VMware Adds New Partner Certification Level

The new VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) program gives partners who have already received VMware Certified Professional (VCP) status an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their peers and customers.

It is also a step for partners looking to get certified for the company’s most difficult program, the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX).

VMware currently has about 50,000 partner and customer personnel certified in its VCP program, but only about 50 in its VCDX program.

VCAP will offer two certification specialties for partners, VMware said.

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The first is the VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Administrator (VCAP-DCA) certification for system administrators, senior consultants, and technical support engineers working in complex virtualized environments.

The second is the VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Design (VCAP-DCD) certification for IT architects who design VMware solutions in multi-site environments.

VCAP is important for partners looking to differentiate themselves from the 50,000 VCP-certified people, said Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of technology solutions at International Computerware (ICI), a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider.

ICI currently has 15 VCP-certified people. One of them, CTO Brad Maltz, is also one of the only 50 people worldwide certified at the VCDX level, Shepard said.

Moving ICI’s VCP-certified personnel to the VCAP status will be big in terms of differentiating them from their peers, and in terms of presenting the company’s abilities to customers, Shepard said.

“Getting VCP is like getting Novell’s CNE (Certified Novell Engineer) status,” he said. “VCP is pretty common. Customers can get it, too. VCAP is a stepping stone to VCDX. I want to get all our VCPs to VCDX eventually.”

VMware took advantage of Maltz’s work in getting VCDX certified to develop the VCAP certification program, Shepard.

Maltz got the VCDX certification via self-study, and about three-fourths of the way through it he was contacted by VMware, which asked for his help in designing a clean-cut process for gaining VCAP status, he said.

“Now with VCAP, we have clear steps that will give us the opportunity to see if it’s worth the extra investment to get someone up to the VCDX status,” he said.

Matthew Weiner, strategic solutions development manager at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider, said he sees value in new VCAP certification program, but partners are now just learning about it and so it is too early to fully understand it.

“Based on the description ... I would say that Nth is highly likely to obtain both the advanced design certification for our solutions architects and the advanced system administration certification for our delivery team,” Weiner said.

The VCAP-DCA exam opens in July, followed a month later by the opening of the VCAP-DCD exam, VMware said.