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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

VCP-DCV 2021

 I am very excited to have completed my 4th refresh of the VCP-DCV Certification on Oct 20th. I even passed with my highest score ever. 412.

I was fortunate enough to get a Tech+ Pass to VMworld 2021 gifted through the VMUG program and I vowed not to let it go to waste.

So after a brief discussion with my wife, I determined that I could complete 2 certification tests using the discounted vouchers between October 4th and November 4th.

One would be a VCP refresh and the other would be a VCAP-Deploy attempt.

I know some folks like stories, so here is how I prepped and passed this test in only 2 weeks.

Let me preface by saying the test was not at all 'easy'. I have now tested on 3 Major version of ESXI , 5.1 , 6.5 and 7.0

The older tests were very much focused on bare technical specifications, troubleshooting and detailed configuration tasks. The current test adds in so much more content for the "modern hybrid cloud datacenter". Trying to remember the technical, the troubleshooting and the configuration while ADDING information about technologies that you may not be seeing yet is no easy feat.

I was fortunate though that there had been an updated release of the Official Certification guide from Pearson. Where the prior guides were very heavy on screenshots and processes, this seemed to be just walls and walls of text. That is not to say that it is bad, it was extremely useful. The alternative is to RTFM on , according to the exam blueprint. At the least the Certification guide provided "Key Points" to narrow the focus a bit.

I read it cover to cover and found myself recharged when reading processes that I was familiar with.

Sometimes though, the best way to remember something is to see it done..

So I FIRED UP THE LAB.... and it died... hmmm.. probably should have swapped out that USB boot media when I had the chance. Probably will need to figure out how to recover vSAN with a lost host...

So I FIRED UP THE OTHER LAB ! And I performed an upgrade of the vCenter to 7.0.3!

I tried to upgrade the hosts, but the boot media on these were internal SD cards... error "not enough space for upgrade"

So I powered off and removed one of the blades to get a closer look at the SD cards. 2GB Mirror in the Dell M520 blades. 2GB?! ah , ok , wow.

So I slotted it back in with the intention of addressing that again later, and thats when one of the RAID controllers failed.

I only know that because I tried to refresh vCenter after repowering the blade and realized it was not loading. A quick look at the hosts showed why. The snapshot chain had become corrupt. Trying to commit the snapshots failed. Trying to consolidate the virtual machine, failed.

At least the domain controller survived..... nope. Black screen , restarted, crashed on boot. Direct to Windows recovery options. I could get into directory services restore mode, but no repairs would stick. Dang.

So vSAN lab is down,  Dell Lab is down.. This would be a great opportunity to learn some things... but I am short on time. 

So, on a prior recommendation from a friend and colleague , I checked out a 7 day trial of CBT nuggets. Fortunately they had an updated course for the VCP-DCV 2021 2V0-21.20 exam presented by Keith Barker. I wanted to see some specific topics so I jumped around a bit, but I did find Keiths style very engaging. More than a few times things didn't go 'as planned', sometimes this was on purpose , other times it was the lab he was using, but it was interesting that some of these things were left in.. because, honestly things do not always go right and it would be wrong to present only 100% success every time.

Ultimately I was able to salvage a domain controller from the vSAN lab, (host 2 is dead in the water though) ... 

I built a new vCenter and Domain controller on the Dell kit.

Read some more, watched Keith for a few hours, ran a couple of scenarios on my labs, ran a couple of scenarios on

Then, I got a good nights rest.

I went to the testing center, sat for the exam, second guessed myself a few times. Reviewed the questions that I had "marked" and determined that it was probably more harm than good to go back to them (it was only 9.. and of those 4 were marked because I thought I might need them)

I clicked the button to submit. AND BANG! Screen says congratulations.

Very relieved. I don't have to take it again, I can sit for the VCAP-DCV Deploy now... so it starts all over again..

Wish me luck on November 2nd!


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