If you feel you want to take your VMware knowledge to the next level you may consider the VCAP-DCV Deploy certification. Achieving this advanced level VMware certification demonstrates you have hands-on experience deploying, optimizing and troubleshooting a VMware virtual infrastructure. It is not uncommon when you achieve this level of certification it will bring you real world benefits such as career opportunities or an increase in pay. And let’s not forget that the knowledge you gain will make you more effective in performing your day to day tasks.

In this blog post you can find information to prepare yourself for the exam.

Essentials

When preparing for this certification you want to check out the essentials first.

  • The first thing to do with any VMware exam is to carefully read the certification page and make sure that you meet all the prerequisites. Also make sure you check out the qualifying exams. At the time of this blog post only the 3V0-22.21 exam is eligible for the VCAP-DCV Deploy 2021 certification.
  • Keep an eye on the list of retired exams, certifications and badges found on the general certification page. This list shows new versions of the VCAP certifications are released annually on the first of January.
  • Next check out the exam preparation guide. It will list the sections on which you will be tested and it also contains some hyperlinks to relevant vSphere documentation.
  • If your goal is to achieve both the VCAP-DCV deploy and design certifications and get/renew that sweet VCIX badge, unlike what is listed on the Credly site you need to either:
    • hold a previous VCAP Design certification and pass the VCAP-DCV deploy exam (this was true in my case)
    • pass both the VCAP Deploy and Design exams, but not necessarily from the same version

Training requirements

For this exam there is no mandatory training requirement, so you can decide for yourself whether you want to take an instructor-led course or use other resources to prepare for the exam. I choose the latter.

Exam details

The VCAP-DCV deploy exam is a 17 question lab based exam which is not yet suitable for remote proctoring. So you need to schedule an exam with one of the Pearson VUE connected exam locations. I don’t know if it was due to covid or the Christmas period but I found that available exam slots were scarce. So plan ahead! Speaking of planning, because the lab environment is hosted outside of the exam location this will cause some latency. I’m not sure if this is still the case but it used to be hosted in the US only. I live in the EMEA region and planning my exam at the start of business hours locally meant I suffered less from latency and load on the platform simply because of the difference in time zones.

When taking this exam be sure to keep an eye on the clock. Some questions require you to perform a task which takes some time to complete. You are advised to skip ahead and finish that assignment later.

Exam preparation

Because this is a lab based exam you need to come prepared. There are no shortcuts, no list of multiple choice questions you can cram to quickly get ready. The exam guide states a candidate needs to have 12 months of hands-on experience installing, configuring, and managing a vSphere solution. And this is with good reason. So how can you gain this experience you might ask? Let me provide you with some options.

  1. Training on the job. Your current role allows you to perform tasks you need to master for the exam.
  2. Use a home lab. A very common option amongst the vCommunity.
  3. Use the VMware hands-on labs. For this exam filter for all labs ending with SDC or HCI to find a wealth of information. I advise you not to walk through the tasks in the lab A to Z but rather to focus specifically on a topic you want to study. This is a list of labs you might find of interest:
    • Introduction to vSphere Performance (HOL-2204-01-SDC)
    • VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management (HOL-2205-02-HCI)
    • VMware vSAN – Getting Started (HOL-2208-01-HCI)
    • vSAN Quick Start – Lightning Lab (HOL-2208-91-HCI)
    • Virtualization 101 (HOL-2210-01-SDC)
    • vSphere Distributed Switch – Lightning Lab (HOL-2210-91-SDC)
    • VMware vSphere – What’s New (HOL-2211-01-SDC)
    • VMware vSphere – Advanced Topics (HOL-2211-02-SDC)
    • VMware vSphere – Security Getting Started (HOL-2211-03-SDC)
    • VMware vSphere Automation – PowerCLI (HOL-2211-04-SDC)
    • VMware vSphere 7 – Lightning Lab (HOL-2211-91-SDC)
  4. vSphere Courses and learning resources on the Connect Learning Library
  5. VMware Connect Learning Community

You can use the exam sections and references listed in the exam preparation guide to prepare yourself for the exam with either of the options mentioned above.

Tests

If you feel you are ready to take the exam but want to test your knowledge first there are two resources I can recommend:

  1. Graham Barker’s VCAP-DCV Deploy 2020 – Exam Simulator – FREE
  2. XtremeLabs Exam Prep Tools: VMware DCV-Deploy Exam Prep – PAID

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