Last week I was browsing the VMware website in an attempt to figure out the certification paths available when I noticed some new certifications had launched, VMware associate. The associate certificate sits at the very start of the certification route, and is available as an on-line exam. No need to head to a testing centre.

VMware offer the associate certification in four flavours:

  • Cloud (VCA-Cloud)
  • Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV)
  • End User Computing (VCA-WM)
  • Network Virtualization (VCA-NV)

The most relevant for me is the Datacenter certification. After registering on the VMware website I sat through the three hour training course. The first part of the course is a high level overview, before part two which covers the VMware products available and the business problems they help solve.

VMware Certified Associate Data Center

The final part of the training, module 3, touches on the technical side of things. What’s required for HA,FT,DRS etc. The features you get in different vSwitches etc. The last module also introduces you to the extra products VMware offer such as vCenter Operations manager. The course seemed straightforward, especially for anyone who has used vSphere before. Just a case of committing facts to memory for anyone not already familiar with these prdocucts. One that caught me out was the introduction of vSphere Storage Appliance.

After looking over the exam blueprint I decided to dig out my Pearson vue account and book the exam. VMware are offering a voucher code to sit the exam for free before the end of September. Enter discount code VCA501 when you schedule your exam at Pearson Vue to take it for free.

The exam itself consists of 50 questions which you must answer within 75 minutes (More than enough time). From my experience I’d say that 60% of the exam is covered in the on-line course, which product to use to solve which business problem. Knowing the basic requirements is important too (shared storage for HA etc). Make sure you’re familiar with what a vSwitch is and the functionality available.

The other questions in the exam are a little bit more tricky, covering stuff that you’re expected to know from experience using vSphere. More than that I probably can’t say without breaking the VMware non disclosure agreement. Good luck with your certification process.

This article was written by Dave Hope. Dave is a Senior Software Analyst for a UK based retirement developer, in his spare time he enjoys digital photography and rock climbing.


One comment

  • Bishnu
    October 8, 2013 at 7:56 am. Reply.

    Is there any other materials other than vmware elearning to pass the exam?
    Which exam i will take first i.e.VCA-CLOUD OR VCA-DCV ?
    pls reply me?

    • Dave Hope
      October 8, 2013 at 7:59 am. Reply.

      In all honesty, this exam is basic enough that no other training material is needed. You can pick up the bits not covered in the course by playing with the free edition of ESXi for a few hours.

      All the VCA-* exams are at the same level, which one you choose depends on the area of virtualization you work in. For most people I’d suggest VCA-DCV.

  • Jason Johnson
    November 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm. Reply.

    I am looking for your “smdr-receiver” source code. I have some modifications I would like to make and would be glad to share them with you, but was wanting to know if you I could get the source code posted.

    Thanks,
    Jason

    • Dave Hope
      November 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm. Reply.

      Jason,

      The application is written in C#, I’m happy to share the sourcecode on GitHub or something as long as the changes get submitted back so others can benefit?

  • slito
    November 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm. Reply.

    Thank you very much 480/500 still valid and I used slito voucher for 100% free
    Please here is vouchers for students, so you can take the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam for no cost yes for free :)
    When you sign-up for the exam online in Personview you should be able to enter this voucher and it will FREE the exam price:

    VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam voucher Number:
    VMRT7B819936
    Exams available for discount using the above voucher number are:
    • VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (exam code: VCAC510)
    • VMware Certified Associate – Data Center Virtualisation (exam code: VCAD510)
    • VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility (exam code: VCAW510)
    You can used and give it to any one you want valid in all EMEA country.

  • John Rafter
    December 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm. Reply.

    Hi Dave – very informative article! I was looking at taking the exact path as your self, am I right in saying that the basic “VCP” certification no longer exists?

    In one of your replies you mentioned that no extra material is needed to pass the VCA-DCV, does also apply for the other 3 flavors?

    Regards,
    John

    • Dave Hope
      December 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm. Reply.

      Hi John,

      If you’ve used VMWare, are familiar with the solutions they provide (HA, DRS, vMotion, etc) and are confident on the reasons behind vitalising then no additional material is needed. That does assume you’ve installed ESX in the past, or have equivalent knowledge.

      VCP still very much exists. VCA just sits before it in the certification process (but is not a requirement for VCP).

      I’ve not attempted other VCA exams, but imagine they’re all pretty similar in terms of requirements.

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