Double VCDX - VCDX-DT Achievement Unlocked!

Posted on 05 Jun 2014 by Ray Heffer

VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) Yes I have just drawn on my MacBook with permanent marker, but that’s due to the excitement of receiving the results of my VCDX-DT application which I applied for in early April 2014. I am the fourth (out of 5) Double VCDX certification holders, along with @vcloudmatt, @fojta, @magander3 and @SimonLong_, and I am proud to be the first to have passed the VCDX-DT certification.

I must admit my blog has been relatively quiet for the last few months due to various life events, mainly travel (jet lag!), rebuilding my home lab, family, work commitments and I guess the VCDX-DT application has also taken up my time.

If you are aspiring to become VCDX (Data Center, Cloud or Desktop) and by the mere fact you are reading this blog post, then you are already part of an amazing technical community that drew me into virtualization, EUC and VMware in the first place back in 2006. I’ve already posted my thoughts on preparing for the VCDX certification, and hope I’ll also be part of future VCDX panels so you haven’t heard the last of me yet!

In 2012 when I took on an EUC design for a car manufacturer here in the UK, I decided that I’d approach the entire process as a VCDX. Being able to do this gave me a huge advantage as I was practically living with that customer for the best part of 12 months, and beyond if you count much of the testing, validation and assistance I’ve provided since. I feel that given the way I like to work, which means I very much become part of the customer team, I was able to understand the intricacies of the project, politics, warts and all.

That much time with a customer and spending many nights in a hotel could be seen as a jail sentence for some, but I took this as an opportunity to refine the design and tackle the VCDX head on. I was able to use the same design for both the Desktop and Data Center Virtualization. Without that much time invested in the project I wouldn’t have been able to pass first time. Remember the VCDX is for consultants and architects that want to prove a high standard of design skills, and the VCAP pre-requisites will have already tested your technical skills. You don’t have to have the perfect design, and you certainly are not expected to recite all of the vSphere PDF manuals from the top of your head, well maybe one or two :). What you do need is a lot of time and evidence that you can approach a design with an architectural methodology and mindset that takes the customer requirements into the core of the design document and deliver a solution that meets those requirements. In fact, whilst mentoring other potential VCDX candidates I have actually picked up on design methodology more than technical errors. I’ve referred to a masters thesis from a Swedish university which covers risk mitigation in the conceptual design. It’s a really good read, and has nothing to do with VMware. This type of paper is really good preparation for the VCDX, especially since we’re so engrained in the technology every day.

Risk Management in the Conceptual Design Phase of Building Projects

Thanks to Mark Brunstad by the way, he is doing an amazing job managing the VCDX program at VMware and it really is appreciated given the travel, time and dedication you put into this.

VMware Certified Design Expert