Having successfully completed the VCP6-DCV Delta Exam (2V0-621D) this week, I thought it would be worthwhile jotting down a few thoughts on the exam, and noting the resources I used to prepare for it.
I’ve previously completed the VCP3, VCP4 and VCP5 “DCV” exams, however being specifically a delta exam, this one was a little different. The exam primarily covers the differences between vSphere 5 and vSphere 6, with a handful of seemingly more general questions.
For summary impressions of the exam (i.e. the TLDR), jump to the end of this article!
I used the following resources in prep for the exam:
- The VCP6 Delta Exam Blueprint. I never really truly appreciated the usefulness of this document until the last few years, but I now use it as my primary study guide for all VMware exams. I found that the best way to do this was to copy the entire list of topics into a document (in my case OneNote), and highlight all of the key subject areas I needed to study up on.
- Pluralsight Training Courses. I have been a big advocate and user of Pluralsight (and their predecessor TrainSignal) video training for many years. Although there is no specific course aimed at the delta exam, I simply dipped in and out of the training to cover the areas already identified above from the blueprint, where my knowledge was weakest.
- What’s New in VMware vSphere 6 from David Davis. This is a great summary course from David just covering some of the basic new features in a couple of hours.
- A selection of videos from the following intermediate vSphere 6 courses from Greg Shields. The names of the subsections and videos are mostly quite nicely linked to the title sections in the blueprint (which is handy):
- vSphere 6 Data Center: Deploy and Consolidate a vSphere Datacenter
- vSphere 6 Data Center: Administer and Manage Virtual Machines
- vSphere 6 Data Center: Backup and Recover a vSphere Deployment
- vSphere 6 Datacenter: Configure Availability Solutions
- vSphere 6 Data Center: Configure Advanced Storage
- vSphere 6 Data Center: Configure Advanced Networking
- vSphere 6 Data Center: Configure and Administer Security
- vBrownBag VCP6 sessions. The guys and gals at vBrownBag are truly awesome, as is the content they produce on a weekly basis! Most recently they have done a series on the VCP-DCV exam, split by section, so again if you use the blueprint as your guide to what you need to study, you can simply dip in and out of the video sessions are required. A couple of example sessions I watched were:
- VMware Hands on Labs.
- HOL-SDC-1408 – What’s New with Virtual SAN 6
- The following Hands on Labs were on my list as potentially very useful, but I simply ran out of time to do them:
- HOL-SDC-1627 – VVol, Virtual SAN & Storage Policy-Based Management
- HOL-SDC-1604 vSphere Performance Optimization
- HOL-CHG-1695 vSphere 6 Challenge Lab
- HOL-SDC-1608 Virtual SAN 6 from A to Z
- My Intel NUC Nanolab homelab. I completed an upgrade from vSphere 5.5 to 6.0 in my homelab, and messed around with a load of the new features. I have documented the upgrade process in a post which I will get posted soon, but the best news for me was that vSphere 6 seems to now support all of the drivers in the base, and so no longer requires additional VIBs!
The exam itself was different to any previous VCP exam I’ve done. I would say that because the scope of the exam was much narrower, the depth of the questions seemed to me to be significantly more, with a few really tricky ones thrown in there.
Over all if I was to do it again (and when it comes time to do the VCP7 in a few years) I would probably just do the full VCP exam, rather than the delta. That way you can be sure of a decent number of the easy peasy questions which will probably be on stuff you’ve been doing for years, as well as the new stuff you may not know quite as well.
Obviously having not done the full VCP6 exam I can’t say this for sure, but I would say it’s a pretty good bet.