VMware has quietly released a new certification: VCP – Infrastructure as a Service (VCP-IaaS). The beta period ended this week and I had a chance to participate. Compared to other cloud certifications which try to be vendor neutral (for example EMC Cloud Architect) this one is very much VMware product specific. The knowledge of vCloud Director, vShield Manager, vCenter Chargeback and vCloud Connector is thoroughly tested.
As I build vCloud Director clouds for living it was a no-brainer for me to take part in the exam. After reading the exam blueprint objectives it was clear that this is entry level certification with many installation and configuration items with little architecture related topics.
There is only one requirement prerequisite and that is to be a VCP5. There is one recommended training VMware vCloud: Deploy and Manage the VMware Cloud [V1.5] which I did not take part in. Among the recommended reading materials is documentation of the above mentioned software components, handful of vCloud Director whitepapers and vCAT – VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit. After taking the exam I think just reading the documentation and having hands-on experience with the GUI is enough to pass the exam. My guess is that especially the vCAT (which is quite extensive set of best practices documents) will be very important for the VCAP advanced cloud certification (if they will be released).
The beta test had 115 questions all multiple choice and about 2+ hour time limit. Speaking from experience (VCP-DT) the final exam is usually shorter (about 85 questions). The questions are usually short occasionally with a screenshot attached so time is not a problem – you either know the answer or not. There were some UI related functions “Where do you configure function X?” which I do not like. I have no photographic memory and usually cannot recall the name of the section/menu (if you took VCA-DT exam you know what I am talking about). The most emphasis (and rightfully so) is on networking. Networking and resource pools entitlements are the most difficult and important topics of vCloud Director so understanding those is a must. Almost all blueprint related topics were examined. The quality of the questions considering its beta status was very good, only with a few I had problem to understand the question or thought the choices given are either incorrect or incomplete.
I do not know my result – it usually takes about two months to get notified about beta exam results. I wish the cloud certification long future hopefully with other advanced exams to come.