Tag Archives: VCAP

Which VMware certifications should you invest in?

IT is a fast moving industry, and the current shift to cloud computing is accelerating the rate of change. With the forthcoming release of the vSphere5 VCAP exams (VCAP5-DCA and the VCAP5-DCD) I’ve been planning to study my socks off to get both exams under my belt. I’m sure I’m not alone in struggling to make study time, particularly as my day job doesn’t tend to cover all of the material either because we’re only Enterprise level licensing or because we don’t use all the features. On top of that I’d like to update my VCAP-DCA study guide which will consume a significant chunk of time.

This serious case of study contention has made me revisit my priorities. The VMware ecosystem has evolved considerably over the last few years and there’s considerable buzz around VMware View and vCloud Director (not to mention the whole Cloud Foundry and vFabric ecosystem). Maybe these would be better areas to focus on? As John Troyer said about certifications “You don’t have to collect them all!” but it does make me wonder – which VMware certs are most likely to benefit career progression?


First some facts. The VMware platform which evolved into vSphere was launched in 2001, the first VCP exam was available in June 2003 (@susangude is VCP#1), and the first VCAP exams were launched seven years later in August 2010. Nine years on and the statistics are well known – around 60,000 VCPs worldwide and approximately 600 certified in each of the two VCAP tracks (so 50 VCPs for every VCAP!).

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VCAP study notes – 8.3 vMA

Like many I’m hoping to take the new advanced VMware certification VCAP-DCA later this year. This is my first post in my VCAP-DCA study notes series and covers section 8.3, Administer vSphere with the vMA. The notes are mainly intended as a revision list rather than a tutorial so you should have some knowledge of the topic before starting (there are links at the bottom to help you get started if not). Most of this content has been covered elsewhere previously so kudos to those who spent time discovering it – I’ve simply collected it all together for reference.

I’ve covered the topics on the VCAP-DCA blueprint and included some detail on the new vSphere 4.1 features as you never know when they’ll get included in the exam. The only exceptions are esxcli and vmkfstools which I’ll cover as part of section 1 (managing storage) and section 6 (troubleshooting).

Main uses

  • syslog server (vilogger component)
  • centralised scripting repository
  • replacement for ESX service console (scripts and third party plugins)
    • easier to port service console scripts rather than converting to PowerCLI
    • scripts may need amending (new authentication methods etc)
    • facilitates move to ESXi

    Prerequisites, installation and updating


  • ESX host must support 64-bit VMs (Intel EM64T and vT technology)
  • ESX 3.5U2 onwards, vCentre 4.0 onwards (2.5 NOT supported)
  • 512MB, 1vCPU, 5GB+ disk space

Continue reading VCAP study notes – 8.3 vMA