Is the VCAP-DTM Design Worth It?
| technology | system admin - Richard Bevis

Is the VCAP-DTM Design Worth It?

We hear all the time about server virtualization whether in the data center, or the cloud, it's a critical component of every enterprise IT infrastructure. But another key aspect of this infrastructure is the end-user environment for both desktop and mobile users. This is where virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technology comes into play, to allow organizations to configure, deploy, and manage what their users get to see and use on their screens.

There are numerous VDI software options available, including Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly XenDesktop), Microsoft Azure’s Windows virtual desktop, and Amazon WorkSpaces—the last two being examples of cloud-based Desktop as a Service (DaaS).

VMware's VDI offering is the popular vSphere-based VMware Horizon product, which has been around in various incarnations since 2007.  As with other VMware solutions, there is strong demand for certified professionals to design, roll-out, and manage Horizon-based user desktop mobility environments.

Currently, there are Desktop and Mobility certifications at three levels—Professional, Advanced Professional, and Design Expert, as follows:

Note that the certifications are keyed to the current version year of the product. The VCP-DTM 2021 certification is the baseline prerequisite to all three higher cert levels.

Any organization that plans to deploy VMware-based virtual desktops will require competent professionals to design their solution. How do they assess the expertise possessed by their people—or by potential hires? It's easy! They should look at the VCAP-DTM Design.

So let's take a closer look at the certification.

What is VCAP-DTM Design?

The VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Desktop and Mobility Design 2021 (VCAP-DTM Design) is an advanced VMware certification for IT professionals who design and build virtual desktop environments based on VMware's Horizon 2021 edition product. VCAP-DTM Design is complemented by the VCAP-DTM Deploy, which is for professionals who deploy and manage those environments.

The VCAP-DTM Design 2021 certification exam (3V0-752) tests that you have the skills and knowledge to design and integrate large-scale virtual desktop environments based on VMware's Horizon product. For your current and prospective employers, the cert validates that you also understand the core principles and methodologies used in designing desktop and mobility solutions.

What Does the VCAP-DTM Design Exam Test?

The VCAP-DTM Design 2021 certification exam (3V0-752) is scheduled and proctored through the Pearson Vue testing network. You will have 135 minutes to complete the 60 multiple-choice questions on the test and you'll need a scaled score of 300 (out of 500) to earn your VCAP-DTM certification.

Questions on the 3V0-752 test are grouped in the following sections, which measure your ability to:

  1. Create a Horizon Conceptual Design,
  2. Create a Horizon Logical Design,
  3. Create a Physical Design for vSphere and Horizon Components,
  4. Create a Physical Design for Horizon Storage,
  5. Create a Physical Design for Horizon Networking,
  6. Create a Physical Design for Horizon Desktops and Pools,
  7. Incorporate Application Services into a Horizon Physical Design, and
  8. Incorporate Endpoints into a Horizon Design.

For a detailed view of the 3V0-752 test topics, download the VCAP 7 – Desktop and Mobility Design Exam Guide.

How much does the VCAP-DTM Design Cost?

It costs $450 to take the VCAP-DTM certification exam.

What Experience Do You Need for the VCAP-DTM Design?

The VCAP-DTM Design is an advanced certification and is for experienced systems/network administrators, engineers, or architects who are already certified as a VCP-DTM for the current (VCP- DTM 2021), or earlier (VCP-DTM 2020) edition of the Horizon product.

As a VCAP-DTM Design candidate, you should have at least 5-10 years of general IT systems and network experience, combined with a year or more production experience in designing and managing VMware-based end-user computing solutions. You will also have a working experience of VMware vSphere, together with in-depth knowledge of VMware end-user computing solutions—including Horizon, vSAN, App Volumes, Identity Manager, etc.

Who Should Take the VCAP-DTM Design Certification?

