vcap5-dcd logoTwo weeks ago, I was finally able to pass the VCAP5-DCD exam. So the road to become VCDX can now be continued. It’s a great feeling knowing I don’t have to pass anymore exams on the Datacenter Design track!

Let me just say that this exam is not for the faith of heart. In fact, I passed the exam only on the third time I took it. So now, after clearing the big elephant in the room, I can share with you some of the mental and technical process I had to go through. Before providing you with my study notes, here are my top 5 thoughts on this one.

  • Many said this before but I have to say it as well – field experience is a must in my opinion. Doing vSphere designs and working with the technology for several years helped me a lot.
  • If you are facing the same dilemma as many others, which exam to take, rather taking the DCA or the DCD, I strongly recommend taking the DCA first and by no means, I hope you take them both. I do think the DCA is a good exam for start a momentum going. The DCD is far more theoretical and loaded with study materials to deal with. If you are pursuing after the VCDX certification, the DCD will prepare you for this long process.
  • If you are not the “reader” type of person, well, tough luck. Although there are many video materials you can use (which I will elaborate later on), most of your preps will involve reading, a lots of reading!
  • Although the DCD does not require a lab per say, I suggest you own one. Many of the objectives in the blueprint will lead you to practice.
  • Eat and drink before the exam. 4hr in an intense exam environment will take its toll on your stomach and can easily have a bad influence on your decision making process.

A word about time management and the exam blueprint – It’s crucial you manage your time properly. Try to stay within the 25 questions in 55 minutes time frame, giving the fact that there are 5-6 (I had 6) Visio style questions which will suck up your time.

If you haven’t finish a Visio style question within 12-13 minutes you should consider dropping it.

Don’t try to mess around and skip the exam blueprint. Although it’s very long to go over, it is probably the most important written resource to start your preparations with.

Study Notes

If you want to nail this, use everything you can; books, whitepapers, online and offline courses, VMworld online sessions, vBrownbags, articles, Twitter, blogs, KBs, lab environment and YouTube.

The obvious thing to start with will probably be the exam blueprint which I have already mentioned.

First, let me point you to my “top 5” exam study materials you should start with. Those 5 alone are definitely not enough but it should get you going:

  • vExpert Gregg Robertson from THESAFFAGEEK put a brilliant study guide for the DCD and for the DCA.

As my road to become the first Israeli VCDX continues, I wish you good luck with the exam!

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  1. Mibol es hogyan keszulj VCAP5-DCD-re | vThing
  2. VCAP-DCD Part 1: Study Resources | vByron.com
  3. VCAP5-DCD Study Guide Part – 3 |

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