VMware Edu & Cert Community

Help Create Some New DCD Study material / New Material

Hello all,

So after just missing my first attempt at my DCD I figured I would take what I learned from that experience and help build some new practice material for those who are attempting the VCAP-DCD5.1/5.5 exam.  During my studies I found a lot of good material out there around the items on the blue print but didn't find a lot of material to help me get into the mind set / exam mode per say.  A good example of this is Joshua's Test Track for the DCA.  He has created some really good practice questions with a lab to boot to really get you in the right mind set for the DCA.  What I would like to do is build something simular for the DCD.

With that in mind, here is the project:

I would like to build a interactive webpage that will simulate what the design questions and drag-n-drop questions are like on the exam with some practice questions created by myself and other people of the community.  How I'm going to try and make it, I'm going to try and use jsPlumb or maybe other simular drag-n-drop java libraries with html 5 to help create an enviroment.  Here is a link to the jsPlumb so you can kind of get an idea of how it will work:


jsPlumb 1.6.4 demo - home (Vanilla)

Other Java libraries to try


This is what it will look like:



Once the frame work is in place we can create test questions and have an interactive testing system to also help grade peoples awnsers to help prep people for the DCD exam prior to writing.

Milstones of the project:

1.)  Create Photoshop and site layout - I have already completed this and continueing to work on it to get more scenario's, I will post the photoshop .psd shortly incase anyone wants to use them to create there own for the time being

2.)  Collect Good test questions with photoshop with an awnser page for the time being until the javascript is written -  this partialy done.  I currently only have two questions created

3.)  Put it all together and post it.  I'm in the process of registering a blog so once I get that done and everything is together I can post the interactive page there and link it in the forums

4.)  Shed less tears over failed DCD attempts Smiley Happy

Here are the first two questions I have created:





DCD-Q1-A1 - One possible design choice to suit all the requirements, there is many others.  I will also build on this design and put a section for NIOC for those who want to add in 10GB NICS


Now for a quick explanation to my awnser to the design.  For this one I put in an additional 2xQuad Port nics in the available PCI slots.  This allows for 2 nics for mgmt, 2nics for iSCSI, 2nics for backup, 2 nics for FT, 2 nics for DMZ for isolation, and 4 nics for the VMware Network as one of the requirement was it needed 2.43Mbps throughput.  Since you never truely get 100% on network transfer speeds I typically build out to 80%, which is 800Mbps for a 1GB nic.  So to meet the 2.43Mbps you would need a minium of 3 1GB NIC's, however this leaves a single point of failure as if one nic fails the VM Network can only push 2Mbps of traffic till that NIC is back online.  Thus I bumped the VMnetwork to 4 1GB NIC's so there was no single pont of failure.  If anyone else has better ways or other ways please feel free to post on it or work through the question.



A quick Explantion of the design layout


Special thanks to lbourque for running this past the VMware Certification team so fast and getting the green light

If anyone wants to create some questions please post them here as I've told lbourque I'd post them here so they can be looked over incase there is any issues with them.

Current questinos / designs i'm working on:

vApp desing question

Storage design question

Calculation questions IE. what is the min amount of hosts you need to run X number of servers with X cpu, X memory, X networking

Multiple choice questions to hammer on the blue print topics like RPO, RTO, ect.

Thanks again, and I hope to get enough free time in the next few weeks to make some good progress on this.

Also please excuse any spelling mistakes / type-o's, I put this together pretty quickly and haven't had a great deal of time to look it over :smileysilly:

Cheers everyone and good luck!

127 Replies

Sorry guys, didn't get as much done as I would of hoped.  Hopefully Monday I will have a decent update.

Till then,

0 Kudos

Updated the site Beta 1.4

-  All the multiple choice questions are up

-  All the drag-n-drop questions are up

-  Only one last design question which is about 50% done.  Then its just cosmetics and getting some of the other functionality in.



0 Kudos

Dear Jason,
you're doing a great effort.. Smiley Happy
Keep up and post all of your Q's Smiley Happy

Sincerely, Shady Ali El-Malatawey MCITP: Virtualization Administration 2008 VCP5-DCV/DT --- VCAP5-DCA/DCD @ShadyMalatawey https://virtualpharaohs.com
0 Kudos

Beta Update 1.5

The last question is up and running.  I'm having some problems with the z-index, I'm not sure why yet so the PCI slot always wants to be on top, however it wasn't doing this on my laptop so I'm going to have to check the code again.  Anyhow the last question is up and its useable.  I will continue to work on it and fix it.


