VCAP DCV 6.5 Deploy a.k.a VMware Certified Advanced Professional — Data Center Virtualization Deploy 2018 a.k.a 3V0-21.18

<Edit> Apparently I was the first to publicly take the exam! Hope the tips help out future candidates! Drop me a line if you have questions. I’ll be updating the Study Exam linked below for 6.5 in the coming weeks. </Edit>

A few days ago VMware certification announced the updated (6.5) VCAP-DCV Deploy exam, officially named VMware Certified Advanced Professional — Data Center Virtualization Deploy 2018 with an exam code of 3V0-21.18.

Note the exam title includes “2018” for the year you achieved the cert but not the version you’ve tested on.  We’ll have to see how that plays out in the future.  In 2019 will there be “2019” certs on multiple versions?

Certification page at VMware.com

Exam page

PDF of Exam Prep Guide fro VMware

This is a hands-on live-lab environment that has to be taken at a Pearson site.  $450, 205 minutes (plus 30min if your home address with your certification account is in a non-English country).

17 Questions (in theory, but some are multiple part.  I’d say there is the equivalent of 21 questions)

300-out-of-500 needed to pass

Interestingly the Exam Prep Guide has 25 sections but contains the comment:

(Not all sections will be tested on the exam)

Which is a first as far as I know for VMware exams.

The exam is aimed at those who manage and maintain Enterprise-class vSphere 6.5 with all the bells and whistles (vSAN I’m looking at you).  Just like the Hand On Labs environment, you are presented with a Windows desktop to run the exam from and a “manual” with the questions on separate pages.   If you want a first-hand look at a similar set up try my VCAP-DCV exam guide.

The goal is to read the questions and achieve the desired state of each question in the environment before time runs out.  In 4-6 weeks (per the exam guide) you will receive your score in an email.

In the environment you have access to lots of PDF documentation, but not the PowerCLI guide or hardening guide and the time of this post.  Also, no Adobe or other standalone PDF reader (just Chrome) so no searching all the PDFs at once.

No online docs, no kb.vmware.com

The environment has 7 hosts, 3 vCenters and 2 PSC controllers, don’t be surprised if you don’t access even half of the objects (incl VMs) that you see in the environment. All vCenters are linked so make sure you are working on the right object at all times.

You have access to all of the consoles – but function keys don’t work so you can’t log into the hosts via DCUI.

Still limited to 1280×800 max resolution, but you should only need the one desktop.

Most key strokes work incl backspace, ctrl-c/v/x but no Function keys.

Issues (at the time of this post):
Table of contents doesn’t work
Grammar errors
Some items had conflicting or wrong requirements
Little organization, questions are not structured the same and info is scattered around.
Doesn’t always give the info you need to find objects so either look around or use search.
Often doesn’t include all the info to complete tasks, so I guess pick the defaults or your best judgement.

Tips:

Take your time, you have lots of it.  I would skip any you need to read up on and save those for last.  There is plenty of time to learn what you need from the PDFs, but get done all you can w/o reading first.

Use the maximize button, make sure you are at the highest resolution on the desktop.

Scale down Chrome so you can see all of the options.

I maximize the console and hide/pull out the manual when needed.

Drag and drop from the manual works great, but watch for goofy spaces occasionally and try not to copy a bunch of text (happened to me twice) which can’t be stopped and you won’t be able to access the console until the text is copied.

Read carefully.  There are often gray boxes with requirements/info but key requirements are also scattered throughout the question.

Make sure you are on the right component.  If something isn’t available make sure you are looking at the right vCenter.  vcsa01a, vcsa02a, vcsa03a all look pretty similar at a glance and are not always in alphabetical order in the GUI.

If you get a strange/unexpected error or something is missing make sure you are looking at the right object.  If you are, log out and back in or close browser and try again before a deep-dive troubleshoot.

You might read ahead and do questions out of order.  I found at least one pair of items that worked better out of order.

Take notes as you go especially if you skip an item.

Make sure you are familiar with the 6.5 PDFs and what is where.

Study the official exam guide for what is on the test but be prepared to be tested on only a small portion of the exam guide.

Study all of the VCAP Deploy 6.0 study guides and be familiar with what’s new in 6.5

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8 Responses to VCAP DCV 6.5 Deploy a.k.a VMware Certified Advanced Professional — Data Center Virtualization Deploy 2018 a.k.a 3V0-21.18

  1. Nicholas says:

    Great write up.. I didn’t even know a newer version of this exam was released. I’ve been slowing preparing for the vCAP deploy 6.0 exam using the vJenner Blog, to be honest I’m more familiar with 6.5, for example I started using auto deploy in my organisation when we hit 6.5 but in 6.0 you needed to do everything via Powershell. Is this LAB environment based fully on 6.5 and if so I assume things like setting up auto deploy can be done via GUI?

    • The environment the exam runs in is all 6.5U1 (vSAN 6.6.?). Not everything is in the GUI though – advanced troubleshooting, advanced host config and powercli are all command-line.

      If you work with 6.5 and run through all the 6.5 HoL’s I would think you can pass this exam, but I’ll have a better idea once I get my score back. FYI the 6.0 Deploy should take 15-180 minutes for a score to be emailed but as noted above the 6.5 exam is 4-6 weeks per the exam guide.

      • Nicholas says:

        Thank you Josh, I’m familiar with powershell and cli tools but something like auto deploy and image builder got some much easier in the GUI in 6.5. In saying that I actually do use scripts I’ve written to configure auto deploy rules as we deploy hosts every day. Do think it’s safe to say I could continue following vcap 6.0 guides?

        Pity it take up to 6 weeks for a result, I wish the best of luck with that.

  2. Jonathan Strickland says:

    Looking to take this exam at the end of September! Please update us with a pass/fail, Josh!

    Do you recall if there was anything you “over studied” for? Topics that you expected to be more involved but were either not in the exam/barely covered.

    • There wasn’t anything I overstudied for as I didn’t study at all. I did glance at the exam guide, but did nothing to learn about 6.5 in the ~23 hours between scheduling and sitting the exam.
      There were a few topics I was a bit rough on that I wished I’d read up about before the exam, only to realize I had plenty of time to learn about during the exam.
      Do every 6.5 HoL, familiarize yourself with the PDFs (because opening and searching several of them looking for that one nugget of information is a pain), write a couple of PowerCLI scripts and you’re ready to sit the exam.

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