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The most important change to the VMware certification program that VDI administrators need to know about is the addition of the Desktop & Mobility track in all four certification levels.
VMware previously offered a Desktop specialization in three of its four certifications, but the Desktop-specific track is now only available for the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) level. The Desktop & Mobility track for each certification checks VDI admins' proficiency using VMware Horizon View 6, and all four certification levels have undergone changes.
The VCP certification, which is also a prerequisite for the two more advanced levels, now requires everyone to pass the vSphere 6 Foundations exam which is meant to validate your understanding of and ability to deploy vSphere. Even if your VDI shop doesn't do server virtualization, you'll need to become certified in vSphere before getting certified in Horizon.
VMware also restructured the VCP level to reflect the new emphasis on vSphere. You must now pass two exams rather than just one: You must pass the vSphere 6 Foundations exam and a second exam specific to your area of focus. For VDI admins, that’s either the Desktop or Desktop & Mobility track, so you must choose one of those two exams.
In addition, the VCP level requires that you complete a training course, such as Horizon (with View): Install Configure, Manage. The Desktop track offers the alternative of taking the VMware Mirage and Horizon with View: Fast Track course. The Desktop & Mobility track has two courses in the works -- Horizon: Design and Deploy and End-User Computing Design and Deploy -- although they're not yet available.
VMware admins should also know about the introduction of the VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX) level, which replaces the VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) level. Previously, VCAP was the only level that did not offer a Desktop track, but the VCIX level is available to VDI admins through the Desktop & Mobility track.
The VCIX level tests you on the skills necessary to create product-level designs and deploy the design components. To qualify for VCIX certification, you must already be a VCP and pass two exams -- one focused on design and the other on administration. VMware shortened the certification exams from 4 hours to 2 hours.
You'll also find changes to the Certified Design Expert (VCDX) course. The VCDX level comes with lifetime membership -- there are only about 200 of these experts worldwide -- but those who want to update their certification to the VCDX6 level only need to take the VCIX6 Design exam for their specific track. They do not have to undergo an additional defense. The VCDX Desktop certification previously required a VCAP certification, but because VMware retired that level, the new prerequisite is a VCP certification.
One piece of good news: The VMware Certified Associate level appears mostly unchanged.
Certainly, this can all seem overwhelming, and some of the information still appears to be in flux or incomplete, so it's worth checking in with VMware for any other changes before seeking a certification. On the bright side, VMware has created an elite status for those who complete multiple certifications at the VCP, VCIX, or VCDX levels.
How to prepare for the VCP exam
Navigate the VMware certification roadmap
Should you pursue a VMware certification?
Dig Deeper on VMware virtual desktop software
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