Friday 29 May 2015

VMware VCP-NV Network Virtualization (NSX) Exam Experience with some Tips!

I hope this post is not in breech of the VMware exam NDA, having read this a few times I don't think it is. If you disagree please let me know.

VMware NSX has been on my radar since about September last year to get in the lab and play with it. After some visibility of my potential next few projects with SystemsUp (and VMware PSO) I thought I better get it up and going ASAP.

What better way to prove you have understood an entire new product than taking the certification exam? So I decided to have a go at the VCP-NV credential.

This post outlines some of my thoughts around the exam, and perhaps the most importantly for most what I used to pass the exam.

  1. At least Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching is required (In my opinion)
  2. Understand Layer 2 - MAC addresses, VLANs, broadcast domains etc
  3. Understand Layer 3 - Routing, subnet masks, OSPF
  4. Understand the Leaf/Spine architecture, and how its better over traditional 3-tier
  5. Understand link state routing protocols OSPF, IS-IS
  6. Understand what VXLAN is and how its used
  7. Understand VPN and basic cryptography (diffie-hellman, sha etc)
You will find this exam very difficult if you do not spin it up in a lab, or at least do the free VMware Hands on Labs. I did a mixture of both.

I used the following snippets of training material to study for the VCP-NV exam.
  1. VMware NSX Documentation (
  2. VMware NSX for vSphere Network Virtualization Guide (Google it)
  3. VMware NSX for vSphere on Cisco UCS with Nexus 7000 Design Guide (Google it)
  4. VMware NSX Install, Configure and Manage Courseware
  5. Pluralsight VMware NSX Courses (Intro & Adv)
  6. CBT Nuggets "ICND1" OSPF Videos
  7. CBT Nuggets "CISSP" Cryptography Videos
  8. INE VXLAN Videos (under the CCIE Data Center Courseware)
  9. VMware Hands on Labs
If you do want to get it up and working in its entirety in your lab, you will need some powerful hardware and probably some decent Cisco switches to get VXLAN etc all working. I only got so far in my small lab and took to using the VMware Hands on Labs.