VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere 4 – Datacenter Administration (VCAP4-DCA)

VMware have now announced the new VCAP4-DCA certification for vSphere 4, designed to follow-on from the VCP4 and give those in high-level technical roles the opportunity to demonstrate their advanced-level technical skills in key areas of vSphere and vCenter technologies. The VCAP4-DCA also leads on to the full VCDX4 certification.

For the official VMware page on VCAP4-DCA, follow this link.

To achieve VCAP4-DCA, there are two exams that must be passed:

The blueprint for the new VCAP4-DCA exam will be made available soon, and there will be an invitation-only beta process for the exam too. The VCAP-DCA exam will be the first VMware exam to be based entirely on live labs, and will cost $400 – registration for the exam opens on July 12th. Those who have passed the Enterprise Administration exam for VI3 will be entitled to a discount on the VCAP4-DCA exam.

The exam will be centred around three key areas of expertise in vSphere 4 – performance, troubleshooting, and security, and there will also be some exam content around automation. It will not be compulsory to attend any official vSphere courses to qualify for the VCAP4-DCA exam, but given the content of the exam VMware recommend that the advanced-level vSphere courses are considered to assist with preparation for the exam.

Here’s an outline of the recommended course and exam sequence for those who are new to VMware training/certification who wish to pursue the VCAP4-DCA:

VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere 4 – Datacenter Design (VCAP4-DCD)

As well as the VCAP4-DCA certification, VMware have also launched the VCAP4-DCD certification for those who are capable of designing VMware solutions around vSphere 4 in multi-site, large enterprise environments. The certification builds on the foundation-level VCP4 certification and gives architects the opportunity to use VCAP4-DCD as a step towards the full VCDX4 certificaiton.

To achieve the VCAP4-DCD certification requires two exams to be passed:

The exam will be a mixture of multiple-choice questions and a design exercise, and registration for the exam begins in August. The fee for taking the exam has yet to be set, but like the VCAP4-DCA exam it will be available at a large number of Pearson Vue testing centres around the world. Those who have passed the Design exam on VI3 as part of the VCDX3 program will be entitled to a discount on the VCAP4-DCD exam.

The official VMware page on the VCAP4-DCD can be found here.

The VCAP4-DCD exam will not have a compulsory vSphere training requirement, however VMware are recommending that the vSphere: Design Workshop be considered as the exam objectives are all met by the instructor-led workshop.

Those who are new to VMware training/certification who wish to pursue the VCAP4-DCD should follow this path:

VMware Certified Design Expert on vSphere 4 – Datacenter Design (VCDX4)

To complete the set of advanced-level certifications for vSphere 4, VMware also announced the VCDX4 certification, designed to follow-on from the VCP4 and both new VCAP certifications. The VCDX for VI3 is held by roughly 50 individuals worldwide, most of whom work for VMware or their partners, and VCDX4 is aimed at the same calibre of individuals.

There are four elements to the VCDX4, three exams need to be passed as well as the individual submitting, presenting, and defending a vSphere 4 design to a panel of the current breed of VCDX holders:

The VCAP-DCA and VCAP-DCD exams can be taken either way round, but both must be completed before the process of submitting a vSphere design can begin. Those who pass the VCAP-DCA and VCAP-DCD exams will also gain those certifications en route to achieving their VCDX4.

The only compulsory vSphere training element of the VCDX4 is to achieve the foundation-level VCP4, but VMware recommend advanced-level vSphere courses as part of the preparation for the VCAP exams. An individual wishing to achieve VCDX4 who already has the VCP4 certification should follow this path:

VMware are offering discounts and shortcut paths to those who were persuing the VCDX3 certification, and have completed some or all of that program. The official VMware page on VCDX4 illustrates the various options available.

Official Training on vSphere

OK, I’ve now got the go-ahead from VMware Education to publish the information on the availability of training courses for vSphere 4.
If you’re already experienced with VI3, there will be a 2-day "What’s New" course for you to update your skills to vSphere 4 and learn how to migrate a VI3 environment to vSphere 4. You can actually take a pre-release of this class now, running on the Release Candidate software:
http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=461&coursecode=VMWN
The current Install & Configure course for VI3 will be renamed to "Install, Configure, Manage" for vSphere 4. The course will remain at 4 days in length, and will still be the closest match to the VCP exam for vSphere.
There will also be a "Fast Track" course for vSphere 4, this will be 5 days with extended hours as at currently is for VI3. The content will be the new "Install, Configure, Manage" course, plus additional content on availability, scalability and troubleshooting.
VMware have yet to decide whether to release dedicated courses on availability, scalability and troubleshooting, along with possible content on automation and scripting, and possibly other topics too. These may only be available as part of the "Fast Track", as a separate 4-day course, or even as individual 1 or 2-day courses.
So, the important bit – when will they be available?

