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VMware Certified Professional – Desktop (VCA5-DT) Exam Preparation

This page is intended to provide advice to IT Professionals, who plan to take the VCP510-DT Exam or VCPD510 Exam and become VMware Certified Professionals focused on VMware Horizon View and VDI (VCP5-DT).

I recommend that you closely review the VMware’s web page on VMware Certification that provides all the details.  On this page, you can match your specific, current certification and training level and determine the specific course options that are required for you becoming a VCP5-DT.  The main steps to become VCP5-DT is learn the underlying technology, gain hands on experience, and pass one of the VCP5-DT Exams. If you are already VCP5-DCV (VCP on vSphere data center virtualization) then take the VCP510-DT Exam, which focuses on just VMware View.  Otherwise ,take the VCPD510 Exam which covers vSphere as well as View. The best way to begin is to take the VMware View – Install Configure Manage class or the VMware Horizon View FastTrack class, although existing VCP5-DCV’s do not have to take any courses.    Here is a list of additional recommendations that I typically provide to my students:

  • On the VCP5-DT Certification web page, download and closely examine the Exam Blueprint, which provides an outline of all the topics that are covered on the exam.
  • For those who took the ICM course, rely mostly on your course book to learn the material.  Review the student manual and pay close attention to details.
  • Be sure to gain hands on experience.  Although the exam is not hands on, it assume that you have actual hands-on experience.  You should expect questions that are aimed at ensuring you are familiar with the Administrator Web portal and VMware View client.  For example, if a the exam gave a scenario that called for desktop pool where users connect to a different desktop each time they login, it is important to know that in the Admin Portal the type of pool is called “Floating” –  it is not called “non-Persistent”.
  • If you lack hands-on field experience, then create a lab (perhaps on a powerful PC or Mac, utilizing VMware Workstation / Fusion, running ESXi in VMs, and using virtual storage appliances like FreeNAS) and be sure to practice the entire installation, configuration, desktop pool deployment and management, much like is done in the ICM course.  Be sure that you are comfortable that you could do the necessary work without having to use the lab manual for each step.
  • Pay attention to all the little details in the ICM course.  Basically, if it is in the course, expect it to be on the exam.  Here are just a few examples of the items that I gave the most attention
    • Ports – memorize the ports, type (TCP or UDP), direction, source, target for each connection.  The course provides details for the front-end and back-end firewalls for the DMZ.  It also provides the specific ports that must be allowed via the Windows Firewall on the View Agents, Clients, Connection Servers, Security Servers and Transfer Servers.  Since so much detail was provided, I assumed the exam could be heavy and detailed on this area.
    • Page 19 of the View Security Guide has tables that provide details on the ports.
    • Memorize the limits and prerequisites for certain features.  For example, dedicated – linked clone pools provide an option for persistent data disks, but floating – linked clone pools do not.
    • Tiered storage options for linked clone pools, including the options for separating replicas, delta files, and persistent data disks
    • VMware View Persona – this is a new feature in View 5.0, so I assumed it would be closely covered on the exam.  Pay attention to the necessary ADM file and specific options to be be made in the policy editor.
    • Review these documents:   Installation Guide, Administration Guide, Security Guide, .  Just review these documents to reinforce your knowledge for areas of the Blueprint where you feel vulnerable.
  • For each item identified in the blue print, be sure to research the topic, beginning with the View Documentation Center.
  • The exam is ver 5, not 5.0, 5.1, or 5.2.  Don’t worry about the differences between versions 5.0, 5.1, and 5.2.  VMware Certification team removes questions from its test banks whose answers differ between 5.0, 5.1 and 5.2.
  • The SpeakVirtual Study Guide is very useful.  It provides detail for each item in the official Blueprint.
  • On the VCP5-DT Certification web page, take the Mock Exam.  It is a great tool to get familiar the type and scope of questions to expect on the actual exam.  It can be taken multiple times, assuming you do not score 100%, so it may be worthwhile to miss at least one question on purpose.  Each take of the exam may present new questions.  I suspect the bank of questions in the Mock Exam is around 40 questions.
  • Here is an unofficial practice exam on elasticsky website.  Don’t worry if some of the answers are wrong.  Just use it as a tool to get a feel for the types of questions and detail to expect.  Be sure to research any questions you miss or any that you expect are wrong in the exam.
  • Ensure that you fully understand each of the questions of the Mock and other practice exams, such that you consistently score 80% or better on them.
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