VCAP-DTA Exam Blueprint Released

So the VCAP-DTA exam has finally made it out of beta and is now available to sit at your local (!) Prometric test centre. Now I’ve got the two VCAP-DCx exams passed and out of the way, I want to complete my desktop VCAP collection. I already passed the VCAP-DTD when it went through beta, but unfortunately missed the beta of the DTA owing to work commitments.

Anyway, feel free to download the exam blueprint here, I’m going to try and get some thoughts down on the objectives with a view to sitting the exam sometime in the next couple of months when the next discount vouchers start doing the rounds!

Exam Format

So looking at the blueprint, what can we infer? Well this exam is slightly shorter than the VCAP-DCA equivalent – only 3 hours (ha, only!) and 23 lab activities instead of 26 for the DCA. The passing score requirement is still the same, 300/500 and I’m guessing you will still have to wait for your score on completion so a real person can go and score it for you.

As per previous exams, there is a short survey at the start of the exam of 9 questions which apparently have no effect on the final score or your questions, but I do wonder what the point of it is otherwise. I always select the answer which marks me out at a total newbie in the vain hope I’ll get an easier bunch of questions. As ever, your mileage may vary and I have no evidence to substantiate my suspicions.

The blueprint makes reference of the fact you get credit for partially correct responses. It goes without saying that you should do as much as you can on a question, even if you’re running out of time or tackling a topic you might not be that hot on. At the end of the day, 10 marks could be the difference between passing or failing.

Exam Environment

The blueprint references the fact that the exam is based on VMware Horizon View 5.2. This is an important and often overlooked fact. The VCAP-DCA exam is based on vSphere 5.0, and as most of my recent experience was with 5.1, sometimes subtle differences in dialog boxes can really throw you. Make sure you study for the exam with the 5.2 version so you’re fully conversant with the interfaces, functionality and basically how to “do stuff” quickly and accurately.

There is also reference to the fact that the live lab consists of the following :-

  • 4 ESXi hosts
  • 3 vCenter Servers
  • 4 View Connection Servers
  • “A number of pre-configured virtual machines”

From this I’m inferring that at least one objective will involve connecting a vCenter Server into the View Administrator console, so know how to do that. This emphasises the pod and block reference design that VMware publish as best practice. If you do pod and block for large deployments, you’ll need multiple vCenters.

Intended Audience

This section is again useful in providing some useful tit bits as to what you might see on the exam, or be expected to do. I picked out the following :-

  • Installation, configuration, administration and troubleshooting of a VMware View environment
  • Utilise View Administrator to create, manage and deploy desktop images
  • Optimise and troubleshoot “all” View components, so I’m thinking Connection Server, Security Server, Transfer Server at a minimum
  • Windows desktop administration including group policy, AD, DNS and DHCP. So from this I’m thinking you’ll need to know the View ADM templates and what to configure (how to optimise slow connections, for example). Also, there’s probably a good chance you’ll have to configure an OU for View desktops and some groups to add View users to, such as Remote Desktop Users. Again, all my own inference here, I’ve not sat the exam yet

Other Notes

Section 3.1 (objectives introduction) mentions the need to know VMware View and VMware ThinApp for the exam. There is no explicit mention of Horizon Workspace or any of the other suite products such as vCOps for View, so I think we can safely assume that focussing our revision efforts on the “main” View components (Connection Server, Security Server, Transfer Server, View Administrator) and ThinApp will be enough and will be all we will be tested on.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief intro into the VCAP-DTA exam. Hopefully over the next few weeks, time permitting, I can add some more notes to a small study guide to share with the community.

As always, comments and thoughts welcome.


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