Tag Archives | certification

Quick Review: VCDX Boot Camp- Preparing for the VCDX Panel Defense






















As a candidate preparing for the VCDX, I appreciate any material which makes the certification prep easier or saves time. I especially appreciate technical content and guidance from those in the know, i.e. current VCDX holders! As such, I jumped at the chance to pick up a copy of John, Ben, and Mostafa’s VCDX Boot Camp book, just released via VMware Press.

This book is a must-read for anyone preparing for the VCDX and is the most convenient all-in-one guide to have with you when preparing for this certification. The amount of useful documentation, books, and other training material for the VCDX seems to have been increasing, of late. This is most likely due to the status of the certification in the industry as well as the demand for VCDX-certified professionals out in the workforce.

The book is described as follows:

Prepare to succeed at your VCDX panel defense and gain world-class knowledge for designing complex VMware environments

VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) is the highest level of VMware certification, achieved by dedicated professionals who have demonstrated exceptional skill in VMware enterprise deployments. To earn a VCDX, professionals must create a complete enterprise VMware design and undergo an arduous defense at the hands of some of the world’s most sophisticated VMware experts.

Now, for the first time, there’s a comprehensive guide to VCDX defense: VCDX Boot Camp. Based on the legendary standing-room-only boot camps led by VCDX co-creator John Arrasjid, this guide captures the unsurpassed personal experience of three pioneering VCDX certification holders, program developers, and defense panelists.

John Arrasjid, Ben Lin, and Mostafa Khalil cover everything you need to know to prepare for certification. They demystify the entire VCDX defense process, clearly explain its format and prerequisites, and offer indispensable tips for maximizing your likelihood of success. Detailed chapters on both design and troubleshooting offer four complete scenarios explaining exactly what VCDX panelists will expect from your defense.

Learn how to think like a VCDX, discovering powerful insights and best practices for designing your own world-class virtualized environment.

Coverage includes

  • Authoritative preparation guidance (including expert insights into scheduling your preparation and defense)
  • Tips for conducting mock defenses, boot camps, and study sessions with your colleagues
  • How to select, create, and document a superior, defensible design
  • How to make design choices and incorporate design patterns that support the VCDX blueprint
  • How to confidently defend your skills in architecture, designing new solutions, and troubleshooting design or implementation flaws
  • Proven tips for responding to tough questions from panelists
  • Detailed example defenses of designs incorporating VCDX-DCV, VCDX-Cloud, and VCDX-DT


The VCDX was a mystery for most of those interested in taking up the certification, until recently. It is great to see an official reference on the subject. This book serves as both a great reference and practical guidance for exam success.

All of the elements required for certification success are here, from preparation, to the design, and then the defense itself, including the scenarios you will face. I would have liked to see more examples as the book is a bit on the short side.


  • Great reference
  • Finally some printed guidance from members of the VCDX panel team
  • Can skip around if looking for extra help on a particular part of the exam


  • A tad bit on the short side (in terms of length)
  • Could go into a bit more detail, without giving away proprietary information
  • More examples are needed to cover additional scenarios and to help increase the length

Overall, I would recommend giving this book a try! 4/5

*Disclosure: I received an electronic copy of this book for evaluation purposes. This in no way affect this review or any review done on this site.

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VCP510: Exam Tips

vcp5_logoWell, I think it’s finally time to do a blog post. I have been really busy with a couple of projects and preparation for VMware Partner Exchange next month, but those responsibilities are starting to wind down. The fruits of my labor will be publicly released or presented in the coming months, then on to more new and exciting projects!

By coincidence, VMware is offering the VCP and a couple other certification exams this year at PEX, so I decided to attempt an upgrade to VCP5 during the conference. I am allowing myself just enough time to reschedule the exam before end of February in case the unforeseen happens.

Since I haven’t taken a VMware certification since late 2009 (VCP410) I feel as though I am a bit rusty when it comes to certification tests and haven’t had as much hands-on product time as I would like. As such I would like to list here the study materials and resources I am using to prepare for the exam.

The first go-to resource (one I have used in the past) to prepare for VMware exams is courtesy of TrainSignal (disclaimer; site sponsor). They have an updated series of vSphere 5 training videos available that I’ve been viewing to get myself back up-to-speed on the features of the newest vSphere release. David Davis and Elias Khnaser are experts on vSphere and present the material in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. I am going through one lesson every day to get me ready for the exam next month.

The second resource that I have found to be quite valuable is Forbes Guthrie’s vSphere 5.0 reference card which you can find here. I plan to use this as a form of quick review whenever I have a few minutes to commit some pertinent information to memory and the information on his reference card is perfect for this type of consumption.

Finally, I was going to prepare a list of links to my fellow bloggers’ websites who are offering material to prepare in some way for the VCP. Instead of doing that, I am posting a link to Damian Karlson’s blog post as he has an excellent list of links to all the required study material. Thanks Damian! Amazing job…

In the back of my mind, I am always thinking about my studies in the context of the VCP Exam Blueprint, which, for me, serves as an outline to ensure that I am covering all of the exam objectives and making sure that I haven’t left anything out that might show up on the exam, so ensure that you read this over and check-off the objectives as you move through the study materials.

Please feel free to share any other links you have found useful here. I think a multi-pronged approach is valuable in preparing for this exam, especially given the limited time before I sit the test and the breadth of the new material that will be covered in this rendition of the exam.

Good luck to everyone else out there that has yet to re-certify. Only just over 30 days left until the upgrade window expires!

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