Last friday I sat and passed the VCAP-DCV 6.5 exam! Because I already hold VCDX-DCV v4 and v5, by passing VCAP-DCV 6.5 my VCDX certification is automatically upgraded to VCDX v6.
Currently you have two options for VCAP-DCV:
- There’s a version 6.0 exam, 205 minutes and 18 questions;
- There’s a version 6.5 exam, 135 minutes and 60 questions.
I sat the 6.5 exam and it took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the exam. A big difference with previous VCAP-DCV exams is the lack of design scenarios/canvas. This part is removed from the exam, you’re only dealing with multiple choice questions and “drag and drop” questions. I would recommend the 6.5 exam if you’re planning to get the VCAP-DCV design certification.
What do you need to pass the exam?
So the big question is of course: what skills do you need to pass this exam? One word: experience! Real world experience. To be honest, I didn’t study that much for this exam. Working with VMware solutions for 10+ years, and holding VCAP-DCV certifications on vSphere 4 and 5 helped me a lot. Also, if your daily job is designing data centers/vSphere environments you’re already a few steps ahead.
Of course, I did some preparations, but this mainly focussed on all the new stuff in vSphere 6.5 (including vSAN):
- PSC configurations and architectures;
- vSphere 5.5/6.0 to 6.5 upgrade scenarios;
- Updates/changes to features like HA, DRS, vMotion, FT etc.etc.;
- vSAN configurations, including two node (ROBO) and stretched vSAN architectures;
- vSphere Content Library;
- vCenter HA architectures;
For the full list of subjects that are asked in the exam, I refer to the official VCAP-DCV 6.5 Exam preparation guide. This document describes what can and will be asked during the exam, and also includes some prep questions.
It’s very important dat you to understand the design methodology that VMware is using. This means you will need to know the difference between a conceptual, logical and physical design. Understand the difference between requirements, risks, constraints and assumptions and know how to build:
- availbility requirements into a vSphere 6.5 design;
- manageability requirements into a vSphere 6.5 design;
- performance requirements into a vSphere 6.5 design;
- recoverability requirements into a vSphere 6.5 design;
- security requirements into a vSphere 6.5 design;
The vSphere Design Workshop [v6.5] is a perfect training by VMware education if you’re new to these kind of concepts and the design methodology.
Resources you may find useful
There are numerous of useful blogs out there, where people share their experiences and provide you with content that will help you to pass the VCAP-DCV 6.5 Design exam. Some links that I found useful are:
- VCAP-DCV 6.5 Design exam guide sanitized reference documents table by Jeffrey Kusters;
- The vMusketeers VCAP6-DCV Design Quiz (yes, it’s version 6.0 but it’s good to spend some time on this);
- VCAP-DCV 6.5 Design experience by David Stamen;
- VCAP-DCV 6.5 DCV Design Exam Study Notes by vHersey (Hersey Cartwright);
And again, don’t forget the official preparation guide, you really need to look into this one!
I hope this article helps you preparing for the VCAP-DCV 6.5 Design exam. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a message below. For the rest, good luck with your preparations and just go for it!
Are you also interested in passing your AWS Solution Architect associate exam? Read “My AWS Solution Architect Associate exam experience” here.