My VCP5-DT Exam Experience

Disclaimer

Before I start this entry, I would like to point out that this isn’t for anyone who wants to know the answers to the exam questions as I won’t be disclosing any information about the content except for pointing you towards the VCP5-DT exam blueprint.

Interesting Stuff

I gave myself a personal objective to learn, understand, deploy and troubleshoot a View environment on 19th December 2012, with a ‘View’ pardon the pun to pass the exam in February 2013.

View was completely new to me, as I explained in is blog post, however it was something that had been on my radar for quite a while.  When it comes to learning a new subject, I have to confess I think I have a small case of OCD.  When I get involved, I get involved with both feet much to the annoyance of my ever understanding wife.  This means I spend at least two hours every day reading, labbing, listening or blogging about View until I’m ready for the exam.

Everyone learns a subject differently, however I’m getting to an age now where I have a tried and tested formula which works for me:

  1. Read it (someone else’s material)
  2. Lab it (implement it)
  3. Blog it (write about it to reinforce learning)
  4. Watch it (computer based training)
  5. Build it (build it again but better than the first time round)

I think it’s a good idea I expand on this a little, with the resources that I used to take my View understanding from very little, to a little bit more.

Resources

I cannot speak more highly of this book, it takes you from zero to hero and explains how all the View ‘cogs’ fit together.

This is a great View basics course, so you can see how the components fit together.  I also listed to this whist driving to client meetings to reinforce any items I had been labbing or didn’t really get from Barry’s and Mike’s book.  The only downside I would say to this is that one of the presenters had either been working too hard or not sleeping enough, as they appeared to yawn quite a lot.

Great blog by Christoph Harding which I found that when I ‘googled’ View questions was a leading resource to either provide answers or point you in the right direction.  I would highly recommend following thatsmyview.net RSS Feed or on Twitter @cdommermuth

This is the numero uno site for anything View related (in my opinion) and goes into great technical detail.  Again if you are interested in View, follow myvirtualcloud.net RSS Feed or on Twitter @andreleibovic

Lab

Your lab is key for the VCP5-DT exam, you need to build it, break it, fix it and build it again.

The hardware in lab my can be found over here.  A picture of my vCenter probably will speak a thousand words, it’s pretty straight forward really.

Infrastructure holds vCenter, DC and Veeam

View Infrastructure holds Connection Server, Security Server, Transfer Server and ThinApp Windows 7.

View LC Desktops are for Linked Clones Desktops

View LM Desktops are for Local Mode Desktops

Oh, before anyone asks, I have shares set on my Resource Groups.

View Lab

You will find yourself spending a lot of time in Active Directory if you really want to test out GPO’s and get the configuration just right.  Below is my OU configuration, pretty straight forward but it met all the requirements I had.

AD

You might say I went to town, as I ended up with 28 GPO’s!

GPO

One of the items I found particularly difficult to test was the Security Server as I don’t have a static IP Address.  I ended up registering for the no-ip.org service.  Which if you have a compatible router will update your DNS record automatically to your public IP Address.  This then enabled me to VPN into my router and then alter the External IP Address in View Administrator.

Perhaps not the most elegant of solutions, but it worked!

VCP5-DT Exam

Once I have completed all of the study materials and feel that I know each exam objective, it’s time for the exam.  I’m a morning person and therefore always book my exams first thing.  For some reason my local exam centre stopped offering the VCP5-DT and I had to make a 40 mile trip, which isn’t always the most pleasant, but it does take your mind of the exam trying to work out where to park.

I always approach exams the same way, I get to the examination centre round 30 minutes early, so you can go over the sign in process and hand over your valuables.  I then make three signs on the plastic sheet you are given

Tick – these are for questions I know I have definitely know the answers too.

Question Mark – these are questions I’m 80% plus sure on

Cross – these are questions I’m making an educated guess or generally haven’t got a clue on!

I try to aim for 30 seconds per question to give myself enough time to review questions at the end.  If I find I have spent over a minute on a question, I will mark it for review and then come back to it.  At the end of the exam, I only review questions I have marked for review not all of them.

The exam consisted of 85 questions over 90 minutes, which is a fairly tough time frame, but I’m pleased to say that I passed with a respectable 454/500.

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