Today I sat the VCP6-NV exam (2V0-642) to avoid that my current VCP6-DCV expires. Instead of going through another Datacenter Virtualization exam, I decided to try something new, for me at least.
While the memory is still fresh, I would like to write down a short post of my exam experience. Since I started working with VMware in 2008, I mostly focused on the datacenter certifications, but this time I wanted something new, more challenging. Of course I could have gone for a VCAP Design certification, but given the little time I had to prepare I thought that something new on VCP level would make learning more interesting, and it did!
My preparation experience
In most, if not all VMware preparation guides I read in the past, a certain hands-on experience was recommended for the “successful candidate of the exam”. Looking back at the preparation time, I’m really glad that I had a certain hands-on experience, even though it was only a proof of concept installation I participated in. However it helped me a lot during studying, as I had already understood the basic concepts of NSX.
On the other hand I would like to mention that the VCP6-NV exam is also an exam about network virtualization in general, and does not focus on VMware NSX only. I was glad that I had already some datacenter experience, but luckily I was aware of this type of questions from other peoples experience. So for my part, I can confirm: Do also study the vSphere networking guides.
Another interesting studying tool are the hands-on labs. They were a great refresh of what I learned in the past during the installation of the POC.
The most important document for me however was the NSX administration guide. Even though it is roughly 400 pages long, THIS is what I think helped me most in getting this certification. But as not everybody has the same level of experience as I did, it could be different for other people.
The exam itself was based on VMware NSX 6.2 (this is at the time of writing the latest exam), I had to answer 77 questions in 120 minutes, which was adequate. Not too easy, but fair.
In the end I was glad to pass the exam the first time, even though I did not really have the time to go into every detail I would have done with more time. During the exam I could already see that I should have put more focus on the security aspects for instance. But well, it’s as they say: A pass is a pass 🙂
Here’s my personal list of study material for the VCP6-VCP exam (2V0-242):
Hands-on experience (build a lab, play with it, this helped me a lot)
NSX administration guide (Yep it’s 400 pages, but don’t skip this one!)
Practice exam on mylearn.vmware.com
Good luck with yours!