This afternoon I took the VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist and I passed with a score of 456 points. The exam is about… guess what Virtual SAN (vSAN)! To be more precise the latest version of vSAN version 6.6. The exam is a mix of deployment & design questions. In my opinion it is a smaller version of the separated Deploy & Design exams as in the major exam tracks (DCV, NV, CMA, DTM). The questions were really good and realistic, some examples: like about space efficiency, cluster sizing and some customer use cases. The exam contains 60 questions and you have 105 minutes to complete the exam.
Over the years I have done a lot of vSAN deployments, starting in the vSAN 5.5 days. So personally it was not the most difficult exam to pass but a good one to add to my résumé.
The official exam description from VMware: “The VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist badge holder is a technical professional who understands the vSAN 6.6 architecture and its complete feature set, knows how to conduct a vSAN design and deployment exercise, can implement a live vSAN hyper-converged infrastructure environment based on certified hardware/software components and best practices, and can administer/operate a vSAN cluster properly.”
The Specialist Exams
At VMworld 2017 three new specialist exams were announced by VMware Education:
VMware vRealize Operations 2017 Specialist
VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist Exam
VMware Validated Designs for Software-Defined Data Center 2017
Currently the remaining two are on my “To Do” list because they all cover my area of expertise. The vSAN Specialist exam is the only one of the three that is done at a test center, the other two are online exams.
There is a lot of free vSAN 6.6 content available, especially the VMworld 2017 sessions are full of useful information. Take a look Duncan Epping his YouTube Channel (the URL listed below).
I’m very happy to announce that I passed the VCAP6-NV Deploy exam and unlocked the VCIX-NV accreditation!
About the VMware VCIX-NV:
The VCIX-NV exam consists of approximately 23 live lab activities and the passing score for this exam is 300 (scale is from 100 to 500). The total time for this exam is 210 minutes, but candidates who take the VCIX-NV Exam and have a home address in a country where English is not a primary language will have an additional 30 minutes added to the exam time.
For my study I used the following list of website’s, HOL Labs and Blogs. This helped me to pass the exam:
My best advice is: Build a Home Lab and deploy VMware NSX-V. After the deployment you start using all the features that NSX-V has to offer (yeah, I know that is a lot). Get familiar and deploy and design like you would in a production environment. This will help you to get the best understanding possible for the exam.
This was not my first attempt. In VMworld 2017 Barcelona, I already tried but failed with just under 300 points.
The VMware VCP7-CMA exam consists out of 85 multiple-choice questions and you need to score at least 300 points. The maximum score is 500 points and you have 110 minutes to complete the exam. In the exam guide made available by VMware are all topics.
VCP7-CMA Study Tips:
For passing the exam, I have used the following websites:
This week I travelled with my colleagues to VMworld 2017 in Barcelona Spain. This was my first VMworld but luckily my colleagues helped me out with putting a schedule together. The days were absolutely great and well-organized thanks to my employer ITQ (special thanks to Francisco Perez van der Oord and Paul Geerlings).
This blog post is about my first VMworld with my personal highlights.
At VMworld I attended a lot of sessions but my personal top three were the following:
Delivering Hybrid Cloud Architectures for Your Customer with VMware Cloud on AWS – Adam Osterholt
Replicating VMware VVols: A technical deep dive into VVol array based replication in vSphere 6.5 – Claudio Calisto, Nick Dyer
vCenter Performance Deep Dive – Ravi Soundararajan
I also attended a non disclosure agreement (nda) session with Tom Corn the Vice President of Security Products at VMware about AppDefense.
Server and Storage Hardware (Dell EMC / HPE)
On Tuesday I visited multiple hardware vendors about their new products.
At the HPE stand they showed the new HPE ProLiant gen 10 servers and their current storage portfolio 3PAR, Nimble. A beta version of the HPE ProLiant DL360 G10 was displayed and there was a iLO5 demo.
The Dell EMC stand was one of the largest on VMworld. They displayed all their main products and were displaying demo’s.
I could blog all day about the announcements and sessions but luckily all information is available for everyone. You can find the sessions at the vendor websites or on YouTube. The company I work for has created a dedicated page to display all the VMworld news items.
This week (12-06/15-06), I attended a VMware training (thanks to my employer). The training is only available for VMware partners and is called “NSX LiveFire”. It was held at the VMware office in Sofia City, Bulgaria. The training is a technical training given by VMware employees. This time by the following three instructors Bal Birdy, Luca Camarda and Nikodim Nikodimov.
On 1 February 2017 I passed my VMware VCAP6-DCV Deployment exam (3V0-623).
For the exam I studied for about two months. To exercise all the objectives I build in my Home Lab a vSphere 6.0 environment for passing all blueprint objectives.
There are two unofficial study guides available on the internet. These are based on the VMware Blueprint and they helped me a lot.
The guides are detailed and full of information.