Skip to content

Preparation for VCAP-DTD (VDTD511) Exam

This page is intended to provide advice to IT Professionals, who plan to take the VDTD511 Exam and become VMware Certified Advanced Professionals on Desktop Design (VCAP5-DTD).

The basic steps to become a VCAP5-DTD are to first become a VCP5-DCV or VCP5-DT, gain hands on experience and real knowledge designing VDI solutions based on VMware View, and pass the VCAP5-DTD (VDTD511) Exam.  I recommend candidates who wish to prepare quickly,  consider attending the VMware View Design Best Practices Workshop.  The prerequisites are the students have the knowledge and skill level of  those who attended the VMware View Install Configure Manage class or who is a VCP5-DT.   The workshop prepares the student for designing large View environments.  Candidates, who already have a VMware Certification, may not be required to attend another VMware class.  Pay close attention to the specific requirements on the VMware Certification website to ensure that requirements are met.

I recommend that you begin by reviewing the official VMware Certification webpage for VCAP-DTD.  Pay close attention to the Exam Blueprint, which provides an outline of knowledge and design skills that is covered on the test.  Use the link to VCAP-DTD Exam UI Demo to get familiar with the drawing tool and type of drawing tasks to expect on the exam.  The Exam includes about six drawing problems (using an online drawing tool), some drag and drop problems, but mostly multiple choice items.

Here are my recommendations for preparing for the exam.  Many of the following items contain references to VMware and other materials.  I recommend simply reviewing some of the items to ensure a solid understanding of concepts.  I recommend actually studying other references and memorizing their details.

The exam is on View 5, not specifically version 5.0, 5.1 or 5.2.  The questions should not require you to know the difference in these versions.  Ideally, it should not matter which version you studied.

  • If you attended the VMware Design Best Practices Workshop, then begin by closely reading and learning the details in the course material.  Also, practice the exercises on your own to sharpen your skills.
  • Spend most of your study time, studying and memorizing material in the VMware View Architecture Planning Guide.    It is only 75 pages.  Learn and memorize as much of the details in this document.  (Note:  this link is the version 5.1 planning guide, but it is the version I used to study)
  • Review with the material in the Storage Sizing Guide for Windows 7.  Pay close attention to the Virtual Desktop Configuration by User Type, that outlines a typical set of user types, such as Task-based and Power Users.  A better document may be the Storage Considerations for VMware Horizon View, which provides formulas, plus an example design for 500 users. Some example formulas are:


  • Review the Workload Considerations for Virtual Desktop Reference Architecture paper.  It is a short document that illustrates using RAWC to simulate typical workloads to test the performance of View implementation.
  • Study the steps for Configuring Smart Card Authentication with View version 4.5 and higher.
  • Study the details in the VMware View Persona Management Guide
  • Review all the information in the VMware View Performance Best Practices paper, but Study the details in the Best Practices section
  • Review the information in the VMware View – Windows 7 Optimization Guide.
  • Review all the information in the VMware View with PCoIP Network Optimization Guide.  Study the sections on Recommended Configurations for Optimizing Bandwith Utilization, Windows Desktop Settings  to Optimize WAN Performance, and Network Optimization.
  • Review the Security Solution Architecture for VDI – VMware View guide.
  • Ensure that you feel comfortable performing typical VDI design exercises, much like those in the Design workshop.  As you review each item in the Blueprint, think of specific, potential, correspongin design questions.  Some examples are:
    • Determine the total number of IOPS for a given set of virtual desktops.  The calculations should include consideration of heavy users versus light users, RAID configurations, reads versus writes, etc. as discussed in the Storage Sizing Guide for Windows 7 guide and  VMware Storage Best Practices  (see the IOPs calculation section, page 8).
    • Calculate the storage IO rate (Gbps) for a given set of virtual desktops, various types of users and other details.
    • Plan for storage tiering, especially for linked clone pools deployed to an environment where the base disk can reside on SSD.  Consider where the delta files, swap files, VMX files, persistent data disk files, disposable files, etc should be located.
    • Plan for which firewall ports and services must be allowed between various components of VMware View to allow specific tasks.  For example, plan for which ports are involved to allow a user to Check Out a virtual desktop to run locally.  (Study the VMware View TCP and UDP Ports Table in the View 5.1 Security Guide)
    • Identify practical uses for SSD storage provided locally in the ESXi hosts.
    • Identify various compatibilities and constraints involving various View features and settings.  For example, for virtual desktops running in local mode, determine any restrictions on acceptable pool types, protocols, View clients and persona management.
    • For a given scenario, where a set of datastores are used to support a specific pool, determine which is the best Overcommitment Setting to use (Conservative, Moderate, or Agressive)
    • Likewise, for a given scenario, determine the best pool type, persistence, provisioning settings (such as Number of Available Desktops and Maximum Number of Desktops), naming pattern and all other settings for a desktop pool.
  • Examine each item in the Exam Blueprint for VCAP-DTD and ensure that you fully understand each item.  Research any item that gives you concern.
  • During the test, manage your time well!!!  Although a lot of time is provided, the time per question is not great.   You should allow at least 10 minutes per drawing problem and should expect to see around 6 drawing problems.  I allowed myself about 2 to 3 minutes for each drag and drop problems.  This only left me about one minute per multiple choice question.  Monitor your progress and time remaining in the upper right corner of the screen.  Do your best to cover as many problems as you can.  Do not allow yourself to get stuck on one problem too long.
  • Do not be too concerned if some questions seem unclear.  Simply answer such questions the best you can, based on what you think is mostly likely the correct interpretation of the question and continue moving at a good pace.
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: