For the last few years at VMworld I’ve taken advantage of the discounted exam price and booked a “have-a-go” exam – typically an exam I’ve been wanting to do but not necessarily had the time I wanted to study for it. Since I have been fairly immersed in the NSX world for the last week, sitting in an NSX design and deploy class and surrounded by some very smart networking guys, I changed my “have-a-go” exam from the VCP6-CMA to the VCIX-NV.
The exam experience was a double edged sword – on the one hand I really enjoyed the tasks and found all the questions to be fair. On the other hand I found the latency and the interface to be a real struggle, I needed to reload the web interface 20-30 times, each time costing me 30 seconds – that’s 10-15 minutes of wasted time. I also had to be swapped over to another terminal because mine crashed, with 10 minutes to go to the end.
The exam room was cold…very cold. Nearly four hours in a t-shirt in a heavily air-conditioned room and I was shivering. I should’ve learned from the last time but I didn’t! It’s also a long time to go without a drink too – I was gasping by the time I left.
My initial impression was that I’d failed the exam – I didn’t complete several (3-4) of the questions and I made a mistake early on which I had to spend a long time unpicking. After and hour and 20 minutes I’d only completed 4 of the 18 questions. So when I hit the “finish” button I assumed I’d have a 10 day wait for a failure – fortunately the exam was marked and the result sent to me a couple of hours after the exam was completed, a pass with a decent score
I’d recommend anyone planning to do the exam to go through the blueprint – Martijn Smit (@smitmartijn) has a great VCIX-NV study guide based on the blueprint which you can also download in PDF format. There are two VMware Hands On Labs that cover all of the blueprint functionality, so I would strongly recommend doing those too – and you can do the HOL but not follow any of the guides – break it and fix it.