VMware Certified Design Expert – VCDX

by Mirek Burnejko

VMware Certified Design Expert

The King of all Virtualization Certifications

VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) is the highest virtualization certification.

It is also very elite, because it it hard to pass. To become VMware Certified Design Expert you must pass few exams, attend to at least one training, submit, present and defense your VMware Certified Design Expert application.

You must have a lot of experience with design and configuration of VMware environments in enterprise level deployments. This is almost necessary during defending your design application.

After becoming a VMware Certified Design Expert you will be one of almost one hundred experts on the market and well-known in the community. People with VCDX are also often hired by VMware itself.

What Exams You Must Pass to Become a VMware Certified Design Expert

To become VCDX-DV 5 (current version) you must do following steps (starting from 0).
1. Take one of the five official trainings:

  • VMware vSphere: Advanced Fast Track [V5.x]
  • VMware vSphere: Automation Fast Track [V5.x]
  • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.x]
  • VMware vSphere: Bootcamp [V5.x]
  • VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting [V5.x]

2. Pass VMware Certified Professional Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5 (VCP5-DV) exam
3. Pass VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere 4: Datacenter Administration (VCAP5-DCA) exam
4. Pass VMware Certified Advanced Professional: Design (VCAP5-DCD) exam
5. Submit VCDX4 Application.
6. After passing VCAP5-DCA and VCAP5-DCD you’ll receive an email from [email protected] with instructions where and how you can submit your application
7. Present and defend your application (board members are people with the VMware Certified Design Expert certifications)

Format of the Exam

After receiving an email with instructions, you must create your application. This is the hardest part of the process, because you will not find a template and any information what you must include in your design. You will receive only few suggestions about you application.

An application has 5-15 documents and must have about 100-250 pages. These documents must describe your design, diagrams, implementation and installation instructions, operational plans, etc.

The interview process consists of three parts.
1. Defense – 75 minutes.
A short introduction of your project and answering the questions, with showing your knowledge about your design and why you choose that solution.
2. Design section – 30 minutes
3. Troubleshooting section – 15 minutes

Where You Can Pass the VMware Certified Design Expert Exam

VMware organizes the exam once a few months around the world. The actual list of the places to defend your application you can find here.

How Much Does the VCDX Exam Cost

If you have VCP5, VCAP5-DCA and VCAP5-DCD, the VMware Certified Design Expert exam will cost you:
– Submitting application – $300
– Registration fee – $900

How To Renew Your VMware Certified Design Expert Certification

You don’t need to take whole VCDX process on more time. VCDX certification is valid lifelong.

How To Prepare to the VMware Certified Design Expert Exam

Examples of Job Opportunities



Success Story

I’ve already describe my journey (see last link on vinfrastructure.it) but maybe I’ve not yet describe how this certification has change my life.
Basically because my professional life is not change at all, but this was a my choice. After the certification I’ve received several interesting proposal, but I like my jobs and I’ve choose (for this period) to remain in the “same boat”.
Anyway the VCDX experience was a really great challenge and an important grow (not for my career, as described before, but for my professional skill and knowledge). It’s a way to demonstrate (also to myself) that I’m on a “right way”.
Finally, in my opinion, a certification, also the VCDX one, is not a goal, is remain a travel where you have only reach a new level, but you cannot pull up!

Andrew Mauro – VCDX #35

Questions and Answers

Q: Can I upgrade my VCDX3 to VCDX4 and what about upgrading VCDX4 to VCDX5?
A: Yes you can. If you have VCDX3 and VCP3, you must upgrade VCP exam to version 4 and pass VCAP4-DCD exam. After these steps you’ll be VCDX4. Upgrade to VCDX is not known yet.

Q: Is the VCDX certification really that hard?
A: You can find it on the list of the hardest IT certification to get.