This morning I sat my VCP 5 after around two and half weeks of studying. As I’m sure, you know I’m under NDA so I can’t mention too much but what I can I will in the hope that maybe it will help someone prepare better and thereby pass the exam.
I utilised a large amount of resources although due to my time constraints I did have to pick and choose which ones I felt would help me most. All the resources I used in my preparations are listed on my VCP 5 page here: http://thesaffageek.co.uk/vcp5/ .The ones i personally used from my list were:
- The vSphere 5 Trainsignal videos by David M Davis and Elias Khnaser. I watched all the videos as i wanted to make sure i didn’t miss a low level setting that might come up in the exam and had a feeling the VCP 5 would require you to know each features inside out (which they do)
- I know not helpful for people who haven’t attempted it but the preparations for my VCAP4-DCA really helped me as it gave me a really good base knowledge and loads of experience installing configuring and managing loads of the less utilised features. Off of this i would recommend getting loads of hands on lab time and make sure you install all the features and know how they work as the exam is based much more on experience rather than picking the new feature in vSphere 5 from a list. As mentioned in the BrownBag webinar I did last week with Damian Karlson you can create a lab from a few desktop computers or even use VMware workstation on your laptop and build a small lab that way.
- The vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive by Frank Denneman and Duncan Epping helped me loads! the exam doesn’t expect you to know the deepest configurations but i read the whole book anyway and it really did help me better understand how it all works and even if you don’t want to read the whole thing then get the book and read the first few chapters of each of the sections so you know how it all works and what the new features are all about.
- Andrea Mauro’s study guides were amazing and really helped me systematically make my way through the blueprint and flagged up points i possibly wasn’t very strong in so I could go research and learn more about it. All his guides are on his blog here: http://vinfrastructure.it/certifications-on-virtualization/vcp/vcp5/. They really are great
- One of the resources I used to do the further research of features I wasn’t that strong in was Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 5 book. The book is great and gives amazing examples and explanations for all the features. Due to time constraints, i wasn’t able to read the whole book but it was really helpful for further studies and if I had more time I would have liked to have read the book.
- The practice exams by Simon Long and the VMware mock exam were highly beneficial as they gave me a really good idea of the style of questions and helped flag up parts I was weak in and thereby needed to spend more time studying. As mentioned in the BrownBag, if you get 100% for the VMware mock exam you can’t retake it, which is insane but something to keep in mind.
- I did mention it above but I feel it’s so important I want to mention it again. Get yourself a lab/build a lab on your laptop/desktop and practice everything as the exam is based on experience so the only way you are going to get a really good understanding of how everything works and all the features and settings is to get a number of practice hours in.
Well that’s all the things I used for the exam and I’m pleased to say I passed the exam. The score was a lot closer than I had hoped but seeing as the exam was so difficult I’m very pleased with my pass. Good luck to anyone sitting the exam soon.