VCP 4 Exam Tips

I recently passed my VMware Certified Professional (VCP 410) exam, and wanted to share some of my experiences for those who may be preparing for the same exam.

I collected a lot of great resources while I was preparing, and I will share them here. I began with VMware’s VCP page at That page will provide you with the certification path and provide a link to the all important VCP4 Blueprint. I also focused on the Changes to ESX Service Console for ESX 4.0 and the What’s New in VMware vSphere 4.0.

Other critical resources for me was Scott Lowe’s (@scott_lowe) book Mastering VMware vSphere 4, this is a great resource on vSphere and the index is extremely helpful in looking up terms and details. Whether you are taking the VCP 4 or not, this book is essential for anyone working with vSphere.

Another critical resource is Trainsignal’s VMware vSphere Training DVDs by David Davis (@davidmdavis). Not only does this have 18 hours of training on all kinds of topics, but it contains MP4 versions of the videos that I keep with me on my iPhone. That gives me 18 hours of video material for reference while I was studying or even performing my daily tasks. I picked the key areas I needed to focus on for the VCP 4 and listened to the audio while driving to and from work.

I was also fortunate to get a great email from John Blessing (@vTrooper). He sent me some notes that he and several others had been compiling in a Google Wave. Though I am not sure of everyone that contributed to the Google Wave, I believe it was started by Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe) and Denis Guydeen (@dguyadeen) Here are the contents from that email:


Useful Documents

Useful Websites

Tips and Tricks

I imagined this area for those that have completed the exam and have some insights or useful information to share that might help others pass the exam.

Practice Exams


For my studies, I focused on the VMware documentation, and on Matthijs van den Berg’s amazing study guide, VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 – Learning guide. Matthijs turned VMware’s 16 page VCP 4 blueprint into 53 pages of detailed notes on each item VMware noted. In reading this guide, I made another 11 pages of my own notes for details that I needed to research further (again using Scott Lowe’s book and David Davis’ video training). Another critical piece is access to a vSphere enviornment. At several points, I stopped and went back into vCenter to verify default settings or specific configuration options.

That is how I studied for my VCP 410 exam. There is a lot of information here, but the exam covers a lot of information. Not just the details of vSphere and vCenter, but also study up a little on VMware Server, VMware Player, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion and the other VMware products. Though you should read up on the basics of all products, I mention these 5 products because they involve hypervisors; be aware of how they are alike and how they are different from ESX/ESXi.

I was on a real time crunch to get my exam completed. If I had more time to prepare, I would have spent more time on Simon Long’s (@simonlong_) blog, taking his VCP 4 practice exams.

I hope that these resources help you as much as they helped me. I would wish you luck, but don’t make this about luck. Make it about learning the subject matter and then showing what you have learned on the exam.


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