VCAP Data Center Virtualization Design 2021

Last week I sat the VCAP Data Center Virtualization Design 2021 (3V0-21.21) exam based on vSphere 7. It was a tough but fair exam, all the questions need to be read carefully as sometimes the answer(s) were really well hidden in the question. I passed with a score of 325 of 500, but I think I could have done better IF I had prepared better.


That’s the reason why I’m writing this blog, to help you prepare through some handy resources and tips, so that you can ace the VCAP Data Center Virtualization Design 2021 exam.

The VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) exams tests the ability of a person to deploy, administer, and design complex virtual environments. The VCAP exams come in two types: Design and Deployment. Passing both exams earns the VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX) badge. The VCIX badge is a digital representation of your achievement for earning both the VCAP Deploy and Design certifications.

Let’s start with the official documentation:
VMware Certified Advanced Professional — Data Center Virtualization Design 2021

The first thing you should do is to check which path suits your journey best for sitting the exam. There are different requirements like earning your VCP first or attending a Design Workshop first all depending on your certification level.

After making sure you have met all the requirements for sitting the exam, the next step is selecting which exam you’re going to take. As there are two VCAP Data Center Virtualization Design exams available:

Option 1: VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization Design
Option 2: Advanced Design VMware vSphere 7.x

The process for both is the same, in my case I went for the newest one based on vSphere 7.x.

Now in my opinion one of the most important documents is the Exam Guide:
Advanced Design VMware vSphere 7.x Exam Guide

Read this document carefully as this will describe the minimally qualified or acceptable candidate (MQC) and describes the exam objectives.

The format for the Advanced Design VMware vSphere 7.x is based on Single and Multiple Choice questions. There are no ‘connect the objects’ Visio or drag and drop questions anymore. Which in my case kept my frustration level down, because the last thing you want is battle a sub-optimal working application during your exam (people who did the VCAP-DCV 5 Design will know…).

Exam Tips:

  • Don’t linger on 1 question, if you don’t know it after 3 minutes mark it down and move onto the next.
  • The duration for exam is 150 minutes to answer 60 questions, this means you have roughly around 2.5 minutes per question. Keeping an eye on the time is key.
  • Make sure you’re able to identify the difference between Functional and Non-Functional requirements.
  • In the Exam Guide are 10 sample question, they will give you a good idea on how the questions are written.
  • In case you need to make notes, use the whiteboard feature located at the top of your screen. I used it for example for some calculations.

    Exam Useful Resources:

    And make sure you are familiar with all the documents mentioned in the Exam Guide.

    Remote Proctored Exam

    This was not something new for me as I sat the VCP Data Center Virtualization the week before my VCAP. This was in the end a good idea as it got me familiar with the remote proctored exams process. The process is well documented on the OnVUE online proctored page:
    Pearson Onvue Online testing for VMware

    Make sure you’re understanding and meeting all the requirements and do the system check the day before you sit the exam. Having done this the day before reduces the stress on the exam day itself, because for some people this day can be quite stressful already.

    Mark Anthony V. Melendres uploaded a good video that shows the Pearson Onvue Online check-in process which can be found here:
    EXAM DAY: Process of using onVUE App (Pearsonvue Online Exam Application) at Home or Office

    Remote Proctored Exam Tips:

  • Apply a clean desk policy, remove all non-essential items off the desk. This includes pens, papers, bottles, headphones and so on.
  • Only a single monitor is allowed, I had to disconnect my 2nd monitor and show the proctor that it was powered off and disconnected.
  • Inform the people you live with that you’re sitting the exam, people entering the room can result in a failed exam.
  • During the exam try to keep you hands of your face, this sounds easy but it appeared to be a challenge for me as I rested my head on my hands while reading the questions and I got asked to restrain myself to touch my face 🙂
  • Check in on time! My microphone got detected on the system check the day before but on the exam day it did not. It took me 10 minutes to get it sorted, if you check-in on time (max 30 minutes before your exam) you can make sure everything is OK before you start.
  • And remove posters and clean your whiteboard(s) as you can get asked to remove them.

    Good luck and let me know how it went!

    Marco van Baggum

    Marco works as a Staff Consulting Architect at VMware. Want to learn more about Marco? Check out Marco's About page.

    One thought to “VCAP Data Center Virtualization Design 2021”

    1. Hello Marco,

      I find your page a couple of days ago and it’s very helpful. I taking this exam two times and fail 290/300. I got 3 questions I think to fail, it possible I can share with you and share impressions about possible answers. I hope you can help me with the theme.

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