0 Kudos

Good Day, Jason
Couple of comments there on the last Q:
1-) I think you meant that "VM network must be able to handle 2.34 Gbps not 2.43 Mbps"
2-) You have to add a port group for Backup Network.

3-) Try to minimize the standard switches a bit, and tell the user to put X number of port groups per a standard switch.
4-) what about policies..?? what do you mean by putting policies in lower right corner..?? I think all to be Reject. Not a challenge Smiley Happy In addition, you mentioned that request twice.
5-) It'e better to make a special connector for fail-over connection. I mean, if a port group will have an active and a passive connections, the active will be a standard connector and the passive will be another one.
Nice Q, brother Smiley Happy

PS. PM me your twitter account.

Sincerely, Shady Ali El-Malatawey MCITP: Virtualization Administration 2008 VCP5-DCV/DT --- VCAP5-DCA/DCD @ShadyMalatawey https://virtualpharaohs.com
0 Kudos

Thanks for the update,

Will do, I think I still have to activate my twitter account if I remember correctly as it wasn't working last time I tried 😛

Yeah I'm going to try and get that last question squared away hopefully on Sunday.  We'll see this weekend is a little hectic

Thanks again, hope to have an update soon.

0 Kudos

Hey all,

Sorry about the lack of updates recently, I will be re-writing my DCD on Oct 18th, so for the next little while I will be keeping my head down and preparing for that again.  I am however currently putting together another study package that I will post here shortly once I'm finished.  This will include all the blog sites I will be using, my study notes from the sites / the courses on plurasite and some other information.  Aside from that if I get some time between study sessions at home I'll try to fix up some of the code on the last question and or add some new material if I come across some things in my studies.

Till then Smiley Happy wish me luck Smiley Happy

0 Kudos

Good Luck with your exam. All the best.



0 Kudos

***** Study Pack *****

Here is the study pack I will be following this time on my latest DCD attempt.  My goal is to try and break down the extream amount of information out there to the core values on the exam and hopefully get a pass this time around Smiley Happy  Any advice on this is always greatly appricated!

***** Questions ******

Question Point system

100 questions

6 - Design questions

10 - Drag-n-Drop

84 - Multiple choice

Score Breakdown

Multiple Choice: 1pt per question

Drag-n-Drop - 10pt per question

Design Question - 25-50 points

That leaves me 2.4min per question, however I will be rounding down to 1.9min per question to give me some wiggle room.  Now I will be spending more then 1.9 min on the design / drag-n-drop questions obviously, however each multiple choice question will only get 1.9min, then if I feel uncomfortable with my answers I will mark it for review.  If I have time at the end of the test I will go over them again and double check my numbers.

***** Network Design ******


Great breakdown on MANY network design to handle any standard configurations and not so standard.


***** RPO, RTO, WRT, MTD ******



*******Storage - Managing Paths **********


default path options:



VMW_PSP_FIXED: The Default policy for active-active storage devices is VMW_PSP_Fixed

VMW_PSP_MRU: MRU is the default policy for active-passive storage devices

VMW_PSP_RR: RR is the default for a number of arrays and can be used with both active-active and active-passive arrays to implement load balancing across paths for different LUNS.

Path Policies effects:

Active/Active Array

Most Recently Used:  Administrator action is required to fail back after path failure.

Fixed: VMkernel resumes using the preffered path when connectivity is restored.

Round Robin: No fail back.

Active/Passive Array

Most Recently Used: Administrator action is required to fail back after path failure.

Fixed: VMkernel attempts to resume by using the preferred path.  This action can cause path thrashing or failure when another SP now owns the LUN.

