VMware Certified Associate – Digital Business Transformation VCA-DBT

Last week I passed the new VMware Certified Associate – Digital Business Transformation. This is a new VCA from VMware as they very kindly retired all the VCA6 qualifications as of the 31 December 2017. Retired is an interesting word, retired means you can’t take it, but VCA’s currently don’t expire like VCP’s.

There were several reasons I wanted to take this exam, one of them is that I’ve passed all the VCA’s since they came in to existence back in  2013 I believe. This one makes my 10th VCA.

  • VMware Certified Associate – Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Network Virtualization (VCA-NV)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (VCA-Cloud)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility (VCA-WM)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCA6-DCV)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Desktop and Mobility (VCA6-DTM)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Hybrid Cloud (VCA6-HC)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Network Virtualization (VCA6-NV)
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Cloud Management and Automation (VCA6-CMA)
  • VMware Certified Associate – Digital Business Transformation (VCA-DBT)

Additionally for passing the exam you will get a badge issued to you from Acclaim, my profile can be seen here.

There is no course requirement, but VMware recommends viewing the free VCA-DBT training course available in the VMware Learning Zone. The previous VMware eLearning courses were more like a conventional training course, with a number of pages to click through with both slides and a narrator.

fundamental training

Old style VMware eLearning

The VMware Learning Zone offers a web site with a modern look and feel where you can sign up and take courses. Some are free such as the VCA and fundamentals courses, others you can purchases such as certification or exam prep courses. I’m sure this will be the place where all VMware training is done in future. The learning zone has a gamification feel to it with a dashboard and leader-board to track your progress and encourage you to watch more.

VCA-dashboard1VCA-dashboard2

When it comes to the VCA-DBT training it is made of a number of modules with different experts talking about their subjects, more like a webinar. The course in my mind has a slightly disjointed feel to it, and has the look that someone has reused a few videos that were already produced, however the subject matter is also quite wide and varied with 72 modules covering:

  • Horizon View
  • ThinApp
  • Virtual SAN
  • vSphere
  • Design Principles
  • Daas and Horizon Cloud
  • App Volumes
  • VMware Identity Manager
  • VMware User Environment Manager
  • VMware Cloud foundation
  • VMware NSX
  • VRealize Suite
VCA-course1

New learning Zone here is Andrew Klopp discussing Thinapp

However one of the plus points is that each module is fairly short, the longest was about 20 minutes, and each module matches an exam blueprint which is the VMware way. The full course took me about 5 hours to get through, but unlike the other VCA’s It’s not always about memorising the course but applying the knowledge you have to the exam questions.

I must admit that If had just taken this course as someone new to VMware I don’t think I would have been able to answer all the questions in the exam on say NSX. But without taking the course I would have struggled with some of the questions on vRealize Business which I don’t use and in fact hadn’t heard of.

For those wanting to take this VCA exam, there is no practise exam available, however there are some sample questions available in the Blueprint which should be a good indicator of how prepared you are.

The exam is non proctored so it can be taken online from home. With 50 questions in 135 minutes time shouldn’t be a problem. The exam costs $125 or £102 +vat, but don’t forget if you’re a VMUG advantage holder you can get a discount of 20% on exams. I was able to get a 70% discount from completing the Stanly VCP6 course recently, another one of the bonuses for taking this course, making the final cost just £36.72.

If you want more information then the latest exam blueprint is available here and you can find out more about the VCA-DBT here.

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VMware Certified Associate 6 – Network Virtualization (VCA6-NV)

Tonight I passed the VCA6-NV exam taking my total on the VCA quest to 6. As I suspected seeing that the study element for this exam is the same VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals as the VCA-NV, the exams were quite similar. In fact there were quite a few questions in the exam that were the same but then I suspect they were all taken from the same pool of questions. Again I must thank Dean and his excellent revision notes on his blog (Here) See my previous post about the VCA-NV (Here)

So next up will probably be the Desktop and Mobility (VCA6-DTM) but that will have to wait till I come back from VMworld as I’m now focusing on passing my VCP5-DCV whilst I’m there and that’s only 2 ½ weeks away now.

VMware Certified Associate – Network Virtualization (VCA-NV)

Following on my VCA quest I can report that I have passed VCA number 5 VCA-NV. This is basically all about VMware NSX. I know the exam and certification is being retired soon (November the 30th) but this is the last of the Version 5 VCA’s to complete my set of 4.

As per the previous VCA’s I ran through VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals which although is supposed to take 3 hours I spent a great deal more time taking notes. I must say I have found this the hardest to date but maybe that’s because of the lack of networking skills on my CV. I set about some pre exam revision using my notes and the excellent resource I found online (Here) from Dean L @saintdle so many thanks Dean. I was able to pass the exam with a score of 360 (The pass mark is 300) which I was very happy about.

I’m going to move on and take the Version 6 exam (VCA6-NV) in the next few days as the study element is the same CBT course VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals.

VMware Certified Associate 6 – (VCA6-DCV)

I’ve noticed that VM have recently announced  a number of new retirements (Here) for exams including the VCA certifications that I hold, However apparently VCA certifications are not subject to recertification. I hate the thought of being out date so I am spurned on to update a few of them. There are now a total of 9 VCA certifications 4 for VMware 5 and 5 for Vmware 6. See the VMware site and roadmaps for more info (Here)

So first of all what is the VCA well it’s kind of an entry level qualification for VMware, you simply run through a self-paced CBT that you can return to as often as you want and pick up again or go over a section again, then pass an online exam from Pearson sitting at home rather than going to the test centre. There are different schools of thought as to how valuable a VCA really is however I like the fact it’s an entry level qualification that gives you a stepping stone towards the next, typically a VCP.

The cost of the VCA exams in the UK is £70 +vat so that’s £84, however if you’re a VMUG member that drops by 20% to £56.00 +Vat so £67.20 So don’t forget if that discount is available to you. Which I think is quite reasonable for a qualification to boost anyone’s CV.

I have also been noticing a number of posts on the VCA community’s web site from people saying that they had failed the VCA6-DCV and that they felt there was something wrong with the exam (Here) so I thought I would take a look at the new training material and the Exam.To see more info on the VCA6-DCV see the VMware certification web site (Here)

I must say that the new Data Centre Virtualization Fundamentals [V6] self-paced course was very good, compared to the original VCA Fundamentals courses. It appeared to flow quite well (given the I assume computer generated voices) Its estimated to take 3 hours but I’m a serial note taker, which forms my revision for exams so it probably took me just over 4 x 1 hour stints to get through it. I decided to go straight for the exam the next day and after reading my notes, signed up paid my money and sat the exam. I must say I found it very straight forward and combined with my revision notes and experience I passed it with a score of 380 (The pass mark is 300)

So that gives me VCA number 4 so I think I will try another soon as there are still 5 more to pass. I wonder if anyone else has all 9? Please let me know if you do!