1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2008 1:12 PM by mreferre

    VCDX: does it make sense?

    mreferre Virtuoso

      While I welcome this new exam I find hard to understand it. How can you ask someone to be able to "troubleshoot vmware converter errors" and be proficient with the esxcfg-* toolset from the command line......... as well as being able to "Submit, present and defend a successful VMware Infrastructure design and implementation plan" ?

       

      If you ask an architect to design the layout of your house you would not expect the same person to build the forniture by himself/herself (never mind to fix them when they break!) ? Or would you?

       

       

      It would have been a better thing to create two different (or more) certifications sets one for the "implementation" and one for the "design" people. You seem to have created a certification that assumes someone will be able to fix a problem that the post sales organization is struggling with and at the very same time this the same "someone" should be able to talk to the CIO's to create and design a brand new virtual infrastructure.

       

       

      I am not sure I understood it right..... but if that is the case .... it doesn't make any sense to me.

       

       

      Just my opinion.

       

       

      Massimo.

        • 1. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
          JDLangdon Master

          I'm beginning to think that this certification is being geared towards VMware employees as opposed to the VMware user community.  I have to agree with you that no one certification should cover every topic and product that VMware has.  In my environment, we have a dedicate team that are responsible for all P2V migrations and a separate team which is responsible for the design and implementation.  In my role as implementor, I have designed and implemented an environment consisting of eight host servers, one VC server, HA and DRS cluster, various resource pools which allocate resources to 150+ VM's and yet, after nine months on the project, I haven't touched VMware Converter once.

           

          I would like to see multiple levels of certification.  An entry level certification based on the VMware Infrastructure 3: Skills for Operators course (VMware Certified Professional), a second level certification based on both the Install and Config and the DSA course (VMware Certified Engineer), and a third level certification which would allow the candidate to decide either a certification based on the VMware Enterprise Administration Exam (VMware Certified Expert - Administration) or one based on the VMware Design Exam (VMware Certified Expert - Design).

           

          While I'd probably end up taking all the exams, not everyone wants to be an enterprise level administrator.  One the other hand, not everyone wants to stand in front of a VMware panel and defend a design.

           

          Jason

          • 2. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
            weinstein5 Guru
            User Moderators

             

            I think this is being aimed towards VMware Authorized Consultants (VACs) as well and their customers - right now there are so a lot of people desigining virtual environments that do not understand the basic fundementals - many times my company is brought to address perfomance issues with the environment and the major problem is it is not properly designs - the VCDX will for VACs to show their design expertise and for VMware customers to know they are getting a qualified design expert -

             

             

            Also as I understand it there will be 2 tests and in addition the design defense - and I think VMware is looks at those exams to provide a certification level between VCDX and VCP -

             

             

            • 3. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
              JDLangdon Master

              You are corect.  There are 3 exams in total PLUS the design defense session which must be completed prior to achieving the VCDX designation.

              • 4. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                mreferre Virtuoso

                 

                Weinstein5,

                 

                 

                I would agree with you IF this certification level would be associated to the organization (i.e. the VAC itself) which, you are right, should have a 360 degrees view on designing, deploying, operating and maintaning ..... a VMware infrastructure. It is my understanding however that this is an ad-personam certification so I have to agree more with Jason's view. No one person will ever be able to know ALL possible ramifications of the esxcfg-* syntaxes as well as being able to sit in a panel to defend a VMware design (which most of the time has lots of business implications rather than mere technical implications).

                 

                 

                Call it a VCP+ if you want to move to the next level ......don't call it a "design certification".... I see many IT architects, which might be interested in something like this, having a bit of troubles in achieving it. You can design something for performance (for example) without having to know the exact commands that are required to monitor and troubleshoot the environment itself.

                 

                 

                Massimo.

                 

                 

                • 5. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                  weinstein5 Guru
                  User Moderators

                  Except though there are people I know who do have the knoiwledge and skill set to understand the 360 view of a design and I think that is what VMware is trying recognize with this cert - these people might not know all possible ramifications of the esxcfg-* commands but do understand the ramifications of a proper design - I see it similar to Cisco's CCIE - I sense the larger VACs (and VMware) will pay top dollar for someone who has committed to and obtained this cert - and then mid level tiers will be inbetween maybe focusing on a true engineer/troubleshooting expertise -

                  • 6. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                    mreferre Virtuoso

                     

                    > these people might not know all possible ramifications of the esxcfg-* commands but do understand the ramifications of a proper design

                     

                     

                    That's what I am saying. So they won't pass this exam given the fact VMware IS going to check whether or not they know all ramifications of esxcfg-* ......  

                     

                     

                    And if they know ..... I am sorry but I doubt that there is someone on this earth that knows the syntax of all COS commands off the top of his/her head and is able to discuss / defend a re-architecture of the datacenter which has all sort of implications other than the technicalities.

                     

                     

                    So I would suggest that VMware renames this exam into something like "superVCP", "VCP+" (or "VCP-geek").

                     

                     

                    Massimo.

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    • 7. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                      JDLangdon Master
                      king@it.ibm.com wrote:

                      I am sorry but I doubt that there is someone on this earth that knows the syntax of all COS commands off the top of his/her head and is able to discuss / defend a re-architecture of the datacenter which has all sort of implications other than the technicalities.

