Andrew Jones, MCSE, MCT, VCP 3/4/5, VCAP4-DCA, CVE 3/4/5
As an instructor for VMTraining Inc., some of the most common questions I get asked on the first day of class (other than “When’s lunch?”) are how does CVE compare to VCP? And which is more valuable?
The short answer is both have their own merits. VCP is directly from the software vendor, VMware®, while CVE is offered by a third-party, VMTraining, Inc.
To help illustrate some of the big differences and similarities, I’ve prepared the table below for your viewing pleasure:
|VMware VCP||VMTraining CVE|
|Requires course completion for award of certification?||Yes||Yes|
|Bootcamp-style course available?||No||Yes|
|Other virualization technologies discussed? (Hyper-V, XenServer…)||Yes||Yes|
|Exam study guides provided?||No (Not officially)||Yes (Authorized and prepared by VMTraining)|
|Exam type?||Closed book/notes/internet, multiple choice, multiple select, and true/false||Closed book/notes/internet, multiple choice, multiple select, and true/false|
|Retake policy?||Pay for re-take||1 no-cost retake, if needed, provided certain criteria are met|
As you can see in the table, three of the biggest differences are VMTraining’s Bootcamp course, which covers in one week of training what VMware’s courses cover in as many as five weeks, in addition VMTraining provides not only the printed course material, but also a PDF study guide to help focus the students’ course of study, and perhaps most important, especially for those prone to pre-test jitters, VMTraining allows a no-cost retake if the student meets certain criteria, among the criteria is the instructor’s assessment of the student’s level of participation in the course.
In addition, VMTraining’s instructors aren’t paid by, nor do they receive any other types of compensation, from VMware. You know, when taking a VMTraining class, that when the instructors point to VMware as a superior product, they’re speaking candidly, not just looking to keep their job. (A big problem I’ve had with some vendor-provided training is just that: even if a competitor’s product is better in some ways, I’ve had instructors swear up and down that their employer’s product was better in every single way.)
I am prior active duty Air Force and spent my final 2 years as a Network Warfare instructor. I have friends from my active duty days who now work at VMware. To hear them talk, the upper echelons at VMware are, for lack of better words, scared of this CVE certification and the Bootcamp course. They are scared because it offers so much more, on a shorter timetable, and at a dramatically lower price, than their own VCP.
Now, I’m not going to sugarcoat it, the Bootcamp has the name for a reason: it is NOT easy. The training condenses as vast amount of information and hands-on labs into just 50 hours over a 5-day period. This is very much training by fire, to use an analogy from my days as a military trainer.
Which brings me to my next, and final, topic. The instructors. The instructors at VMTraining are, in my own not-so-humble opinion, some of the best in the business. Everyone from prior military instructors like myself, to former Microsoft Trainers, to those still active in the design and consulting world. What makes VMTraining unique is the information sharing among the instructors and the rapid development of courseware. Often times, the slides presented in a class already don’t match the books, printed just a week earlier, because new features and/or capabilities have been added. This ensures the information presented to students in class is the most up-to-date as possible.
There are a great many ways the CVE differs from VCP. I invite you to take the time to consider both (www.VMTraining.net and mylearn.VMware.com) and make the decision to best suit your own business needs. Lastly, if you should decide CVE is the direction you and you organization wish to take, tell them Andrew sent you.