I would also recommend you come up with unique ways to remember things that you will no doubt get questions about, such as badges. To illustrate my point, something silly like this always seems to work for me:

    HER
    Health - Workload, Anomalies, Faults - WAF
    Efficiency - Reclaimable Waste, Density - ERD
    Risk - Capacity, Time, Stress - CTS

    I struggle at coming up with catchy words, but these acronyms jump out at me for different reasons. For example, CTS is an abbreviation for a team at work, ERD reminds me of ERD commander, etc. Develop and use some techniques like this to help you remember things.

    I also found any question with a picture to be fairly straight-forward. Typically, something like "Administrator wants to do X, but it's not working. Here is a screenshot, what are they doing wrong?"

    Oh, and FYI, there are a lot of differences between VCP510 and VCP550, so definitely pick one and focus on it. If you try to lump them together, I don't suspect you will do well.

    Anyways, I feel like I've been rambling one quite a bit. Hopefully, you or someone else will find this useful. Please don't hesitate to ask any follow-up questions, if you should have any.
  • dopedsmurfdopedsmurf Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    Interested as well to hear what you used to study, did you take a VMware offered class, another bootcamp, Stanly etc? How long did you prepare?

    A lot of experience with the product certainly helped me out tons because I've been using VMware for quite awhile now. It's not my main area of responsibility at work, but I do spend a lot of time working within the VI. The VMware class certainly helped tons, but it wasn't as direct as I would have preferred. The main benefit I got out of here was understanding all of the new features that were added in 5.5.

    A co-worker of mine (on another team) went through a "boot camp boot camp" at trainingboot.com or trainingcamp.com, something like that. She also passed and has far less experience with the product than I do. If I was just trying to get the the cert, I would have opted for that course as well. Personally though, I like to try and do it the hard way because I feel that I retain the information better that way. That course she took had to get paid for from a special budget, as opposed to the one I took that we basically have an endless amount of vouchers for.
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    My apologies, I completely forgot, big congrats to you dopedsmurf!
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congrats on pass!! icon_thumright.gif
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63
  • J.TotJ.Tot Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass. I probably will go the 5.1 route
    VCP5 : [X] | VCP6 : [X] | MCSE : 70-412 [X] , 70-417 [ ] , 70-413 [ ] , 70-414 [ ] | VCAP : [ ]
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Nice work! While the knowledge is fresh and if you have the time, I recommend you go on upwards to the DCA - simply studying for the DCA taught me a ton more about the product. I reckon every vAdmin should study for and get the DCA cert, really worth it.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • dopedsmurfdopedsmurf Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Essendon wrote: »
    Nice work! While the knowledge is fresh and if you have the time, I recommend you go on upwards to the DCA - simply studying for the DCA taught me a ton more about the product. I reckon every vAdmin should study for and get the DCA cert, really worth it.

    Thanks for the recommendation. I talked with my manager last week, and he wants me to make some time to enroll in the VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale class next month. I am also starting WGU on 5/1 (never finished my degree), so I am assuming my time is going to be a bit limited. You're right though, I should make time for it and get it done while the information is still fresh.
  • tomtom1tomtom1 Member Posts: 375
    With a good instructor in front of you, Optimize and Scale really is a better fit for you. You will learn to identify performance issues (on either CPU, Memory, networking or storage) using both the VI client and the command line interface (esxtop). I persuaded management to let me go on Optimize and Scale rather than ICM and I'm glad I did. It was a week full of awesome new things and as a result of it, I'm a better vSphere administrator, and I'm able to identify and resolve performance problems. Scoring the DCA was a nice benefit too.

    However, first things first, congratulations on your VCP :).
  • gbdavidxgbdavidx Member Posts: 840
    is this a really hard cert for someone that has no prior expierence?
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    It's been interesting studying for the 510 for me, but I don't work directly with it at my job, so it is not going down as smoothly as my Voice studies. I have to admit I'm a bit worried aboit the exam, it sounds like a lot of really ambiguous questions, but we shall see.
  • dopedsmurfdopedsmurf Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    gbdavidx wrote: »
    is this a really hard cert for someone that has no prior expierence?

    I think that it will certainly be more challenging without prior experience, but don't let that discourage you. It doesn't make it impossible, it just means you have a little bit more to learn than someone who is using the product daily. I recommend setting up a lab environment and apply all of the new concepts you learn.

    You can do it!
  • smackie1973smackie1973 Member Posts: 13 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass. I'm just starting the long road after going on the 5.5 IMC course a couple of weeks ago. Been using vSphere since 3.5 (now on 5.0) so I have a fair amount of knowledge but that doesn't always equate to being exam ready icon_sad.gif
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