VMware VCAP-DCD5 Study Overview

Posted on 04 Feb 2012 by Ray Heffer

VMware Certified Advanced Professional It was announced this morning that the VDCD511 (VCAP5-DCD beta exam) is available to take from 13th February to 2nd March 2012. You can take it at VMware Partner Exchange 2012 in Las Vegas. When the final exam is released, for a limited time you won’t need to have a VCP5 certification as a pre-requisite. Even if you are not planning on taking this exam during the beta invitations, it’s a great opportunity to get studying. The blueprint does subtly differ from the VCAP4-DCD, and as with the previous exam you’ll be expected to understand the VMware design methodology.

It is important to have a working technical knowledge of vSphere 5, but you need to apply this technical knowledge to a design (Conceptual > Logical > Physical > Implementation Planning).

Here is the exam blueprint in a summarised form:

Section 1 – Create a vSphere Conceptual Design

1.1 – Gather and analyze business requirements
1.2 – Gather and analyze application requirements
1.3 – Determine Risks, Constraints, and Assumptions

Section 2 – Create a vSphere Logical Design from an Existing Conceptual Design

2.1 – Map Business Requirements to the Logical Design
2.2 – Map Service Dependencies
2.3 – Build Availability Requirements into the Logical Design
2.4 – Build Manageability Requirements into the Logical Design
2.5 – Build Performance Requirements into the Logical Design
2.6 – Build Recoverability Requirements into the Logical Design
2.7 – Build Security Requirements into the Logical Design

Section 3 – Create a vSphere Physical Design from an Existing Logical Design

3.1 – Transition from a Logical Design to a vSphere 5 Physical Design
3.2 – Create a vSphere 5 Physical Network Design from an Existing Logical Design
3.3 – Create a vSphere 5 Physical Storage Design from an Existing Logical Design
3.4 – Determine Appropriate Compute Resources for a vSphere 5 Physical Design
3.5 – Determine Virtual Machine Configuration for a vSphere 5 Physical Design
3.6 – Determine Datacenter Management Options for a vSphere 5 Physical Design

Section 4 – Implementation Planning

4.1 – Create an Execute a Validation Plan
4.2 – Create an Implementation Plan
4.3 – Create an Installation Guide

If you are new to the VCAP exams, then I would personally recommend that you take the VCAP5-DCA (no details of this exam yet) as I feel it is important that you have the technical knowledge required to apply to a design. Sure if you have solid technical experience with VMware products then it doesn’t really matter which exam you take first. I would strongly recommend taking the vSphere 5: Design Workshop course (3 day), and the course manual will go through the design process, technical design elements of vSphere 5.

  • Design Methodology (see blueprint)
  • Storage Design
    • VMFS Maximums
    • iSCSI, NFS, Fibre Channel
    • vSA (vSphere Storage Appliance)
    • Storage DRS
    • Storage I/O Control (SIOC)
  • Network Design
    • Networking Fundamentals
    • Distributed Virtual Switch
    • NIC Teaming
    • Redundancy design options
    • Network I/O Control (NIOC)
    • DirectPath I/O
    • Converged Networking and FCoE
    • CDP
  • Compute Design (Host)
    • CPU (NUMA, Maximums, vCPU per core, etc)
    • Host Configuration (PCI Slot, BIOS, Security)
  • Virtual Machine
    • Configuration Maximums
    • Virtual Machine Security
    • Optimal configuration (swap file, vCPU, Memory)
  • vCenter
    • Database
    • Requirements
    • vCenter Server Appliance (requirements, configuration)
    • vCenter Heartbeat
    • Security (SSL certificates)
    • Linked Mode
  • Cluster (HA/DRS)
    • Resource Pools
    • Admission Control
    • Fault Tolerance (FT)
    • HA Heartbeat Redundancy
    • DPM

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