caledunn
Contributor
Contributor

I failed yesterday.

I figure we don't hear enough about the ones that failed so I'm going to be man enough to admit I failed with a 271.  I've already passed the vcap-dca5 exam and I've been doing virtualization for a while now. I studied for a month using the same material that has been mentioned on this forum.

These are the resources I used:

The Forbes Guthrie vmware vsphere design book.

Scott Lowe's Mastering Vmware vsphere 5

Scott Lowe's Triansignal Designing vmware infrastructure

Duncan and Frank's vsphere 5 clustering technical deepdive

Sean Crookchston and Harley Stranger's managing and optimizing vmware vsphere deployments

all the website study guides

The Brownbag podcasts

Business continuity and disater Recovery Design

All documents referenced in the blueprint plus all vsphere documentation.

I hate to admit this but I studied that material multiple times and still came up short. My confidence is a bit shaken now. The time was the biggest issue for me and halfway into the test i had to start rushing and I finished the last question with a couple seconds.  The one area that I'm most frustrated with is that I don't know if I was executing the visio like interface correctly.  I just wasn't sure if I was linking things or putting things together in the way they wanted so the program would score it correctly.  I'm not sure I would do any better if I took it again.  Don't get me wrong i'm going to take it again but its back to the drawing board.

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13 Replies
depping
Leadership
Leadership

To be honest, this exam is probably one of the most difficult exams I have done. Reason for it being is that the visio tool is clunky and the questions are often too long. I would suggest to anyone to have a good understanding of design decisions, justifications, constraints, risks... those are the questions you can easily score with.

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Techstarts
Expert
Expert

Failure only means you are doing something Smiley Happy.Just 29 marks away from success. A another sitting will surely help to meet the 300 mark easily.

I'm planning in March and i have same list. After reading your experience it is clear I have to do something more (not sure what is this as of now)

Every experience I read till now have complained about

1. short of time

2. Visio Style question and latency around it

3. Cannot go back

4. Due short of time most of them made best guess.

I'm just wondering if this is how we make design choices in real world and does this exam test such skills. Especially when at least 20-30% questions are answered

With Great Regards,
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firestartah
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi

Unlucky with the result. i too failed by only a few marks on monday this week and studied very much the same things as you. I even blogged about my experience of the exam and what I am now doing to hopefully pass it when i retake the exam.

http://thesaffageek.co.uk/2013/01/22/vcap5-dcd-my-experiences/

It really is a tough exam and for me I battled as I felt i didn't know the VMware recommended way of doing certain things and I think i can learn these by doing some mock designs and doing the labs for them design workshop and then looking at the completed designs of the two scenarios and seeing what VMware felt was the correct way of doing it.

Good luck and you're definitley not alone in failing

Gregg

If you found this or other information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Gregg http://thesaffageek.co.uk
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michaelstump
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Ditto. 275 a month or two ago. It set me back mentally, as I've been a VMware nerd for a long time. I initially blamed that awful design tool, but then realized that if I had done better on the other sections, those questions would have been less significant.

Going back next week. Starting to feel saturated with design stuff.

Let's all hope that we learned enough from the first attempt that the second attempt will be more pleasant.

Good luck,

mike

Data Center Virtualization with VMware - theeagerzero.blogspot.com
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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Exam is really difficult (I've not passed during the beta and know several people that have not passed it).

Time is a big constraint and time management/distribution is essential.

But also know some ITIL aspects.

PS: I've not take the VCAP-CID exam, but this one seems the most difficult.

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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Desigan19
Contributor
Contributor

caledunn, this exam is extremely difficult I sat for it yesterday. By the 3rd hour my head was paining and I just wanted to leave, towards the end I just couldnt make it. The amount of reading for most questions for a lot ... I even jumped off the wrong floor taking the lift on my way out ...

What I used -

The Forbes Guthrie vmware vsphere design book - is a must read! I skipped some parts about version 4 but a very good book

Scott Lowe's Triansignal Designing vmware infrastructure - Very nice. I like video training, I feel I learn better.

