The new VMware desktop virtualization certification levels are similar to those for vSphere, with two notable differences. On the desktop side, there is a more entry-level certification, and there are no plans for a VMware Certified Design Expert-level credential.
VMware Certified Associate 4 -- Desktop
The entry-level VMware Certified Associate 4 -- Desktop (VCA4-DT) certification indicates that an IT professional has virtual desktop administration and troubleshooting skills. In the VCA4-DT exam blueprint, the predominant topics are monitoring, troubleshooting and maintenance. For the exam, it's more important to know where he options are located and what they do rather than how to design, install and integrate virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
This VMware desktop virtualization certification does not have course requirements, so most day-to-day View administrators will find the certification attainable. The exam is now live, having spent a short time in a public beta.
VMware Certified Professional 4 -- Desktop
The VMware Certified Professional 4 -- Desktop (VCP4-DT) is the next step up in the desktop virtualization certification family. It indicates an administrator's ability to install, integrate, configure and manage all aspects of VMware desktop virtualization infrastructure as well as understand how View's components interrelate with vSphere. Candidates must have the VMware Certified Professional 4 and VCA4-DT certifications.
The topics covered on the VCP4-DT exam include the installation and configuration of all View components, the optimization of the desktop image and the integration and set up of features, such as ThinApp, the Event Repository, Local Mode, Active Directory, remote printing and smart cards.
Because of the stringent prerequisites, this exam was held as an invite-only beta. But VMware plans to make this desktop virtualization certification available in late May.
VMware Certified Advanced Professional 4 -- Desktop
The VMware Certified Advanced Professional 4 -- Desktop (VCAP4-DT) is the ultimate VMware desktop virtualization certification. The exam is still under development, so there are few details available on it.
The exam is similar to the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 4 -- Datacenter Design test, in that it will assess architectural abilities. More specifically, the VCAP4-DT exam will test the ability to architect a complete VMware View infrastructure, based on a set of customer requirements -- most likely with the creation of design diagrams from customer and technical requirements. The VCP4-DT will be required before taking this exam, which should be released before the end of 2011.
So far, the beta versions of the VCA4-DT and VCP4-DT exams have been well attended and received. In my view, most questions were very fair and fit the goals of each certification.
Ultimately, VDI can be complex to implement and maintain, so these VMware desktop virtualization certifications should be meaningful. And the validation of VDI skills and the solid reputation of VMware certifications will likely make these desktop virtualization certifications popular.
This was first published in April 2011