On my journey towards the VCDX the ultimate destination for all the Virtualization fanatics , I had to start with the VCAP DCA exam. I have been working in virtualization field for a long time and already had my VCP 4 which was a prerequisite for the VCAP exams.
I am writing this post after a long time of finishing my VCAP DCA as I was not able to concentrate on the blogging due to my work commitments , however I wanted to make sure to share my experince and some tips tricks which can help people preparing for the VCAP DCA.
I don’t have a home lab (unfortunately) but I had created the lab for preparing the VCAP DCA on VMware Workstation. I have a Laptop with 8 GB memory and Quad core i5 processor which was able to take the extra load of few ESX servers in nested configuration.
Now it’s easy to find instruction on setting up the lab using workstation thanks to the Autolab project of Alastair Cooke , so people who doesn’t have the required hardware to setup home lab can do this now easily and do all the labs for VCAP DCA.
Coming back to the exam preparation , I started out with going through the VCAP DCA blueprint. Going through the blueprint is an essential thing as the exam covers all the topics discussed in the blueprint , don’t ignore even the smallest topic. Next thing was obviously to go through the experience of other people and plan based on their experience of the exam and your pace of study.
I think what helped me the most was to create lab scenarios based on the blueprint topics and practice doing the same configurations through two three different ways as the exam will have CLI as well GUI scenarios. Mastering command line options and remembering most used advance configuration settings will help a long way. Try to do as much practice around common day to day administration activities try all the advances product features such as DVS , sVmotion , FT , patching etc..
There are lot of blog posts which you should go through which has study notes which will certainly help the great deal. I am outlining few things which are a must .
1) Read through the VCAP DCA Blueprint
2) Go through the VCAP DCA Exam UI Demo
3) Participate in the Brown Bags run by Cody Bunch or Listen to the recordings which are available at professionalvmware.com
4) Lab time is the key , do as much as you can
5) Time is the essence of the exam ,make sure to not spend too much on one question
Finally I got my results three weeks after the exam and I passed , this was one of the toughest exams in my career and I felt really good after clearing this exam. I am a VCAP DCA now