Advanced Deploy VMware vSphere 7.0 Exam (3V0-22.21N) Study Guide

I took the Advanced Deploy VMware vSphere 7.0 Exam recently and these are my recommendations on preparing for this exam. This was a fun exam and it was great to see it has been updated to include the new features of vSphere 7. I also like the fact that it provides brief objectives in each question and you are responsible for making sure all of the prerequisite settings are met before you can complete the primary task. This truly validates your advanced level of skill with vSphere 7.

This is a configuration based exam which uses the VMware Learning Platform (VLP), which has a very similar feel to the VMware Hands-On Labs. Use VMware Hands On Lab 2211 VMware vSphere What’s New as a preparation tool to experience the user interface. Use the exam blueprint as a tracking tool for monitoring your readiness.

This exam has 17 Questions that need to be completed within 205 minutes. Which really is 195 minutes, because when you first connect to VLP, the environment takes 10 minutes to deploy and become available and the clock is running while you wait. However, you can use that time to browse through the questions in the lab and plan your strategy.

The console will freeze from time to time. Use the “Consoles” icon in the top left hand corner to unfreeze the screen by selecting the “Main Console” icon each time to reload the console. This is very frustrating, but you get used to it. If you have connection timeout problems to the VLP console, immediately alert your proctor to resolve. If the problem cannot be resolved, they will open a ticket and you will get a refund.

Copy and paste is disabled and using the right mouse button can be problematic. Try and get used to using the Actions button in the vSphere Client when you want to make a configuration change. If you need to copy text between web browser tabs in the console, put the windows side by side and retype the text.

You can grab text from the lab manual into the console, which helps you save a significant amount of time retyping IP addresses and object names. However, this does not work for all vSphere Client screens (drag action will select text on the entire vSphere Client screen, instead of pasting in the field you selected), you will have to manually type in these problematic fields.

VMware vSphere documentation PDFs are provided on the desktop, but do not rely on them, they should only be used as reference material if you need to query a specific setting. You will not have time to read and learn to complete all of the questions.

Time management is important, if you are unsure on how to complete a task, move onto the next one. Many of the questions have unrelated multiple parts, so see if you can complete different parts of the question. Use a text file on the console to track your progress as you work through the exam. Once you reach question 17, check your notes and see which questions you can circle back to.

Multi-tasking is a must, many of the questions take significant time for vSphere to complete (VLP uses nested ESXi 7.0.0, which is slow). Have a few tabs open so that you can jump back and forth to check execution progress. You should never be sitting idle waiting for a task to finish.

When you end the exam, a message indicates it can take up to 48 hours to get your result. I had my Credly badge and results PDF issued the next day. If you do fail, your results PDF will have the blueprint areas you need to work on; this is a great way to diagnose your weaknesses and strengthen them.

VMexplorer also has a detailed write-up and video on this exam which you should check out if you want to deep-dive on the subject.

Advanced Design VMware NSX-T 3.0 Exam (3V0-42.20) Study Links

I took the Advanced Design VMware NSX-T 3.0 Exam recently and these are the study links I used:

Advanced Design VMware vSphere 7.0 Exam (3V0-21.21) Study Links

I took the Advanced Design VMware vSphere 7.0 Exam recently and the VMware Exam Guide did not have active resource hyperlinks in the PDF. Here they are, plus some additional ones I used:

VCAP – Where is my 2019 Badge?

Are you VCAP certified and wondering where the 2019 badge for your VCAP track is and why your current VCAP version is listed as “Emeritus”? You have passed the latest VCAP exam (before 2019) and you verified there is no new VCAP exam in the exam catalog, surely they would grandfather you in? Unfortunately, no – the certification policy has changed.

NOTE: I am focusing on 2019 as the case in point since the 2020 badges are having issues at the moment and it is not clear if a new 2020 exam for every VCAP will be released during 2020 (image below). In the first week of January 2020, I had 21 certifications awarded to me with the “2020” designation. I was excited and thought that VMware had fixed the certification logic; unfortunately, they were all revoked the following day (image below).

NOTE: I have opened a number of tickets with VMware Certification on this subject and sent a multitude of emails and currently there has been no policy change.

First, let me explain how it used to be. VMware Certification would release a new VCDX version approximately every 2 years, which would coincide with new VCAP Design and Deploy exams (previously known as the Administration exam) for that track. Originally there was only the vSphere/DCV track and then Cloud/CMA (vCD and later vRA), Desktop/DTM/DW (Horizon and then Workspace ONE) and NSX/NV (NSX-MH, NSX-v and then NSX-T) were added over time. We all understood the link to product versions and it worked.

