Welcome to the ValCo Labs VCAP5-DCA page. Here you will find a full and in-depth breakdown of each section from the VCAP5-DCA blueprint, to include the ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Skills and Abilities’ sections. Not too sure what the VCAP5-DCA certification is or to whom it is targeted at?

“The VDCA511 VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere 5 – Datacenter Administration exam tests potential VCAP5-DCA canidates on their skills and abilities installing, configuring and administering large and/or more complex virtualized environments” -VCAP5-DCA Exam Blueprint Guide

In other words, the VCAP5-DCA is a VMware advanced certification with a focus on vSphere 5 in environments that are large and/or complex. I haven’t taken any of the previous VCAP exams so I cannot provide first hand input on their difficulty, but if the blueprint is any indication, you better be ready to work. VDCA511 will have 26 live lab questions and you will have 210 minutes to complete it. If you take the exam in a country whose primary language is not English you will receive 30 additional minutes to complete the exam. You need a 300 or better for a passing score.

If you’ve seen my VCP5 page then this layout and format will be familiar. As with the VCP5, Jason Langer (blog/twitter) and I will be splitting up the sections and covering them on our respective blogs, but all links for each section will be posted on both Jason’s and my VCAP5-DCA page for easy access. Jason has sat and successfully passed the VCAP4-DCA exam so he will have more insight what you might expect on this exam.

Without further ado, lets get to it!

UPDATE: February 15th, 2013

You can download the complete guide in PDF format. It includes ALL sections.

The Unofficial Official VCAP5-DCA Study Guide

                               (PDF Version)


Section 1 – Implement and Manage Storage

Objective 1.1 – Implement and Manage Complex Storage Solutions

Objective 1.2 – Manage Storage Capacity in a vSphere Environment

Objective 1.3 – Configure and Manage Complex Multipathing and PSA Plug-ins

Section 2 – Implement and Manage Networking

Objective 2.1 – Implement and Manage Complex Virtual Networks

Objective 2.2 – Configure and Maintain VLANs, PVLANs and VLAN Settings

Objective 2.3 – Deploy and Maintain Scalable Virtual Networking

Objective 2.4 – Administer vNetwork Distributed Switch Settings

Section 3 – Deploy DRS Clusters and Manage Performance

Objective 3.1 – Tune and Optimize vSphere Performance

Objective 3.2 – Optimize Virtual Machine Resources

Objective 3.3 – Implement and Maintain Complex DRS Solutions

Objective 3.4 – Utilize Advanced vSphere Performance Monitoring Tools

Section 4 – Manage Business Continuity and Protect Data

Objective 4.1 – Implement and Maintain Complex VMware HA Solutions

Objective 4.2 – Deploy and Test VMware FT

Section 5 – Perform Operational Maintenance

Objective 5.1 – Implement and Maintain Host Profiles

Objective 5.2 – Deploy and Manage Complex Update Manager Environments

Section 6 – Perform Advanced Troubleshooting

Objective 6.1 – Configure, Manage, and Analyze vSphere Log Files

Objective 6.2 – Troubleshoot CPU and Memory Performance

Objective 6.3 – Troubleshoot Network Performance and Connectivity

Objective 6.4 – Troubleshoot Storage Performance and Connectivity

Objective 6.5 – Troubleshoot vCenter Server and ESXi Host Management

Section 7 – Secure a vSphere Environment

Objective 7.1 – Secure ESXi Hosts

Objective 7.2 – Configure and Maintain the ESXi Firewall

Section 8 – Perform Scripting and Automation

Objective 8.1 – Execute VMware Cmdlets and Customize Scripts Using PowerCLI

Objective 8.2 – Administer vSphere Using the vSphere Management Assistant

Section 9 – Perform Advanced vSphere Installations and Configurations

Objective 9.1 – Install ESXi hosts with custom settings

Objective 9.2 – Install ESXi Hosts Using Auto Deploy


  1. Kashif Kashif
    July 2, 2012    


  2. Nagaraja MC Nagaraja MC
    December 5, 2012    

    The document is nice.. what about the objectives 6.4,6.5,8.1 the link is not working.??

