VMware community members are asking for more time, stating that the six-month grace period given by VMware just isn't long enough. They wonder why VMware is forcing them to rush, when it often takes an organization a full year before it upgrades to the next major release of VMware vSphere. Since these certifications have such a high expectation around hands-on experience, it makes sense to give administrators the time to get up to speed after migrating.
If you don't upgrade your certification before the deadline, what happens?
After Feb. 29, VCP4 owners will have to take a two-day course titled "VMware vSphere: What's New [V5.0]" that costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500. The costs grow further for individuals who have a VCP3 certification. They will need to complete a five-day training course (either "VMware vSphere Install, Configure, Manage [V5.0]" or "VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V5.0]") which could cost upward of $5,500 for the training class in addition to travel expenses that may be incurred.
With the economy in the shape it is, more and more companies are cutting educational and certification items from the IT budget. For most administrators, additional course requirements just to upgrade from one VCP version to another will not only prove to be a major hassle, it may be a deal breaker.
VMware has been leading the way in virtualization innovation, as well as in virtualization certifications. While I applaud the company's efforts to maintain the integrity of its certification by requiring course work, perhaps it could do a better job by transitioning away from a multiple-choice exam to a more task-based, hands-on lab environment approach where appropriate. This would allow individuals with years of experience under their belts to take the exam without having to find the funds to pay for a training course.
What do you think? Should required courses be done away with? Should the exam become more lab-based? If you have an older VCP or no VCP at all, would removing the classroom obstacle entice you to upgrade or take the VCP5 exam?
This article, "VMware VCP5 certification upgrade deadline fast approaching," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.