The pre-release "What’s New" is available now.

The final release of "What’s New" will be available from the end of June.

"Install, Configure, Manage" will also be available from the end of June.

"Fast Track" will be available from the end of July.

Keep checking back here, and on the main Global Knowledge site for further details:
http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/courses__certifications/vmware_training.aspx
UPDATE on 26th April:
VMware Education have now posted the official course overviews for "What’s New" and "Install, Configure, Manage" on their website:
http://mylearn.vmware.com/descriptions/EDU_DATASHEET_vSphere4WhatsNew.pdf
http://mylearn.vmware.com/descriptions/EDU_DATASHEET_vSphere4InstallConfigureManage27.pdf

Now I am the Master

Something I predicted would happen a long time ago is actually going to happen after all…..
We’ve had the VCP for a long time now, we’ve just about got the VCDX too, but there’s an enormous gap in the middle:

Nothing has been announced officially on this yet, but the "gap" is going to be filled by a "Master VCP" certification for those who complete 2 steps:

1. The current VCP

2. The Enterprise Admin exam which is currently step 2 of the VCDX

Quite how the exam will be run, and where you’ll be able to take it, is yet to be determined, but expect the cost to be £250+VAT. The exam is part multiple-choice questions and part hands-on lab, and I’m actually taking it in 2 days time (I’m registered for the full VCDX) so hopefully I’ll meet the requirements as soon as the "Master VCP" is fully launched.

The exam blueprint is available at:

http://mylearn.vmware.com/lcms/mL_faq/2206/EnterpriseBlueprint3.52.pdf

The blueprint content is a great match to the Deploy Secure & Analyze (DSA) course, most of which is also covered in the Fast Track (FT) course:

DSA = http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=461&coursecode=VMDSA

FT = http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=461&coursecode=VMFT

How do you get to be a VCP on vSphere 4?

VMware have now officially announced the variety of ways in which people can obtain the new VCP on vSphere 4 certification. As I mentioned in previous posts, the path for each person depends on whether they’ve attended official VI3 training (like we provide at Global Knowledge) and/or their current status as a VCP.
The various “upgrade” paths are:
Current VCP on VI3 (until 31st December 2009)
1. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam – either attend the vSphere 4 : What’s New course to gain the necessary skills and knowledge, or self-study
Current VCP on VI3 (from 1st January 2010)
1. Attend the vSphere 4 : What’s New course
2. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam

Attended official VI3 course, but not yet taken VCP on VI3 exam

1. Pass the VCP on VI3 exam (only available until early 2010) OR attend the vSphere 4 : What’s New course

2. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam

Current VCP on ESX 2.x (until 31st December 2009)

1. Pass the VCP on VI3 exam

2. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam

Current VCP on ESX 2.x (from 1st January 2010)

1. Pass the VCP on VI3 exam (only available until early 2010)

2. Attend the vSphere 4 : What’s New course

3. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam

None of the above

1. Attend the vSphere 4 : Install Configure Manage or vSphere 4 : Fast Track courses

2. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam

VCP4 Exam Blueprint Study Notes

VMwarlogo Section 1 – Plan, Install and Upgrade VMware ESX/ESXi

Objective 1.1 — Install VMware ESX/ESXi on local storage Knowledge

Tools

Objective 1.2 – Upgrade VMware ESX/ESXi Knowledge

Tools

Objective 1.3 – Secure VMware ESX/ESXi Knowledge

Tools

Objective 1.4 – Install VMware ESX/ESXi on SAN Storage Knowledge

Tools

Objective 1.5 – Identify vSphere Architecture and Solutions Knowledge

Tools

Section 2 – Configure ESX/ESXi Networking Objective 2.1 – Configure Virtual Switches Knowledge

Tools

Objective 2.2 – Configure vNetwork Distributed Switches Knowledge

Tools

Objective 2.3 – Configure VMware ESX/ESXi Management Network Knowledge

Tools

Section 3 – Configure ESX/ESXi Storage Objective 3.1 – Configure FC SAN Storage Knowledge

Tools

Objective 3.2 – Configure iSCSI SAN Storage Knowledge

Tools

Objective 3.3 – Configure NFS Datastores Knowledge

Tools

Objective 3.4 – Configure and Manage VMFS Datastores Knowledge

Tools

Section 4 – Install and Configure vCenter Server Objective 4.1 – Install vCenter Server Knowledge

