VMware launched their VMware Certified Associate certification on August 26th. Since then it has gained a lot of traction. My guess is because it doesn’t make a VMware course a requirement to obtaining this certification.
The VCA is the entry level certification as seen from the screenshot below taken from www.vmware.com/certification
On 9/19/2013, I took the VCA-DCV (VCAD510) exam. It’s an online based exam which can be taken in the comfort of your own home through Pearson Vue. It wasn’t without hiccups though.
To take the exam, VMware must authorize your account. If you already have a Pearson Vue account, they’ll make you create a new one. I’m not sure why. At the time,
I was able to get 50% off from VMware’s blog post regarding the new VCA exam. The exam is regularly $120. Because it took me a day or two to realize I needed to log in with my new Pearson Vue account, I wasn’t able to schedule my test right away. That’s when I received an email from VMware containing a voucher that made the exam free.
I ran into issues getting passed the payment page because of the voucher. Long story short, someone from Pearson Vue had to schedule my exam.
At home, I use a Mac and the Google Chrome browser. I was able to start the exam but I couldn’t get any further. I received an unknown error after clicking “Begin Exam”. Nervous because of time, I decided to use Internet Explorer which worked perfectly fine.
The test itself was easy to go through and I thought the exam questions were on par with an associate level exam.
This exam will test your knowledge on the basics of virtualization and VMware’s ESXi. It wont be as difficult as the VCP exam. Just the core fundamentals.
My Career Experience
I took this exam without any studies. The only training material I actually went through the recommended training course: VMware Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals. It’s a web based training, roughly 2 hours, and goes through the basics of VMware.
I’ve used VMware for 3+ years, since ESX 3.5 and I am currently using VMware ESXi 5.1 Essentials at work.
How to Study for the VCA-DCV
As of May 19th, 2014 you can purchase VMware’s VCA-DCV Official Certification Guide from Pearson Vue. You can also find it on Amazon – VMware VCA-DCV Official Certification Guide.
If you’re getting started with VMware, I recommend going through the VMware Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals training course, mentioned above. Download the blueprint and find out what you need to know.
You can probably pass this exam by reading everything about Data Center Virtualization from VMware’s site. I also recommend reading through the VMware vSphere Basics pdf which VMware publishes freely.
Experienced professionals in VMware may want to skip this exam and study the VCP. But if you can’t burn the pennies for the training and would like to demonstrate your fundamental knowledge in VMware virtualization, then the VCA exam is a good option.
Here are additional resources to go through in preparing for the VCA-DCV and beyond.