Preparing for the new VCAP6.5-DCV Design exam

02. August 2017 Study 3
Preparing for the new VCAP6.5-DCV Design exam

VCAP6.5-DCV Design to the rescue

July 10th 2017 was as a sad day for me. I failed my very first IT exam ever since starting in IT over 20 years ago. It was VMware’s VCAP6-DCV Design exam that drew first blood. I completed MCSE, CCNP, VCAP5 and even VCDX on my first try, so failing VCAP6-DCV Design was a pretty bitter pill to swallow. Even more frustrating was the fact that I did not find the exam content itself overly complicated. I understood the questions, had an overall sense of what they were aiming for but in all honesty, I did struggle with the exam interface a lot and I was constantly wondering exactly HOW my logical diagrams would need to look and which connectors to hook up to which objects. But with all justification aside, it is a simple binary result: pass or fail. And I failed. I was already preparing to reschedule my exam when VMware announced the release of the VCAP6.5-DCV Design version of the exam:

VCAP65-DCV Design

What stood out immediately was “135 minutes” and “60 questions”. That had to mean the structure of the exam would have been changed dramatically. Karl Childs¬†finally explained how the exam was restructured on Twitter:

VCAP65-DCV Design Tweet

With my terrible VCAP6-DCV Design exam experience, this new exam setup appears very, very appealing. There was some confusion about different upgrade paths, but ultimately Karl made it very clear: to upgrade VCDX5 to VCDX6, get the VCAP6.5-DCV Design certification.

VCAP65-DCV Design Tweet 2

VCAP6.5-DCV Design preparation

There is one major challenge for me with switching directly to version 6.5. My VCDX journey was all consuming, so I have not yet had the chance to dive into vSphere 6.5 a lot. Of course I got the basics and the major new features covered, but taking it to a VCAP level will definitely require additional effort. As with any certification, my first stop is the exam guide. The VCAP6.5-DCV Design exam guide (which is no longer called a blueprint by the way) is available at: The recommended training is the new vSphere 6.5. Design workshop. The last design workshop training I attended was years ago for version 5 so I cannot comment on the quality of this training. My preparation plan is to call upon my VCDX skills and apply them onto a self-study plan to get up to speed on vSphere 6.5.

The exam guide contains a very detailed and concise breakdown of the exam into three sections:

  1. Create a Conceptual Design
  2. Create a Logical Design from an existing Conceptual Design
  3. Create a Physical Design from an existing Logical Design

That’s it. A very neat exam guide that aligns perfectly well with the VCDX mantra. Each section contains a handful of objectives covering your AMPRS and such. The rest of the exam guide is made up out of sample exam questions and a list of URLs to reference documents. I will have to go through each URL individually because unfortunately, the exam guide only provides an URL to a reference document and does not include a title or category for example. Maybe VMware will improve the exam guide in the future…

Taking the exam at VMworld Europe

I will be registering for this new exam at VMworld Europe so that leaves enough time to prepare. I will do some follow-up posts during my preparation in the coming weeks.

Let’s go get that VCAP6.5-DCV Design and VCDX6-DCV!




3 thoughts on “Preparing for the new VCAP6.5-DCV Design exam”

  • 1
    Dinesh jaisankar on August 3, 2017 Reply

    Kindly comment you experience once you complete the exam.
    I am also started preparing the exam.

  • 2
    Chuck Stevens on August 3, 2017 Reply

    I wonder, will a VCAP65-DCV Design cert + VCAP55-DCV Deploy cert = a VCIX of some sort?

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