Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Changes to VCP exam due to vSphere 4.1 release

VMware have now released vSphere 4.1, and one of the first questions I was asked was "Will the VCP and VCAP4-DCA exams now be based on 4.0 or 4.1?" - so here's what I've found out so far...

VMware continually reviews the impact of major and minor releases to ensure that all content on the exam is consistent with the latest release of the software. They may also test on components included in these update releases if the components fall within already stated exam objectives, as they appear on the current version of the exam blueprint.

If significant new features exist in a release that are not covered by current objectives and these features are identified as being critical to a VCP’s job role, a new version of the exam blueprint would be released containing the new objectives and the exam would be updated to test on these objectives.

So, if you're preparing for your VCP4 exam it would be recommended to study from the latest 4.1 documentation, and download the latest exam blueprint.

With reference to the VCAP4-DCA, the lab environment is currently based on vSphere 4.0. Periodically, VMware would update the lab environment, and when they do they would revise the exam blueprint and potentially the exam, depending as with the VCP on whether there are new objectives relevant to the VCAP4-DCA job role that would need to be tested on in the exam. Until that time, the VCAP4-DCA will remain using a lab environment based on vSphere 4.0.

Update - July 22nd
Jon Hall from VMware has created a thread on the VMware commmunity forum for the VCP, and also posted the latest exam blueprint document:
How new versions of vSphere affect the VCP exam
VCP on vSphere 4 Exam Blueprint Guide

Update - August 1st
Quote from Jon Hall at VMware:
"As we go forward and everyone is studying using 4.1 materials, we are likely to include 4.1 based questions when we need to revise or replace questions, as long as the topic is one already addressed on the blueprint. We still will not cover topics (like storage IOCTRL) that are not on the blueprint."

24 comments:

  1. Thank you for obtaining clarification on the affects of the vSphere 4.1 and existing certification exams. I am currently working toward the VCAP-DCA and needed to know if the test's knowledge domains were going to be expanded to include 4.1. Thank you again for your timely blog post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, I am taking the Install, Manage, Configure 4.0 course this week. Now that 4.1 has been released and the VCP exam content will take this into account, will my attendance on the 4.0 course still make me eligible to take the exam, or will I need to attend the new 5 day 4.1 course also? Any feedback would be much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Anonymous, the VCP4 will be applicable to all 4.x version of vSphere, so you will not need to attend a 4.1 course - don't worry :-)

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a relieve :) thx for answer Scott

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, I'm about to take the VCP4 exam in the next week, do you know when the 4.1 exam will become active? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Anonymous, take a look at the latest exam blueprint on the VMware site, it you think there are some 4.1 features that fit into the exam objectives in the blueprint then you could theoretically get asked questions about those features - exactly as I described in the body of this blog entry.

    Best of luck, Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lame... I just scheduled my VCP after taking the 4.0 class last week.. I am not prepared for 4.1 questions. :(

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Anonymous, I honestly think the chances of you being asked a good number of 4.1 questions in the near future is pretty small, the longer you leave it the greater the chance in my opinion. Utlimately, it's up to you what you decide to study and how you decide to prepare yourself - as I mentioned in the body text of this entry, I'd suggest to get the latest blueprint and study from the latest vSphere 4.x documentation (ie. the 4.1 stuff)

    Good luck, Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Scott...Are there any configuration maximum changes between 4.0 and 4.1 and which would you suggest for the VCP exam?

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Anonymous, yes there are many changes to the "maximums" - the scalability of various vSphere elements has been improved significantly in 4.1 - and as per the main post I would suggest to study from the latest (ie. 4.1) documentation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If you need hardware to test out the real environment of vmware, you can always rent a lab from someone like temperfield.com

    I did and it really helped me out in understanding how this works. Now, fingers crossed for my VCP next month :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Scott, global knowledge here in the nyc area does not offer the 1 day workshop! I went to the weeks training.....and am studying hard to take the vcp 410! i have so much documentation i just hope i know enough of the material to pass!!!! what a good feeling!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't get to influence what GK offer in countries outside of the UK, the workshop we run in the UK is a GK-exclusive, written by me.

    The key document is the exam blueprint, always has been, always will be - start with that and you'll work out what you need to do to get yourself ready.

    Best of luck, Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  14. HI

    thanks for your blog and the links in it.

    I did the ICM course last week and i printed all the vcp 4.0 docs about 3 weeks ago but nowit seems that these 6000+ pages are useless.

    I am concerned there are going to be changes every few weeks. How do we know if there is a change to a document? Is there a list of all the new stuff/revisions they add?

    How often do you think there are going to be changes and how can I protect myself against documents/maximums being revised on the day of an exam or just before?

    I just want to be able to study a set text and prepare for an exam with a set syllabus

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Anonymous, I've added two new links to the main post, Jon Hall from VMware has created a couple of new threads on the VMware community forum for the VCP.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  16. thanks Scott, really appreciate it

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm looking at obtaining the VCP certification. Do I need to pass any exams or can I just take the course?

    (I understand there are exams for VCP4 but what about the basic VCP?)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm looking at obtaining the VCP certification. Do I need to pass any exams or can I just take the course?

    (I understand there are exams for VCP4 but what about the basic VCP?)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Greg, VCP is a version-specific certification, so VCP4 is just the current VCP certification, VCP4 is short for "VCP on vSphere 4".

    You will need to attend an official course, and pass the VCP-410 exam at a Pearson Vue testing centre - click through the other VCP tabs at the top of the page for more information.

    Scott.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am preparing for my Exam and its due on day after. can anyone give me an approximate ratio of how many objective type questions are asked and how many scenario based one's. Also i have completed the mock exam 100% after around 12 trials. I would like to know if any questions from them will be asked in the VCP exam or NOT AT ALL and it is only for practice purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi,

    I plan to giv the VCP401 test in 2 months. Should I buy "Mastering VMware VSphere 4" book? Is this a good starting point? I work as a Business Analyst in the Virtualization field. Hence no hands-on experience but have understanding of how virtualization works in SAN. What do I do for lab experience? Can I setup a home lab and how?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Actual experience (lab or production) is absolutely crucial to pass the exam. I have several months experience on vsphere 4.0 and 4.1 and have been through the Sybex VCP4 book as well as having taken the vSphere FastTrack course. I still failed the exam with a score of 209. I studied for weeks but mistakenly focused on basic installation, limits and maximums. The exam actually pounded me on use of plug-ins, alerts, DataStores, vSwitch and advanced troubleshooting. You need to be able to pass the mock exam at near 100% (at least 5 times, if not 10 or 15).

    You can use the following instructions to setup your home lab (there are many others, just search Google ("vmware lab setup"):
    http://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/virtualization/vmware-lab-setup---a-virtualized-lab-for-testing-ha-and-drs/
    Good luck and study hard. This exam is no cake walk.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've been working at VMW for over a year in vSphere support. I took the VCP4 once (six months after my training) and got 268. I took it again last week, after another six month hiatus and what I thought were good preparations, but did worse and got a 229. My enthusiasm is minimal and I fear failing a third time.

    I feel that the VCP4 has become an excercise in active countermeasures against some types of preparation, and is obfuscated not to prove capability, but to weed out nearly everyone.

    I feel like bagging the platform and doing something else for money.

    ReplyDelete
  24. @Anonymous (25 October), I have to say that most people pass their VCP4 exam first time, so perhaps there is something about your preparations or your technique in the exam itself. Click the VCP4 tab towards the top of the page and see if any of omy other posts will help. Scott.

    ReplyDelete