VCDX-NV Explained

vcdx-nv 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.

vcdx-nv blueprint vs application

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.

VCDX-NV Paths

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.

VCIX-NV-001

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.

 

 

3 comments

  1. Hari says:

    I think its not a good idea to replace VCAPs. What they should do is let VCAP not be a Pre Req for VCIX and VCDX. There are job works where VCAP is sufficient. Many people also would like to be certified at Professional level only. Also at the same time VCAPs can lay the ground work for Higher certification like VCIX/VCDX.
    Cisco Follows similar approach. They have CCNA/CCNP but they are not a Pre Req for CCIE. In fact you can be a CCIE without being a CCNA/CCNP.

  2. As someone who invested a lot of time into several VCAPS and a VCDX, VMware replacing VCAP exams with VCIX as a “let’s see if this works” approach doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in me. Add to that what seems like all sorts of new tracks being defined. Is there customer/partner demand for this? “Ready, fire, aim” comes to mind.

  3. Simon Hamilton-Wilkes says:

    The tracks have to be updated to reflect the current product lines though – vCD – vCAC specifically, so I think the idea was to take a back to the drawing board approach and aim for a full suite of certs that makes sense, though it will take some time to get there. I agree its a bit of a shame in terms of mindshare though, few employers have heard of VCAP or even VCDX and tinkering with the names doesn’t help.
    I don’t see an issue with the lab being remote as long as bandwidth is there and the cloud providing it is not constrained – the CCIE labs haven’t been in the room where you take it for many years now with no ill effects.
    Roll on the VCIX…

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