Round Robin: Next path in round robin scheduling is selected


Links and Blogs(* are links I will be focusing more time on):


    Great breakdown on all the sectinos on the blue print. (Videos)


    General experience run down, with some good explanations o nthe Conceptual, Logical and Physical Design which I feel is the back bone to this exam


    Vmwares technical white papers, great source of how everything ticks


    A really well done collection of best practices all compiled into one wonderful document


    Document package, long with a PDF inside which has a really good run down on the blue print


    Another breakdown on the experience with another good collection of resources to check out


    Another great blog on the experience break down with another plethora of good material to look/go over


    All the documentation the blue print talks about / links all sourced into one 170MB package.  Great for offline reading


    Another great breakdown on the blue print

The PDF attached is a PDF out of one of the blog links documentation packages and is not own.  Full credit goes to the owner/creator I just found it a really good study resource.

Also if anyone wants my personal notes they can PM me and I will share them.

I hope this has helped,

Cheers and good luck!


Site Beta Update 1.6

-  Fixed Design3 question so all the port groups are listed and fit into the switches

-  Fixed the Standard Switch Size.  The VSS can now fit 3 port groups.  The design decision behind this is 3 port groups gives the user enough flexibility to alter the design as they see fit.  If this needs changing I can adjust it.

-  Fixed z-index issues, so now the NIC adapters will stay on top of the PCI Slots instead of falling behind

-  Due to the size of the canvas/workspace that is required to answer this question you may need to scroll around a little bit on the page now.

-  When adding items that increase the canvas/workspace size do so in smaller increments.  Trying to drag it down to the items spot tends to auto adjusts the size to quickly.

-  Fixed a numbering glitch on the multiple choice questions

0 Kudos

HI Jason

I have just started studying for my DCD exam and your website is great for the practice questions if you know of any other sites please do let me know.

Really appreciate your hard work. Its thanks to people like you that we get an opportunity to lean within the community.



0 Kudos

Hey Rushad61,

Thanks and I'm glad you found the site helpful.

As far as other sites go I didn't find any other sites with great practice questions, however there is a lot of great study material out there.

A post above I listed my newest study track and the stuff I will be going over again prior to my up coming re-write

Also there is a good course on Pluralsight formally TrainSignals by Scott Lowe which is good.

Aside from that focus on the sites to go over the blue print in good detail and cover everything that is in the blue print as anything in there is fair game.  Also make sure you have a strong understanding between Conceptual, Logical, and Physical Design.

If you have any questions or ideas you ever want to bounce off me feel free to post here or PM me.

Cheers and the best of luck with your DCD!

0 Kudos

Been working loosely on getting the scissors to work.  Hoping to get that published prior to me leaving to write my DCD again.  See how tomorrow goes.

0 Kudos

Good luck with the exam tomorrow...expecting a detailed exam experience. Smiley Wink

--- If you found this or any other answer helpful, please consider the use of the Helpful or Correct buttons to award points. vfk Systems Manager / Technical Architect VCP5-DCV, VCAP5-DCA, vExpert, ITILv3, CCNA, MCP
0 Kudos

Hey jason,

Please share your exam exp... hope for the best for you.

0 Kudos

Beta Update 1.7.... at least I think where at 1.7 😛

Minor update.

I managed to finish the code for the scissors prior to leaving to write my exam.  It up and live now.

How deleting connections now works:

-  Click on the Scissors Icon, your mouse cursor will turn into little scissors

-  However over the line you would like to delete

-  Due to issues with changing the mouse icon to look like a pair of little scissors it was hard to find the pointer part of it.  So what would happen is you would however all over the line till you finally found the right spot.  To combat this I changed it so once you are on the spot where it will allow you to delete the line it will change to a hand pointing at it.  Then once you click the line will be deleted.  So to recap, click scissors, move over to the line you want to delete, once you see a pointer hand over the line you wish to delete click on it.

If people don't like this I can remove it pretty easily, but I wanted it to me as much like the exam as possible.

Speaking of exams I will give my breakdown on my most recent attempt at the DCD later today.

Cheers and until then.

0 Kudos

Okay so 2nd re-write Exam Experience:

Before I get into the second re-write lets re-cap my first write so we gleam into what I did wrong last time and what I improved on.

