Is this the Cheapest VCP Course available.

Over the last 6 weeks I have been completing the Stanly University, VMware 5.5 Install, Config and Manage course. This course is distance learning course covering the requirements of the VCP exam. Importantly this is a VMware sanctioned course as part of the VMware IT Academy, meaning that it qualifies you for the Attending the course part of the VCP. More information can be found on their web site here

vmware IT Academy

There is a wait list for the course as it basically runs in terms. I registered on the 1st of September and on the 6th of October received an offer to sign up for the October session starting on the 27th of October and ending on the 15th of December so a 7 week course. So if you are considering the Stanly course I would strongly recommend that you get on the wait list ASAP, it’s not a commitment you can skip the dates if you can’t do it and apply for the next session.

The Cost is the biggest attraction to this course as its basically cost $185.00 so for me £121.25

After that I received a logon to the Stanly Moodle site, and was able to start working through the course at the rate of 2 chapters a week. Each week taking between 5 to 10 hours to complete. The Moodle course was well structured with between 1 and 5 videos presentations to watch per chapter, with a companion web site running the Labs,




To successfully complete the course you must complete all required quizzes, maintain active status in your course, and complete a minimum of 18 Labs (completing all 22 labs is highly recommended). Whilst there is no official timetable you could for instance work hard and complete it all in couple of weeks. There was a warning stating “Please do not wait until the last minute to do your labs for the VMware course!” so I would strongly advise not to put it off and try to keep to the official schedule.

Having already read most of the official VMpress VCP5-DCV Official Certification Guide by Bill Furguson I Personally think that the Stanly course left out a few of the exam objectives listed in the Latest Exam Blueprint, in particular Distributed Switches were not covered, but then I am expecting to complete further studies to pass this exam, and given the cost I will forgive this oversight.

vcp book

The Labs I will say were very good, whilst they weren’t VMware HOLs, they were run on a NDG NetLAB + platform. More information can be found on their web site here

The labs were built with 2 ESXi servers, some shared storage, a VCSA and a Ubunto desktop. As the client runs on a Ubuntu desktop it forces you to use the Web client for all tasks which has now greatly improved my confidence with this interface as it’s all too easy to drop back to the traditional vSphere C# client


Lab Topology

After successfully completing the VMware course through Stanly Community College, you are eligible to access the Stanly VMware Store which grants you the opportunity for free software and a 70% exam discount voucher code. This now brings the cost of the exam down for me from £162 to £48.60

Whilst we are talking about the exam it would appear that the exam discount for the VMware IT Academy is applied to a special exam, VCP550PSE which stands for Proctored Exam so if you have already taken VCP550 it won’t count towards your VCP for this course.

The store lets you download VMware software for free (with one year licenses) such as vSphere 5 and 6, VMware Workstation 12, and Fusion.

stanly vmware store

Additionally being a Stanly student gives you access to the Microsoft DreamSpark program. DreamSpark is all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and designer tools at no cost so that students can chase their dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology or just get a head start on their career, More information can be found on their web site here So I can also access the latest Microsoft professional developer tools at no-cost, including:

  • Microsoft Azure cloud services (no credit card required)
  • Visual Studio Community 2015
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition
  • DreamSpark also get me an access Key to Pluralsight for 90 days

So was it worth it, well yes lets just summarise what I got for my outlay of $185.00

  • A VCP qualifying course
  • Access to VMware software and Licenses from the VMware Academic Program
  • Access to the Microsoft DreamSpark program
  • Access to Pluralsight for 90 days
  • 70% of the VCP exam.

So my next few weeks will hopefully be spent studying for the VCP exam, I’ve already been building / upgrading my home lab and now its up and running so I now have no excuse to get my head down.


11 thoughts on “Is this the Cheapest VCP Course available.

  1. Nice write up Andy – I was very pleased with the course myself and your write-up is great and clearly outlines what to expect for future students. The added student bonuses will take home-labbing to the next level with genuine valid licensed products!


  2. Great post! I am interested in doing this course but am waiting for the vSphere 6 course to become available…sometime later this year I am told.

    Am I correct in saying that to be able to become a VCP6-DCV that I need to:

    1) Do the Stanly course for $185
    2) Take the VCP6-DCV exam which cost about $68 after the discount

    Is there anything else I need to do or pay for to become a VCP6-DCV? I haven’t taken any VMware exams yet.


    • Hi BW
      Many thanks for the feedback.
      I’m afraid you have another exam to do and that is the vSphere 6 Foundations Exam. VMware have released a new exam for people who new to VMware and starting certification at vSphere 6.
      The foundation exam I believe is like a VCA and can be taken at home online.
      I suggest you take a look at

      I would assume that when Stanly or others release a VMware IT Academy course for VCP6 that it will also cover this exam, of course we can’t have a clue as to what the Stanly VCP6 course will cost, it could be more that $185 and if it’s covering both exams then this is only fair.

      It’s one of the reasons I chose to take the V5.5 course, I’ve yet to complete the exam but once It’s passed I then have 2 years to recertify and If I upgrade to vSphere 6 then I don’t need to take the foundation exam.

      As I side issue I would recommend that you take the VCA6-DCV exam, as that would give you a nice entry level qualification and gently ease you in to the world of VMware certification
      I did a blog post about this exam as well

      Regards Andy


      • Hi Andy,
        I’m currently undertaking the Stanly VCP6 course and can confirm that it still costs $185.

        Your post was key in my decision to sign up for the Stanly course. Prior to reading your overview of the course I had no idea how legitimate it was as I had seen little coverage. As you’ve pointed out there are ‘gaps’ in the course but that’s alright as I have other resources to hand. I’m sure Stanly themselves know that it’s a nice earner with only a small overhead specifically targeting cost-conscious sysadmins needing to qualify for the official course aspect of the cert.

        Question: Did you purchase the textbook?
        They are touting a $34 ebook and explain that the “textbook is required” and that they’re “custom books by VMware and cannot be found on Amazon”. Surely is is just the ‘official cert guide’ and they’re trying to create another low-overhead revenue stream?



      • Hi Mark, many thanks for your feedback, I didn’t buy the book as I had the VMware press Study guide, and other material available but I expect the textbook on offer is hopefully tailored more for the course. I say this as I’m actually signed up on the waiting list for the next vSphere 6 optimise and scale course from Stanly. I am in two minds over should I purchase the textbook or not, as whilst I believe that the VMware press book will be a great reference for the install and config course, I’m less sure as to the content of the optimise and scale course so may just opt to buy the PDF. It’s a small extra price to pay, given that the exam discount is so cheap at 70% discount mine was £55.08.


  3. Many thanks for the reply!

    “The store lets you download VMware software for free (with one year licenses) such as vSphere 5 and 6, VMware Workstation 12, and Fusion.”

    Do you know if this includes VSAN licenses for one year?

    I am going to wait until the course is updated for vSphere 6 which I am told will be “sometime this year”.


  4. Pingback: Newsletter: April 9, 2016 | Notes from MWhite

  5. Andy – you`re a star! I was just looking for cheap way of getting my VCP!
    Many Thanks! Really appreciate that you`ve shared it with us!


    • Hi Wojciech, thanks for the feedback it’s greatly appreciated, Ive just signed up for the stanly VCP 6 course so I will be posting an update once I’ve started that course. Good luck with the exam.


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