VCDX tip: The application form

Last week I reviewed some recently submitted designs and it appears that the requirements stated in the application form are too ambiguous. During this year I’ve seen many application forms and the same error are made by many candidates. Let’s go over the sections which contain the most errors and try to remove any doubts for future candidates.

The VMware VCDX Handbook and application form is subject to change. So this article is based on version 1.0.5. The application form is available for candidates enrolled in the VCDX program.

Section 4 Project References
What deliverables were provided? (This should represent a comprehensive design package and include, at a minimum, the design, blueprints, test plan, assembly and configuration guide, and operations guide.)

Ok so this requirement is not understood clearly by some. To meet this requirement you MUST submit at least:

1. the VMware VI 3.5 or vSphere design document.
2. blueprints (Visio drawings of physical and logical layout)
3. a documented test plan
4. a assembly and configuration guide
5. and a operation guide.

This means you are required to submit those five listed documents otherwise your application is rejected (bad) or returned for rework (Still bad, but it doesn’t cost you 300 bucks and you might have a chance to defend during the upcoming defense panels).

Section 5 Design Development Activities
This section requires you to submit five requirements, assumptions and constrains that had to be followed within this design.

This means you must submit at least five requirements, five assumptions and five constrains you encountered when working on the design. I’ve seen some application forms with requirements such as enough power, enough floor space and enough cables. Which are all genuine requirements if you are a project manager. We are requesting a list of requirements, assumptions and constraints which you as a virtual infrastructure architect had to deal with. The submitted design needs to align and deal with requirements and constraints listed in the application form.

Design Deliverable Documentation:
A small error made by many, no big deal if you miss this but it makes our live much easier if you do it correctly. This sections requires you to list the page numbers where the diagrams can be found not how many pages the document has.

Design Decisions
In this section you must provide four decision criteria for each of the decision areas, this means if you leave one field empty the application will be rejected.

It’s just really simple; your application form is NOT completed when a field is empty. Not completed forms get rejected.

Application form does not equal design document
The application form is not a substitute for the design document. It is a part of the VCDX certification program and not a part of the VMware virtual infrastructure design. The two are not complimentary to each other. Everything stated in the application form must be included in the design document or any of the other documents. Just remember you are submitting a defense you have delivered to a real or imaginary customer! Ask yourself have you ever submitted a VCDX application form during a design project to your customer?

Frank Denneman

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5 Responses

  1. Jason Boche says:

    Thanks for helping others with these clarifications Frank!

    Jas

  2. Dave Convery says:

    Great post Frank! Like I've said before: I thought the application was the toughest part of the entire VCDX process. Maybe you could facilitate a re-write of the instructions to make it more clear?
    Dave

  3. Daniel says:

    Hi Frank,

    i hope it is ok when i submit more than the requied documents 😉
    Thank's for the hints.

    Regards
    Daniel

    P.S. I hope to see you (again) in Boston (with better luck for me)

  4. Craig Risinger says:

    "list the page numbers where the diagrams can be found "

    You want to make it very easy for the reviewers to find the info they're looking for.

    And if you've made any design decisions that are unusual or, uh, suboptimal--something that will raise suspicions that you know what you're talking about--annotate those and explain why. ("The customer insisted, even though I explained that the bad consequences of doing it this way are X, Y and Z.")

  1. August 26, 2010

    [...] Denneman has posted all about the VCDX application form and how it should be filled out correctly so that your application is accepted and has the correct amount of information in it. [...]