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VCP-Cloud (VCPC510) or IaaS (VCPVCD510) Exam Preparation

This page is intended to provide advice to IT Professionals, who plan to take the VMware Certified Professional on vCloud (VCPC510) or VMware Certified Professional – IaaS (VCPVCD510) Exam and become VMware Certified Professionals on Cloud (VCP-Cloud).  The VCP-Cloud certification demonstrates that an IT professional has the skill, knowledge, and experience to install, configure, and manage a cloud environment built upon VMware vCloud.

More than one path is available to earn VCP-Cloud certification.  Candidates who are already VCP5-DCV certified should take the IaaS Exam (VCPVCD510).  Others may be required to take a course, such as the vCloud Install Configure Manage course, and  take the VCP-Cloud (VCP510) exam.  Additionally, all candidates are expected to gain hands on experience with VMware vCloud Director.    Each candidate should pay close attention to the specific requirements on the VMware Certification website to ensure that all requirements are met.

Here are my recommendations for preparing for the exam.

  • Review the VMware Certification webpage for VCP-Cloud.  Determine which exam, IaaS (VCPVCD510) or VCP-Cloud (VCPC510) is part of the best path for your scenario.
  • Pay close attention to the proper Exam Blueprint for the selected exam, which provides an outline of all the items that will be covered on the exam.   Expect to answer questions related to each element of the blueprint.  
  • Each of the exams share the same coverage of VMware vCloud topics,but the VCP-Cloud Exam (VCPc510) also covers vSphere in detail.   Generally, the VCPC510 (VCP-Cloud) exam covers the same material that both the VCP510 (vSphere) and VCPVCD510 (IaaS) exams cover, because candidates are not required to be VCP5-DCV.  The VCPC510 exam’s time limit is 30 minute longer than the VCPVCD510 exam to allow time for the vSphere questions. (Note:  this web page is aimed mostly at the IaaS (VCPVCD510) exam and the vCloud portion of the VCPC510 exam.  Follow the recommendations on my web page on VCP5-DCV certification for the vSphere portion of the VCPC510 exam)
  • If feasible, take the VMware vCloud Install Configure Manage course and use its Student Manuals as your main source to learn and study.  Although the exam is not hands-on (it is 100% multiple choice), you should ensure that you have the skills to install, configure, and manage vCloud prior to scheduling the exam.  A good test is to ensure that you can perform the tasks in hands-on labs in this course without relying on reading the specific steps in the lab book.
  • Practice the Mock Exams on the VMware Certification web page.  Expect to see 25 questions with each attempt.  Multiple attempts are allowed, where each attempt may include some different questions and some repeat questions.  If you answer each question correctly on any attempt, then no more attempts are allowed.
  • I found the wording of some questions to be confusing, but taking the mock exams helped.  If a question seems confusing, ask yourself which option is the probably the best option or the one that the author seeks.  Try to eliminate some options that seem to be a poor fit.  Don’t allow yourself to get stuck tool long on a specific question.
  • Naturally, you should ensure that you fully understand each vCloud and vSphere component, including the purpose and implementation of each component.  Expect to tackle troubleshooting questions related to each component.
  • Pay attention to specific terminology and user interface wording.  VMware wants to ensure that certified professionals use the correct, precise vocabulary.  VMware also wants to ensure that professionals are very familiar with the user  interfaces, although the exams are multiple choice rather than hands on.  To achieve this, the exam may aim to measure whether or not the candidate is familiar with the precise wording used in the interfaces.   For example, to perform a VMotion migration, the user must select the “Migrate” option.  No “VMotion” option appears in the user interface.  For another example, to create an “anti-affinity” rule in a DRS Cluster, the user must configure a rule with the option “Separate VMs”.  Although these two examples are vSphere examples, pay attention to the very specific wording in the vCloud interfaces.
  • Ensure that you are comfortable with identifying objects and tasks in vSphere that correspond to objects and tasks that are initiated in vCloud.  Pay attention to naming conventions.  For example, the candidate must be able to identify which VM corresponds to a specific vShield Edge Gateway that is created via vCloud Director.
  • Ensure that you understand the best procedures for performing various administration tasks in a vCloud environment, rather than in a vSphere only environment.  For example, in a vSphere only environment, an administrator may frequently place ESXi hosts in maintenance mode, but in a vCloud environment, the best steps may be to disable the host, then to re-deploy the VMs on the host.
  • Ensure that you study details and gain hands on experience configuring related infrastructure items on which VMware vCloud depends, such as  databases, SSL certificates, SMTP, LDAP, Kerberos, etc.  At a minimum, create a test lab environment from scratch, where you configure each part of the infrastructure from the ground up.
  • Although all items that are defined in the Blueprint are important, it makes sense to focus extra on networking.  Networking within vCloud has many components including External Networks, Network Pools, Organization vDC Networks, vApp Networks, vShield Edge Gateways and vShield Edge Devices. The vShield Edge Gateways and Devices provide many network services, such as NAT routing (DNAT and SNAT), IP Translation, IP Masquerading, Fencing, Firewall and DHCP.  It is very important to fully understand each of these components, their implementation steps, and their configuration settings.
  • The vCloud ICM course does not cover VMware vCenter Chargeback in detail or in a lab, but the Blueprint and mock exams appear to cover it quite a bit.  Be sure to review the Install Guide and Users Guide for Chargeback.  Preferably, ensure you gain hands on experience with it, at least in a lab environment.
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