VCAP-Cloud Infrastructure Administration Exam Experience

VMware has just now released the second vCloud VCAP (which stands for VMware Certified Advanced Professional) Exam – Cloud Infrastructure Administration (VCAP-CIA). I have blogged about the other one – Cloud Infrastructure Design (VCAP-CID) 7 months ago so I thought it would be good to write about my experience from the beta exam I took 2 months ago as well.

If you are familiar with the vSphere equivalent exam VCAP Datacenter Administration (VCAP-DCA) then you will find it very similar. It is 100% hands on exam with a series of tasks that have to be done on live vSphere/vCloud/Chargeback infrastructure. You start at a control desktop and then from there you get to the lab environment using any client of your choice (SSH, RDP, web browser, vSphere Client).

It is important to note that the lab environment is based on vCloud Director 5.1 (contrary to VCAP-CID where all the questions were based on vCloud Director 1.5). The questions follow the exam blueprint (as usually) quite well so I would recommend to review the blueprint before the exam. As I do vCloud for living it is hard for me to recommend training or studying resources – I thing very good hands on experience with vCloud Director, vShield Manager, Chargeback and RHEL is necessary to be successful. Only hard prerequisite is to be VCP and it does not matter if VCP-DCV (the former vSphere VCP-DV), VCP-DT (View) or VCP-Cloud. If you are not VCP-Cloud passing VCAP-CIA (or VCAP-CID) will give you VCP-Cloud certification by default.

The 29 questions are supposed to be solved in sequence as they are sometimes related and it is not possible to easily jump from one to another. You have to go forward or backward one question at a time. Some questions might be skipped though. Standard VMware documentation in PDF form is accessible during exam however VMware KB is not.

I had major problem with latency which showed its ugly head when typing “vmware1!” password which was universally used. The last character ‘!’ requires two keystroke pressed at the same time which did not work most of the time. That was pretty annoying during tasks that took a few minutes and failed because of wrong password. At the end I used copy – paste for the password – knowing this upfront it would save me quite a lot of time. Besides confusing wording of another question I had no real issues with the lab environment.

I have to say I really enjoyed the exam tasks and was impressed how the lab was set up. It is obvious it required some effort from the exam makers and I applaud this. I commented on my issues and as it was a beta it the final release might be different.

I am now eager for the result in order to take the next step to VCDX-Cloud.

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