For many VMware administrators, having VMware certification is a badge of honor within the virtualization community. Being a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) says a lot about an individual's dedication to the technology and level of expertise. And as the demand for IT professionals with data center virtualization skills increases, it is essential to be able to distinguish yourself in the job market.
Certification requires completion of a VMware-authorized training course and hands-on experience with VMware technologies. Having a VCP confirms you have the training needed to successfully install, deploy, scale, and manage a VMware vSphere environment. It typically requires a minimum of six months' experience with VMware infrastructure technologies to be comfortable enough to pass the exam. This is no IT "paper cert."
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When VMware released vSphere 5 in August 2011, the clock started ticking for folks to learn about the new version and work on upgrading their current VCP status. Along with the platform release, a new VCP5 training course and certification track was established to help educate VMware administrators about the new platform and explain the more than 140 new features found in vSphere 5, including the ESXi hypervisor. Much like previous VCP exams, this one is designed to test administrators on their hands-on experience.
But be warned! Time is running out for VCP4-certified VMware professionals to upgrade their VCP credentials to version 5 without being forced to pay for and sit through another training course. According to VMware, that deadline for a "no course requirement" for VCP4 owners is the end of this month: Feb. 29.
But is that timeframe really doable? For the majority of people, I would venture to say probably not.