3V0-624: VCAP 6.5 Datacenter Virtualization Design my exam experience

VMworld Barcelona 2018 started for me with a personal victory, I passed the 3V0-624 exam!

Schermafbeelding 2018-11-09 om 21.23.25

My exam experience was great, started my exam at 9 AM, (my appointment was a half hour later, but since there were plenty of seats available, I could start early. 30 minutes less to be a worried nervous wreck. I feel that I didn’t give myself enough time to properly prepare for this exam, but then again, isn’t that always the case? Just schedule an exam date far away, to use the date as the motivator to at least try to put in some effort… But with VMworld exams rescheduling is not really possible, so I just went for it.

The exam consisted of 60 questions, either multiple choice or drag and drop, no Visio style infrastructure quizlets. The time allotted was fine for me, I had ample time to read and re-read all questions. Yes it will involve some reading, since lots of (background) information is presented about the design in question.

Many questions weren’t so much technical in nature, but ask you the define a statement to be a functional or non-functional requirement. Or if something should be classified as being a risk, constraint or an assumption. Some questions ask to sort requirements by stakeholder. So know how to identify stakeholders, and have an idea about the common tasks or interests are for C-level executives, such as CEO, CIO, CISO and my wife CFO.

Oh and the rule that with a 4 answer multiple choice question, 2 choices are evidently ridiculous, will not apply in this exam. Many of the answers seem valid! Make sure to re-read the question to see, if something that seems valid enough may be invalidated by some of the wording in the question. For every answer you give, don’t just click it because it’s the first thing that comes to mind, but try to defend you answer against the question. Think “Why is answer X wrong?” or “Why does answer X fit better than Y?”

“Dear algebra, please stop asking us to find your X, she’s never coming back and we don’t know Y” – From somewhere on the internet.

In this exam you must know why. To get a taste of it, visit vMusketeers (See below)

But to prepare for the exam, a lot of reading is required anyways…

What I did to prepare for this exam:

  • Read books
    • VMware vSphere 6.x Datacenter Design Cookbook Second Edition by Hersey Cartwright ISBN: 9781785283468
    • Essential vSAN 6.2 by Duncan Epping and Cormac Hogan. An updated version may come soon, Duncan tweeted about it a few days back!
    • Host Resources Deep Dive 6.5 by Frank Denneman and Niels Hagoort. ISBN: 9781540873064 or get a free digital copy from Rubrik
    • vSphere HA DeepDive 6.0u1 by Duncan Epping which isn’t available anymore, but the content is updated and combined with the updated Host Resource Deep Dive 6.5 book, in the VMware vSphere Clustering Deep Dive 6.7 book. I haven’t read it yet. But picked up a signed copy at VMworld, again sponsored by Rubrik, if history truly repeats itself, they may provide a free ebook version soon, so check the Rubrik site regularly!
  • The VMware Exam Guide, which contains links to allot of (VMware) Documentation, which may not be the most fun to read, but as always in a VMware exam, know the configuration maximums, limits, product compatibility and caveats for each listed product. Knowing which operating systems can or can’t be converted on which platform using VMware Converter could win you a couple of points. Know the product suite on a high level, have intimate knowledge on all things vSphere. The guide contains 10 practice questions, which are somewhat easier than the real exam, at least in my experience. All are solely of the multiple choice variety. Beware: Even if you ace these, don’t think you’ll automatically ace the exam.
  • Watched a few recordings of the VCAP6.x Design sessions from vBrownbag. These are awesome, not only because of the technical content, but especially for the explanations of the differences between Functional and Non-Functional requirements, Risks, Assumptions, Constraints, which are very important in the exam. (I really loved the videos on Section 2.1 and 3.1
  • Tested my understanding with the VCAP 6.x DCD mock exam from vMusketeers. The score of this mock was surprising accurate compared to my actual exam score, and the type of drag ‘n drop questions are quite similar to those of the exam. I didn’t see any re-order questions in my exam, but that doesn’t necessarily means that there aren’t any.
  • Blogs of each of the gentlemen reverenced above. Don’t remember the exact blog posts, but many.

Thanks to all those people that make such an effort writing books, blogs and hosting/presenting these sessions, I wouldn’t know how I could have accumulated this amount of knowledge in such a short time without all your hard work!

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