Becoming VCP certified and how to bypass the course requirement

*** This is no longer applicable ***

I’ve always had a desire to become VCP certified in the DCV track, however as I am self employed the cost of the course has always been prohibitive. In the UK, I had been looking at prices of around £3k which is a lot of money!

At work I had just finished a 6.0 to 6.5 upgrade which went a bit wrong. I was on the phone with VMware support for a number of weeks and eventually we got it all updated. I will create a blog on the experience at some point.

After all of this work I had amassed a lot of 6.5 experience so I decided to sit the exam. I didn’t do much study if I’m honest, I figured that I’d been working with VMware for long enough and having recently done a lot of work on 6.5 I would have enough amassed knowledge to sit give it a good go and I passed!

For some reason, at the time I thought that just sitting the exam was enough, ala Microsoft, Cisco et al. However I was wrong, very wrong! I soon realised that I had to pass the foundation exam as well as attending a course. Doh!

After a lot of thought I decided to do the course, plus foundation exam, in order to gain the certification. I used Global Knowledge, who allowed me to do the course from home and they gave me a nice discount so the cost was not as bad as £3k, but even with 50% ish off it still wasn’t a nice pill to swallow. On one evening I decided to sit the foundations exam which is online based, so at the end of the course week I picked up VCP6.5-DCV!

Having only really touched the DCV side, I started looking into VMware NSX & vSAN. I built a home lab (more on that later) and practiced and watched a load of training videos. I then sat the VCP6-NV exam and passed that…

…what I hadn’t realised is that there is a much less expensive way to become VCP certified, but there is a catch. If you know a little about networking and you hold a valid Cisco CCNA, CCNP or CCIE, VMware will waive the course requirement and allow you to get VCP6-NV certified.

Although I do not hold CCNA, I do have ICND1 and I have enough knowledge to pass ICND2, it would have been a much less expensive route. Another kick in the teeth for me is that the ICND1 runs out in May so I need to pass an exam to keep it in date and I’m looking at the ICND2 which would of course give me the CCNA R&S.

So there you have it, you can learn from my mistakes if you are looking for your first VCP without having to pay for an official course, although the trade off is passing a Cisco CCNA or higher which I guess for some people isn’t as easy especially if they have limited networking knowledge.

Update April 10th 2019

I made a bit of a claim above, by stating that I have enough knowledge to pass ICND2. With my ICND1 expiry looming, I thought I’d have a go at the ICND2 exam. Since Cisco exams are quite a bit cheaper than VMware exams, I thought I would sit it as a sort of mock exam, in order to give me a better idea of where I need to focus on study wise. Well, turns out quite a bit as some of the sections scores were pretty poor, but it turns out my claim was indeed correct as I passed with a score of 847. It’s a shame I can’t get my money back for the VMware course I had to sit!