VCP5 exam: Passed!

Today is August 29th, 2011. This also happens to be the day that the VCP-510 exam goes live, which is also known as the (VMware) VCP5 exam. My VCP4 number was in the 66000 range, and I really wanted a lower number this time around. I also wanted to get the exam out of the way long before the end of February 2012 “upgrade your VCP4 to 5 without taking any additional classes” deadline. After February 2012 you will be required to attend a “What’s New in vSphere 5″ class AND pass the exam in order to earn your VCP5 certification. People who hold the VCP3 were given a reprieve that allows them to take the shorter (read: less expensive) “What’s New in vSphere 5″ class and sit for the VCP5 exam. As with the VCP4, VCP3′s have until the end of February 2012 to take the “What’s New” course and pass the exam after which they will need to take the full vSphere 5 Install/Configure/Manage (or Troubleshooting) course before they can earn their VCP5 cert.

Side note: If you need to take a class JOIN VMUG Advantage! 20% off of classes and exams and you get access to official VMware coursework (visit the link for details). Yes it costs $200 per year but you don’t have to renew. If you are like me virtualization is becoming/has become integral to your career so you probably will renew when the time comes.

What can I say about the test? Nothing specific per the rules of course. I’ll keep my bullet points simple and ambigious:

  • Read the exam blueprint here (you will need to register for a VMware Learning account).
  • Read what “Andre” has to say about the beta version of the exam.
  • Remind yourself that much of what you know about configuring and administering VMware has NOT changed since 4.X.
  • Read the “vSphere 5 What’s New” documents that Duncan Epping has provided links to here.
  • Review the vSphere 5 documentation. Some of the PDF links don’t work but the other versions seem to. I think the VMware employees are all busy at VMworld right now and haven’t fixed the PDF’s yet.
  • The test is 85 questions total; it took me about 90 minutes to complete including about 10 questions I had marked for review.
  • If you passed the VCP4 exam, and feel you could still pass it today, I think you are well on your way to passing the VCP5.
  • The test is fair, in my opinion.
I think the exam is very similar in style, feel, and content to the VCP4 exam. I have about 3.5 years VMware experience, about a year of which is with ESXi 4 and the rest with 3.5. Most of that time was as an administrator of smaller VMware datacenters, but the advantage being that I worked with everything (VMware, Microsoft, EMC storage, Avamar backups) but the core switches (although I could handle what I needed to know for VMware if required). This means I got to do some vSphere setup and upgrades in addition to just administration. I think that it would be very difficult to pass the exam if I had nothing more than VMware administration experience, so if that is you I recommend going through some setups from empty standalone hosts to HA/DRS clusters.
What is next for me certification wise? Well the truth is the exam hasn’t been released yet, nor has the product for that matter. I should be able to answer that one after a few more press releases trickle out of VMworld.
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9 thoughts on “VCP5 exam: Passed!

  1. Jason Post author

    You’ll end up studying more than you need to know, but of course that is the way it always is.

    Good luck!

  2. Felix

    Thanks for sharing the information, but the deadline for shortcutting to VCP5 for an existing VCP4 is February 29th, 2012, not 2/28/2011.
    You got me sweating for a second there ;)

    1. Jason Post author

      Good catch! Goes to show you that you can proofread but still get the year wrong. I’ll fix the post. I need to update it anyway since VMware has since announced an upgrade path for VCP3 holders that doesn’t require them to take the full class for VCP5.

  3. Stephen

    Is the VCP5 exam (VCP-510) all multiple choice?

    I have zero experience with virtualization so I’m pretty stressed about trying to get my VCP 5 certificate. I signed up for the mandatory instructor led course for Sept. 10-14th of this month, but with having spent $3,495 for that plus $200 a pop to take the exam I’m sweating bullets about my chances of being able to pass this exam with no previous real world experience.


    1. Jason Post author

      Eric Sloof just did a writeup on the exam; I recommend reading that as he is a trainer and gives some good examples of what you need to know. His example about troubleshooting is spot on and worth the read in and of itself.

      The exam is multiple choice.

      I will say that I believe the test is harder now for people without experience. I passed the VCP4 exam before I took the training, relying on experience and self study.

      You face an uphill battle no doubt but it can be done without experience if you study enough. Don’t forget the VMware practice tests; they are free and can help you assess where you are. They aren’t the ultimate yardstick but they help.

      Best of luck,

      – Jason

  4. Pingback: vmDK » VMware VCP 5 Resources

  5. Pingback: VCP5 Study Notes - The world of Marc O'Polo - Blog | The world of Marc O'Polo – Blog

  6. Pingback: Preparing for vMware VCP 5.0 |

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