The VCAPs Strike Back

A while back, VMware announced the death of their VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certification in favor of a combined VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX) certification. Meaning – the VCAP-style exams still existed, but there was no longer an associated certification for them. One would have to take both the Administration (Deployment) and Design exams to reach VCIX status, which tickled a lot of folks the wrong way. This was initially put forth as part of the Network Virtualization track, which I wrote about as part of the NSX Ninja program, and then later described in detail as the vSphere 6 suite of exams were released (which I ranted about).


In a recent publication, VMware has stated their decision to reverse the removal of the VCAP certification. The net result is that everything is pretty much back to the way they were, except now you get a shiny new certification – the VCIX – for completing both of the VCAP exams. Previously, there was no reward for doing both VCAP exams beyond being allowed to submit a design for the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) defense.

I suppose this is handy for the gamification of a certification process, as many comments on VMware’s post seems happy to be recognized for passing a single VCAP exam, but adds no actual value to the certification workflow. I’ve also seen little uptake on certifications beyond the VCP for hiring purposes, and constant rebranding and shifting of certifications by VMware does little to aid in strengthening the value for persons who have undergone the process.


I will give VMware the nod when it comes to uplifting vSphere 5 certifications to vSphere 6. Based on their upgrade workflows, it’s pretty easy to do. To reach VCIX6 status:

  • If you have a VCAP5 Administration, pass the VCAP6 Design exam
  • If you have a VCAP5 Design, pass the VCAP6 Deployment exam
  • If you have both VCAP5s, pass any VCAP6 exam
  • If you have zero VCAP5s, pass both VCAP6 exams

And for those who just want to upgrade their VCAP5 to a VCAP6, take the newer exam in the same track. Simple enough.