As most VMware Pros will have heard the VCP-NV (Network Virtualisation) exam is out and is primarily all about NSX. Since the announcement I’ve been doing some reading up on it and took a hands on lab to get a better understanding about how it all works. Today I sat the exam and thankfully had done enough to pass.
While I will admit to being a bit of a VMware cert junkie, the recent VCP-NV coincided with my day to day job where I’ve been also recently evaluating various virtual routing products such as the Brocade 5400/5600 vRouters, the Cisco 1000v + ASA Cloud Gateway and currently NSX. This was from a starting point of the the incumbent VCNS & vShield Edge devices underpinning the private cloud I use daily. This gave me a bit of an advantage in the exam as I am well aware of the vShield edge capabilities and how VXLAN works.
Anyway onto the exam itself… This is not an exam for the networking novice and certainly it helps if you’re up to a CCNA level of knowledge. The 120 questions you face are all based on the exam blueprint but not all directly relate to NSX itself. There’s plenty of ‘low hanging fruit’ by knowing:
- …the differences between a vSS and vDS
- …what a VTEP is
- …what a ‘mtu’ has to do with networking
- …what multicast is and its limitations
- …the upgrade path to NSX 6
- …what the difference is between traditional edge networking and the new world of distributed routers and firewalls
- …that you don’t need vSphere to use NSX. You can happily run it over KVM and/or XEN and get the same network abstraction
Getting through the study in the two weeks meant getting very familiar with the NSX design guide, the admin guide and the installation guide. I also found the VMware lab, HOL-SDC-1303, to be an invaluable resource.
Also I should add, as an excellent foundation for vSphere networking you really should check out Chris Wahl and Stephen Pantol’s book Networking for VMware Administrators.
Best of luck in going for the VCP-NV, it’s a nice challenge and I really know NSX a lot better than I did. It’s just a shame that the closest you can get to play with the product is in a HOL and not in your home lab. Maybe someday soon…