Based in Lexington, ky, Virtualizing a physical world is a blog by Thom Greene. His posts explore the world of technology certification, vmware troubleshooting, and interesting experiences in the tech world.

My VCAP6-DCV Deploy Beta Experience

I sat the VCAP6-DCV Beta last night. First off the test was extremely fun, much like the VCAP5-DCA. In a live lab your skills are really tested. The new interface provided some challenges but is overall better than the legacy interface. The console is faster and it's a lot nicer to be able to open the manual over the interface. It is very cramped though. My center maybe had an 18 inch monitor so I was still minimizing my manual a lot.

There are some issues with dragging from the manual into the console. In theory you can highlight a word and drag it into a field in the exam environment. Doing this will cause it to type the text into that field. It worked great most of the time, however I caused a major issue I'd like to warn you about.

Do not accidentally select the entire question text/outside environment and drag it in. I wasted 10-15 minutes of time while my console freaked out. It typed everything from the question and also the top-of-window commands into my screen. It renamed some of the storage names and I couldn't undo it. It kept authenticating incorrectly, it opened lots of weird programs from the start menu. I was really scared it was going to crash. The worst part is I did it twice, but less intensely the second time. Don't make my mistake.

Okay that is out of the way. There are other strange keys disabled that reduce Quality of Life. Copy/paste into web client doesn't work. Backspace, ctrl and alt are disabled. Backspace is a huge headache on a test where spelling matters.

I failed to follow my own advice at first. I numbered my board but I stopped to attempt the questions in order. After spending 45 minutes and being at question 8 I stopped that and went through reading them all without working on it. I wrote down the topics for them and by the end I had a good idea what I knew vs what I needed to research.

My last hour was dedicated to picking off the 4 or 5 stragglers. Some of the questions I had no idea about, others I needed to remember the commands or views to get me there. Luckily you have access to Adobe Reader and the fabulous Advanced Find feature. Point it at the documentation folder and it will search all documents for you. Your query needs to be fairly exact but it can save you. I know it saved me.

I finished with 15 minutes left (even with the 15 minute console freakout). I worked every question and think I successfully resolved them. I've second guessed myself on some but that's life. I should have used the last 15 minutes to confirm I did all the little nuances correctly but I was so tired I didn't think about it.

There are already a lot of great resources for the VCAP6-DCV Deploy exam. I couldn't have done as well as I did without these links:

  • Ariel Sanchez wrote a summary of the blueprint that evolved into a study guide as he prepared. I used this more than my own or the actual blueprint. His HOL recommendations are spot on.
  • Mordi did a complete study guide to the blueprint that is fantastic. This was my primary source.

All in all, this exam was really fair and possibly easier than the VCAP5-DCA. I hope they work out the interface issues in the live test.

Good luck to all who took it and hopefully this will help those testing when it goes live!

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Strategy Going into the VCAP6-DCV Deploy