Sunday, February 21, 2016

Building A Virtual Foundation

Back in 2013 I achieved the VMware Certified Professional 5 - Data Center Virtualization Shortly thereafter they modified the duration of that certification to be a 2-year re-certification cycle.  In May of 2015, my certification had expired while I patiently awaited the release of the VMware Certified Implementation Expert 6 - Data Center Virtualization certification track.

However, one thing lead to another and it became necessary for me to return to a valid certification status.  Being as how the VCIX6-DCV track is still not complete as of today, I decided to go ahead and pursue the VCP6-DCV while I wait.

I recently completed the vSphere 6 Foundations Exam and thought that it might be helpful to others if I shared my path of study that resulted in a passing score.

There is a prereq of attending an instructor-led training course before VMware will give you credit for taking any of their exams.  The vSphere 6 Exam is no exception.  For this requirement I decided on attending the relatively newly-created vSphere 6 Install, Manage, Configure Plus Optimize and Scale Fast Track which is now being positioned as the direct replacement for the vSphere 6 Bootcamp course.

The ICM + Optimize and Scale course is a combination of the full ICM curricula and the full Optimize and Scale curricula.  Both of which are full 5-day courses.  The combination course merges the material of both courses into 5 10-hour days of about 60% lecture and 40% hands-on lab.  I have to say that I really enjoyed the course and the material and felt that it aimed well towards the base of knowledge required to pass not only the Foundations Exam but the follow-up VCP6-DCV Exam (which I will also be taking within the next month or so).

In addition to the instructor-led training course, which is not an exam prep class, I also took advantage of some great study resources that filled in any gaps that were left.  I used various study guides, practice exams, and video podcasts to prepare for the exam.  Many of these materials are, at least in part, presented by holders of more advanced VMware certificates such as VCAP-DCD and VCXD (only around 200 in the world).  Needless to say, the materials are a wealth of knowledge.  I present the list below as a consolidated tome of reference links in hopes of assisting someone else with their exam preparations.

Although it's not strictly limited to the vSphere 6 Foundations Exam, I also highly recommend the Mastering vSphere 6 book written by Nick Marshall.

If you have other valuable study material that you used to pass the vSphere 6 Foundations Exam, let me know in the comments.