About two weeks ago I took the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6 – Cloud Management Automation Deploy (3VO-633) exam. Last year I already passed the VCAP6-CMA Design exam at VMworld in Vegas, so after passing the Deploy exam, the VMware Certified Implementation Expert 6 for CMA (VCIX6-CMA) certification is also in the pocket.
All the CMA exams are focussed on vRealize Automation, vRealize Orchestrator, vRealize Business and vRealize Application Services. Please notice that the current VCAP6-CMA Deploy is exam is based on vRealize Automation/Orchestrator/Business 6.x (6.2.4 in my case). For the VCAP-CMA Design exam a 6.x version is available as well as an 7.2 version. Hopefully a 7.x version of the Deploy exam will be available soon.
The VCAP6-CMA Deploy exam consists of 32 questions, and you have 205 minutes to complete the exam. If English is not your native language you get an extra 30 minutes, so you can (or will?) be spending almost 4 hours in the exam center.
The exam is a lab based exam, this mean you’re dealing with a live lab environment. The lab looks like the VMware’s Hands-On Labs environment, so it probably helps if you have some experience with this platform. As said before, you have almost 4 hours for 32 questions…there’s no time to relax, just continue answering the questions and keep your pace!
Although there are some complaints on the responsiveness of the lab environment, I had a pretty good experience. Assuming the lab is running in the US, and I’m accessing the environment from the Netherlands, there was some latency. I didn’t have too much trouble completing the assignments/answering the questions. What I think is more annoying, is that you cannot use the backspace key (it just won’t work), and you’re also limited in using the CTRL key. So you cannot use ctrl-c/ctrl-v, however you can do copy/paste using a context menu. Another important tip is that you shouldn’t use the console in the vSphere Client, because you cannot use ctrl + alt to get out of the console (you get stuck).
Specific training requirements are detailed on this page. And of course VMware is providing the exact exam topics here. I would certainly recommend to have a closer look on these exam topics, because they all (or at least the most of them) will come back in the exam. Make sure that you have enough experience in vRealize Automation, vRealize Application Services and vRealize Business!
My preparations…and the exam result!
I’m working now for 3,5+ years with the vRealize cloud management platform. I have some experience with vRA (vCAC) 5.x, done several project with 6.x and in the meantime gained a lot of experience with vRA 7.x. This experience certainly helped me passing the exam. Because my last 6.x project is about 1,5 years ago, I had that brush up my vRA 6 knowledge. I spent about 1,5 days in my lab and deployed a new vRA 6.2.5 environment, including vRAS and vRB to have a look at the differences between vRA 6 en 7:
- The converged blueprint designer is only available in vRA 7.x. In vRA 7.x VMs are always part of a blueprint container, in version 6 VMs can be unique objects. In case you’re designing a multi machine blueprint (vRA 6), you will get a multi-machine container that includes the different virtual machines;
- Application deployment is automated in a complete different way. vRA 6.x application deployment is using the product formerly known as vFabric Application Director, while in version 7 application services are integrated in the converged blueprint designer;
- The way NSX networks are consumed is also different in version 7 compared to version 6. This also has to do with (the missing of) the converged blueprint designer. In version 6, NSX networks are only available in a multi-machine blueprint;
- In vRA 6 you’re using the SSO appliance, while in version 7 there’s the vIDM module that is part of the vRA appliance;
- Another big difference is the event broker (vRA 7) versus the workflow stubs (vRA 6) required for running vRO workflows that are part of a VM- or application deployment;
- The vRO 6 configuration interface is also different when compared to the vRA 7 control center(=configuration interface). The available configuration options are quite the same, but ordered in a different way.
If your only experience is vRA 7, I would certainly recommend to explore version 6 before you take the exam. Another option is of course just to wait for the version 7 exam of VCAP-CMA Deploy.
Next step for me is to take VCAP65-DCV Design to upgrade my VCDX-DCV to version 6. I am planning to take this exam at VMworld Barcelona.