Well yesterday I took the VCAP5-DCD test again and passed it this time. I was very happy. I failed it the first time because I was mostly worried about time. This test unlike most of the rest does not allow you to go back so once you finish a question your done. This was a challenge. The second time I was prepared and ended with 30 minutes to spare. I found the VCAP5-DCA test to be a lot of fun. This was not true with the DCD. I only do about 2 or 3 designs a year while I do administration every day. So it was not as familar to me. Here are some things to help you:
Study Guides I used:
- The official guide book here.
- The awesome vSphere 5 clustering deep dive here. notice I liked the version 5 since the test is based on this version not 5.1 (but you really should read the 5.1 version by far the best vsphere book around, the kindle version of 5 is free right now)
- The VCAP5-DCD document bundle (All the documents referenced in the blue print which is important because there are newer versions of these documents but the test is on these.)
- The design blueprint (Yes I read the whole thing and read the documents)
- The design tool demo (The test uses a visio like tool demo’ed by vmware)
- The unofficial study guide (yep you have used these before they guys rock)
- Focus on the design elements and best practices around configuration (storage, compute, etc..)
A few tips on the exam:
- The test is graded right away so no human is looking at your design making it pretty is not important missing connections or requirements is critical.
- Make sure when using the design tool that you connect directly to the objects once connected try to drag the object around to make sure it’s connected. These connections are critical for it to grade you I think.
- It’s a long exam and you don’t get scheduled breaks so please take 5 minutes to take a break in the middle.
- You might want to read the questions before you read the details it will help direct your attention to what is critical.
Well from here I’ll say good luck and take those tests. This one was really good for me it got me thinking about design in a new way and added a lot to my skill set.