Sprint to VCIX-DCV (Part 1)

Originally published December 26, 2020 on LinkedIn.

I am coming hot off passing the AWS-SAA certification and very excited to pivot back into VMware, this time taking it to the next level — VCIX-DCV. This series of articles is going to serve as:

  1. The mechanism I use to reinforce the material I am using to study for each VCAP. I learn new material best through my own system, which will be detailed in the series, but presenting information is a reinforcing technique I use for myself and my team.
  2. Create a forcing function and means for my peers and mentors to keep me accountable to my aggressive timeline. I am aiming for many goals inside the next 6 months and sometimes I may lose sight of where I want to be in 6-12months. This will help me keep myself on pace or adjust as needed as well as give my peers and mentors a way to track my progress. This also allows people to correct anything I have written or add to the conversation here since this is part of my learning phase.
  3. Start to give back to the community. Over the years I have taken a lot out of the community. Thousands of articles, forum posts, GitHub repos, videos, and blogs have helped me as an IT professional and I want to start to help those coming behind me.

Why Now?

I am transitioning out of the US Army and my organization has been gracious enough to allow me time to upskill before my separation and to participate in a corporate fellowship. I have been accepted into VMware’s Corporate Fellowship Program and will be starting in January 2021. I have learned a lot about myself in the last few years and with the help of mentors and peers, I have focused on virtualization, hybrid cloud deployment, and software-defined networking.

I plan to use the holiday season to prepare for the VCAP-DCV Design and take that certification the week before I start with VMware. I am already in the design mindset coming from the AWS-SAA and having spent the last couple of years working on design and architecture projects for the Federal Government. From the time I started to study, to the day of my planned VCAP Design exam will be ~30 days.

Immediately after the VCAP-DCV Design, I will start the push for VCAP-DCV Deploy using the experience and time working with my team at VMware as well as labbing at home to prepare. I am optimistic that my time with VMware will result in a successful VCAP Deploy and the VCIX-DCV designation before I start full-time employment.

The large risks with my timeline are the team and workload that I will have at VMware, military transition requirements, job hunting/interviewing within 90 days of my separation, and preparing my family for potential relocation. All of these major commitments are occurring around the same time and could potentially change my VCIX timeline. I have made some assumptions about the commitment for each and I will adjust as I start to validate. The aggressive push for the Design before I start at VMware, as well as a longer time frame (2-3 months) for Deploy, reflect the demand for my time in early 2021.

Series Outline

This is going to be a long series with each post focusing on a major exam objective from each of the exam guides (VCAP-DCV DesignVCAP-DCV Deploy). I will be studying vSphere 6.5 well as including considerations for newer versions. VMware has extended the general support for vSphere 6.5 five years from the date of release, which means the general support for vSphere 6.5 will end on November 15, 2021. The Design exam (3V0-624) is still on 6.5 while the 2018 Deploy exam (3V0-21.18t) is being expired in December 2020 for an updated 6.7 version (3V0-21.20). As I publish more sections they will be added here for quick reference:

  • Part 1 — VCAP-DCV Design Plan of Attack

Part 1 — VCAP-DCV Design Plan of Attack

I will be following the VMware VCAP exam guides for my study structure — VCAP-DCV DesignVCAP-DCV Deploy

I will be using the VCAP-DCV Design series from vBrown Bag as my starting point. I have found that my learning improves when I do a video primer followed by an in-depth study on documentation and key points.

I have picked up copies of VMware vSphere DesignFoundation In the Art of Infrastructure Design, and VMware vSphere 6.7 Data Center Design Cookbook as references to start.

I will be starting with Rene Van Den Bedem‘s VCDX Deep-Dive Series.

As I work through my studies, I will add the references/resources for specific sections/objectives in the outline below as a one-stop-shop for anyone on the same journey. Each subsequent article will be a summary of the VMware Design objective, resources used to learn, and a summary of the content.

Section 1. Create a vSphere 6.5 Conceptual Design.

Objective 1.1 – Gather and analyze business requirements.

Objective 1.2 – Gather and analyze application requirements.

Objective 1.3 – Determine risks, requirements, constraints, and assumptions.

Section 2. Create a vSphere 6.x Logical Design from an Existing Conceptual Design.

Objective 2.1 – Map business requirements to a vSphere 6.x logical design.

Objective 2.2 – Map service dependencies.

Objective 2.3 – Build availability requirements into a vSphere 6.x logical design.

Objective 2.4 – Build manageability requirements into a vSphere 6.x logical design.

Objective 2.5 – Build performance requirements into a vSphere 6.x logical design.

Objective 2.6 – Build recoverability requirements into a vSphere 6.x logical design.

Objective 2.7 – Build security requirements into a vSphere 6.x logical design.

Section 3. Create a vSphere 6.x Physical Design from an Existing Logical Design.

Objective 3.1 – Transition from a logical design to a vSphere 6.x physical design.

Objective 3.2 – Create a vSphere 6.x physical network design from an existing logical design.

Objective 3.3 – Create a vSphere 6.x physical storage design from an existing logical design.

Objective 3.4 – Determine appropriate computer resources for a vSphere 6.x physical design.

Objective 3.5 – Determine virtual machine configuration for a vSphere 6.x physical design.

Objective 3.6 – Determine data center management options for a vSphere 6.x physical design.

Please let me know if there is anything I need to add or change during the course of my series. Any advice and study recommendations are greatly appreciated.

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