Thinking About VCDX In 2013? The Schedule Is Published

For those interested in pursuing the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification, Mark Brunstad (the fearless leader and overall program Ninja) has published the dates of the 2013 defenses.

In a nutshell, it appears that a defense will be held at three Partner Exchange (PEX) events in addition to the two VMworld conferences, both in the US and in Europe.

Additionally, this statement caught my eye.

Support for the VCDX4 credential will continue until the prerequisite certifications are retired.

This is likely good news for those who passed the VCAP4-DCD and VCAP4-DCA and thought they missed out on the VCDX4 defense. My own defense was in this same boat – I provided a vSphere 5 design but participated in a VCDX4 defense, which realistically just boiled down to being able to field any design or troubleshooting questions within both vSphere 4 and vSphere 5. It also resulted in having both a VCDX4 and VCDX5 certification, which is always nice. 🙂

PEX Defense Dates

For those new to it, PEX is like a scaled down version of VMworld for the VMware partner ecosystem. I’ve yet to attend one for various reasons. However, you don’t need to be a partner to do a defense at one – you just won’t actually be mixed up with the PEX “stuff.”

Although you can’t still submit for the upcoming PEX defense in Las Vegas, the remaining two PEX events are still open: Tokyo, Japan and Sydney, Australia. While the actual dates of the defenses are still awaiting a final note, the submission deadline dates and time have in fact been published. You have until March 22nd for Tokyo and March 29th for Sydney. Realistically, I’d advise giving yourself at least two months to iron out all of the documents, so now is the time to start!

Are you in the European area and want to see a PEX defense in your neighborhood? You can express interest in a defense opportunity in July at Frimley. This will help the powers that be understand what sort of demand there is to figure out if resources should be shifted around. After all – there’s only a limited number of VMware VCDX panelists to go around (VMware currently only uses their own employees as panelists to mitigate any sort of favoritism or competition issues).

vcdx-beer2VMworld Defense Dates

The VMworld dates are a tad easier, as the conferences have already picked solid dates. VMworld San Francisco will require a submission by July 12th and the VMworld Barcelona deadline is August 16th. If you’d have to rush to meet one of the PEX dates then I’d suggest just holding off for VMworld and picking one that you can attend. There’s no sense rushing the application and getting denied for missing a document or having an incomplete design (which also wastes your application fee).

Much like with PEX, you don’t need to be a VMworld attendee to make the defense. When I defended last year during VMworld Barcelona I had no pass to the event. The defenses were held outside of the conference at a nearby hotel.

When Will The VCAP4 Exams Be Retired?

That’s a mystery to all! While I couldn’t find any official statement on the VCAP exams, the official statement from VMware for the VCP4 is as follows:

There is no set deadline for retiring the VCP4 exam. A sufficient time period is always allowed before we retire an exam to ensure that the time and expense spent preparing to take the exam is not wasted.

vSphere 5 was released over 18 months ago, and if the timelines hold true to their standard cycle, vSphere 6 is due to release at VMworld this year. I’d imagine that you’re safe this year (although VMworld Barcelona may be a stretch). It is likely that the VCAP4’s will be retired shortly after vSphere 6 goes GA (which has historically been around September).

If you don’t plan to defend this year, it may be worth it to just go directly for the VCDX5 because I would imagine that the VCAPs for vSphere 6 will be a while coming. For example, the VCAP5-DCA exam didn’t even premier as a beta until the Spring of 2012 (I took it in beta and ended up passing).

Good Luck!