VMware has released a new certification program called the VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP). The VCAP certification serves a second-tier certification, for IT administrators and consultants to drill deeper into the VMware certification world. This is a great opportunity for IT folks that want to take a leadership role in their organization's virtualization implementation (or to have the knowledge to react to the business's push toward virtualization). Virtualization has had a huge adoption in a very short time, and training resources are still catching up.
VMware has created two certification exams for the VCAP level (quotes come from a VMware press release):
"VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Administration (VCAP-DCA) is directed toward system administrators, senior consultants, and technical support engineers who are capable of working with large and/or more complex virtualized environments and can demonstrate technical leadership with VMware vSphere technologies. Successful candidates will also be capable of using automation tools, planning and designing virtualized solutions, and administering all VMware vSphere Enterprise components. The exam for VCAP-DCA opens July 12, 2010."
"The other specialty, VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Design (VCAP-DCD), is directed toward IT architects and consulting architects who can demonstrate their skills in designing VMware solutions in a multi-site, large enterprise environment. Successful candidates will have shown a deep understanding both of VMware core components and their relation to storage and networking, and also of data center design methodologies. They will also have shown knowledge of applications and physical infrastructure, as well as their relationship to the virtual infrastructure. Registration for the VCAP-DCD exam opens in August."
VMware's other certification levels are the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) and the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX). The VCP certification is an entry-level certification to measure basic understanding of VMware technologies, and the VCDX is a high-level certification that, according to VMware, only about 50 people have worldwide. (So I would think of it as similar to the Master and Architect levels in the Microsoft certification track.)
Given that VMware's solutions are widely deployed across organizations globally, I'd say it's probably well overdue that VMware come out with a certification level between the VCP and the VCDX level. The VCAP certification is a good fit for an IT pro that has a very strong interest in VMware technology—the VCDX probably only makes sense for consultants that specialize in VMware and resident VMware experts in large enterprises. (Note: VMware has created some VCP-level exams to help prepare for the VCAP exams, but there are no forced prerequisites to the VCAP exams.)
If your organization is currently using VMware virtualization technology or may deploy it in the future, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the VMware certification program available. Virtualization is a budding technology, and organizations are looking for IT to lead the charge.
Related Reading about VMware:
- VMware Workstation and Server Differences
- Comparative Review: VMware Fusion vs. Parallels Desktop