                       

                      I've met VMware SE's that cannot do both of these.

                       

                      Jason

                      • 8. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                        langonej Hot Shot

                         

                        I find the certification path to be rather, "interesting" as well.  An architect typically is a big picture person who understands the capabilities of a technology, how to piece multiple technologies together (virtualization + storage + networking) and can present not only to technical engineers but more importantly make convincing arguments to C-Level executives.

                         

                         

                        Knowing the CLI, being able to troubleshoot a specific VDI issue, et cetera, is what an engineer handles, in my opinion.

                         

                         

                        Regardless, I plan on pursuing the certification as at least the level of difficulty will make it meaningful.

                         

                         

                        • 9. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                          RussellCorey Hot Shot

                          ]

                           

                          I actually intend to be that guy. I know enough esxcfg-* to be pretty dangerous and I've architected some decent solutions and I've had to defend them to packs of rabid IT guys wondering why they aren't doing the architecture. Understanding how to script the deployment of 200 ESX servers consistently is something I think that any enterprise architect should know and understand. I tend to get good reviews from customers specifically because I can not only design against the various best practices, but I can also execute against them as well.

                           

                          In reading about the VCDX process (I hope to be one of the first on the list to take the enterprise admin exam); I imagine it will go something like this:

                           

                          The enterprise admin exam will probably be administered in a lab in a fashion not unlike the RHCE; where a lab instructor gives you scenarios and you must work through them in a given timeframe. That means that as long as you know that esxcfg-vnics is the command you want to set NIC speed/duplex then you won't get bad marks for invoking help or reading a man page before accomplishing a task.

                           

                          The actual design to be submitted will probably just need to adhere to VAC standards. That means a series of guides on how the system should be built out with complimentary documentation on making that actually happen. From there, any architect who's worth paying is going to HAVE to understand and explain why he made the decisions he made.

                           

                          I don't think the target market is supposed to be everyone in the world. I'm guessing VCDX is intended for people who can truly represent VMware and the products and not just a set of letters to put on a resume. After all, the VCP is NOT a hard thing to get. The only thing that throttles them is the course pre-requisites which can be expensive for anyone without some sort of sponsor.

                          • 10. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                            jonhall Expert

                            It is an absolutely correct statement that this certification is geared towards VMware Authorized Consultants (or those thinking of going through the VAC process).  We want to ensure that partners who are designing and implementing virtual infrastructures for VMware have a complete understanding of the process.  So we do want the individual to have the foundation that you, our VCPs have.  We also want that individual to show a level of expertise beyond VCP, which is what the Enterprise Exam shows us.  Finally, this certification is heavily tied to the design process, so the final exam and the defensible design are a critical part of the overall certification process. 

                             

                             

                            Jon C. Hall

                            Technical Certification Developer

                            VMware, Inc.

                            • 11. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                              jonhall Expert

                               

                              Folks,

                               

                               

                               

                               

                               

                              It is important to understand that the VCDX is not the next level in our certification process.  Where you look at other industry certifications, a "Master" level is typically the next level in a certification track.  If we had a multi-level certification track, the VCDX would probably be two or three levels above the VCP.  So why then did we create this certification before some other potential mid-level certification?  To put it simply, this certification was created to address a specific need.  VMware uses VACs (VMware Authorized Consultants) to help design and implement virtual infrastructure solutions for our customers, and these VACs have to have individuals who are able to design and implement a virtual infrastructure and who understand the entire process.  The VCDX certification helps ensure that those individuals have the requisite skills for that specific process.

                               

                               

                              So this certification will be right for some of our VCPs (those involved in this process) and will not be right for others. 

                               

                              I welcome this discussion and am happy to answer any questions the community has about this.

                               

                              Jon C. Hall

                              Technical Certification Developer

                              VMware, Inc.

                               

                               

                              • 12. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                                jonhall Expert

                                 

                                Hello all,

                                 

                                 

                                Regarding use of CLI commands, please note that knowledge of the CLI is only a part of the requirements for the Enterprise Exam, which is only 1/4th of the requirements for the VCDX certification.  Overall, you are probably talking 15% or less of the overall knowledge of this certification being tied to CLI experience.  Remember to achieve this certification, you must:

                                 

                                 

                                1.  Pass the VCP exam

                                 

                                 

                                2.  Pass the Enterprise exam (CLI experience necessary here for a portion of this exam)

                                 

                                 

                                3.  Pass the Design exam

                                 

                                 

                                4.  Present a defensible design

                                 

                                 

                                Jon C. Hall

                                Technical Certification Developer

                                VMware, Inc.

                                 

                                 

                                • 13. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                                  JDLangdon Master
                                  jonhall wrote:

                                  It is important to understand that the VCDX is not the next level in our certification process.  Where you look at other industry certifications, a "Master" level is typically the next level in a certification track.  If we had a multi-level certification track, the VCDX would probably be two or three levels above the VCP. .

                                   

                                  I think this is where the misunderstanding lies.  Most people, myself included, are looking at the VCDX as being a second level certification.

                                   

                                  Jason

                                  • 14. Re: VCDX: does it make sense?
                                    JDLangdon Master

                                     

                                    Jon,

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    When you say "Present a defensible design", will VMware provide the scenaro on which the environment is to be designed or is the candidate expected to present a design that has been recently implemented?

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    Jason

                                     

                                     

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