VMware VCP, VCAP, and VCDX Certification Guide

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Imagine a room filled to capacity with server after server. Then consider the needs of growing enterprises, certain to require more, not less storage capacity. Their choices? Buy yet another piece of hardware and purchase even more office space to house it or consider a less expensive technology solution.

Enter server virtualization.

Virtualization gives you the opportunity to collapse multiple server instances onto a single piece of hardware. It is no surprise that the demand for IT Professionals with virtualization skills are in such high demand.

VMware CertificationsInterested in demonstrating your virtualization knowledge to current or potential employer with VMware certification?

According to a Payscale.com survey, top VMware certified professional salaries are edging near the $100k mark.

Here's how you can become a VMware Certified Professional.

VMware Certification: How to Become VMware Certified

VMware offers certification to validate technical knowledge of their products. Candidates will be proficient with the installation, management, deployment and support of their products. There are 3 levels of certification:

  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP) - entry-level
  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) - intermediate
  • VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) - advanced

Please note that you must attend the required VMware authorized courses appropriate for your experience level through VMware IT Academy in order to become VMware certified.

• VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

The VCP certifies your ability to install, manage and deploy VMware vSphere 4. Based on experience, there are several paths to VCP certification, but each will require you complete three steps.

  1. Attend the required VMware authorized courses appropriate for your experience
  2. Gain hands-on experience with VMware vSphere
  3. Pass the VCP4 Exam - $175

Required Coursework:

Required coursework is also based on experience level. Beginners should start with: Install, Configure, Manage. These are 4 day in classroom courses. You can search for class availability here.

  • vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage - $2,995
  • vSphere: Fast Track - $4,675
  • vSphere: Troubleshooting - $3,295

In terms of exam preparation, be sure to review detailed test objectives. Also, check out the mock exam. When you are ready to schedule the actual exam, purchase your voucher and register with Pearson Vue.

More information on the VCP Certification is available on VMware's education site.

VCP Cert Guide: How to Become a VMware Certified Professional

If you're interested in obtaining the VCP certification, make sure to check out David Davis' video on How to Prepare for the VCP Certification.

• VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP)

The most recent entry into the Vmware certification lineup is the VCAP. Those who have obtained VCP status are eligible for this intermediate certification.

There are two VCAP flavors: Datacenter Administration (DCA) and/or Datacenter Design (DCD). Candidates can pursue either or both tracks.

• VCAP4 - Datacenter Administration

The VCAP4-DCA is aimed at system administrators, consultants and technical support staff, already proficient in VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter datacenter technologies. Typically, candidates are familiar with integrating application and physical infrastructure with virtual environments.

As this certification officially launches July 12, 2010, practice exam and full test objectives aren't yet available. Check the Vmware website for updates.

VCP Cert Guide: How to Become a VMware Certified Professional

• VCAP4 - Datacenter Design

The VCAP-DCD is geared more towards architects. These are the professionals who can design VMware solutions in large enterprise environments. In addition to the skills f a DCA, candidates should understand Vmware relationships to storage and networking.

While the VCAP-DCA will appear in July, the DCD will make its debut in August. Again, check the Vmware website for updates on testing and exam preparation materials.

VCP Cert Guide: How to Become a VMware Certified Professional

If you're interested in obtaining the VCAP certification, make sure to check out David Davis' latest post on How to Earn Your VCAP Certification.

• VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX)

This is the highest level of VMware certification. Accordingly, requirements are more stringent. Candidates must be VCP certified and follow this process:

  1. Obtain VCP certification & complete VCDX Qualification Review

    Either VCP3 or VCP4 are valid prerequisites. The VCDX Qualification Review must be completed and verified candidates will be receive a pre-authorization code for the VMware Enterprise Administration exam.


  2. Pass Enterprise Administration Exam

    The VMware Enterprise Administration on VI3 exam blueprint provides detailed test objectives. A practice exam is also available.


  3. Pass Design Exam

    The Vmware Design exam also outlines detailed test objectives in a blueprint available on their website.


  4. Submit, Present & Defend your Design and Implementation Plan

    In this last step, candidates will need to complete an interview, undergo a project review, and design defense activity. The VCP3 (or VCP4) certification, passing the VMware Enterprise Administration and the VMware Design exams are required. Applications won't be accepted without meeting the prerequisites.

Defense interviews are held worldwide on specific dates, to find a location near you, visit the website. For information on the VCDX4 track, click here.

VCP Cert Guide: How to Become a VMware Certified Professional

If you're interested in obtaining the VCDX certification, make sure to check out David Davis' video on How to Prepare for the VCDX Certification.

VMware Certification Resources & Final Thoughts

Looking for other training materials outside of those offered on the VMware website? Train Signal offers several VMware vSphere training videos.

In addition, VMware Certified Professional Test Prep receives good reviews and is available on Amazon.com. And the VMware forum provides a community support option.

Many jobs today require a commitment to ongoing training and education. The IT Profession may lead the way in this regard. The cost savings and network simplification benefits of virtualization technologies have solidified their role in the enterprise. Certification is just one way in which to ensure your have the necessary skills to support today's server environments.

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Contributor

Veronica Henry

is a writer, web developer and tech guru. Her 20 year IT career came to an end when her inner writer and entrepreneur inexplicably besieged her to give it all up. She is a self-proclaimed girl-geek and linux convert, who has held MCSE, GSEC and PMP certifications. In her dreams, she is a international best-selling sci-fi and fantasy author, but in the meantime, she now spends her days writing, managing her websites and wrecking havoc on her Ubuntu laptop.