In 2019 (2018 for some DCV certifications), certification by product version changed to certification by year. Instead of VCAP6-DCV, we now have VCAP-DCV 2019 (and 2020). And this is being applied to every existing VMware certification (Associate, Specialist, Professional, Master Specialist, Advanced Professional and Expert).

If you look into the logic currently being applied:

  • You will not be grandfathered into the 2019 certification (even though you passed the latest exam in 2016, 2017 or 2018). “Grandfathering” logic has been used by VMware in the past, particularly with the NV track. In 2015, upon completing the VCIX-NV certification, you were automatically awarded VCP-NV in late 2015 and then upgraded to VCP6-NV and VCIX6-NV in 2016 without taking another exam.
  • You need to have passed the old exam after August 1, 2019 to be awarded the 2019 badge. Why was August 1, 2019 selected and not January 1, 2019 (as indicated in the blog I referenced above)? If I pass the pre-2019 exam in 2019 (older version of technology) how does awarding me a 2019 badge validate that I have been certified on the 2019 version of that technology?
  • You are not expected to retake the old exam you previously passed to achieve the 2019 badge. Which begs the question, how do I get my 2019 certifications if I have passed every exam that is available before 2019?
  • All certifications that are older than 2019 have been moved to “Emeritus” status.
  • This new policy does not align with the VMware Partner Central policy of recognizing many “Emeritus” certifications as being current (for Solution Competencies and Master Service Competencies). In fact, my VCDX and VCAP 2019/2020 certifications do not appear in Partner Central.
  • Resulting in a VMware transcript that gives the impression that your skill-set is not current. Which is unfair, since we (and our employers) spend a significant amount of time and money remaining current and this is short-changing certified individuals at the advanced professional level. Looking at my current transcript below, I have passed the every VCAP exam for every track (with the exception of VCAP-CMA Deploy 2018) and it looks like I am not current for DCV, CMA or DTM (I took the VCAP-NV Design 2019 exam in early 2020, hence the 2020 certs are listed)

It should be mentioned that VMware does a great job of releasing new VCP exams for every track each year (normally during February of each year). VCP 2019 does allow some “grandfathering” based upon free and paid courses.

What do I think needs to change?

  • Release advanced professional exams for every track every year. The typical incubation period for developing a single VCAP exam is approximately 1.5 years. I have been involved in this process and it takes a ton of work from a team of people. In my opinion, releasing these every year is not realistic.
  • Or change the logic to allow “grandfathering” for people who have achieved the current exams in previous years,
  • Or change the “Emeritus” logic to keep certifications derived from the latest exams current,
  • And align the VMware Certification and VMware Partner Central policies to match.

I have created a PDF that breaks down the upgrade logic for every 2019 expert and advanced certification – VCIX was ignored, since these are digital badges (located in VMware Certification Manager – see PDF for exact location). Some interesting points to note:

  • The VCAP-DCV Deploy and Design 2019 certifications list 2019 exams (3V0-21.19 and 3V0-22.19) that were never released.
  • The VCAP-CMA Deploy 2019 exam (3V0-31.19) is listed as active, but cannot be scheduled in the USA.
  • VCDX 2019 certifications for DCV, NV and CMA were never created.
  • The VCDX-DTM 2019 certification allowed an upgrade from VCAP7-DTM Design (did not enforce VCAP-DTM Design 2019).

For completeness, here is the current list of VMware Advanced Professional exams (3V0-6nn – developed in 2016, 3V0-7nn – developed in 2017, 3V0-nn.18 developed in 2018, 3V0-nn.19 developed in 2019):

Nutanix Platform Expert = VCDX squared?

npx_logo Nutanix have announced their version of the VCDX, the Nutanix Platform Expert (NPX).  From reading the blueprint, it definitely takes Data Center architecture design to the next level.

NPX Summary for the VCDX-aware:

  • IMPRESSIVE! – No submission or examination fees
  • Must prove mastery of two hypervisors (candidate choices: vSphere, KVM or Hyper-V)
  • Must be a Nutanix Platform Professional (NPP)
  • Recommend being a Nutanix Support Specialist (NSS) Continue reading Nutanix Platform Expert = VCDX squared?

End-to-End Network QoS for vSphere 5.1 with Cisco UCS and Nexus

This article builds upon the white papers and blogs that are available (listed below) and provides a VCDX-style guide to design decisions that need to be considered for End-to-End Network Quality of Service for vSphere 5.1 with the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Cisco Nexus switches. Continue reading End-to-End Network QoS for vSphere 5.1 with Cisco UCS and Nexus