Certification Spotlight: VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

October 22, 2013

What Is VCP?

Like many other leading software companies, VMware has created its own class of IT certifications that are specifically focused on evaluating the ability to install, configure and manage VMware’s virtualization platforms. There are three types of VCP certifications available that coincide with VMware’s three main product groups: VCP-Cloud, VCP5-DCV, and VCP5-DT.

It is important to note that the VCP certifications do not expire. VMware retires old exams over time as updated products are introduced, but the certifications themselves do not need to be renewed (candidates will be notified via email if this policy changes). When major product updates are released, updated certifications become available (i.e. VCP4 is followed by VCP5). When this happens the candidate still holds the certification for the previous product update, but will need to apply for the new certification in order to be up-to-date.

Requirements

Applying for the VCP certifications may be different for each candidate. Every candidate needs to pass an exam to get each certification, but some candidates will be required to attend specific courses before qualifying to take the exam. This process is based on the candidate’s experience and educational needs. Detailed information about each of the certifications and how to apply for them are included below.

VCP-Cloud

The VMware Certified Professional – Cloud (VCP-Cloud) certification “validates your ability to install, configure and administer a Cloud environment using vCloud Director and related components”. There are two scenarios to qualify for this certification:

Scenario 1

1. Hold a VCP5-DCV certification.

2. Pass the laaS Exam.

VMware lists three recommended courses to prepare candidates for the laaS Exam, but these are NOT REQUIRED.

Scenario 2

1. Pass one of two qualifying courses:

  • VMware vCloud Director: Install, Configure, Manage
  • VMware vCloud: Deploy and Manage the VMware Cloud [V1.5]

2. Pass the VCP-Cloud Exam.

VCP5-DCV

The VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) certification “confirms that you have the education needed to successfully install, deploy, scale and manage VMware vSphere environments, as well as the skills obtained by a minimum of six months experience with VMware infrastructure technologies.” There are three scenarios to qualify for this certification:

Scenario 1

1. You hold VCP2, VCP3, or you have no experience with VMware DCV technologies.

2. Pass one of five qualifying courses:

  • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.0]
  • VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V5.0]
  • VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V5.0]
  • VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting Workshop [V5.1]
  • VMware vSphere with Operations Management: Fast Track [V5.1]

3. Pass the VCP5-DCV Exam.

Scenario 2

1. You hold a VCP4-DCV certification; or you do not hold a VCP4-DCV certification but you have passed a VCP4-DCV qualifying course.

2. Pass the qualifying course:

  • VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.1]

3. Pass the VCP5-DCV Exam.

Scenario 3

1. Hold a VCP5-DT or VCP-Cloud certification.

2. Pass the VCP5-DCV Exam.

VMware recommends that candidates in this scenario should take the VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.1] course to prepare for the exam.

VCP5-DT

The VMware Certified Professional 5 – Desktop (VCP5-DT) certification “is directed toward Virtualization Systems Engineers who seek to demonstrate their ability to install and configure the VMware View environment and enable View Client users.” There are two scenarios to qualify for this certification:

Scenario 1

1. Pass one of five qualifying courses:

  • VMware View: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.0]
  • VMware View: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.1]
  • VMware View: Desktop Fast Track [V5.0]
  • VMware View: Desktop Fast Track [V5.1]
  • VMware Horizon View: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.2]

2. Pass the VCP-Desktop Exam

Scenario 2

1. Hold a VCP5-DCV or VCP-Cloud certification.

2. Pass the VMware View Exam.

VMware lists three recommended courses to prepare candidates for the VMware View Exam, but these are NOT REQUIRED.

Exam Details

The qualifying and recommended courses for the VCP exam can all be taken either in-person or online. The exam, however, must be taken at a test center authorized by VMware. Each candidate has 90 minutes to complete 85 multiple choice questions; if the exam is taken in a country where English is not the primary language there is an extra 30 minutes allowed. Passing the exam requires a score of at least 300 out of a 100-500 scoring range.

Is It Worth It?

There is some controversy throughout the industry whether the process to receive a VCP certification is worth the money. In the past, it was common for each candidate to spend up to $3,000 on courses to prepare for the VCP exam and another $225 for the exam itself. VMware has recently changed their certification process, however, so there is no consensus yet on whether the issues have been resolved.

As with any IT certification, being VCP certified shows that the IT professional has taken steps to improve their knowledge and skill set. The qualifying and recommended courses for a VCP certification are more similar to a workshop where the students have hands-on experience rather than learning based on textbooks. It is also widely undisputed that VMware is a leader in virtualization providers, therefore holding a VMware certification can be valuable to an IT career.

Do you have experience with the new VCP certification process? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Posted By: Sarah Brown

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