VCAP4-DCA & DCD

Amazingly a few people have sent me messages saying that my VCP4 Study Resources(Part 1, Part 2) were very helpful with their preparations for their VCP4 exams and were looking forward to me doing the same for the VCAP exams. So seeing as I’m not one of those people who can write an in-depth blog posting in one sitting and seeing as this is likely to be a list of resources that I will be constantly updating as I come across new resources and I make my way through the  required amount of studying to be prepared.I’ll start listing all the resources here and if people want to add good resources they have found/are using then hopefully I can grow a list that will help people and myself to obtain the VCAP accreditation’s.

VCAP-DCA Resources
  • First in the list has to be Sean Crookston’s VCAP-DCA Index. Sean has built up and is still completing an amazing page with all the exam objectives from the VCAP-DCA exam’s blueprint with links to all the objectives details and links to blogs/resources that help you cover all the things you will need to know and fully understand to cover each objective. Sean has posted all about his experience of sitting the exam and what he recommends to do in preparation here
  • Kendrick Coleman has also done the same idea with his VCAP-DCA landing page covering all the exams objectives and resources on each topic to help you understand and learn everything that is needed. I’m currently using both Sean and Kendrick’s pages just to make sure I get a strong understanding of everything.
  • Ed Grigson has completed his postings on all the VCAP-DCA objectives and has kindly collated them all together into one really helpful Study Guide. He has posted the guide on his VCAP-DCA page at the top of  the list of each of the objective postings on his blog here .
  • As I said for my VCP4 exam, the Trainsignal videos were amazing in helping me cover all the things I needed for the exam and seeing as the VCP is a pre-requisite to writing the VCAP exam I’ll be re-watching all the videos to help me refresh my “base” knowledge and I’ll be watching my soon to be collected VMware vSphere Pro Series Training Vol. 2 which covers all the higher end applications and features that you will need to know and fully understand to pass the exam. With the pedigree of contributors to these videos you know you will be getting knowledge from some of the top guys in the industry today.
  • David Davis of Trainsignal and VMwareVideos.com fame has also just released the VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Training set of videos. As I said above the videos are insane and are well worth the money so while they are on special(are at time of posting) I would HIGHLY recommend getting yourself a copy. I’ve managed to source myself a copy and hope to write a review of the videos very soon
  • David has also now released hisVMware vSphere Performance Monitoring Training set of videos. I’m currently utilising the troubleshooting videos for my studies (review posting forthcoming once I find some time) and I can honestly say they are probably better than the instructor led courses as David gives so much more additional information and references and a number of the things covered by him in the troubleshooting have also come up in a number of the other VCAP blueprint objectives.
  • David has now completed all four of the VCAP-DCA recommended courses videos and now you can get all four of them included the recently released PowerCLI and Security courses in his VMware vSphere 4 VCAP Training Package. I’ve been using all these videos for my studying and they are at points even better than the instructor led courses.
  • David has also blogged about his VCAP-DCA Exam Experience and has given some great insights into the exam layout itself and his thoughts and recommendations to pass it.
  • Eric Sloof has posted all about practice questions for the VCAP-DCA exam. Even though the VCAP-DCA exam is substantially lab based these questions are still really great for covering some of the topics you need to know and obviously if you get questions wrong it will be a great indicator of where you still need to strengthen your knowledge prior to the exam.
  • Next is the recommended courses. Unlike the VCP4 exam there isn’t a required course you need to attend before writing the exam apart from being a VCP4 but these VMware courses are recommended for the VCAP4-DCA exam and should help you cover and learn in places you may not be very strong in or haven’t had a chance to use before:
  • Duncan Epping of Yellow Bricks blogged about his participation in the VCAP-DCA beta exam and gives some great tips and advice on preparing for the exam.
  • Seeing as he wasn’t linked in Duncan’s posting Chris Dearden also blogged about his experiences in writing the VCAP-DCA beta exam here
  • A whole bunch of people have now been confirmed as VCAP-DCA holders and are listed here by Scott Vessey. I’ll be keeping an eye out on these people as these are all the beta participants and I’m certain will be passing on information to help prepare for the exam
  • I’m not sure how I missed him off this list as his resources were amazing for the VCP exam. Cody Bunch has started the Brown Bags for the VCAP-DCA exams already and has already reached Section 8 of the VCAP-DCA blueprint. He has posted the recordings of the previous Brownbag’s here: http://bit.ly/cIsrRO. Unfortunately due to them being so late I’m most likely going to end up watching all the recordings, but the Brown Bags have an amazing about of information in them and I’ve managed to watch the first one and can’t wait to watch the rest . You can register for the Brown Bags here: http://professionalvmware.com/brownbags/. Also a massive thanks to Cody for the mention of this resource list in his resources section for two of the BrownBag follow ups.
