.. And hell it was .. Here the official bits first though –
- Exam Number: 2V0-641
- Questions: 85
- Minutes: 100
My experience .. I must say – to the day I have sit and passed 8 different VCPs and I think this is the first VCP which I JUST about passed (low 300s) and actually almost used all the time.
Whether an exam is hard or easy, obviously depends a lot on your experience. For instance, my current work is mainly around vRealize Automation and I have been working with vCloud Director since version 1.0 .. I didn’t even have to look at the blueprint for the CMA / Cloud exam and passed it.
But I don’t really have much network experience. My network experience essentially was enough to setup some switches needed for vSphere – so I can play with ACLs, SP, OSPF etc., but I am mainly a Layer 2 guy (BGwhat?).
I am lucky enough to have access to the NSX 6.0+ binaries so I am able to lab a lot. I started with NSX integration into vCD – then vRA (articles can be found here) and now I had to jump into the deep end for a customer engagement where I need to deploy the whole stack and also integrate it with vRA etc.
So essentially I am a ‘product’ guy really, and not a ‘network’ guy – what that means is – I started learning the network specific requirements through NSX.
Bottom line: I had to learn it the hard way. I even kinda blew up my lab a few times in the process but that is part of the learning process.
I think my first ever network exam was the Microsoft 70-291 – which I think I failed 2 or 3 times and never done it again 🙂
But with this exam I had a fixed appointment and I had no real choice but to take it at the day it was booked for me.
So how was the exam (to finally make a long story short) – as I say – hell. There was only so much I was able to test in my lab so a few bits from the blueprint I had to just learn – without having to touch the actual stuff.
So I did have problems in areas – which essentially is the reason I barely passed. But thankfully I have areas where I am quite strong (thanks to vCNS) so that pulled it out of the park I think.
Whilst the exam is very difficult – I would still say it is a very fair exam. If you come from a network background and ‘all’ you have to learn is the product itself – then you are in a good position. Thrown in some VXLAN and Distributed Switching and you shouldn’t have a problem to pass the exam.
Always hard to talk about an exam without breaking the NDA – but here is what I have used as study aid.
- My own lab. That is and was invaluable. I now cannot imagine NOT running NSX in my lab. It makes things a heck of a lot easier – especially if you have a lot of different networks and you don’t want to have jump boxes all over the place.
- Hands On Labs from VMware
- HOL-SDC-1603 VMware NSX Introduction
- HOL-SDC-1625 VMware NSX Advanced
- HOL-SDC-1624 VMware NSX and the vRealize Suite (not really needed but helpful in my case as related to a project I am working on)
- Giuliano Bertello’s NSX for Newbies
- VCIX-NV Youtube Series by Iwan Hoogendoorn
- Book: Learning NSX by Ranjit Singh
- Blueprint (R-E-A-D–I-T–!)
- NSX Documentation (I know, it is dry, but read it !)
- Some vBrownbags. I noticed that some are incomplete so they didn’t quite help me. There is a nice vBrownbag from the older VCP-NV – so I was looking forward to the Objective 5 coverage, but despite the title covering the whole objective, some, to me important ones, were missing.
Then of course there is the community .. My colleague @jabenedicic and a fellow vExpert @ALDTD were ever so helpful answering stupid questions 🙂
So what’s next? In terms of certifications – unlikely NSX. For now I need to concentrate on the Cisco CCNA-DC and NetApp NCDA. But my personal goal is still the VCDX-CMA so I hope I am able to get those VCAP-CMAs out of the way as well.
Stay tuned ey 🙂