First Write:

First write was a interesting exam.  I felt A LOT of my time was used up on figuring out the exam and how things worked.  On top of that many of the design or drag-n-drop I was re-reading a few times to make sure I understood everything as they wanted.  Another thing I did wrong was I wasted way to much time on some of the multiple choice questions.  Lastly due to poor time management I ran out of time missing, 1 drag-n-drop, 1 design question, and 10 other questions.  My final score on my first exam was 276.  Something tells me last time had I been able to finish I might of squeaked by on that one, but no one will ever know :smileysilly:


-  Time management was poor, ran out of time and didn't get to finish all questions on the test

-  Spent to much time on the design / drag-n-drop absorbed time I couldn't afford.

-  Spent to much time on 1 point mulitple choice questions, especially the calculation ones as I knew most of them, but the time it took to calculate everything could of been better spent elsewhere

Second Write:

Second write I went in with knowledge from the first exam so I was familiar with the tools, so time was saved there.  I went in with a different time management plan this time.  My plan was to mark the longer multiple choice questions for review then come back to them once I finished everything else to insure I finished all the drag-n-drop and design questions this time as they are worth the most points.  My study material was more precise this time around with material I felt was more of the core pieces which would be picked on.

So the first thing that went wrong was my time management.  Even with the new plan to skip the longer multiple choice questions I found myself still giving them around 1 min - 2min then flagging them for review and moving on.  Something in my brain just wouldn't let me pass an question unread :smileysilly: This will need to be corrected :smileysilly:  However the time I saved with being more familiar with the tool seems to absorb this extra time spent.  The next thing wrong with my time management was even though I was holding my self accountable to 2min a question except for Drag-n-Drop and Design questions.  Even my time being managed this way I still found myself rushing.  I know on one of the Design Questions I'm pretty sure I could of done a much better job on the connections however I had the question completed, glanced at it, then looked at that ever looming clock counting down and figured "it would have to do" as I didn't want to waste anymore time re-doing a large portion of the question.  Long story short I went in with a better plan but still faltered on some parts of the execution.  However this time around I did finish ALL the questions and got to see the review screen Smiley Happy  I had about 40min left after finishing everything so I had time to double back to some of my longer multiple choice questions again, but not all.  However again even with doubling back to re-read and calculate the calculation questions I found myself constantly obsessed with the time.  In my mind it was better to get through as many of the questions I had flagged with that 40min as possible with a rushed effort then taking my time with each one.  I figured the numbers where better if I managed to touch all the questions again even if it was fast effort opposed to taking my time with say 5-10 out of the 50+ I flagged.  Now I don't know if this helped or hurt me, guess we'll never know.

So what did I do better:
-  I managed my time better, as I was able to finish the exam.  This was not without fault however

-  I believe I did a much better job on the design questions and drag-n-drop questions.

What do I need to still work on :

-  Better time management, with more focus

-  Calculate cluster sizing faster

-  Better manage / answer Multiple choice questions

The end result was I sadly missed the passing score again with a 290 Smiley Sad  So close but yet so far away.  This stung a little however failure is a good thing sometimes as it resets your expectations and can be the fuel for success.  Good things came out of the last failure, as had I not failed the DCD on my first attempt the simulator and extra material I built for myself and the community would of never been built.  I will go back to the drawing board and re-adjust my questions and focal points.   Most of all I will hopefully find an answer to the biggest question I have now.  Which is what do I study from here?  I have read over ALL the material at least 3 times.... if not more.  So even though the exam points out the sections you struggled with, these are all sections I have read over many times.  So when I find the answers I'm looking for I'll be sure to update this forum and simulator with some new questions that will hopefully better assist people who which to challenge this exam.

Sorry I don't have better news but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes :smileysilly:

Cheers and good luck to anyone else preparing or taking a test in the near future!


So sorry for that my friend Smiley Happy
You can achieve it next time Smiley Happy
At least your experience will guide us.. Smiley Happy
Try to be active on twitter and our study group..may be we can help..

Sincerely, Shady Ali El-Malatawey MCITP: Virtualization Administration 2008 VCP5-DCV/DT --- VCAP5-DCA/DCD @ShadyMalatawey https://virtualpharaohs.com
0 Kudos

What's the Study group as I wouldn't mind getting on this too?

0 Kudos

That is a bummer. I have seen some really smart guys just miss the mark. I'm starting to wonder if you need pure luck to pass this exam. I eat, sleep and breath design and still have not passed.

0 Kudos