Tools

Objective 4.2 – Manage vSphere Client plug-ins Knowledge

Tools

Objective 4.3 – Configure vCenter Server Knowledge

Tools

Objective 4.4 – Configure Access Control Knowledge

Tools

Section 5 – Deploy and Manage Virtual Machines and vApps Objective 5.1 – Create and Deploy Virtual Machines Knowledge

Tools

Objective 5.2 – Manage Virtual Machines Knowledge

Tools

Objective 5.3 – Deploy vApps Knowledge

Tools

Section 6 – Manage Compliance Objective 6.1 – Install, Configure and Manage VMware vCenter Update Manager Knowledge

Tools

Objective 6.2 – Establish and Apply ESX Host Profiles Knowledge

Tools

Section 7 – Establish Service Levels Objective 7.1 – Create and Configure VMware Clusters Knowledge

Tools

Objective 7.2 – Enable a Fault Tolerant Virtual Machine Knowledge

Tools

Objective 7.3 – Create and Configure Resource Pools Knowledge

Tools

Objective 7.4 – Migrate Virtual Machines Knowledge

Tools

Objective 7.5 – Backup and Restore Virtual Machines Knowledge

Tools

Section 8 – Perform Basic Troubleshooting and Alarm Management Objective 8.1 – Perform Basic Troubleshooting for ESX/ESXi Hosts Knowledge

Tools

Objective 8.2 – Perform Basic Troubleshooting for VMware FT and Third-Party Clusters Knowledge

Tools

Objective 8.3 – Perform Basic Troubleshooting for Networking Knowledge

Tools

Objective 8.4 – Perform Basic Troubleshooting for Storage Knowledge

  • Identify storage contention issues
  • Identify storage over-commitment issues
  • Identify storage connectivity issues
  • Identify iSCSI software initiator configuration issues
  • Interpret Storage Reports and Storage Maps

Tools

Objective 8.5 – Perform Basic Troubleshooting for HA/DRS and VMotion Knowledge

  • Explain the requirements of HA/DRS and VMotion
  • Verify VMotion functionality
  • Verify DNS settings
  • Verify the service console network functionality
  • Interpret the DRS Resource Distribution Graph and Target/Current Host Load Deviation
  • Troubleshoot VMotion using topology maps
  • Troubleshoot HA capacity issues
  • Troubleshoot HA redundancy issues

Tools

Objective 8.6 – Create and Respond to vCenter Connectivity Alarms Knowledge

Tools

Objective 8.7 – Create and Respond to vCenter Utilization Alarms Knowledge

Tools

Objective 8.8 – Monitor vSphere ESX/ESXi and Virtual Machine Performance Knowledge

Tools

VCP on vSphere™ 4 Certification Overview

VMWare VMware offers world-class certification programs to ensure and validate the technical competencies and expertise needed to install, manage, deploy and support VMware software. Recognized by the industry, VMware certifications are available for three distinct skill levels on the current version of our software VMware vSphere 4 and VMware vCenter Server 4.

Whether you are advancing your current position or looking for new opportunities, to be competitive in today’s IT job market, you will want to develop and demonstrate your technical expertise in virtual infrastructure. Read about our different programs and take your first step towards gaining the in-depth skills and industry recognition offered by VMware Certifications.

Now we see the VCP on vSphere™ 4:

How can I become a VCP on vSphere™ 4

There are four possible paths to acheive VCP on vSphere™ 4

  1. If you are NEW to VMware
    • Attend the VMware vSphere™ 4: Install, Configure, Manage course; attend the VMware vSphere 4: Fast Track course or attend the VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting course.
    • Take and pass the VCP on vSphere™ 4 exam
  2. If you are currently a VCP on VMware Infrastructure 3
    • VCPs on VI3 must attend the VMware vSphere 4: What’s New class, then take and pass the VCP4 exam in order to upgrade.
  3. If you are currently a VCP on ESX 2.x
    • Follow Path 1.
  4. If you are not a VCP on VI3, but have attended one of the prerequisite classes (Install & Configure; Deploy Secure & Analyze; or Fast Track).
    • Attend the VMware vSphere™ 4: What’s New course.
    • Take and pass the VCP on vSphere™ 4 Exam.

View File for Additional Details (VCP on vSphere 4 paths 4.29.09.pdf)

How many questions are on the exam?

There are 85 questions on this exam.

How much time will I have to complete the exam?

The exam is 90 minutes long. Your total seat time will be 105 minutes. 15 minutes are used for a survey and agreements.

