Hi vAdmins, Networks administrators and Architects,

Allowing me a moment to  share my firsthand experience after recently sitting for the VCAP-NX Design exam 3V0-42.20, with the goal of obtainging the awesome VCAP-Network Virtualization Design badge! This was my very first attempt and also my last one because I have passed this exam. In this post I will try to describe how I prepared for this challenge.

Before I had set this goal obtaining the VMware NV Design certification I already owned the VCP-NV certification and acquired Design experience by a previous goal, passing and also writing (in the position of SME) the VCAP-DCV Design exam, which specifically focus on VMware DataCenter virtualization. While I admit that my expertise in VMware NSX is not outstanding, I have taken the initiative to undergo the VMware NSX-T Data Center: Design training, along with studying the exam guide. This newfound experience has inspired me to sit for the VMware NV Design exam.

I decided to take this exam at an external exam center because I find external test environments more suitable for VCAP exams. You can also take this exam from home office.

Exam details

The exam consists of 57 questions, and to pass, candidates need to achieve a minimum score of 300 using a scaled method. Non-native English speakers are allocated 135 minutes for their appointment, ensuring they have enough time to complete the exam.

This exam roughly consists of 7 sections.

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

Preparation tips:

Let’s start with exploring the exam guid below:

Exam preparation tips

Familiarize yourself with the NSX-T architecture and make sure you can justify when you make certain design choices based on requirements or business goals. This can be based on constraints like budget or functional requirements.

Have knowledge about the different NSX-T designs and design decisions related to Physical infrastructure design, Compute host cluster design, Edge design and Logical networking design.

This VCAP design exam also requires deep knowledge of conceptual, logical, and physical designs, including various design qualifiers like availability, manageability, performance, recoverability, security.

Pro tip: familiarize yourself with gather and analyze business and technical (functional and Non-functional) requirements.


Have knowledge that comes with performance requirements and distinguishes between physical/virtual type of workload such as Telco and low latency type of workload(s).

Know which type of load balancing mechanism could/should be applied, based on specific requirements (active/active or active/standby)

For more details I definitely recommend reading this awesome post, from Jeffrey Kusters.

Perhaps redundant to mention, but you should familiarize yourself with VMware NSX best practices and NSX reference Design guide(s).

Some useful resources










Certificaton path

As I described in the text above, you must already be in possession of a VMware VCP-NV certificate (2023 or 2024) to obtain the VCAP-NV 2024 badge.

See also the VMware certification website for all available certification paths.

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 VCDX recognition!

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.

Final thoughts

In my opinion, the VCAP NV Design exam offers a delightful experience with a strong alignment to the exam guide/blueprint. Whether you possess a background in architecture or simply wish to explore design principles further, this exam serves as a wonderful incentive to embark on a rewarding journey!

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

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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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