  • A major part of preparing for the exams and gaining the hands on knowledge you will need for the exams is to build yourself a home lab. Christian Mohn of vNinja.net has done a six part posting all about how to build your home lab.Part one, part two, part three, part four, part five and part six are now available and are a brilliant resource for the building of your lab. I’m already making my way through making sure I have covered everything that Christian has mentioned in his posting in my home lab .
  • Talking of home labs Simon Seagrave of Techhead.co.uk has posted all about the amazing UK deal for the HP Proliant MicroServer. The price seems to have gone up £10 in the last few days but it is still an amazing deal for anyone thinking of building/upgrading their home lab.
  • Another great resource I will be using is to watch the VMworld Sessions which are now available for viewing for both the VMworld 2010 Europe attendees and the US attendees. There are some brilliant sessions in the list which should help a lot for understanding certain technologies you may not have used before
  • The VCAP-DCA UI demo is available here http://mylearn.vmware.com/courseware/82526/VCAPDCA_Tutorial.swf . I have yet to look through it but already a few people have said that it is very useful in getting yourself familiar with the UI of the exam
  • Jon Hall from VMware has published a new version of the VCAP-DCA Blueprint here . As with the VCP exams being able to tick off everything listed in the blueprint that you need to know is the best way of knowing if you are prepared to sit the exam or not.
  • As mentioned in my All Things Virtual 20 blog posting, Frank Denneman of frankdenneman.nl fame and Duncan Epping of Yellow-Bricks.com fame have written and released the vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS technical deepdive book. This book in my opinion is a must read for anyone looking to write the exam to better understand these technologies. Hopefully my copy arrives soon
  • Chris Dadswell has created a mindmap of all the VCAP-DCA resources that Sean Crookston has put up in his Index page and has made it available for download here.
VCAP-DCD Resources
  • Registration is now open for the VMware VCAP-DCD. Holders of the VCP certification can now apply to take the exam here.
  • The blueprint for the exam can be downloaded here and just like all the other VMware exams if you know how to do everything on the blueprint then you know you are ready for the exam.It has just recently been updated and shows final number of questions in the exam is 113
  • As I stated in the VCAP-DCA list a great resource for learning a lot of the things in the blueprint is to watch the VMworld 2010 sessions which are now available for viewing if you attended either of the conferences.
  • Sean Crookston has started updating his VCAP-DCD index page and has uploaded a set of pdf files specifically mentioned on the exam here
  • Ciano Kuraz has kindly downloaded and shared almost all the documents needed for the VCAP-DCD here for peoples convenient viewing
  • The VCAP-DCD UI demo is available here http://bit.ly/989hII
  • There has been a large amount of insight into the Beta exam on the VMware communities here http://bit.ly/a1PP5B by the people who have sat the exam. Also I would recommend, like I have to subscribing to receive notifications every time someone updates or posts something on the VCAP-DCA and VCAP-DCD communities pages
  • As mentioned in the VCAP-DCA section Frank Denneman of frankdenneman.nl fame and Duncan Epping of Yellow-Bricks.com fame have recently written and released the vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS technical deepdive book. This book in my opinion is a must read for anyone looking to write the VCAP-DCD exam to better understand these technologies.
  • Eric Sloof has posted about the VMware High Availability (HA): Deployment Best Practices paper from VMware which covers loads of great things you need to know about High Availability for the VCAP-DCD exam.
  • Eric has also posted all about his VCAP-DCD exam experiences here
  • As I said in the VCAP-DCA section, David Davis of Trainsignal and VMwareVideos.com fame has just released the VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Training set of videos. The videos are insane and are well worth the money so while they are on special(are at time of posting) I would HIGHLY recommend getting yourself a copy.
  • William Huber of VitrualSMB.net has given a really great bit of advice for the preparations for the exam from his experiences. Firstly i would recommend reading his experiences in full here but also i wanted to highlight a point he made in it about the BC/DR training which is free on VMware mylearn website here.
  • The beta test takers of the VCAP-DCD have now received their results and a very large portion of them have passed it. There are numerous blog postings but the ones I found most interesting were Simon Gallagher’s here and Jason Boche’s here. Unfortunately not many people have given any great tips or tricks for the exam although in a twitter conversation with Chris Dearden of JFVI.co.uk fame I did ask him if there was any resources he would recommend and he replied with “I think the design course is quite good for giving you some of the softer requirements.” A little bit of an obvious one but good to know all the same Smile

Well that’s my list, as I said I’ll be updating this with everything I find that I feel will help me and therefore surely help you be prepared to sit and pass the VCAP exams

Gregg

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36 Responses to VCAP4-DCA & DCD

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  10. Paul says:

    Gregg – this is a great collection of VCAP-DC* resources. Keep ‘em coming! The home lab posts are especially helpful – regardless if you are doing VCAP prep or not.

    -paul

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  14. Eric Sloof – VCAP-DCA practice questions. Multiple choice to gauge exam readiness.

    As prepared and written by Robert Stothard and available via his web site

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