The VCDX-NV “Blueprint” and “Handbook and Application” are now available at the VMware Certification site. I have blogged about VCDX-NV before and I tweeted the other day about VCDX-NV which generated quite a bit of conversation. This post summarises the points raised in that chat.
Ignore version 1.1 of “Handbook and Application”, it was a cut and paste of the DCV blueprint, they need to update the “Index to Highlights” to match the “Blueprint”. From the Blueprint you can see that the technology silos are:
- NSX Infrastructure Components
- Virtual Networking
- Physical Networking
- NSX Security
- NSX – Cloud Management Platform Integration
It makes sense that there is no requirement for Compute, Storage or Virtual Machines in your VCDX-NV design. So you can use any hypervisor that supports NSX, the only requirement is that you include NSX in your design.
UPDATE – Whilst the official documentation still has the information below, there is talk that current VCDXs will be able to skip the panel defence to make VCDX-NV. To be confirmed.
Unlike the VCDX DCV, Cloud and Desktop tracks, all candidates (VCP, CCIE or VCDX) must follow the same path to VCDX-NV certification. This means passing the VCIX-NV test, developing your VCDX-NV design and then defending in front of the VCDX-NV panel to pass. I think this is because VCDX-DCV/Cloud/Desktop candidates are typically weak in networking, so everyone must be validated by networking experts. I suspect the reverse will be true for VCDX-NVs if they want to achieve VCDX-DCV/Cloud/Desktop, since networking engineers are traditionally weak in Compute, Storage, Cloud and Desktop. The Rise of the Super Architect has begun! Also do not forget the rumoured Storage and Availability VCDX-SAA track which will complete the SDDC matrix.
VCIX-NV is still not officially released, with fellow Australian, Ray Budavari, being awarded VCIX-NV #001 at the VMworld US 2014 VCDX/vExpert Party last week. So aside from the newly minted VCDX-NVs, there will be no more VCDX-NVs being certified until the VCIX-NV program is live. In addition, it was confirmed that all newly minted VCDX-NVs were required to pass the beta VCIX-NV lab.
The VCAP exam suite will be phased out over time and replaced with VCIX for each track (DCV, Cloud, Desktop), this is because the VCAP exam never achieved industry respect and creating a CCIE equivalent is expected to correct that.
Currently I see the following “issues” impeding the VCDX-NV track:
- NSX Binaries still not available to vExperts, VCDXs or “my.vmware.com” account holders for evaluation. VMware: get your act together, we are excited about NSX and want to try it in our labs, HOL is not enough!
- The CCIE program requires you to travel to a Cisco test center where you have a proctor to guide you and you have direct access to the lab. It sounds like VCIX will be a remote lab similar to the VCAP admin exams. We all know about lab “latency” for VCAPs. What you have here is a balance of cost versus convenience. VMware: Be careful this does not burn you, get the latency issues sorted.
- Since there is no Advanced NV Design exam, it will be quite a jump for candidates to go from VCP to the Expert level of design. This risk will most likely be mitigated with the VCDX Fast Track, Boot Camps and Design Workshops, where a candidate will have their design pressure tested before submitting officially.
I think the writing is on the wall, NSX and its equivalent from the competition is a disruptive technology and cannot be ignored. Moving networking and security to the hypervisor really makes sense; I have kicked off a project to do just that in my organisation. Start planning your NSX Install, Configure, Manage or NSX Fast Track course and then take the VCP-NV exam. If you find you enjoy NSX, then consider the VCIX-NV and VCDX-NV tracks when they become available.