VCAP-DTA (Desktop Administrator) Exam Experience

I had the pleasure to attend my first VMware Partner Exchange in San Francisco and like all other big VMware events, certification was 75% off the normal price. I decided to do and hopefully pass my last VCAP exam. I scheduled the DTA for Monday, 10th February at 9am at Moscone Center. A couple of days before my exam I got my VCAP-CIA results and it was a PASS, so I was more eager to pass also my last VCAP.

The registration process was the same as for all other exams I had done at VMware events (2 IDs, no backbag, no clock, no vest/jacket). The first thing I have noticed was the exam environment. There was as usual a Wyse Zero Client and a 23 inches!!!! TFT. I thought “wow it’s the first time I don’t have to use a resolution of 1024 to 768”.

Exam

The DTA exam is a little bit different as the other xxA exams. It consists of only 23 questions (single questions or sub-task questions) and you have 180min (plus 30min for non-native speaker) to complete the exam. Fewer question compared to 32 in the CIA exam but also less time 210 to 180min. The lab is based on VMware Horizon View 5.2 and Thinapp 4.7. It includes configuration, installation and troubleshooting tasks. After some questions I recognised that there was no lag or other annoying performance issue compared to an exam which I took in Austria. But as with the CIA I encounter some small problems within the exam. One thing was a not so clear question about configuring a specific component. The other thing was and I hope I don’t break NDA yet that a “physical” PC or something like that was available for one question but unavailable for another question (no RDP, no ping). Maybe it was my fault and I shutdown this client I don’t know. So be careful if there is an physical Client.

Preparation

Because I had only 2 weeks to prepare for that exam I had done only little preparation. I counted on my experience I have configuring and troubleshooting View environments. I went through the blue print and looked only on Section I’m not so familiar with e.g. configure syslog, vdmadmin, location based printer, profile management etc. I have done this prep during my flight to San Francisco!

A very good study resources page can be found at http://www.virtuallyvirtuoso.com/ so check it out before doing either VCAP-DTA or VCAP-DTD.

I also try to create a VCAP-DTA study guide with real world examples, but I don’t know when and if!

Conclusion

Compared to the other Admin exams DTA was not so tough, but this is maybe a subjective feeling, because I’m doing this on a daily basis. Overall this Administrator exam was the best and most complete exam I’ve ever took. It bears repeating but time management is the most important thing when doing a VCAP exam. I finished my exam with 28 seconds left.

Normally the waiting time is 10 business days but thanks god I got a secret source on twitter, who told me 2 or 3 days later that I have passed. After 10 days also the score report was delivered and I scored with 355. After passing my last VCAP I’m an proud owner of all 6 VCAPs (8 if you count the version 4 of DCA/DCD too) which means that only one certification (VCDX) is left and is a target for 2014.

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