VMware VCP5-DCV for a network engineer

Today I passed exam VCP550 and got VMware VCP5-DCV certification.

Exam preparation

For exam preparation I attended the official training that is mandatory to access the exam. The printed material provided with the training is good enough but I integrated with the great Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5 by Scott Lowe. The official documentation available online for free.

I had some hands-on experience with VSphere, did some installations myself and supported some trouble tickets so even if I don’t work every day with VSphere I have a decent knowledge on the topic.

For the practice labs I used my trusty HP Microserver N40L with a nested lab. It takes some minutes to start but I can easily run 2 ESXi hosts and a vCenter Appliance plus a Linux VM for iSCSI shared storage.

The Exam

I found the exam quite long but questions were very clear and well explained, VMware put a good effort to make the exam hard but fair. I skipped some question and had to think through some others, many were quite easy if you have a good grasp of the products.

Why VCP for a Network Engineer?

Because I’m a generalist as defined by Thor Olavsrud from NetworkWorld

I want to be able to talk with VMware professionals and understand what they say and how their needs interact with the network I manage or design. And I’m curious.

Networking is not just about moving IP packets anymore. I don’t want use use buzz words but what SDN is teaching to network professionals today is that the devices we manage and networks we design must go up to L7.

Next gen firewalls, overlay networks, traffic type and directions analysis in a datacenter, IWAN, SDN, virtualization… all these technologies require a broader understanting of applications, traffic flows and what is carried by the network.

I don’t want to blame developers, servery guys or other professionals but I see the Network Engineer as the best profile to manage all the components of the IT infrastructure.

Years of pointed fingers and blame game from the other IT roles forced Network Engineers to understand all the elements of the IT company so we already have a broad view of the IT world, now it’s time to use it for our own career.

My 2 cents

IT Generalist will be an actual job role soon or maybe we should just be brave and call us IT Architects.

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