Preparing for my VCAP-NV…

So I’ve been in the process of preparing for my VCAP-NV (3V0-643) to earn my VCIX-NV.

There’s been a lot of great material that’s been posted online, but I’m going to share my study plan so it’s documented for others. My goal is to take this by calendar year end if possible.

  1. Clinton Prentice did an amazing job with his study guide – I’ve been working on his guide posted here – https://vzealand.com/category/vcap6-nv-study-guide/
  2. There was a beta Blueprint that’s still really valuable – I could never find the live version of the blueprint, so using this as part of my plan. It’s attached to this post but also link here – https://blogs.vmware.com/education/files/2015/12/Exam_Prep_Guide_3V0-643_v1.2.pdf
  3. vCloud Director nested environment
    1. You won’t be able to prepare sufficiently for this test without hands-on experience.
    2. Currently, I have a 3 node nested ESXi environment with 6.5 ESXi and 6.3.3 NSX running on a vCD environment. I will be expanding this further and probably may follow Clinton’s lab design too – but trying out different things.
  4. Got a new addition – Ryan Johnson shared Iwan’s study guide that will be part of my regiment – http://www.vcix-nv.com/vcix-nv-study-guide/

More to come – but this is definitely exciting (and scary)!

-Daniel

Exam_Prep_Guide_3V0-643_v1.2

VCP6-NV – Unlocked

I took the new 2v0-642 NSX certification on Tuesday and lo and behold, I passed!

I am going to very careful so I do not violate any NDA, but I wanted to provide an updated perspective on the 2v0-642 test. As many of you know, 2v0-641 test has been around for several years and has been recently retired.

Moreover, many of the study guides available are on 641 – my understanding is 642 was quite different.

642 focuses on NSX 6.2x feature-set – one of the biggest changes is the addition of cross-vCenter vMotion.

So what did I do to prepare for this?

Preparation Steps:

  1. I took the VMware NSX for Internetworking Experts Fast Track [V6.1] Class. Yes, that’s right – I took the older class. Why? Well, I wanted to take a remote class and this was the closest thing available. I also don’t believe the Fast Track class is updated to 6.2, but I could be wrong.
    1. However, this was a VERY good class that laid out many of the fundamentals I needed.
    2. My instructor was good and even went over cross-vCenter vMotion and some of the changes for 6.2, which was not in the curriculum but very valuable.
    3. Moreover, when I take any kind of class, I screenshot EVERY slide and write notes the instructor states. I reviewed ALL of this material for my exam preparation.
  2. Labs, labs, labs. I can’t stress this enough – PLUS IT’S FREE!!!
    1. A few labs I did over and over again – mostly focused on the 1725 labs:
      1. HOL-1725-SDC-1 – VMware NSX Advanced Consumption
      2. HOL-1725-USE-2 – VMware NSX Multi-Site DR with SRM
      3. HOL-1703-SDC-1 – VMware NSX: Introduction and Feature Tour (while I did this in my class, it was a good refresher)
      4. HOL-1703-USE-2 – VMware NSX: Distributed Firewall with Micro-Segmentation
    2. VMware Hands on Lab Link: http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/catalog/681
    3. Since I deal with vCloud Director, I had a prebuilt vCD/NSX environment so I tested several scenarios also. However, the HOL give great guidance
  3. I used Gregg Robertson’s blog as an addition to my overview – I went through the podcasts but did not read the book he referenced. Many thanks to Gregg for this insight.
    1. Link: Gregg Robertson’s Blog on VCP-NV Test
  4. READ THE DANG PRODUCT DOCUMENTATION! 
    1. This can’t be stressed enough. Even though it is long, some parts boring, there was some VERY VALUABLE insight, especially on the cross-vCenter vMotion setup and considerations.
    2. Docs I really focused on:
      1. VMware NSX Network Virtualization Design Guide – VERY IMPORTANT
      2. NSX Installation Guide
      3. NSX Administration Guide
      4. Cross-vCenter NSX Installation Guide
    3. Furthermore, with the admin guides – I took the labs and went through the basic administrative functions so I’m aware of steps.
  5. VMware VCP6-NV (2v0-642) 6.2 Practice Exam
    1. This was good – but obviously take it with a grain of salt. You can’t just take this expect to pass the test.
    2. Link to VMware myLearn VCP6-NV 6.2 Practice Exam
  6. I’m someone that needs to write/type things out and make a mental map of the technology and components. Therefore, I created this note sheet that I typed up a few days before the test: 2v0-642-UNOFFICIAL-StudyNotes
    1. PLEASE take these notes as they are – it’s my (weird) way of studying for a test and how I interpret NSX.

The Test:

  1. I went through the test and flagged questions I was not entirely sure.
  2. First pass took me maybe 35 minutes to complete – then I went to the beginning and went through the test again, focusing on the flagged questions I wasn’t too sure of.
  3. Read each question CAREFULLY and eliminate the ones you know aren’t true.
  4. Overall, I think I finished up with 45 to 50 minutes to spare.

Overall, I thought the test was challenging and asked very fair questions. It also made me kick myself on things I should have reviewed further – but that’s what a test is!

Next Steps:

I’ll be working on my VCAP next – TBD if I’ll switch over to DCV or stay on NV. But I truly enjoyed the experience and look forward to the next test preparation.

-DCP