Monday, 20 April 2009

VI3 Enterprise Administration Exam

The VI3 Enterprise Administration exam currently only forms step 2 (of 4) of the VCDX certification program, but as I mentioned last week it is going to form step 2 (of 2) of the "Master VCP" certification at some point.

The exam is split into 2 distinct sections:
1. 75 multiple choice questions (60% of the points)
2. 11 hands-on labs (40% of the points)

The time allowed in total is 2 hours 45 minutes, the clock ticks throughout the entire session, but although it suggests to you that you should spend roughly half the time on each of the 2 sections you can manage the time however you want. You HAVE to answer and review all the questions before moving on to the labs, once you've started the labs you can't go back to the questions - that makes sense to me as having access to a lab could help you answer a question ;-)

You don't get your score straight away as VMware have to review the lab work and score you on that. At the end of the whole exam you get a "Thanks for taking the exam" message and are told it will be 2-3 weeks before you get the result. I do know that the labs are not simulations, they are done on real systems in the VMware Education labs. The passing score is 300, and the top score you can get is 500.

The content is a mixture of concepts and administration, and both the questions and labs expect you to know how to use the VI Client and the CLI via an SSH session. In fact, the exam doesn't just expect you to know the right command in the CLI, it expects you to know the precise syntax too.

The questions are simple in format, just like the VCP exam, with a question that either has a single or multiple answers. Any question that needs multiple answers states how many answers are required. Just like the VCP exam you can leave questions incomplete, mark them for review, and move back and forward between the questions as you wish.

Each of the 11 labs has a specific task that must be carried out, or a specific problem that must be fixed, I'm going to call them "lablets" rather than full labs as each is small. Each lablet is performed on the same systems, so you need to be careful to make sure you don't do something in one lablet that affects other lablets, and the exam tells you to only perform the steps necessary as instructed and not to make other system changes. You do not have access to the internet from the lab environment, you only have access to a regular ESX and VirtualCenter deployment.

You should defintely review the Exam Blueprint:

This seems to be the most comprehensive study guide (link updated to latest version):

And by far the best training course to attend (with Global Knowledge) to prepare would be the Deploy Secure & Analyze (DSA):

From a training perspective, the lablets are very similar to some the of labs in the DSA course, and the answers to many of the questions also come from the slides, notes, and labs in the DSA course.


  1. Hi Scott,

    This is version 0.2 of the VMware Enterprise Administration Exam Study:

    Kenneth van Ditmarsch

  2. Peter van den Bosch23 June 2009 at 15:04

    Send me a mail and i send you a copy off the second edition.

    Grtz PeterB

  3. Can you send an updated version of this manual.

    Thank you in advance,

  4. Hi Bozo,

    I've updated the link in the blog article to point to the updated version, just follow that link :-)


  5. Hi Scott,

    Clear notes for people who are planning for VCDX..Thanks a lot!

    If I write only Enterprise Admin exam...will I be having an upgrade path to VCAP?

  6. Hi Anonymous,

    VMware will confirm the details of the new vSphere certifications before the end of May. There is an upgrade path planned for a VCDX3 holder to get the vSphere 4 equivalent, but that's only for those who have the full VCDX3.


  7. Thanks for the reply! Today I wrote...Enterprise admin exam but missed last three questions in LAB due to time...will this be a big question to look at?
    Thanks a lot for your input...