The VCAP-DTM Design 2021 certification is for experienced virtualization professionals. This includes sysadmins, net administrators, systems engineers, or architects who want to position themselves for their next career progression. Typical job descriptions for professionals with VCAP-DTM certifications include senior cloud/cloud infrastructure architect, solutions architect, cloud managed services, senior consultant — end-user computing, network systems administrator, and senior systems administrator. These jobs are to be found in both end-customer organizations as well as consulting service providers.

Let's take a look at a couple of the job categories.

VCAP-DTM Design for Senior Specialist/Consultants—End User Computing

This role will be required by enterprises with large pools of end-users, either desktop office workers and/or mobile employees. These situations often result in IT deployment and management issues that are readily solved through the use of virtual desktop infrastructures, such as VMware Horizon. These organizations need VDI specialists who are qualified to design and set up their end-user computing solutions, and for that reason will look for VMware-certified professionals. The companies will either want to develop or hire their own VDI specialists, or to retain a VDI consultant from a services provider.

As a senior end-user computing specialist/consultant, you'll be responsible for assessing end-user VDI requirements and then for creating the logical and physical design for user virtual workspaces, storage, network, and applications. You may then deploy your VDI design, or hand it off to a DTM deployment team.

If you’re an experienced system or network admin/engineer and you want to position yourself as a go-to-person for virtual desktops, then the VCAP-DTM Design certification is a great option to pursue. Maybe you have already earned a professional-level (VCP-DTM) desktop mobility certification? Perhaps you have an advanced DTM cert in an earlier version of Horizon? In each case, you are well-positioned as a candidate for the current VCAP-DTM Design 2021 certification! The VCAP-DTM Design cert will validate that you have what it takes to design an effective VMware virtual desktop solution.

VCAP-DTM Design for Senior Cloud Architects

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud-based virtualized desktops were high on the "nice to have" priority list for enterprises that needed workforce flexibility. Now it's a strategic imperative!

If you are an experienced cloud architect and want to expand your scope of expertise to position yourself for a new position or increased responsibility, then earning a cert in desktop and mobility design is a great option. You may already be certified to design cloud management and automation solutions, or to deploy virtualized networks, so an advanced desktop and mobility cert will strengthen your credentials with your management or potential hiring execs.

Is the VCAP-DTM Design Certification Worth It?

While the VCAP-DTM Design is an established VMware desktop and mobility certification, there are still fewer holders than for the professional-level (VCP-DTM Design) version. This means that holding a VCAP certification will separate you from the crowd of VCP badge-holders! Furthermore, holding a VCAP-DTM Design will also add a dimension to your resume, if you also have a VCAP in network virtualization, or cloud management and automation.

Bearing those things in mind, there are two main reasons why you should consider going for the VCAP-DTM Design cert. This will stand you in good stead for a position with an end-user enterprise, or a  services and integration firm, as it seeks to convince clients of their consulting expertise.

Using VCAP-DTM Design to Learn Skills

You would like to secure a senior role in engineering or architecture, or you may want a lead position in end-user computing. You have a certified grounding in VMware's vSphere virtualization platform, but you don't have the expertise with VMware's Horizon VDI product! In that case, your first step is to gain experience with Horizon 7.x or 8.x. One way to do that is through CBT Nuggets' online training course Delivering Virtual Desktops and Applications with Horizon. Finish that and you'll be ready to take the exam for the prerequisite professional-level VCP-DTM 2021 cert. Once you have earned your VCP-DTM, go and see your manager! Tell her about your desire to earn the advanced-level DTM cert.  Ask for additional opportunities to develop, perhaps with a plan for self-study and/or formal training.

Using VCAP-DTM Design to Validate Skills

Perhaps you are already working in a VMware Horizon virtual desktop environment as a senior administrator, engineer, or architect and you'd like to validate your skills and position yourself with executive management. If so, then earning the VCAM-DTM Design is a great way to separate yourself from your peers. You'll first need to be certified at the professional, VCAP-DTM level, but then you can go for the advanced certification and hopefully move on up.

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