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Usefull list of VMware VCAP5-DCA Study Resources

During the last few weeks I have begun to study for my VCAP5-DCA which I am currently intending to take in May 2013.

The first problem I came across was the lack of official VMware VCAP5-DCA study resources which was unusual for me haven taken many Microsoft and VMware exams in the past and always having a book to read from. There is a book planned for release in April 2013 which will be the official VMware VCAP5-DCA resource but until then the resources available are;

I of course started with Google and my searching left me with a variety of Study Guides of which some were complete and others not. They were also a variety of quality and detail which left me going round in circles from one guide to another and has slowed down my study process so I made the decision to specify the material I would primarily use and stick with it. I of course would use other material as and when needed such as a blog which went into detail on a specific subject but I would for all intensive purposes stick with my specified material.

The materials I choose are as follows;

My method for absorbing all the above is as follows

I will split each exam objective down to concentrate on only one exam objective at a time.

  1. I will use the vBrownBags videos to form the base of my learning and during the videos take notes on areas I know I need to improve on
  2. I will then use the Study guide Josh Coen and Jason Langer to improve upon what I have learned in the Videos and fill in any gaps. I will also be creating flash cards to cover simply questions such as what is a HA Datastore to what is the command mask a LUN which I will use during my studies
  3. I have a home lab which I will use to test each of the commands and procedures in
  4. Once I have completed the study guide and vBrownBags I will read the Mastering VMware VSphere 5 followed by the VMware vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive book
  5. Finally I will watch the Designing VMware Infrastructure video by Trainsignal
  6. Once this is complete I will again review the exam blue print and locate any weak areas to concentrate on them

Top Tip: Make sure you plan when and where your going to study. Setup your lab, laptop and what every else you need 15 minutes before hand so you can get straight into practicing.

Note: Once I have completed the Flash Cards I will post up a link so you can use them to.

Thanks to Gregg Robertson at the SaffaGeek for his post which I found really useful in order to work out what materials and resources are best to use when studying for the VCAP5-DCA.


Additional Resources used

Learn how to understand vscsiStats output and format them into an easy to understand language @

More details on Datastore Clustering –

More details on ESXTOP by Duncan Epping –

Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) Deep-Dive – Part 1 by Cormac Hogan –

Exam Reviews –

Want to know what is different between VCAP4-DCA and VCAP5-DCA have a look at this.

Gregg Robertson VCAP5-DCA Study resources.

Progress Update

22/Jan/2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 1 of the blue print.

14/Feb/2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 8 of the blue print. As more and more command based tasks were starting to appear I decided it would be a good idea to jump to section 8 – Perform Scripting and Automation in order to assist me.

24 Feb 2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 2 of the blue print.

15 March 2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 3 of the blue print.

09 April 2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 4 of the blue print.

15 April 2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 5 of the blue print.

01 May 2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 6 of the blue print.

09 May 2013 – I have now watched all the Trainsignal VMware vSphere 4 Troubleshooting videos.

12 May 2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 7 of the blue print.

14 May 2013 – I have now completed my studies of section 9 of the blue print.

14 May 2013 – I have now read all of the blueprint and performed over 400 admin tasks (my list of tasks that I have created). I know intend to re-do all the tasks again and rank them low, medium and high based on difficulty so I can further refine the tasks I need to keep performing in order for it to sink in and become second nature.

Study Scenarios

During my studies I complied a list of tasks to perform for each of the various objectives. In this document (VCAP5-DCA Study Scenarios) there are hundreds of scenarios which will tests your skills. I would recommend that you can do all of them before you take the exam.

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7 thoughts on “Usefull list of VMware VCAP5-DCA Study Resources

  • Paul Meehan says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    I came across you via the VCAP-DCA VMware communities group. I too am studying for the VCAP5-DCA at present and wanted to get in touch as it’s always good to network with people in the same boat !!.. I have completed 7 out of 9 modules. Just finished chapter 9 on Auto deploy – how cool is that – and when did the “What’s new in Vsphere 5″ course it didn’t make a lot of sense. with Lab time it’s now crystal… Anyway you can get me at
    One thing that I am doing differently than when I started studying for VCAP4 (which I stopped and re-calibrated to VS5), is that this time I printed off all the in hard copy from the blueprint which is great to go through each one. Never actually read some of those cover to cover until now … Although looks like you’ve got it covered to ;-)

    Paul Meehan

  • Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the feedback and i will ping you an email so you have mine.

    How is the studying going. You should be about finished now? Do you have the exam booked?


  • LP says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    Excellent resources. I am starting my VCAP-DCA study and gathering all the resources and links. Any suggestions where to start would be greatly appreciated. I am planning to flow with the blueprint at first. I was curious if you can share the 400 admin tasks list so i can try in my home lab.
    - thanks

  • dsizzle says:

    Great resources, and I like your posting of how long each study objective took you to complete.
    I just finished my home lab (using Autolab) and would also like to see your task list as I think this would be a great help to me.


    • Thanks.

      I will be posting my task list online in the next week or so. It needs a little tidying up and some info added so people other than me can make make sense of it.

  • […] you have been following my other post on VCAP5-DCA study resources you will know that I have been studying for the VCAP5-DCA exam over the last 5-6 months. It’s […]

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