At the end of October I took the VCAP-CID exam and as this is still the time right after vSphere 5.5 being released I didn’t actually study as hard for it as I wanted to (didn’t even find any time to actually read the blueprint properly, strongly advising people attempting to take the exam to do so nonetheless).
I was assured that the exam is based on version 5.1 of vSphere and vCloud Director.
This was my 4th VCAP exam so by now I am used to sit the exam for a long time and just powering through those 3 hours (I haven’t figured out on how to get the 30 minutes extra for not being a native English speaker even though I am residing in an English speaking country right now).
As with the VCAP-DCD you can not go back on questions, your answer is final and you will want to pace yourself through it as it is less time than the VCAP-DCD while still presenting more questions. You will also still face the 6 design tool questions.
As a rule of thumb I spent 12 minutes per Visio style question (maybe 30 seconds longer when I just needed some more connections) and then clicked next to see the full exam. Which left me with a little over one minute per drag and drop or multiple choice question. I felt that a lot of the hiccups I experienced in the VCAP-DCD have been corrected for the Visio type of questions. I could move elements around without whole parts of the design going off screen and therefore having to start all over again. Also connecting the single elements seems to have improved a little (it still isn’t perfect though).
The only real study resource I used was the vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT), a free download going through all. I also read the vCloud Director chapter in Scott Lowes vSphere Design 2nd Edition but that information is by no means intended to be a study resource for this specific exam.
Gregg Robertson put together a very decent list of resources for those who can put more time into studying which can be found at thesaffageek.co.uk.
For those who want some extra tips and tricks for studying.
- Know the VMware process of designing, you will be tested on this, your own process is no good in this exam if it differs from the VMware view
- Be able to distinguish between conceptual, logical and physical designs
- Know how changes in the vCloud Director layer actually translate to the vSphere layer
- Know how design decisions will affect availability, security, manageability, performance, recoverability
- Be familiar with disaster recovery concepts
- Be familiar with translating business needs into actual decisions while fulfilling the requirements, trying mitigate risks and work around constraints and be able to map those needs to the allocation models within vCloud Director
- Know all the different cloud concepts, there is more than one
- Be able to look at things from a business point of view and explain certain user roles involved in a cloud deployment
- Know the software minimum requirements, recommended configuration and configuration limits for the vCloud and vSphere stack