VCAP 6.5 Design Exam Experience

I recently took the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6.5 Design exam while at VMworld in Las Vegas. Below is my experience and suggestions for anyone looking to study and sit the exam.

  • First and foremost it’s a very fair exam. It’s not as subjective as the 6.0 version with the Visio style answers. There are still drag and drop questions but they aren’t subjective.
  • Read, study and understand each objective in the blueprint. Each objective is represented in the exam.
  • AMPRS (Availability, Manageability, Performance, Recoverability and Security are heavily asked. Know and understand these.
  • RCARS (Requirements, Constraints, Assumptions and Risks). Master these.
  • Understand the differences between Functional and Non-Functional Requirements. Don’t overlook this.
  • Know the difference between RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective). Understand these concepts and the calculations to meet business objectives.
  • vSphere 6.5 new features and the value they provide in a design and to the customer.
  • Designs: Understand how conceptual, logical and physical designs and how they differ.
  • Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vSphere Replication. Know the abilities of each and how they can meet design/customer objectives.
  • Know and understand how key-business stakeholders map to business objectives.
  • Understand vSphere 6.5 topology where it comes to PSC, vCenter topologies intra and cross site. This includes upgrades.
  • Know service dependencies and how they relate to each other and in what order they work together.

There are 60 questions and you have 135 minutes (2 hours and 15 minutes) to complete the exam. This is plenty of time for someone that is prepared.

**ProTip: This may be the difference between pass/fail. Read the entire question. Then re-read the question. Once you’ve done that twice. Focus on the question and what it’s asking. Take your time. And answer how you see fit based on the facts that are extrapolated from the questions.

Helpful Study Resources: 

vBrownBag Video Series:

PluralSight (Josh Coen (VCDX #129):

VMware Course: Design Workshop 6.5:

VMware vSphere 6.x Datacenter Design Cookbook (Easy Read): VMware 6.x Cookbook

VMware vSphere Design: VMware vSphere Design

Lastly, all the links to resources and white papers listed in the exam blueprint. Read all of them, yes it’s a lot but it will allow you to put your best foot forward.

Good luck, if you’re reading this and have questions and/or would like guidance without breaking NDA feel free to reach out. Reach out via Twitter and/or the contact form on this site.

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