Thursday, 3 September 2009

Studying for the VCP on vSphere 4

Now that the VCP on vSphere 4 exam is finally live, VMware have released a number of official resources to help those who want to obtain what will quickly become the new "industry standard" virtualization certification.

The exam blueprint is THE document to base all your study on as it tells you exactly what you get tested on, if you're studying something that's not in the blueprint you're wasting your time. VMware also have an official mock exam, to help you get used to the question format and style. You'll find both of these under the VCP pages on the VMware website:
http://www.vmware.com/go/vcp

So the blueprint will tell you what you need to know, and the official documentation is the best material to study from as the questions are written from the documents you will find at:
http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vs_pubs.html

There are also a number of unofficial resources which can be very useful too. Fellow blogger Simon Long has some excellent practice questions and a version of the exam blueprint with hyperlinks taking you directly to study resources:
http://www.simonlong.co.uk/blog/vcp-vsphere-4-practice-exam/
http://www.simonlong.co.uk/blog/vcp-vsphere-upgrade-study-notes/

Forbes Guthrie is well-known for producing a leaflet-style reference card for the VI3 exam, he's produced a new version specifically for the vSphere 4 exam:
http://www.vreference.com/vsphere4-card/

Update - 1st December 2009
Global Knowledge also offer a VCP4 Exam Preparation Workshop, written by me:
http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=461&coursecode=VSEXP

I've also recently been made aware of a new, unofficial, comprehensive study guide:
http://www.b3rg.nl/vcp-4.0/introduction/vmware-certified-professional-on-vsphere-4-learning-guide.html


Update - 23rd July 2010
Links updated to reflect current exam blueprint and vSphere documentation.

61 comments:

  1. Scott - thanks for the links. Have you heard if there will be a vSphere class comparable to the DSA in VI3?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mak,

    As per some of my other posts on here, VMware decided that they would offer the higher-level follow-on content as a series of modular courses - you will find mentions of 1 and 2 day courses on here on Availbility, Scalability, Scripting & Automation.... the Availability course is available from September 28th, along with the vSphere Fast Track which also covers the Scalability material.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Scott,

    thanks for your tips.

    I've done the mock exam a good few times.
    Have you had any feedback on whether or not many of those questions are popping up in the real exam?

    Colin Tyrrell
    Virtually Unqualified
    Ireland

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Colin,

    You're welcome. The real exam won't contain exactly the same questions as the mock exam, the mock exam is really just to show the format and style of questions, as well as providing an individual with some idea as to whether they are ready for the real thing or not.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Scott,

    VCB is not in the exam blueprint!

    VMware Consolidated Backup Documentation
    http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vcb_pubs.html

    Virtual Guy

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Virtual Guy,

    You are right that VCB is not mentioned in the blueprint, however I would recommend reviewing Chapter 1 of the Virtual Machine Backup Guide in the VCB documentation area. Objective 7.5 in the blueprint does state that there can be questions on "back-up/restore procedures and strategies" and Chapter 1 of that guide does a good job at explaining in-guest and out-of-guest strategies.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another very nice study resource is the course vSphere 4.0 Delta - Partner Recording (WebEx).

    You can take it here: http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?course=40301

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi JP, it is a good resource, if you work for a VMware partner ;-)

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's a nice study resource if you have plenty of time. The length is 40 Hours :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi All,
    I would like to know whther I can sit for VCP410 exam without attending official 4day training??
    ( I know that you wont get VCP certification until you get the training.)

    If it is possible please let me know the procedure & the cost for the exam.
    Really appriciate any help

    Thanks
    Erandi

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Erandi,

    You can take the exam first, then sit the training, but you are right that you won't be a VCP until you have done both. Remember too that the training will help you with the exam, so it is usually harder to do the exam first.

    Go to http://www.vmware.com/certification and you will find the link to the Pearson Vue site where you can book the exam, the cost depends on your local currency - in the UK it's £110 + VAT.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Scott... Thanks for the info. Its $AUS 275.00 ( for my Country Australia)
    Appreciate Your help

    ReplyDelete
  13. So is it better to take the fast track and get the extra training, Or is the normal class (Install, Configure, Manage)sufficient?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Steve,

    Whichever class you take there will be additional work afterwards to prepare yourself for the exam - extra reading and hands-on. In my opinion the Fast Track is better preparation for the exam, as some of the additional content in the Fast Track will help with some of the topics covered in the exam.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Scott,
    I manage to clear exam finally.
    Probably I’ll try to attend to the essential training hopefully within next 2-3 months.
    Is there any period within I must complete my training??

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Sulakshana,

    Well done on passing the exam. There is no deadline for the training at this moment. Just make sure that the course you attend is an official qualifying course such as vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Scott - If i write the exam first and attend the official qualifying training at later stage will i get the certificate from vmware. or do i need to re-write the exam once for getting the certificate. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Kam,

    You will still get the VCP if you pass the exam first and then take the training course.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Scott,

    VERY helpful resource. One of my team members is planning on taking the VCP test/training. My question is, my company is asking me to handle the VSP portion... do i need to take training as well or just be able to pass the VSP test?

