Passed the VCP4 exam

If I wasn't so tired I'd be jumping for joy, it's a weight off my mind though, that's for sure.

Ever since vSphere was launched back in May I knew that at some point I'd have to take an exam. As it turns out the exam wasn't released until late August and that happenned to coincide with a really busy time for me.

By early October I knew that I'd have to book the exam or I'd not get round to doing it this year and then I'd have to take a “What's New” course before I could sit it. For a freelancer that's not good news. So I booked it anyway.

The good news is that I passed!

Naturally I've been asked how it was, what were the questions like and how did I prepare. I can't too much about the questions – you can imagine why – and the exam itself was pretty much like my VCP3 experience, but I can say a few words about preparation.

With this exam there is no substitute for experience in my mind. If you haven't used the product or have only just picked it up or scratched the surface then you're going to struggle. With that said, there is revision / learning that you can do to fill in the gaps. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Read the Configuration Maximums document. Understand what the numbers are and what they mean.
  2. Read the vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide (by Alan Renouf, Duncan Epping et al) when it's published.
  3. Read VMware vSphere 4 Implementation (by Mike Laverick)
  4. Watch the videos that Mike has recorded in support of the above book.
  5. Carry a copy of the vSphere4 Card (by Forbes Gutherie) with you. It's handy to read while waiting in queues or commuting.
  6. Read the vSphere4 Notes (also by Forbes Gutherie). They are a condensed version of VMware's documentation.
  7. Read the entire VMware documentation set. XtraVirt have a useful utility that downloads all of the PDFs for you.
  8. Setup you're own home lab so that you can experiment without endangering production environments 😉
  9. Simon Long has a practice exam on his blog.
  10. There are a myriad of other sites out there. Use google to find them.

Of course, these are all just suggestions. However you choose to do it, good luck.