This is another blog post from the series of my certification preparation and exam experiences. This time it is about VMware Certified Associate 4 – Desktop (VCA4-DT or VCA410-DT) certification.
Although my goal is to get VCAP-DCA certification before vSphere 5 comes out, after getting the VCAP-DCD I decided to take two other (I thought easier) certifications that would demonstrate my broader IT knowledge. The first was ITIL V3 Foundation which was really easy and took me just week to prepare by reading HP course textbook. The other one was VCA4-DT certification which I took today.
The certification has no prerequisites and is entry level VMware View certification to VCP4-DT and VCAP4-DT (not available yet). As can be read from the exam blueprint its goal is to test skills and abilities monitoring and managing a View 4.x environment. I am more of a design guy than administrator so I knew I had to get more hands on View experience.
My preparation strategy was:
- Create a test lab environment. I created full scale environment in my home lab with two connection servers (local and WAN access), view composer and transfer server. Packaged a few ThinApp applications and created Win XP IO optimized image. I had to uninstall VMware Workstation from my PC as it is not compatible with View Local mode client. I also dedicated a LUN for linked clones to speed up provisioning.
- I took the VMware View: Fundamentals [V4.5] e-learning course from the VMware Partner University. It takes about 6 hours to complete.
- Read the VMware View Architecture Planning Guide (about 70 pages)
- Read some chapters from the VMware View Administration Guide (350 pages)
- Followed the objectives from the exam blueprint
- Took the mock VCA-DT and VCP-DT exams
- All that took me about one and half week
The exam contains 70 multiple choice questions. It took me about 1 hour to go through them. What I did not like that many of the questions asked about specific GUI items or the sequence of the GUI steps or what options are in the GUI. You either have to have photographic memory or be using the View Admin and View Client interfaces daily. Then there were some troubleshooting questions, log collections a few local mode and architecture questions. ThinApp was covered quite a lot and obviously the desktop provisioning. Only a few questions are situational. All the blueprint objectives were covered pretty thoroughly so do not skip any topic.
I thought I should have read all the chapters of the View Administration Guide including the command line tools and obviously spent more time with the View interfaces.
My final score was a pass with 433 out of 500.