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 http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=12457&ui=www. 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:
- Exam Blueprint
- Schedule Exam
- VMware Certification FAQs
- Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 4 Book on Amazon
- vSphere: New Features and Benefits PDF
- Hypervizor – VMware vSphere in the Enterprise Diagram
- VMware vSphere 4.0 Documentation
- VMware vCenter Converter Documentation
- VMware vCenter Update Manager Documentation
- VMware Consolidated Backup Documentation
- VMware Documentation Downloader by Xtravirt
- vReference VI3 card
- vReference vSphere4 Card
- vSphere Configuration Maximums PDF
- Simon Long’s VCP4 vSphere Study Notes
- VMware’s VCP Forum
- VMware Network Port List
- Changes to the ESX Service Console for ESX 4.0
- VMware Knowledge Base Blog: Installation Heavy Hitters
- Free 2nd Shot Opportunity at http://mylearn.VMware.com/register.cfm?course=56276 (details: http://mylearn.VMware.com/portals/certification/?ui=www )
- Eric Siebert’s VMware vLaunchpad
- VMware Compatibility Guide
- What’s New in VMware vSphere 4.0
- Matthijs van den Berg’s VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 – Learning guide
- Mike Laverick’s vSphere Videos/Demos
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.
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 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.