    Thank You,
    Nick

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Nick, thanks for your comments :-)

    The VSP is done through VMware Partner University, so you will need to create an account and associate it with your company as a partner. The VSP is normally done via online training followed by online exams, all free to VMware partners.

    http://www.vmware.com/partners/partners.html

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Scott,

    The links you have given are for the latest VCP-410 exam preparations

    Regards
    Robin Ayinikat
    robin.ayinikat@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Scott,
    Just a thought, is going for the ICM v4 course and also the Troubleshooting v4 a good strategy for the VCP exam?

    MSR

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Robin,

    VMware have just updated the formatting of the exam blueprint document, but the technical content is unchanged so the links in this post are all still valid.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi MSR,

    The Troubleshooting course is not targeted towards the VCP4 exam at all, the ICM or Fast Track courses are the best training courses in terms of alignment with the VCP4 exam.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Scott,
    You seem to be everywhere where VCP is there :) .

    I am from India and have under taken the training already. I also work with VMware.


    I am planning to gather as much information as possible from net and other sources.

    I noticed from dumps and mock exams that the questions that are asked in VCP exam are quite different from what all is mentioned in courseware. It implies that VCP demands us to know certain things of our own which is not mentioned in its own official course material. This was kind of a disappointment.

    Though, I could do all my labs and understood what trainer told in 1 go, I find it hard to answer most of the questions. I am scared if they ask too many such things then people would be inclined to hunt for various other sources rather than concentrating on the official course ware.

    I have done RHCE, HP-UX CSA certifications in the past and I was pretty confident that whatever I read and practised from the labs and course material was what I would be tested on. But, I dont get such a confidence for VCP.

    Well, let me not write all my views here. I am planning to take up exam next week and that would be my first and last attempt.

    Thanks and regards,
    Prv

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi, the very first thing I recommend to all my students is to download and digest the VCP4 exam blueprint - it will tell you what you get tested on.

    Yes there are areas in the exam that are not covered in the current vSphere: Install Configure Manage course so yes I think you will have to learn things that were not in your course, just to pass the VCP4 exam.

    VMware have also launched the VCAP-DCA certification, the exam for that will be 100% live labs when it released soon - that will be a very different experience from the VCP. VCP is now defined as a "foundation-level" certification for vSphere.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks Scott

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello JP the Webex Recordings link which you have posted has no sound, but i able to play the Recording any suggestion?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Scott... I've been going around in circles with VMWare trying to pin them down on just WHAT it is that I'm supposed to study when preparing for the vcp410 exam... they say use the current product docs but then turn and say that the 410 exam has not changed... maybe i'm reading too much into this, but their statement about using the current prod docs makes me think i should be using the 4.1 documentation set while their other statement makes me think all the questions are from the 4.0 doc set... what do you think?? I just want to be sure i'm focusing on the right material...

    Thanks a bunch in advance,
    Todd

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Todd, you won't get any questions on any 4.1-specific features, but it is still recommended to study from the 4.1 documentation nonetheless. Use the latest exam blueprint as a guide as to what topics will be included.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Sulakshana, Could you please share with the group about how you prepared for the exam?

    Thanks
    MH

    ReplyDelete
  32. Just wondering if someone could say how many questions are on the VCP exam

    ReplyDelete
  33. The current VCP4 exam has 85 questions. You have 90 minutes to answer the questions.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Scott,

    I have been in IT for 15 years now.
    started in training during cobol, dbase days,
    Worked in technical support for some time in sql 2000, vb, vb.net, asp, c, c#
    I have worked on win-xp, win-2003, linux (though I need to refresh my memory) currently have been experimenting on vmworkstation & Vmware's GSX server (2.2). I have personally chose to move out of development, attracted towards virtualization as concept and have been playing around a bit in the last 3 - 4 months (nothing @ workplace).
    If I have to cross-over to infrastrucure consulting.. (using vmware), what is your honest advice?

    Anonymous
    Melbourne, Australia

    ReplyDelete
  35. In principle, a good happen, support the views of the author

    ReplyDelete
  36. Is the VCP4 exam min-max questions based on the 4.1 max mins?

    ReplyDelete
  37. @Anonymous (1st December)
    The current exam is a 4.x exam - prepare using either the 4.0 or 4.1 software/documentation and you should be fine. I would recommend using 4.1 if possible, in case VMware do update the questions.

    Here's my blog post on this subject: http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.com/2010/07/changes-to-vcp-exam-due-to-vsphere-41.html

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Scott

    Quick note to say thanks for a great course last week...heres to getting that VCP.

    Barry

    ReplyDelete
  39. hi Scott,

    I have completed my VCP Training from IBM,Vancouver and looking for a study guide Which one i should go for?.

    pls advice

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi Bhanu, the links/resources above are those I would advise you to use. There are some VCP4 exam books available, but I've heard mixed reports as to how useful they really are. Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi.