The Brownbag podcasts - I listened to these on my ipad while I used to drive, I sit in quite a bit of traffic. I used this in conjunction with the design book so as I did a topic there I went through the podcast that related to the same topic

VMware Design course, This was helpful in the sense to know what VMware expects, the way they would do it but I preferred the design book much more detail and explaining how and where things would work.

I used these when I was doing VCP5 so I just browsed though some stuff from here -

Scott Lowe's Mastering Vmware vsphere 5 - Alot of design stuff here, if you unclear about some stuff you can broswe to the topics here to get a better understanding.

Duncan and Frank's vsphere 5 clustering technical deep dive - This is a must read in general!

Advice when it comes to time, skip the ones you don't know or lost with answer. I constantly watched the clock to make sure I didn't run out I had about 20mins in the end but that was me just being so tired. There where one or two questions I had to read a few times. The visio style questions, I looked at a lot of VMware documents and examples, the cloud infrastructure document was useful. That should explain how VMware would want you to answer the questions. Also get a good nights rest even if you have to take some sleeping pills to sleep properly, the reading and thinking might keep you up.

VCP 4/5, VCAP-DCD 4&5, VCAP-DCA 4&5, ITIL v3, TOGAF 9
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caledunn
Contributor
Contributor

It's been a week since I've taken it and I still can't get it out of my head.  I keep thinking about where I went wrong.  It's amazing that 20 questions into the test I was starting to wonder if I could finish it in time.  Then after 50 questions and I looked at the time I started to panic. I've started studying again and I've found some things I may have missed on the design part so I think I can do better in that section next time. I'm hoping I'll be able to skim through the questions quicker the second time even if they are different. I agree with the other comments also about not being able to skip and go back to the questions.  It does make it a little more difficult in managing your time.

I'm adding another book to the list "Storage implementation in vsphere 5.0".  I just finished reading it and its a good book.  You don't need to read it cover to cover but I liked the way it covered ISCSI, FCOE and Fiber. Personally I think this is right up there with Duncan and Frank's vpshere 5 clustering technical deep dive which I agree is a must read.

I also just read "Building a virtual datacenter" its a good book but I don't think it offered any more then the "mastering vmware vpshere 5" book. If you have already read it then there isn't much different.

Scott Lowe has another design book coming out at the end of march.  I wish it would be released sooner.

I'm set to take the test again Feb 21 and good luck to anybody taking the test or retaking it.     

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proden20
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Best of Luck!!!

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caledunn
Contributor
Contributor

I passed the exam today.  I was able to complete it with 20 mins left so time wasn't as big a problem for me the second time.  My approach this time was not to spend much time on the multiple choice I either knew it or I didn't and I moved on.  That doesn't mean I just randomly picked an answer.  I gave myself a couple of minutes for each multiple choice question but I focused more on the matching and design questions. The extra studying helped me and I realized what I missed the first time around. The material I listed above is all I used.  Thanks to everybody that responded to my first post it helped.      

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Rutripin
Contributor
Contributor

Hey congrats Caldunn! You did exactly what I was going to suggest. I failed too my first time (never failed any MCSE test) and I must say it was the hardest I have taken. I just passed a couple weeks ago after waiting 2 months from my first try.

The key was time management. I was so fluster on the first attempt my mind went blank so I used the strategy you discussed. It was no A score, but it was a passing score.

Congrats again.... now... breathe. Smiley Happy

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firestartah
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Congrats! Looking to do mine again soon and hopefully I have the saem result as you did

Now onto VCDX?

If you found this or other information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Gregg http://thesaffageek.co.uk
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aravinds3107
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Congrats caledunn

If you find this or any other answer useful please consider awarding points by marking the answer correct or helpful |Blog: http://aravindsivaraman.com/ | Twitter : ss_aravind
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abirhasan
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Congratulations !!

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