During the VMware courses I teach I often get questions about the way to get certified and stay certified as a VCP. This blog post will try to explain your options.
First of all you need to be aware that several VCP certifications exist. The “classic” VCP (which focuses on vSphere) is called VCP-DCV nowadays (DCV being short for DataCenter Virtualization) and for those focusing on other VMware product lines additional certifications exist (specifically VCP-DTM for Desktop and Mobility, VCP-NV for Network Virtualization and VCP-CMA for Cloud Management and Automation).
Although these other certifications do not focus on vSphere they still require people that want to achieve them to at least have a solid base knowledge of vSphere. Therefore VMware has created a Foundation exam that every individual that wants to earn their first VCP certification (any type) needs to pass in addition to passing the specific VCP exam.
The foundation exam can be taken online, whereas the VCP exam is taken at a Pearson Vue testing center. The order in which these exams are taken is not relevant, although it makes most sense that the foundation exam is taken first. Also there is no time limit for the period between passing these two exams. Once both are passed you will receive the relevant VCP certification, which will then be valid for TWO years.
Before a VCP certification expires you can extend it in several ways.
- Pass the most recent version of the specific VCP exam. Often a Delta exam exists that is shorter than the full exam and focuses on the new functionalty in the latest version of the VMware products.
- Pass a different type of VCP exam (for example passing the VCP-DTM exam will extend your existing VCP-DCV certification with yet another two years).
- Pass a higher level exam (for example VCAP).
Before you achieve your first VCP certification (of any type) you are required to take a training course. Note that there are several training courses available that fullfill this requirement. For people with several years of experience with the product I strongly suggest you take an advanced course, although the basic “Install, Configure, Manage” course would still do.
Once you hold a VCP certification the requirement to attend any courses is lifted (although it never hurts attending a “What’s New” or a more in depth training course 🙂 ).
It is important to understand that when your VCP certification expires, you are again required to attend one of the training courses for that certification.
One positive development for those who have an expired VCP5-DCV certification : you are now also allowed to attend the “What’s New” training which is 2 days instead of 5 days for the other course options.
Of course the most up-to-date and complete source for all VMware certification question remains : http://vmware.com/certification