For those in countries where English is not a national language, an automatic 30 minutes time extension will be granted. Please confirm this with Pearson VUE before beginning your exam.

What if I don’t pass the exam?

You can attempt the exam again. There is a 7 day waiting period between attempts. Each attempt will require a new payment. Once you pass the exam you will not be able to take it again.

What is covered on the VCP4 Exam?

Please review the exam blueprint.

View File for Additional Details (VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 Blueprint 8.13.09.pdf)

What is the passing score for the VCP4 exam?

The passing score for the VCP4 exam is 300. The exam is scored on a scale of 100 to 500.

When will the VCP4 exam be available?

The exam is now available through Pearson VUE!

PMP Practice Questions – Project Management Fundamentals

What is a Project ?

Project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service.

  • Projects are unique.
  • Projects are temporary in nature and have a definite beginning and ending date.
  • Projects are completed when the project goals are achieved or it.s determined the project is no longer viable.
  • A successful project is one that meets or exceeds the expectations of your stakeholders.

How Unique ?

  • Product characteristics are progressively elaborated.
  • The product or service is different in some way from other product or services.

How Temporary ?

  • Has a definite beginning and end and not an ongoing effort.
  • Ceases when objective has been attained.
  • Team is disbanded upon project completion.

Example

Building a road is an example of a project. The process of building a road takes a finite amount of time, and produces a unique product.

Operations on the other hand are repetitive. Generating bills every month, and broadcasting news everyday are examples of operations.

Subprojects are components of a project that often contracted out.


What is Project Management?

Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.

Project management is accomplished through the use of the processes such as:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Controlling
  • Closing

Project managers or the organization can divide projects into above phases to provide better management control with appropriate links to the ongoing operations of the performing organization. Collectively, these phases are known as the project life cycle which we would see in next chapter.

Project managers deliver projects while balancing the following constraints:

  • Scope
  • Schedule
  • Quality
  • Resources
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Risk

These all are so intertwined that a change in one will most often cause a change in at least one of the others

For example:

  • If time is extended, the cost of the project will increase.
  • If time extended with the same cost then quality of the product will reduce.
  • If scope is extended then cost and time will also extend.

Changes to any of these legs sets off a series of activities that are needed to integrate the change across the project.


What is Program Management ?

A program consists of a related group of projects and Program management is the process of managing multiple on going projects. An example would be that of designing, manufacturing and providing support infrastructure for an automobile make.

Program management involves centrally managing and coordinating groups of related projects to meet the objectives of the program.

In some cases Project Management is a subset of Program Management. The project manager may report to the program manager in such cases. A portfolio consists of multiple programs.


What is Portfolio Management ?

A portfolio is a collection of projects or programs and other work that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives.Organizations manage their portfolios based on specific goals.

Senior managers or senior management teams typically take on the responsibility of portfolio management for an organization.

Portfolio management encompasses managing the collections of programs and projects in the portfolio. This includes weighing the value of each project, or potential project, against the portfolio’s strategic objectives.

Portfolio management also concerns monitoring active projects for adherence to objectives, balancing the portfolio among the other investments of the organization, and assuring the efficient use of resources.


Why do we need Project Management?

  • Exponential expansion of human knowledge
  • Global demand for goods and services
  • Global competition
  • Team is required to meet the demand with quality and standard.
  • Improved control over the project
  • Improved performance
  • Improved budget and quality

Project Management Skills:

Many of the tools and techniques for managing projects are specific to project management. However, effective project management requires that the project management team acquire the following three dimensions of project management competencies:

  • Project Management Knowledge Competency: This refers to what the project management team knows about project management.
  • Project Management Performance Competency: This refers to what the project management team is able to do or accomplish while applying their project management knowledge.
  • Personal Competency: This refers to how the project management team behaves when performing the project or activity.

Interpersonal Skills Management:

The management of interpersonal relationships includes:

  • Effective communication: The exchange of information
  • Influencing the organization: The ability to “get things done”
  • Leadership: Developing a vision and strategy, and motivating people to achieve that vision and strategy
  • Motivation: Energizing people to achieve high levels of performance and to overcome barriers to change
  • Negotiation and conflict management: Conferring with others to come to terms with them or to reach an agreement
  • Decision Making: Ability to take decision independently.
  • Political and cultural awareness: Important to handle various personal and professional issues.
  • Team Building: Ability to create a productive team.

What is PMBOK ® Guide?

PMBOK ® Guide is the bible for Project Management. It stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK ® Guide) . There are nine knowledge areas defined in PMBOK ® Guide, which are as follows

  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Time Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project HR Management
  • Project Communication Management
  • Project Procurement Management

Each Knowledge area has further Processes. There are a total of 42 processes. Each process has following three important parts.

