I passed the VMware Certified Professional on vSphere (VCP4) exam!

I took the VCP410 exam for VCP4 on 25 Nov 2009 and passed!  Here’s my thoughts on the test and how I prepared for it.

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Since I was already a VCP3 (took a class and passed the exam), I took advantage of the upgrade promotion.  If you are already a VCP3 and pass the VCP410 exam by 31 Dec 2009, you don’t have to take any further classes.

To prepare for the test, the first and most important thing I did was USE THE PRODUCT.  I’m a daily ESX user.  I have a production HA/DRS cluster running on Fibre Channel storage, and I’ve been dinking around with using iSCSI for a backend store.

I used the book “Mastering VMware vSphere 4“.  This is a great all around book, although there are so many new features and products in vSphere, like distributed switches, this book can’t cover them (no book currently available covers them).  To read up on all the facets of vSphere, you have to read the manuals.  REALLY. I literally printed all the vSphere documents, like 2000 pages and studied them.  This seems like a bit much, but the test covers all this.  You should probably read them once.

There is a new VMware VCP4 Mock exam (free registration required), but I found it to be too beta to be much use (“wrong” answers-meaning I didn’t agree with them, and beta-ish GUI bugs).  For example, questions that require you to select multiple responses don’t tell you how many are required unlike the real exam.  I emailed the VMware test guy a couple of times, but he didn’t seem too interested in my feedback.

As far as third party practice tests go, there aren’t any (well, any that live long).  VMware hunts down prep test vendors and shoots them.

The test itself is rapidfire, 85 questions in 90 minutes.  No time for much deliberation.  Not so many “How many widgets are supported in VMware?” type questions like the previous VCP310 exam.  There are questions on a little bit of everything, no big focus on one particular topic.

You should read all the manuals.  Seriously.

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