Ten years back I became VMware Certified Professional 3.0. Then It was Credit Suisse which has organized training for us. Over a period and policy changes, my VCP got expired. I never got intimation because my email was associated with any company I was no longer working.
Lesson Learnt: Always associate a valid email address with your my learn portal. Please note if you are vmware partner and you have mylearn account you should ensure both are synch’ed. Typically userid and email for my learn remains unchanged but when you register as partner you have choice to merge these account. Do it now.
Why VCP Again
In 2017, I choose to re-validate my VCP. I had several choices in front of me, e.g., VCP-DCV, DTM, NV. From these Network Virtualization (NSX) was more appealing for following reasons
- Opportunity to learn NSX
- The network is my weak link
- Eagerness to learn new things Since Desktop and Server virtualization I’m very much familiar.
I will digress a bit here. Last year I focused on VCP-DTM and right in the middle of the road I dropped it. I have prepared for this exam for four months. Never de-focus. A task, A goal taken in hand must be fulfilled. I learned that in a hard way, therefore I did thorough planning for this exam.
Here was my high-level Plan
Except for the first objective, nothing went as per plan. Since 1st Nov was targetted date, I made sure everything was moving in that direction.
One fine, day I came across VMUG post by Chris Mcain here, I thought several days is it worth to spend so much money in re-validate a VCP certification. It was a tough decision.
Lesson Learnt: Don’t let your VCP expiry. A contrary blog post you can read here.
Approach to Learn NSX
One of the chief reason I purchased this package was the flexibility of attending VCP training. One of the hurdles in Attending classroom training is locating the right training slot (date, City) or making free time from your office work. I’m not the fan of online training which is mentor led. As Online training is full of distraction and least useful as there are many spaces between you and the trainer.
That being said the training I attended is nowhere near to pass the exam. I will give my full credits to Elver Sena Sosa as he has written a fantastic book. Without this book, I would never have developed any interest in NSX.
Contrary to claims by many on the efficacy of this book for 2V0-642 exam, I didn’t come across a question where I have to think if this is 6.1 or 6.2 feature.
NB: Book was released in 2016 a time when 6.2 was also released but exam on NSX 6.2 was released much later. In simple words, you will find reference to 6.2 in this book and might get mistaken. Read here for more details
When & Why I bought the VMUG NV Package
When I left VMware in 2015 NSX was a very hot topic in the industry mainly due to Cisco giving undue attention to it. I always considered unless I know which use case NSX is addressing and what are the problems of Networking I will not get bothered. While reading the book my interest in NSX grew a lot.
It is when I choose to buy the NSX package. The link above provides the details about the package. I think it is the most economical way to become VCP again. If you wish to pass the VCP-NV exam, you must read this book. I’ll repeat Training is not sufficient at all. Another exciting feature of this book, you get five practice test. This practice test is the best place to evaluate yourself. I strongly advocate you buy the premium book which includes 5 practice test.
I bought this package on 26th July 2017. In pretty much three months, I was able to cover most of the VCP-NSX. As part of this package, I also got Exam prep access. I would strongly suggest going through this at least once. It will give an idea as to what you need to read individually from lengthy Admin, Installation guide.
In spite of me being VCAP-DCD, VCP3,4 and 5 I still have to give VCA exam. I felt idiotic to give this exam. I just went online (read official certification guide for two days) and cracked it. It is to my perfect waste of time. I have requested VMware Certification to drop this request here. Please vote if you feel the heat.
You must fulfill mentioned below Three criteria to become VCP
- Attend training (online/self-paced,classroom) – 1800 USD
- Pass VCP-NV exam (Proctor) – 250 USD
- Pass VCA exam (non-proctor) – 125 USD
Total = 2175 USD (yes, I read your mind)
Personal Lesson Learnt
- It takes the reasonable amount of time to learn new technology. If I take a leave for 30 days and start preparing for it, it would not work for me. Learning new technology is slow & steady process.
- There is no need to rush to learn new technologies (you have a life to live, family to take care), irrespective what rate it changes. e.g. Cisco ACI and VMware NSX. No one needs any proof NSX was and is a way ahead in solving Datacenter networking challenges. I meant if the technology is robust it will stay in the market for minimum ten years. Likewise, if K8s is stronger, it will sustain. Another example is of AWS.
- A Good Book, A good Mentor, is must to learn new technologies. In the absence of both, you will either skip the technology or lose the interest. A good mentor (Jason Nash) guides you and explains you by giving Analogy while the good book makes you learn a thing as if you are reading a Novel. A another great example of Good Book is vSphere HA book by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman and Another excellent book by Duncan Epping and Cormac Hoggan. Thanks a lot for these books.