  • Inputs
  • Tools & Techniques
  • Outputs

The PMBOK primarily covers each of the processes and its inputs, outputs and related tools and techniques.

Subsequent chapters will explain each process, its inputs, tools and techniques and outputs (ITTO) required.

Further the discipline of Project Management has five process groups.

These are:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Control
  • Closure

Each process is part of one of these five project phases. It is important to know the process group for each of the 42 processes.

Prerequisites and Application for the PMP Certification

The PMP exam is offered by PMI as a computer test.

During four hours of testing time, 200 multiple-choice questions have to be answered. Each question has 4 answer options, out of which one is right. 175 of these 200 questions are scoring, the other die 25 questions are undergoing a test by the candidates.

Participants have to answer app. 75% (?, estimated number, the actual passing score is no more communicated by PMI) correctly, following a weighted scoring process.

The test result is assessed immediately at the end of the session. Candidates who do not pass on the first attempt have an option to repeat the test.

Exam Locations

The exams are performed at Prometric Testing Centers, which are available in many countries. Please see the Prometric website to locate a center nearby.

Exam Languages

The exam language is English.

PMI provides aids (translations on a mouseclick) for the following languages:

– German               – Korean

– French                 – Mandarin-Chinese

– Hebrew               – Portuguese (Brazil)

– Italian                  – Russian

– Japanese           – Spanish

Exam Times

The exam date can be appointed at a convenient time during normal working hours.

Application

  1. Download PMP Credential Handbook
  2. Online application at https://www.pmi.org/certapp

Exam costs

Prerequisites

Please see pages 4 and 5 of the PMP Credential Handbook.

A brief overview can also be found here.

PMP Certification Exams Overview

Project Management Professional (PMP) is certification administered by Project Management Institute (PMI), USA. The PMP designation following your name tells current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of Project Management Knowledge.

The PMI’s salary survey has found that, in the United States and other countries, PMP certified Project Managers are being offered at least 10% more than those without this certification.

Pre-Requisite Qualification:

Here is the pre-requisite qualification and experience to appear for the examination:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a globally equivalent university.
  • A minimum of 4500 hours of project management experience in last three years.

OR

  • A high school graduate from a globally equivalent college/university.
  • A minimum of 7500 hours of project management experience in last five years.

AND

  • Candidate has obtained 35 contact hours of project management education from a registered education provider.

Required supporting documents

  • Education Background certificates
  • Experience verification Forms(s) which can be a proof of the management experience.
  • 35 Contact hours of Project Management Education meeting above criteria.

NOTE: Candidates can satisfy the requirement related to 35 Contact Hours of Education – Professional Development Units (PDUs), by successfully attending a training, course or workshop sessions through PMI’s Global Registered Education Provider. 1 Hour of training is equivalent to 1PDU.


PMP Certification Expenses

Here is the structure of the expenses you would have to beer to get this prestigious certificate.

  • Fees to earn 35 PDUs vary country to country and Education Provider to Education Provider. It may vary from $300 to $5000.
  • Initial Certification Fees:
    • If you are a member of PMI then this fees will be $405.00
    • If you are not a member of PMI then it will cost you $555.00
  • Re-Examination Fees:
    • If you are a member of PMI then this fees will be $275.00
    • If you are not a member of PMI then it will cost you $375.00

NOTE: If you are not able to qualify the examination in first attempt then you can give another attempts by paying re-examination fees which is mentioned above.


PMP Exams Structure

PMI has released a new version of Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)® and now certification exams will be conducted based on the new version.

This tutorial has been re-written based on new version of PMBOK, 4th Edition. All the required changes has been incorporated in old tutorial which was based on PMBOK third Edition v1.2

To become a PMP you would have to pass a rigorous multiple-choice examination. This exam is designed to objectively assess and measure your ability to apply project management knowledge in the following six domains:

image

This computer-based examination is administered globally with translation aids in 10 languages. You will have 4 hours time to answer 200 questions related to the above six domain.

Out of 200 questions there will be 25 pretest questions and they would not effect your scoring. These questions will be placed randomly in question paper and you would not be able to differentiate these questions from other live question.

Passing Score:

As such PMI does not disclose total passing score for any candidate but to pass the exams you need to give correct answer for 61% of live questions ( ie. 61% of 175 questions ). There is no negative marks with any wrong answer, so don’t leave any question without answer.

One more important note is that 60% questions will be based on your real experience. Books and tutorials definitely help but real experience is a must to pass this examination.

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