June VCDX Defense Contingency Plan For Desktop and Cloud


A couple days ago as many people know VMware Education announced the immediate retirement of certain VCAP exams for desktop and cloud.  The announcement retired the following exams:

  • VCID510 – VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Cloud Infrastructure Design
  • VCIA510 – VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Cloud Infrastructure Administration
  • VDTA510 – VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Desktop Administration
  • VDTD510 – VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Desktop Design

In turn a follow up blog post was put up to further clarify the retirement plan.  However, it’s been my mission over the last day or two with Karl Childs to come up with a VCDX specific contingency plan.  The challenge as we all know is that these exams are the prerequisite to defending a VCDX design in front of the panel.  Since the VCDX program cannot control the retirement specifically this is what we in the VCDX world call a “Constraint”.  Therefore we needed to figure out a way to work within this constraint, adjust as needed and at the same time evaluate risk.  As you can imagine this has upset a few VCDX candidates, but the Contingency Plan is now in place and has been posted and announced on the VCDX VMTN Forum.  This is just my personal take on the decision.

Business fulfills each and every one of them

The Risk to the VCDX June Defenses

In short, in my opinion, this abrupt retirement of the two VCAP tracks put a risk on two of the four VCDX tracks for the April 1st submission deadline.  Some people were planning to submit for VCDX-DTM and VCDX-CMA, but still had to complete one or both of the VCAP exam requirements.  This literally puts Karl and I in a pickle situation.  We needed to figure out a way to mitigate the risk of not having two tracks available to defend on when the prerequisites are not available as a constraint.  We think we have come up with the solution.

Contingency Plan For VCDX June Defenses

Per the Official VMTN post by Karl Childs, effective March 4th, the VCAP requirement for April 1st VCDX submissions on VCDX-DTM and VCDX-CMA will be temporarily WAIVED.  This is only going to apply for the April 1st submission deadline and the June VCDX defenses.  By the time the next round of VCDX defenses the new versions of the VCAP exams should be available.  So welcome to Christmas in June!

Business team enjoying victory

Note:  You will still need to have the correct VCP exams in place for both VCP-Cloud and VCP5-Desktop.

What Else Does This Mean For VCDX Submissions?

In my opinion, nothing.  VCDX-DCV and VCDX-NV requirements stay the same since those exams are still valid.  You still will have to submit a completed design application, and pass the review stage.  For people submitting for a double, the same no re-defense process will apply, you can submit your designs for evaluation and review before the submission deadline.  This was the only way we could think of to allow those planning to submit for April to continue with the process.  We think it’s a pretty fair offer so please comment below.

This Does Not Make VCDX Easier

You still have to apply and pass the review stage to be invited to defend, unless you are submitting for a double, so the defense process is still where the rubber meets the road.  This does not de-value the VCDX as some people have said, it’s what we call a work around to a massive constraint tossed to us.  This is what VCDX is all about after all, understanding the requirements and constraints.  We have a requirement to have desktop and cloud defenses, with no exams available, we made the best decision we could and I think it was a damn good one given the constraint.

Take this opportunity and RUN WITH IT!


About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. Joseph Griffiths

    As a current vcdx this is awesome. The next three weeks are going to suck but I consider it gift vcdx-cloud incoming. I am glad you worked around the constraints placed upon you. The value is not removed in my mind just because less tests are required. I think the real challenge will be the landslide of designs that are sure to come. The load you and the reviewers will have to endure during may will be rough. As a vcdx I am constantly trying to get others to go for the vcdx not limit the number of vcdxs. This is truly a rare chance. Take three weeks off and get it on.

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