VMware VCAP-DCA exam experience

I took the VCAP-DCA (VDCA410) exam on 12 May 2011 at Global Knowledge in Nieuwegein (The Netherlands). Today 27 May 2011 I received an e-mail that I passed the VCAP-DCA exam! Great news before the weekend!

Here are some VCAP-DCA exam requirements:

– The exam time is 4 hours (time is for non English speaking countries)

– The passing score is 300 out of 500

– It takes up to business days 10 days (or more 🙂 before you know if you passed the exam

Scheduling for the VCAP-DCA exam can be done by the Pearson VUE’s website

Don’t underestimated the exam, it’s a hard one! I was sweating for four 4 hours and didn’t finished all the questions because the time stops. 

The exam is all lab based so you need to do stuff as configuring and troubleshooting vSphere environments. You need to compete tasks they asked. The best advise is to create your own test lab environment as mentioned in the exam blueprint. Then use the blueprint and  practice the objectives. The VMware PDF documents are available but try to avoid because they cost valuable time. So don’t rely on the PDFs! Go to the toilet before the exam several times till nothing is coming out. After three hours I needed to go but I had no time. It’s not a good feeling to hold it………….

The following preparation materials I used:

VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Administration Exam Blueprint

VMware VCAP-DCA mock test exam

VCAP Community

– Trainsignal VMware vSphere Troubleshooting training

Edward Grigson vExperienced VCAP-DCA study guide

Sean Crookston VCAP-DCA study guide

Virtual Vargi VCAP-DCA videos

My own VMware VCAP-DCA exam command-line cheat sheet


When I know my VCAP-DCA number I updated the post and if you have  preparation resources please let me know. Good luck with the preparation for the VCAP-DCA exam!


VMware VCAP-DCA exam command-line cheat sheet

While preparing for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Administration (VCAP-DCA) exam (VDCA410) I created command-line cheat sheet. It can be hard to memorize all the commands, switches and settings. Knowing and get familiar with these commands can save a lot of valuable time at the VMware VCAP-DCA exam. Almost all the commands have useful examples.

The document has the following sections:

Unix commands such as man, ls, cd, watch, pwd, find, vi, nano, cat, grep, more, tail, less, df, vdf and ps

ESXi command line commands (vCLI, Local console using esxcfg, vMa using vicfg and PowerCLI)

vMA commands (vifp and vifp-target)

vSphere (v)CLI commands such as  vicfg-hostops, vicfg-cfgbackup, vmkfstools, vifs, svmotion, vmware-cmd, vicfg-mpath, vicfg-mpath35, vicfg-vmknic, vicfg-vswitch, net-dvs, vicfg-snmp, vicfg-volume, vicf-advcfg, vicfg-module, esxtop / resxtop, vscsistats, esxcli, vicfg-scsidevs , vmware-umds, vicfg-syslog, vilogger, vicfg-dns, vicfg-nics, vicfg-ntp, vicfg-route, vicfg-iscsi, vmkiscsi-tool, vmkping, vicfg-nas, vicfg-rescan, vicfg-scsidevs, vicfg-firewall, vm-support, vihostupdate, vihostupdate35 and vicfg-user

High Availability (HA) attributes such as das.slotcpuinmhz, das.slotmeminmb, das.usedefaultisolationaddress, das.failuredetectiontime etc.

Basic PowerCLI commands such as set-­ExecutionPolicy, add-PSSnapin
VMware.VimAutomation.Core, connect-viserver, get-command, get-member, get-help etc.

If you spot any additions, updates or missing things, please let me know! 

The PDF “VMware VCAP-DCA exam command-line cheat sheet v1.0” can be downloaded here.

Prepare for the VMware VCAP-DCA exam with vSphere Troubleshooting Training

I’m preparing for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Datacenter Administration exam. The exam covers 40 questions about real world stuff like installing, configuring and troubleshooting vSphere environments. So you need hand-on experience on installing, configuring and troubleshooting vSphere environments.

For the preparation I use the Trainsignal VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Training video course presented by David Davis.

The Trainsignal VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Training course covers mainly section 6 of the VCAP-DCA blueprint (Perform Advanced Troubleshooting). In 30 high quality video lessons troubleshooting is mainly done by CLI (Command Line Interfaces). Here are some topics that get covered during the course:

  • vMA installation and commands
  • Configure, viewing, searching and exporting vCenter and VMware ESX(i) log files
  • vNetwork Distributed vSwitch (vDS) refresher and private VLANS
  • ESXtop / RESXTOP
  • Troubleshooting Networks by CLI
  • Troubleshooting Storage by CLI (iSCSI and NFS)
  • Troubleshooting vCenter
  • Configure and troubleshoot ESX firewall
  • Troubleshooting VMotion and SVMotion
  • Troubleshoot HA and DRS
  • Troubleshooting VMs

The vSphere Troubleshooting Training is almost 14 hours, is available on 3 DVDs and online as streaming video (iPad compatible).  The complete course outline is available on the website listed on the end. A sample video is available here.

The videos are easy to follow.  I think the Trainsignal VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Training it’s a great way to prepare and get hands-on experience needed for the VCAP-DCA exam.

More information can be found here.