Posted in Exam Preps, Technology

5V0-32.19 exam preparation

I am planning to take the VMware Cloud Provider Specialist Exam before the end of June (that’s when the voucher I bought will be expiring). I’ve had my eye on this exam for a year but have not really had time to really prepare.

I had started out by registering for the VMware vCloud Director: Install, Configure, Manage [V9.x] course a while ago (2019, I believe). It was a five-day course that was focused on installing, configuring, and managing VMware vCloud Director. It covered self-service provisioning, the creation of organizations, virtual data centers (VDCs), catalog services that include predefined virtual machines, and on-demand VMware NSX networks.

Unfortunately, I was heavily distracted when taking this course and must have skipped through a lot of the modules. I was however, able to download a few modules and will be going through them as I prepare.

I am also going through the VMware Cloud Director Fundamentals [V8.x]. This is a self-paced, free fundamentals course. It covers an overview of cloud computing and explains the solutions offered by VMware for cloud computing. In addition, the course introduces the architecture, components, and installation, and configuration of vCloud Director. Finally, it touches on the administrative and end-user tasks and network administration in vCloud Director.

For labs, I am looking at probably building an environment on my old laptop but the speed is driving me nuts. I am also considering building an SDDC environment using the free tier on Oracle Cloud. If that doesn’t work, I am thinking of going through a few of these hands on labs;

Oh yes, another important thing to go through for this exam is the exam blueprint. Actually, that should be the first thing to go check out. I didn’t mention it earlier cos I think the course already covered the different sections

I’ll post some more on this blog when I have some more updates so be sure to check back again.

See you in the next one…

Posted in Exam Preps, Technology

3V0-624 Preparation & Exam Experience

First off, if you haven’t read my previous post on my Journey to the vSphere Design. Do click the link and you’ll find there a portion of my journey to achieve this certification.

Preparation

  • First off, go through the exam guide several times. Everything you need for the exam is in there including everything else I’ll list below in this section.
  • Understand the basics of design – Conceptual, Logical, Physical. A great explanation of the differences is outlined in Rebecca Fitzhugh’s blog
  • VMware Product Interoperability Matrices – This provides information about how various VMware products interoperate.
  • Upgrade guides & steps for VMware products – You need to be familiar with how to upgrade different products from different versions and some of the best practices in doing so. You can find loads of information about this on the VMware validated designs.
  • Resource utilization – This is basically Objective 3.4 – Determine appropriate computer resources for a vSphere 6.x physical design
  • VSAN configuration guides. VSAN is a crucial component in almost every design so you need to understand this thoroughly. According to the exam guide, you need to be familiar with the following documents.
    1. VMware vSAN 6.5 Technical Overview
    2. vSAN Stretched Cluster and 2 Node Guide
    3. vSAN 6.2 for Remote and Branch Office Deployment
    4. vSAN Overview
  • Requirements, Limits, and Licensing of several VMware solutions – vSphere, vCenter, FT etc
  • Understand how to identify a set of goals, requirements, assumptions and constraints from interviews with various stakeholders – this was somewhat confusing because not many businesses in my region have roles broken down into CIO, CTO, SMEs. Bottom line, there are a lot of overlapping roles. The vBrownBag video by Mark Gabryjelski helped with this
  • Understanding the difference between functional and non-functional requirements – Check out Rebecca Fitzhugh’s blog.
  • Analyse design decisions and options – vBrownBag videos from Joe Clarke and Paul Cradduck helped clarify these
  • Finally, the VCAP6-DCV Design Quiz by vMusketeers helped place me in the exam scenario. I wish the questions were up to 60 though

Exam Day

  • Get enough rest/sleep. I’m ashamed to say that I dozed off several times during the exam. A consequence of not getting enough sleep.
  • Be sure to visit the loo 😉
  • Check-in early and go through the checking process. I had issues during my exam and spent two hours getting it fixed with Pearson Support. Later found out that it was an issue with the TLS version in Internet Explorer.
  • Read, read and re-read the questions before looking at the options
  • Don’t assume that the first few statements in the question point to the answer. Sometimes a large part of the question is designed to through you off balance 🙂
Posted in Exam Preps, Technology

Journey to VCAP-Design

My journey to achieving the VCAP Design started in 2015 when I attended the VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V5.5] training in the UAE. At the time I had the VCP5-DCV and about 4 years of experience “managing and building” vSphere environments. I have that in inverted commas because the environment I was managing at the time was a tiny one comprising of 2 hosts and less than 10 VMs. I also had not designed environments that were bigger than 5 or 6 hosts.

The training course was a huge eye-opener for me. It exposed me to validated designs and VMware best practices and the lab environment was well…huge! :-D. Needless to say it was a lot of information to process. The course came with a free voucher and since my flight from the UAE was 48 hours after the last day of the course. I had to take the exam within that window. I attempted the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design (VCAP-DCD) exam on the 15th of December but I was not very prepared and I failed – Ouch!

My second shot at the design exam was in 2019. I registered for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization Design Exam (3V0-624). A few years had passed after my first try so I felt I should be good. I also figured that I had some more experience designing vSphere environments and had learnt and used more VMware technologies.

Sadly, I still did not completely have a grasp of the design methodologies and failed again. My score was 260 out of a passing score of 300. Double Ouch!

From the score report, the list below shows the areas I missed and what I needed to improve on;

  • Gather and analyze application requirements
  • Determine risks, requirements, constraints and assumptions
  • Map Business Requirements to a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
  • Build Availability Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
  • Build Manageability Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
  • Build Performance Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
  • Build Security Requirements into a vSphere 6.x Logical Design
  • Transition from a Logical Design to a vSphere 6.x Physical Design
  • Create a vSphere 6.x Physical Network Design from an Existing Logical Design
  • Create a vSphere 6.x Physical Storage Design from an Existing Logical Design
  • Determine Appropriate Compute Resources for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design
  • Determine Virtual Machine Configuration for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design
  • Determine Datacenter Management Options for a vSphere 6.x Physical Design