Hi vAdmins,

I would like to take a moment to share my personal experience after recently taking the VCAP-DCV Deploy exam (3V0-22.21N).

Since I already obtained the VCAP-DCV Deploy series (a few years ago, which is based on VMware vSphere 5/VCAP5-DCA), I decided it was good moment to recertify. I planned to prepare for the most recent edition of the certification, VCAP-DCV Deploy 2024. During this preparation, I noticed that the corresponding exam is still based on VMware vSphere 7. I was quite surprised by this, as VMware vSphere 8 was released in November 2022, and this exam dates from 2021. I asked the VMware certification team whether there was already a roadmap is for the release of a new VCAP-DCV Deploy exam based on VMware vSphere 8, but so far no dates have been announced yet.

On the internet, you can find numerous remarkable blog posts where several vExperts have generously shared their experiences including insightful tips.

These blogs and the exam guide helped me determine the exam focus. I then started practicing in a freely available lab environment that VMware offers, called VMware Hands-on labs. In my opinion, this approach proved to be highly effective as it allowed me to delve into practice right away, eliminating the need for setting up my own home lab.

Exam details

The Advanced Deploy VMware vSphere® 7.x (3V0-22.21N) exam which leads to VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Virtualization 2024 (VCAP-DCV Deploy 2024) certification is a 17-item lab-based exam, with a passing score of 300 using a scaled scoring method. Candidates are given 205 minutes to complete the exam, which includes adequate time to complete the exam for non-native English speakers.

This exam is based on 4 sections, the first 3 do not apply to this Deploy exam, but are better suited for the VCAP-DCV Design exam (personal opinion).

Exam Sections

Section 1 – Architecture and Technologies (n/a)
Section 2 – Products and Solutions (n/a)
Section 3 – Planning and Designing (n/a)
Section 4 – Installing, Configuring, and Setup
Section 5 – Performance-tuning, Optimization, and Upgrades Section 6 – Troubleshooting and Repairing
Section 7 – Administrative and Operational Tasks

For a full and detailed overview, please consult the exam guide.

Preparation tips

In my attempt to prepare and stay up-to-date for this exam, my preparation will primarily focus on VMware vSphere 7 and 8. It is worth noting that certain predefined LAB exercises for vSphere 7 have reached their end of availability. However, you can still engage in practical training by utilizing a lab that incorporates advanced VMware vSphere features like VMware vSAN, vSpherre HA, Lifecycle Management, Performance, Network, Power CLI, Content Library, Recoverability, etc.

See the video below for updates related to vSphere 7 (focus of this exam).


For the focus of this exam, I have written down a number of vSphere Enterprise components. I will mainly use these as input for practicing in the VMware HOL.

vSphere HA

vSphere DRS

VMware vSAN

Distributed Switch




Fault Tolerance


Resource Pool(s)


Guest customization

VMware Hand-on LABS

VMware Hands-on Labs presents a great opportunity for thorough exam preparation, as mentioned previously. My recommendation is to dedicate sufficient time to VMware HOL. The VCAP-DCV Deploy exam is conducted in a similar lab setting. Familiarity with this environment can greatly save time during the exam. If you opt to take the exam from your home workspace, I suggest paying attention to setting the correct screen resolution. For instance, adjusting the properties of the web browser to 80% can provide a more pleasant experience. Personally, when using VMware HOL on a Mac OS, I encountered an issue where the right mouse button did not function with the default settings. These are aspects that you can anticipate and prepare for. In the VMware HOL environment, it’s important to note that the functionalities of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V are not available. To perform copy and paste operations, it is recommended to utilize the right-click method for a seamless experience.

Taking full advantage of the tools provided by HOL can greatly benefit you, especially considering that there is a high probability these tools will also be accessible during the examination. Examples of such tools include WINSCP and Putty.

