Last week I sat the new VCIX-NV exam from VMware which is based all around NSX 6.0 for vSphere. The exam itself is just like a VCAP-DCA/CIA type exam with a real live lab and having to conduct various tasks relating to what I would consider BAU operational tasks and proper deep-dive networking troubleshooting questions.
There were 18 questions to be answered in 3 hours with some being relatively easy and others being time consuming and rigorous. Unusually there was a comment section to give feedback which was dually used due to some inaccuracies and a misspelling in the questions.
The exam lab itself was pretty straightforward and a casual review of the environment in viClient was enough to understand the setup. Unfortunately to administrate NSX you must use the web client and, unsurprisingly, it was its usual self whereby it was sluggish and prone to crashing.
I didn’t use any online resources or study guides as my day to day job for the last 2 months has been around NSX 6.1 and setting up DLR’s, ESG’s and DFW in a production environment. Getting actual time with the NSX product is vital to pass the exam so if you can’t get your hands on the software then you will need to spend several hours using the hands on labs.
I can probably sum up the exam with a list of Pros and Cons:
- The exam covers what is in the Blueprint and no more
- The tasks can be done within the timescale (but the screen refresh issue will impact you if outside the US)
- The tasks are real life operational type activities that an NSX admin will be required to know
- There was a good emphasis on network routing knowledge and not just the usual vSphere admin tasks. A network guy won’t need to know a huge amount about ESX & vCenter to get the job done but must be familiar with the basic administration of a vSphere environment
- The troubleshooting element of the exam means you need to have at least a CCNA R&S knowledge of networking, it’s not an exam you can wing with knowledge of vSphere dvSwitches and vShield Manager.
- The usual screen refresh issue for the Admin exams occurred making the most basic of tasks take minutes instead of seconds. Ask for more time if you’re having a pretty horrific time of it. Please VMware/Pearson place a few labs in the EU. Based on the system time in the environment it was likely to have been running from somewhere on the west coast of the US, 5000 miles away!
- There were errors in some questions which can really throw you. Also some of the questions are vague so you have to put a security hat on and make a solid guess at what might be the right end result.
- It’s possible to trash the environment within the first few questions so BE CAREFUL!!!!
I received the result after 5 working days and am pretty chuffed to have passed.