Sunday, May 4, 2014

How to pass VCAP5-DCD when you are new to design?

If you mostly have VMware support and operations experience but want to jump ship into design like me, here are some tips on how to get up to speed with design. Studying for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 - Datacenter Design (VCAP5-DCD) is a great starting point and prepares you for the infrastructure designer/architect mindset.

Since VMware last updated the official VCAP5-DCD blueprint back in March 2014 (ver. 3.0), some things have changed and a number of links in the blueprint take you to marketing pages instead of the white papers, etc. Here is an outline of the VCAP5-DCD topics covered in the official VMware exam blueprint but with updated and direct resources.

Also, make sure to check out some of the resources conveniently compiled at the bottom of this page and highly recommended by many of the existing VCAP5-DCD certification holders. These include books, exam experiences, and study notes.

Finally, if you have a raging gaming addiction, are having hard time focusing, or can't sit on your ass for hours on end reading and studying like a scholastic sadomasochist, this is not for you! I also find that being a TV snob is very conducive to this process and yields great results. So good luck, good ole chums!


VCAP5–DCD Comprehensive Study Plan (Updated: 4/4/2014)

o    Section 1 – Create a vSphere Conceptual Design
o    Objective 1.1 – Gather and analyze business requirements
o    Objective 1.2 – Gather and analyze application requirements
o    Objective 1.3 – Determine Risks, Constraints, and Assumptions

o    Section 2 – Create a vSphere Logical Design from an Existing Conceptual Design
o    Objective 2.1 – Map Business Requirements to the Logical Design
o    Objective 2.2 – Map Service Dependencies
o    Objective 2.3 – Build Availability Requirements into the Logical Design
o    Objective 2.4 – Build Manageability Requirements into the Logical Design
o    Objective 2.5 – Build Performance Requirements into the Logical Design
o    Objective 2.6 – Build Recoverability Requirements into the Logical Design
o    Objective 2.7 – Build Security Requirements into the Logical Design

o    Section 3 – Create a vSphere Physical Design from an Existing Logical Design
o    Objective 3.1 – Transition from a Logical Design to a vSphere 5 Physical Design
o    Objective 3.2 – Create a vSphere 5 Physical Network Design from an Existing Logical Design
o    Objective 3.3 – Create a vSphere 5 Physical Storage Design from an Existing Logical Design
o    VMware Virtual Machine File System: Technical Overview and Best Practices
o    Objective 3.4 – Determine Appropriate Compute Resources for a vSphere 5 Physical Design
o    Objective 3.5 – Determine Virtual Machine Configuration for a vSphere 5 Physical Design
o    Virtualizing a Windows Active Directory Domain Infrastructure
o    Version 2
o    Objective 3.6 – Determine Data Center Management Options for a vSphere 5 Physical Design

o    Section 4 – Implementation Planning
o    Objective 4.1 – Create an Execute a Validation Plan
o    Objective 4.2 – Create an Implementation Plan
o    Objective 4.3 – Create an Installation Guide

Recommended books after you read all VMware materials:
VMware vSphere Design 2nd Edition by Forbes Guthrie & Scott Lowe
VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide by Paul McSharry of elasticsky.co.uk fame
VMware vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive by Duncan Epping of yellow-bricks.com fame

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