Recently I sat the VCAP Design exam for Cloud Management and Automation based on vRA7.2. Previously I had sat the version 6 exam and this was based on the traditional split of visio based canvas scenarios and drag and drop questions. I learned that this version of exam has significant changes to it, and in fact there are no more canvas style questions. Indeed most questions are multiple choice with some drag and drop. The time allocation was also less than before, now only 130 minutes to answer 60 questions!
Going into study mode I felt confident having used vRA7.3 for some time now, however there are still slight differences between 7.2 and 7.3 that I had to brush up on. Additionally, due to the architecture of the product I work on, we don’t have a need to utilize all of what vRA can offer, so I also required a refresher on things like approval policies and the vRA portal.
So, where to start? I am lucky enough to have a lab in work where we develop, so I could use that for a “play around”. I created a new tenant and simply clicked everywhere and anywhere to get a feel for all vRA7 has to offer. I also completed some Hands on Labs from VMware. They are an excellent resource and cater for all levels. From here you can also click around – no need to follow the guide :). I did focus, however, on the vRA/NSX integration labs. I much prefer these labs to reading but I also brushed up on the design qualities that are always part of these types of exams. Having sat a few based on the DCV track, I always refer to Paul McSharrys official guide and also the DCD 5.5 Study Pack from Jason Grierson which is an excellent reference. I also should point out that the official exam guide here contains some really important references.
Moving onto the exam itself. I have to say, some of the questions contained typos and many didn’t feel like the sentences where structured correctly, so in the exam situation it was off putting as one of the answers I was planning to select has missing letters! I did feel myself losing focus near the end , its a lot of reading and although you have over 2 hours, the time flies in. I managed to do a first pass of the 60 questions with about 40 minutes to spare, but I had flagged a few that I knew I had to spend more time reading the questions and utilized the remaining time to try to answer these as best I could.
Thankfully, the nerve wracking moment to hit complete exam resulted in a nice “Congratulations” message! Relieved and tired and having now successfully upgraded my VCIX to version 7, I headed for a well deserved pint !
If anyone plans to take the exam or wants to chat about the experience, please get in touch!