Why vSphere Foundations:
It’s been the case for a while now that in order for those new to VMware certifications to obtain any variant of VCP, they need to take and pass the vSphere foundations exam. As those of you that have been reading along, would have noticed I’ve been focused on validating my Azure skills over the past few weeks and months. However, the majority of my career has been spent within data centres working with the VMware stack.
I held a VCP for a few years back around 2007/2008. However, these lapsed. I had better things to do when travelling through Europe, US, Australia and New Zealand then think about certifications! When I came back the role I took up was Azure focused hence validating those skills first.
vSphere Foundations Exam Preparation
As with any of the VMware exams they tell you right in the blueprint what to expect. So read it and don’t be surprised. This isn’t a short exam and every topic listed in the blueprint will be covered, no exceptions.
From the VMware docs website You can download PDFs that cover each of the areas in the exam. If you own a Kindle (or I’m sure similar devices) you can email those PDFs to the device and hey presto, you’ve got the perfect set of night time and commuting reading. Whilst that might sound pretty horrendous as a read, they are not the worst written set of documents by any imagination, the TOGAF manual wins that hands down!.
I’m lucky enough to have a subscription to Pluralsight and I found that David Davis has a very good course to follow if you are coming into vSphere fresh, or even if you are looking to refresh a few knowledge areas.
Of course there is the VMware provided practice exam also, available from the blueprint site.
vSphere Foundations Exam – what to expect
It is delivered by Pearson View as an online non-proctored exam. The exam is delivered via your browser of choice not the PVProctor application you might be used to with the Microsoft online proctored exams.
You’ll be given 90 minutes to complete the questions. This might seem like a long time, it is not. Having completed the exam I only had 10 minutes left to check through my answers before submitting. Given the technical nature of the questions and exhibits, you will want to check through your answers!
The exam is technical in nature as you would expect, questions go into a level of detail you might not expect from another online exam.
So to address the elephant in the room and the non proctored element of the exam. No, You are not being watched, so you could consider this to be open book and refer to reference material. I couldn’t see anywhere where that is expressly forbidden (I’m happy to be corrected). However, there is defiantly time pressure even if you know the material, I’m not sure that it would be feasible to pass by trying to refer to an open book with the time that is allocated. If you don’t know the material then I suspect you will be in trouble regardless of any reference materials!
Having sat the Azure and TOGAF examinations quite recently, I can tell you that I was a little surprised by how challenging this exam was. I wasn’t expecting to breeze through it, but I thought that with a good grasp of the content I wouldn’t hit too many head scratching moments. I certainly found myself to be unsure at times and I was delighted to find out that I had passed. Then again the tough nature of the exam makes sense, this does form part of your VCP after-all!
I think in my head I’d made the mistake and grouped this as a VCA equivalent, it is not. I would strongly recommend that you prepare for this exam as diligently as you would for a VCP.
Anyway, I’m very happy to have passed and can now start making plans for taking a VCP.