My VCIX6-DCV experience

Recently a passed my VCAP6-DCV deployment exam, which (due my VCAP5 DCD/DCA certification) resulted me with a VCIX6-DCV certification! Which I’m very proud of!
vmware-certified-implementation-expert-6-data-center-virtualization
I want you to tell about my certification-journey:

Introduction

I’ve got about 4 years experience in architecting VMware environments and have more than 9 years of experience with VMware products (starting from ESX 3). I was late with achieving VMware certifications: I’ve achieved my VCAP5 DCA/DCD status in 2013/2014 and updated my VCP5-status in 2015 to Double-VCP6(DCV/NV). Between my VMware certifications I’ve also passed my (Cisco) CCNP Datacenter certification. But it was february 2017 before I was started learning for my VCAP6-DCV exam. I had to renew my certification before the end of 2017 as they would expire.

I had a wish to become the VCIX6-DCV as it is required to start the VCDX certification.
With my VCAP5 status it was quite easy to achieve a VCIX6-DCV status, by only executing the VCAP6-DCV deployment exam.

VCAP6-DCV Exam preparation

I first started with inventory the exam topics/blueprint at https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=88753&ui=www_cert. I identified my own weak and strong points and writed them down. I started reading documents that were on my weak-side, but after reading a couple of these documents I founded out that this isn’t the way to go. This is a practical exam: You have to click in a live-environment! Theory is necessary, but hands-on experience is really being tested here!
I founded a blog/study guide at www.vjenner.com/vcap6-dcv-deployment-study-guide/ which helped me a lot!
BUT if you follow this study guide letter by the letter, you are not going to pass the exam! You must have real hands-on field experience (which I luckily have).

I’m also lucky to have an fully operational lab-environment at my work which I could use to help me with my hands-on experience for the topics I was weak at.
For the topics I could not test in my LAB, I used the Hands-On-Labs from VMware (https://hol.vmware.com).

My recommended VMware HOL labs were:
– NO vSphere 6.5 related LABS as it is a 6.0 exam!
– HOL-1704-CHG-2 – vSphere 6: Challenge Lab
– HOL-1708-SDC-1 – Virtual SAN 6.2 from A to Z
– HOL-1708-CHG-3 – Virtual SAN 6.2: Challenge Lab
– HOL-1704-SDC-1 – vSphere 6: Performance Optimization
– HOL-1708-SDC-2 – Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management
– HOL-1705-SDC-1 – Site Recovery Manager: Data Center Migration and Disaster Recovery

The good thing is that the GUI of the HOL is exactly the same as the Exam-GUI, which with some drawbacks:
– your CTRL and BACKSPACE buttons DO NOT WORK in the Exam-GUI!!
I repeat: your CTRL and BACKSPACE buttons DO NOT WORK in the Exam-GUI!!
As this is frustrating, you loose some time by this misconvenience.
– to overcome this limitation, you could use the onscreen keyboard.
but as with the onscreen aswell as the question-pane: They block your view on the exam-environment.
– I tried to minimize the usage of the onscreen keyboard as much as possible.
– During the exam I had to move the question-pane from left to right (and visa-versa), which costs time and a lot of frustration.
– You are adviced not use the VMRC or the console from the (C#)vsphere client, as you can NOT release the focus easily (CTRL is blocked!).

And so I can address the next item:

Time-management

You have to execute 27 questions within 205 minutes (and there is no extension because of a foreign language), which is quite daunting: This means you only have 7,5 minute for every question!
You can go back and forward between all question.
I’ve started to categorize the questions from easy to hard and started with easy questions and ended up with the executing the harder questions. This way you could use your time effectively to complete as many questions as possible.

I wasn’t able to complete all questions, but still manage to pass the exam.
After completing the exam, you don’t get an instant verdict .. in about one hour after completion you will get the results by email.

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