Students of the Virtualization Program at TCC frequently ask for resources or tips on how to prepare for the VMware Certified Professional exam so I decided to put together a quick post. There are a lot of great resources out there and these are just a few suggestions I have to help get people on the path to obtaining their VCP.
- Take the Class
Take the VMware vSphere 5 Install Configure and Manage (ICM) class. Not only does the ICM class fulfill the training requirement needed in order to become a VCP, it is an excellent hands-on lab class that will give you some good experience with ESXi, vCenter, DRS, HA, VUM, and other VMware technologies. Many of the VCP blue print objectives are covered by the ICM class.
If you are interested in taking the course check out the VMware IT Academy Program. There may be a community college or technical school in your area that offers VMware training. TCC will be offering the course again in the Fall 2012 (ITN 254). You can also take the course directly from VMware. Remember an approved VMware class that is on the VCP certification path is REQUIRED before you can obtain your VCP.
- Build a Home Workstation Lab
In my opinion the VCP5 exam requires more “hands-on” knowledge than the VCP4 exam did so you are going to want to set up some sort of practice lab to work through the blue print objectives. If you have the resources to set up a supported hardware or even a “white box” lab then that is probably the way to go, but all of the VCP5 blue print objectives can be practiced in a VMware Workstation lab installed on a desktop or laptop.
Get a copy of VMware Workstation 8 and set up a home lab to practice on. There are a lot of resource out there on getting this set up. I did a write up a while ago here: http://www.vhersey.com/2011/12/my-home-vmware-lab/.
Download AutoLab – http://professionalvmware.com/2012/05/vsphere-5-autolab/ This is a set of VM templates and instructions you can use to set up everything need for functioning Workstation Lab.
If you are a TCC student that has taken the class and wants some time in the lab, you know how to get a hold of me – just drop me a note and we can work out some time for you to practice in the lab.
- Online Study Resources
There are A LOT of VCP5 study resources out there but here are a few that I think are definitely worth checking out.
The VMware VCP Certification page is probably the best place to start. Here you will find the certification paths and requirements, the VCP5 exam blue print, and a VCP5 practice exam. If you don’t already have a MyLearn account you have to set one up to access these resources, this only takes a minute and doesn’t cost you anything.
This is an excellent study guide based directly on the VCP5 blue print http://www.virtuallanger.com/vcp5/ They have taken the time to put all the study notes together in a single PDF organized by blue print objectives. Go there – Download it!
Here are my notes I put together when I was preparing for the exam http://www.vhersey.com/vcp5-study/
- Read Scott Lowe’s Book
Pick up a copy of Scott Lowe’s book Mastering VMware vSphere 5. This is an excellent exam study resource for both the VCP and VCAP-DCA.
- Practice Tests
There are a few very good practice exams on the web but I think Simon Long’s is probably one of the best and you can find it here http://www.simonlong.co.uk/blog/vcp5-practice-exams/.
There is also a practice exam available at VMware MyLearn – http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=12457&ui=www_cert (MyLearn Login Required)
- Stay away from the dumps!
Besides the fact they are inaccurate and can get you into trouble if you think you can just memorize the questions and answers, they also decrease the value of the certification.
Help preserve the integrity of the exam and the value of the certification. Stay away from dumps! Study the blue print, learn the product, and get the pass based on your knowledge of the technologies.
- Study and Practice – Good Luck!
This information should get you well on the way to obtaining your VCP.
Take the class, study the blue print, and get some hands-on experience (even if just in a lab).
The VMware community is awesome. If you have questions or need help check out the VMware Communities and the various social media sites, there are lots of great people out there willing to help.
Anyone that has a VCP5 resource they would like to share feel free to add it to the comment. Thanks!