Friday, October 14, 2011

VCAP-DCA Experience

Today I make an attempt to retake my VCAP-DCA.  Yes, the first time I failed by 13 marks as I wasn't prepared enough and as this exam state it is related to Data Center Administrator.  Its more to administrator than a implementer exam (I work as a consultant so daily administration is a problem for me).

Beside studying the blueprint, practice is very important.  Luckily for me, I have a whitebox setup with ESXi 4.0 and I was able to test out vMA, VDS, etc.  This flashcard is also very useful.

Base on my first experience, I realize I am weak in vicfg commands and as well as performance charting and some hardening/security questions.

You will be tested base on ESX/ESXi 4.0 and vMA 4.0.  If you realize that vMA 4.0 and vMA 4.1 there are some changes and commands for e.g. vifptarget does not exist in vMA 4.0.

Unlike my first attempt, this time it was very smooth for me and I have my questions answered just in time.  Previously I was rushing the last 10 over questions as I was troubleshooting some mistakes I made.

A good advice, if you can't do the question, then do not bother to think and scratch your head as you will waste a lot of time and end up not enough for the rest of the tasks.

Also once you skip the question, it will be tough for you to go back later:
  1. Either you do not have the time.
  2. You cannot check the task you have to click back button several times and it take times to load as well.
You do not have to take note of the hostname, credential, etc as this will be provided at every task question.

Also there will be documents for your to refer to however, every time you refer to will take you time.  The machine response is quite slow so make full use of your time.  I did make my reference to the document once or twice.  By the way the resolution of the screen is about 1024x768.  You will need quite a bit of scrolling left right up and down.

Remember to clear your mind and don't be too excited over it, I made a mistake myself during one of my task and I know I will not have a single point for it even though I know the answer!  And yes not getting the results does not means you will have no points awarded, the steps you have taken to achieve it will be awarded base on the blueprint.

Overall this give me a great insight, and it was also the first attempt that I have prior experience from that I managed to pass my VCP 510.  As I mentioned in my VCP 510 posting, it is like VCAP-DCA in multiple choice.

Now the next 10 days is my crucial days to know if I managed to pass.  Meanwhile I will prepare for my VCDX application for the last panel in Germany next year.  This is more of an experience to go through the process and whether or not I succeed it's not important.  Important is the process where I managed to learn and pick up the knowledge and skills.

Feel free to leave me any comments regarding VCAP-DCA or VCAP-DCD and I will do my best to answer them.  But due to the non-disclosure agreement, I cannot provide you the questions.

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