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On Becoming a VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

By  May 21, 2008

Topics: Other IT Certifications, VCP

Server virtualization is an extremely hot technology nowadays. From a business analyst’s perspective, virtualization by using a product such as VMware ESX Server is a no-brainer: "You mean that we can collapse 20 production servers into a single piece of hardware? Sign me up!" In this essay I will help you to get started with the process of getting certified in VMware technology.

As of this writing, there exist two VMware credentials:

  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP): entry-level title
  • VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX): premium title

In this essay I shall limit our discussion strictly to the VCP certification.

The first thing I have to say, just to get it off my chest if for no additional reason, is that the VMware Certification page is a kludge to navigate. Confusing, confusing, confusing!

The second item on our agenda is to describe the “straightforward, three-step process” that VCD candidates must undergo to earn their credential:

With regard to that first point: yes, you read that correctly. In order to become a VCP you must make time in your schedule and buck up the dough to attend a four-day instructor-led training (ILT) course on VMware.

Average cost for the ILT Install and Configure course: $3,000.00.

You can pass the associated certification exam all day long, but unless and until you complete the four-day training class, you are not considered an “official” VCP.

The one cool thing that VMware does offer is an online version of the Install and Configure course. This is the only feasible options for many business IT professionals for whom it is anything but trivial to be away from the office for four consecutive days.

Cost for the online Install and Configure course: $2,995.00. A bargain!

Wow—what a business model, right? Force all candidates through an expensive ILT session. Sheesh. Somebody’s getting paid, and it sure isn’t me (at least in this regard)!

Concerning the second point, please note that you must register for your exam (by telephone or via their Web site) with Pearson VUE and not Thomson Prometric.

Here is a quick run of what I know about the VCP-310 exam:

  • Registration Fee: $175
  • Language Availability: English and Japanese
  • Number of Questions: 75
  • Time Limit: 110 minutes
  • Passing Score: 70/100

Many folks wonder if the VCP-310 exam content pertains to the VMware ESX Server 3.5 product or the ESX Server 3.0 product. The answer to that is, “both.” In other words, as of March 2008, the VCP-310 exam now includes questions that are specific to version 3.5 features.

Why does VMware have to go about implementing its certification program in such a confusing manner? Maintaining the same exam number for different product versions...hosting their certification content on an anti-intuitive Web site...et cetera ad nauseam. I’m just sayin’ is all…

What do you think?