Capture of a VMware HOL session

Below I have summarized some useful Hands-on Labs

VMware vSphere 8 Overview – Lightning Lab (HOL-2409-92-SDC)

VMware vSphere Automation – PowerCLI (HOL-2409-14-SDC)

VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management (HOL-2409-42-HCI)

Virtualization 101 (HOL-2410-01-SDC)

Getting Started with vSphere Security Configuration and Hardening Guide (HOL-2412-91-SDC)

VMware vSAN – Getting Started (HOL-2409-31-HCI)

VMware vSAN – Advanced Topics (HOL-2409-32-HCI)

As the questions in the lab are diverse, the time required for each task may vary. Some tasks are short and straightforward, while others may involve waiting for a deployment. It is crucial not to squander valuable time. If you find yourself waiting for a task or deployment to to be completed, it is advisable to move on to the next task and circle back later. To effectively monitor your progress, I suggest using a tool like Notepad++ on the desktop of the lab environment, just as demonstrated in the aforementioned video.

Useful resources

Upon reviewing the exam guide, I conducted an extensive online search to compile the essential information required for my exam preparation, al based on the exam sections and blueprint. The following list showcases the resources I gathered during this process, which greatly assisted me in my studying.














The certification known as VCAP-DCV Deploy 2024, or VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Virtualization Deploy 2024, serves as proof of an individual’s proficiency in implementing intricate vSphere solutions. This certification covers various aspects such as storage, networking, security, high availability, and disaster recovery. Those who hold this certification are well-suited for senior administrative roles, integration positions, and advanced support positions.

Just a generic note that falls outside of the scope of this exam but I think is worth mentioning. A VCAP exam is relatively expensive (costs approximately €380) but is a recognition that stands for expertise. If you have a study budget, then this is certainly a good investment (personal opinion). This can also open the way to qualifying you for VCIX and VCDX recognition!

One more thing!

If you already obtained the VCAP-DCV Design certificate, you will also be eligible for the VCIX-DCV badge when you pass the VCAP-DCV Deploy exam!

For more information about the VCAP-DCV Design exam, see my blog post Brand new VCP-Design Exam 3V0-2123!

VMware Certified Implementation Expert – Data Center Virtualization 2024

Earning the VMware Certified Implementation Expert – Data Center Virtualization badge proves this badge earner has broad expertise across both designing and deploying vSphere 7 infrastructure solutions in multi-site, enterprise-level virtualized environments. This badge validates an expert-level skill in any vSphere implementation.

Earning the VMware Certified Implementation Expert – Data Center Virtualization badge proves this badge earner has broad expertise across both designing and deploying vSphere 7 infrastructure solutions in multi-site, enterprise-level virtualized environments. This badge validates an expert-level skill in any vSphere implementation.

Why should you het certified?

Once you successfully pass this examination, you will become eligible for the esteemed VCAP recognition. Now, let’s delve deeper into the advantages that come with this coveted VCAP recognition.

If you look at the exam requirements (and based on the summary of this blog) you will probably share the opinion with me that quite a bit of knowledge and design experience is expected from the exam candidate for this VCAP exam.

From my perspective, I consider the VCAP certification to hold immense value due to its alignment with the expertise of a (Solution) Architect. Consequently, the number of VCAP certified individuals is significantly lower in comparison to VCP, as illustrated by the following figures.

Source: blogs.vmware.com (2021)

Final thoughts

Taking the initiative to book this exam was a significant stride for me, as it provided a strong impetus to enhance my practical skills with VMware vSphere. What’s even better is that my prior experience in deploying and managing Enterprise environments perfectly aligns with the exam’s content. However, it’s not solely knowledge that presents a challenge in this examination; time management is equally crucial. To conquer this hurdle, I suggest practicing a range of (advanced) management tasks within a LAB environment to ensure a smoother transition during the actual exam. When I mention practical experience, I am referring to understanding how to apply parameters (which are not explicitly mentioned in the questions) and the prerequisite considerations involved in specific scenarios. Personally, I think this is one of the enjoyable exams to take part in. The only disadvantage of this exam is that you have to wait for the exam results.

In case you are also going to attempt to qualify for this VCAP Deploy certificate, I wish you a lot of fun and success with the preparation! In case you have any feedback, please let me know (below).

End of this post.

Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed in this blog are solely my own and should be treated as personal opinions. This content does not hold any legal or authoritative standing.

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