    Is there any training center around East Africa?

    ReplyDelete
  42. What are you thoughts of using brain dumps like Testking, CertifyMe, etc. etc., for VCP preparation?

    The VCP exam blueprint is a large scope to cover and I find it almost impossible to try understanding everything well enough to effectively take the exam and pass.

    With such large scope, it'd be nice to have something to help target the focus of study.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm not a fan of braindumps - they are prone to containing mistakes, they lead to "parrot fashion" learning. Those that have contributed to a braindump are in violation of their VCP agreement, and those that use them are cheating the system. You've asked for my opinion, it might not be the same as everyone else's, but that is my opinion.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Scott,
    Thanks a ton for the advice given above including your thoughts on braindumps. I completed the What's New for vSphere so that I'm qualified to take the VCP4 exam. Are you aware if the current test will contain information on 4.1 or should we stick with whatever the current roadmap is from the above link?
    Update: Actually opening up the blueprint shoes VCP410_Exam_Blueprint. I stand by what I said above, thank you for this older but still usefull blog.

    ReplyDelete
  45. @Anonymous, 10th February:
    VCP-410 is just the exam code that PearsonVUE use - it has nothing to do with the version of the software tested on at all. VCP-310 was the code for the exams based on VI3 (3.0 and 3.5), VCP-410 has always been the code for the vSphere exams - even when the exam was first released 8 weeks after the release of vSphere 4.0.

    So, this post on my blog is current, not old or out of date.

    The exam items are consistent with both vSphere 4.0 and 4.1, so it doesn't actually make any difference what version of materials you study with, although you might as well study using the 4.1 materials.

    Best of luck :-)

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Scott,
    My apologies in my last post. By "older" I meant from the year 2009 and certainly not that the information is old and not current. That being said I absolutely wanted to thank you again for this page, your response and not flaming me into the "vSphere" as the case could have warranted. :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks for this information :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Scott,
    I'm brand new in virtualization and was planning to go for the VCP cert. unfortunatelly,I got so chocked to hear that in order to be elligible for VCP410 Exam cert,one should attend a coursework in an authorized center.why is this so mandatory and at the end penalizing ??

    ReplyDelete
  49. @Anonymous (18 July, 22:11), it's always been mandatory and guarantees that every VCP has had a minimal level of training and hands-on. Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hello Dear Scott and thanks for your reply.

    However today, we have good books and so many virtualization products that can do the job,video trainings and not mentionning on-job hands-on experience.

    I'm not sure it would be necessay to a guy with a couple of years spent on virtialization for the purpose of its daily job, to attend an entry level class for topics he would certainly have already mastered.

    In my point of view, I guess Vmware should reconsider that particular point, especially for those living in countries where attending courseware require travelling abroad first. imagine what this can generates as supplemental dollars ?

    ReplyDelete
  51. @Anonymous (19 July, 12:55) VMware do allow the advanced-level Troubleshooting course (and the Advanced Fast Track) to qualify for VCP as well, live-online training is more popular than ever which elminates travel costs, and it would not be fair on the 80,000+ existing VCPs if they relaxed the training requirement now. Certification is a choice, each certification has it's own requirements, people choose to meet those requirements or not.

    ReplyDelete
  52. OK, understood.

    then please could indicate how to subscribe for an online training?

    once again many thanks you for all your support.really appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  53. VMware offer live-online versions of most of their courses, copy/paste this link into your browser for the Troubleshooting course and you'll see the live online option: http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=17829

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi, I am totally new to studying for a VCP exam. I find the amount of information to study quite overwhelming. Where shall I start? Help please as I have a month and a half to prepare for the VCP 410 exam. What is your advice? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Scott,

    A couple of months ago I attended the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V4.1] course. I am now in the process of preparing for the exam as I plan to take it in just over a month.

    In addition to the blueprint and numerous unofficial practice question and answer sites. I have installed ESXi in VMware workstation but I'm struggling to find tasks/scenarios that will reinforce my learning. Do you have any suggestions?

    Kind Regards

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi VMGirl,

    I'm not sure what else to suggest - you have a lab to play with and the blueprint to tell you what you're going to get tested on, so you know what you need to do in your lab in preparation.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  57. could you let me know the official training Partner for VCP in Vancouver from where i can take training.

    ReplyDelete
  58. IBM Training
    IBM (Canada) Ltd.
    http://www.ibm.com/services/learning/ca

    LOCATION

    IBM Canada Ltd.
    750 West Pender
    Vancouver BC
    1-866-780-0674

    ReplyDelete
  59. Does http://www.simonlong.co.uk work for you? I get "You don't have permission to access /blog on this server."

    ReplyDelete
  60. yeah i also get the same i am in canada.

    ReplyDelete
  61. It looks like Simon Long's site is experiencing problems at the moment - Simon is aware and is trying to get it back online - keep trying!

    ReplyDelete