VMware Certification Overview

This post serves as an overview of the VMware certification program. VMware offer certification in four areas of expertise: Data Center Virtualisation, Network Virtualisation, Cloud Management and Automation, and Desktop and Mobility. The available qualifications in each of these technologies follows the same path outlined below.

Each stage in the framework must be achieved before you can move on to the next. There are a couple of exceptions to this; firstly the VCP, although a foundations exam is required prior to the VCP exam, the VCA is not a pre-requisite. Secondly NSX; if the candidate holds an equivalent Cisco qualification this may be sufficient, see the certification links below for further details.

Certification Framework

VMware Certified Associate – The associate certification is about knowing when to use a particular product and how solutions fit in with a companies goals and use cases. The VCA exam is introductory and taken online in a non-proctored environment. There are no pre-requisites but VMware offer free recommended training.
VMware Certified Professional – The professional certification requires a technical understanding of product administration, such as installing, configuring, and troubleshooting. New candidates must pass the vSphere fundamentals exam which is an online non-proctored exam. The VCP exam is a proctored exam taken in a test centre and is a multi-choice pool of questions. The  Completion of a qualifying VMware training course is required to earn the VCP qualification, VMware also recommend a minimum of 6 months hands on experience. The VCP requires re-certification every 2 years.
VMware Certified Advanced Professional – The advanced professional certification is aimed at those designing and deploying virtualised data center solutions. The exam is a test centre based practical exam. You must hold a valid VCP qualification before you can take a VCAP exam, VMware also recommend a minimum of 2 years hands on experience. There are a list of training courses which are strongly recommended but not strictly required for the qualification. When you have passed both VCAP exams you become a VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX).
VMware Certified Design Expert – The design expert is an elite certification requiring you to submit a full logical design which is then presented with certain scenarios and scrutinised by a face to face panel. Before applying for the VCDX you must hold both the design and deploy VCAP certifications, VMware also recommend a minimum of 5 years hands on experience. There are a list of training courses which are strongly recommended but not strictly required for the qualification.


Certification Tracks

The following links are for the certification page and exam page for each qualification. The certification page covers an overview of the qualification and the full requirements for new and existing candidates. The exam page covers exam information such as time limit, number of questions, the exam topics, and links to schedule your exam. The exam link is for new candidates, if you wish to update an active qualification for a previous version then review the information on the certification link. If your qualification has expired you will need to meet the requirements as a new candidate in most cases.

Where training is a requirement you can review instructor led training at VMware Education, courses can be attended online or on premise. You may also be interested in VMware Learning Zone; a subscription based library of online training with practise questions. This isn’t a replacement for instructor led training but covers the core skills that appear in the exam blueprints. You can also check out VMware Hands on Labs and books available from VMware Marketplace.

Cloud Management and Automation

The cloud track is for those interested in, and with experience in, installing, managing, designing, and optimising the VMware vRealize suite for cloud platforms. In this track there are 2 available associate certifications; Cloud Management and Automation, and Hybrid Cloud.


Data Center Virtualisation

The data center track is for those interested in, and with experience in, installing, managing, and designing vSphere environments. A number of VCP6-DCV study guides are available; such as this one by ESX Virtualization and this one by Veeam.


Desktop and Mobility

The desktop track is for those interested in, and with experience in, installing, managing, and designing a VMware Horizon with View environment; deployed on VMware vSphere.


Network Virtualisation

The network track is for those interested in, and with experience in, installing, managing, and designing an NSX environment for network virtualisation.


Post Exam

If you fail a proctored exam then you need to wait 7 days before retaking the exam. If you fail a non-proctored exam (VCA or foundation) then you can retake straight away. In both cases you will need to pay the relevant fee to rebook the exam. If you passed the exam then your transcript will be updated within 2 – 10 business days, you will receive an email with the details. If you passed the VCAP exams your transcript may take longer to update since the live lab exams are scored separately.

Log in to VMware Education here, select myTranscript from the navigation menu on the right hand side to view your transcript. Select Certification Manager to view and print certification logos for your CV and certificates. You can also access the Certification Manager here. If you have completed courses with a different account, for example if you registered with a work email address, you can merge accounts for these to show in your primary account. To do so contact education at vmware.com.

Recently VMware (and a number of other vendors) introduced digital badges. Digital badges are used to authenticate and show your achievements, including certification. VMware badges are automatically assigned to you after passing a certification, you will receive an update via email. For more information on badges click here.


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