VCDX Submission – By The Numbers


I’m sure all of you know that the prerequisites for VCDX are VCP and both VCAPs.  I started the process of trying to achieve the VCDX certification back in October 2013, when I passed the VCAP-DCD and then two months later in December 2013 I achieved VCAP-DCA status.

I didn’t keep a log for the effort I put into the VCAP-DCA, but I believe it was approximately one month of study time, to get to a point where I felt I had a chance of passing.

Family Life

Why have I mentioned ‘family life’ in this blog post? Seems kinda irrelevant?  Well I would say it’s probably the most important part of the VCDX Submission process.

This point is crucial, do not underestimate how hard it is not spending time with your family (I have two children 2 and 6), you will be giving up your weekends, ability to attend family functions, time with your friends and doing the things you enjoy outside of work.

In December 2013 and January 2014, it was holiday season and I wanted to spend time with my family and to see if my better half would commit to the VCDX process, as I knew it would be grueling on the both of us.  My amazing wife said yes and it was time to find a design.

I was conversing with Paul Meehan @PaulPMeehan on twitter about the virtues of VCDX and he mentioned that the word VCDX had taken pride of place next to ‘Voldemort’ in things that should not be mentioned in the Meehan household.


Finding a design which meets the design qualities for VCDX Submission is hard work, not every customer you work with has a design that meets the required standard for Availability, Manageability, Performance, Recoverability, Security.

I was pretty new to my current role, four months in and even though I had designed a number of upgrades and solutions, I didn’t believe any of them ‘cut the mustard’ in terms of design qualities.  I was working with a number of clients and knew I had something in the pipeline, but you are never sure if you will be the Lead Architect on the design or whether the clients circumstances would change.

So in the end, I decided to use a design I had done for a customer back in 2012!

The bad news was that it was going to take me sometime to get back up to speed on the design, but the good news was it ticked every one of the design qualities.

VCDX Submission

The VCDX Submission is broken down into the following key areas:

  • Architecture Design
  • Installation Guide
  • Validation Test
  • Implementation Plan
  • Operational Procedures
  • Application Form

So how long has it taken me to get to a point of being able to submit for VCDX?

Overall Total

267 Hours

68 days

Average 4 Hours per day

equivalent to 5 weeks annual leave and every bank holiday throughout the year!

VCDX Submission

Architecture Design

177 Hours

41 Days

4 Hours 20 Minute Average

239 Pages

112 Tables

34 Diagrams

To complete the first draft took from 1st February 2014 to 9th March 2014 and consisted of 34 days and 149 hours of effort.   The remaining time of 28 hours was reviewing and tweeking.

equivalent to a working month at 40 hours per week over four and a half weeks

Installation Guide & Operational Procedures

I decided to combine the installation guide and operational procedures as it made sense.

76 Hours

21 Days

3 Hours 40 Minute Average

141 Pages

14 Tables

57 Diagrams

To complete the first draft took from 10th March 2014  to 31st March 2014 and consisted of 17 days and 70 hours of effort.   The remaining time of 6 hours was reviewing and tweeking.

equivalent to two weeks annual vacation for someone who works 38 hours per week

Test Plan

6 Hours

2 Days

3 Hours Average

124 Tests

Implementation Plan

5 Hours

2 Days

2 Hours 30 Minutes Average

182 Project Line Items


3 Hours

2 Days

1 Hours 30 Minutes Average

Peer Review

Not added to the list is a review of my VCDX Architecture Design by colleague and all round good ‘egg’ Steve Wenban @stevewenban79

414 Minutes


7 instances of vCentre corrected

1 big thumbs up

10 thoughts on “VCDX Submission – By The Numbers

    1. Thanks Craig, ready for submission, believe I have the same amount of effort to get ready for the defense.

  1. Love the overview and measurement of the effort; I didn’t track it to that level but there was effort almost everyday for a long time. I find it to be very accurate based on my experience. Key point is that preparing the design is just the beginning in getting ready for your defense. Can’t stress the impact of getting family support enough. Well done, I look forward to seeing you be successful.

    1. Everyone’s process is going to be different, some requiring less time if the design is done in work hours and some requiring more time.

      I wanted to share my experience in getting to this stage, as I had seen lots of posts on defense but not on what was required to submit.

      Hope you found the post enjoyable.

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