Friday, June 22, 2012

First Impression of VCP-IaaS (VCPVCD511)

I was one of the selected candidates who were invited for the upcoming VMware VCP-IaaS (VCP-Infrastrcture-as-a-Service) certification which is based on VMware vCloud Director 1.5 version.

Today was the last day for the BETA period for this Exam. I finished the exam with 2:00 minutes to spare.

I spent almost 2 hours everyday for last one week to prepare for this BETA Exam. As per the information I have received only 500 or so people (with VCP5 certification) were invited to appear for this BETA. I have tried to get some people on this BETA who were not invited initially but for some I succeed and for some I didn't. Well, I did whatever I can but its not in my control anyway.

First of all, as the time was so short after appearing for the VCAP5-DCA BETA, I find it difficult to shock the family within a week's time that I will be an invisible man again for few hours every day. With our new born, it is very hard to read till late night and then wake up in the middle of the night and go to work next day. But I have managed to spare some time each day by grace of my superiors at work and this is the privilege of working at such company like VMware. 
To start with the preparation I reviewed the blue print in detail. Made a word document outlining the main subjects and the areas to watch carefully which needs more attention. I find this easy to read this word document at the last moment on the day of the exam as a final review. I am putting one copy each on my Touchpad and Playbook too so that I can read it whenever I find spare time. 

For me, I never worked on vShield, vCloud Connector or Chargeback so those were my weak points. vCloud Director as a whole is a challenging area itself. With my networking background I felt it little relaxed while reading about the vShield Edge, vShield Manager, NAT, VPN etc. etc.

I focused mainly on these two areas and one of my colleague Jeremy Sage (@thesage11) has given me some idea about what to prepare and where to put more weight while preparing and it was bang on.

Even if this exam is the initial level of the certification hierarchy (VCP) I decided not to run out of time as one needs to finish 115 questions in 130 minutes or so. But due to the complexity of some questions, they lead me to read them again to determine the correct answer or flag them to review later. As this area was not discovered before by me I took that as a challenge and referred all the possible guides and other official documentations with some few online videos on the public training portal. These all came very handy  when you have to visualize the GUI of vCloud Director or vCenter Chargeback or vCloud Connector.

For the preparation I looked at and found one FREE self-paced course on vCloud Director 1.5 about which I Tweeted few days back and very critically recommended course Deploy and Manage the VMware vCloud {Ver 1.5}. Subsequently I found some vShield related FREE self-paced courses as well.  (@artur_ka has blogged about it here). One recommended course "VMware vCloud: Deploy and Manage [1.5]" is now available which will help preparing for this exam.

So far I found the exam following the blue print very closely as other exams such as VCAPs. If you have not worked on the vCloud Director or any other components which are integrated with it, then you may want to spend some more time playing around with it in real life or at least in your home lab. You will find the blogs on creating vCloud Lab at home using various methods so it won't be hard at all. To be frank, I have downloaded all the bits and thinking to develop one lab using Workstation at home but "Time" just beat me to it. Now before I decide about giving any other exam on the list (yeah yeah, this is never ending process) I have to finish building the home lab with vCloud and View environment sitting side by side with SRM (if I could) to see how the backup and restore works for the vCloud using SRM.

As I mentioned I had only 2 minutes to review all the flagged questions so you don't need to stress at all as by the time the Exam goes GA there may be a change in the number of questions or if there won't be any then you have enough time to prepare if you start reading/preparing on the subjects mentioned above.

Looking at this BETA, I can say that future certifications on vCloud will be unique for sure.

You can also find the similar exam experiences posted and blogged by Tomas Fojta(@fojta) here and by Tomi Hakala (@tphakala) here. @arjantim has listed all the necessary study guides for this certification.

You can also register for VCP-IaaS on

GA Blue print is available here. You can also try the mock exam for VCP5-IaaS

@jshiplett has blogged about the study guide objective here.

@lhjartarson has blogged about the study guide objective here.

@davidmdavis and @jakerobinson have created vCloud Director Essential Training on

Good Luck for VCPVCD511 to all who were waiting to appear for the GA release.

I have to dedicate this name VCP-IaaS to my dear friend @PunchingClouds very heavy heartedly and I know he will forgive everyone for that.  :-)


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. It was worth reading.

  2. My pleasure Pritam,

    Hope you will find it useful for the GA version.

  3. I was able to take the Beta also. I had done several vCloud projects and designs leading into this so it was a pretty good fit.

    I would rate this exam some place between the VCP and a VCAP for level of difficulty. The test would be a challenge for most people because it touches several products that make up a vCloud design.