    • December 25, 2012    

      Still working on Objectives 6.4, 6.5 and 8.1

  3. christa christa
    December 17, 2012    

    Thank you for the awesome guide! I studied this in great detail up until and even the day of my test! I just took the VCAP5-DCA test Friday, and even if I don’t pass, I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to do this!

  4. February 25, 2013    

    Well done sirs! Skimmed your guide. Looks like my road to VCAP will start here!.

    • March 31, 2013    

      Thanks John, and good luck! Let me know if I can be of help.

  5. Mike M Mike M
    March 25, 2013    

    Just wanted to say thank you for putting together these awesome guides and provide a success story. I studied this (and paulgrevink’s guide) thoroughly and just got my exam report back. Passed 🙂 Very, very thankful for all of your hard work that went into this guide.

    • March 31, 2013    

      Congratulations on the pass Mike, I’m happy to hear that the guide was helpful. It’s definitely not an easy test; great job!

  6. harrysudhan harrysudhan
    May 3, 2013    

    Thank you josh and jason. Hardwork done.

    • May 4, 2013    

      You’re welcome Harry! Hope it was useful.

  7. October 10, 2013    

    I have updated my VCAP5-DCA Exam Experience @

  8. Uman Uman
    June 12, 2014    

    Is there study sheet available as per latest blue print version 3.2 for VCAP5-DCA (VDCA550)?
    Please let me know.

    • Uman Uman
      June 12, 2014    

      I mean study guide as per latest blue print version 3.2 for VCAP5-DCA (VDCA550). Please let me know if anyone has it.

      • June 12, 2014    

        Hi Uman, thanks for stopping by. Unfortunately I don’t have an updated guide for the 5.5 exam (although I believe the 5.0 exam is still available). I don’t know of any guides out there for the 5.5 version. Should I come across some I’ll post them on the site.

        • Uman Uman
          June 16, 2014    

          Hi Josh – Thanks for your prompt response. Will explore VDCA511 then.
          Other than Labs, Study Guides, vBrown Bag videos, can you suggest any other resources suitable for the VCAP exam?
          How about VCAP5-DCA Official Cert Guide – Should I use that too?

          Please advise.

          • June 17, 2014    

            So, I’ve heard that the newer version of the test (55) is better, but I’m not sure. I also have not read the official cert guide. If you plan on taking the 5.0 test then I strongly believe our guide will get you through it. Of course the brown bags are also a great resource. I would also highly recommend the VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale 3-part series authored by Jason Nash which can be found on Pluralsight’s website ( It is excellent.

            Hope that helps.

          • July 15, 2014    

            I haven’t looked through the Cert guide, but I’ve heard good things about it. At the end of the day I think the more resources you have, the better.

  9. January 12, 2015    

    Very good information. Lucky me I came across your site by chance (stumbleupon). I’ve book marked it for later! I have found following MCQ is really helpfull for CSE student

  10. January 25, 2015    

    Hi my loved one! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and include
    almost all significant infos. I’d like to look more posts like this .

  11. Hemanth Hemanth
    April 4, 2015    

    Thanks for putting all this together …Great 🙂

    Any luck with Objectives 6.4 and 8.1

No Pings Yet

  1. The VCAP5-DCA Study Sheet « Wahl Network on July 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm
  2. Mi experiencia con el VCAP5-DCA | PiPo e2H - Soluciones TIC Avanzadas on October 1, 2012 at 4:10 am
  3. VCAP5-DCA Study Guide - VirtuallyHyper on October 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm
  4. VCAP5-DCA Exam Experience « vPrimer on October 24, 2012 at 10:27 am
  5. VCAP5-DCA Experience, My » ValCo Labs on October 31, 2012 at 9:48 pm
  6. VCAP-DCA5 Resources | My VCAP5 Study Site on December 4, 2012 at 3:48 am
  7. Passed VCAP-DCA! on December 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm
  8. VCAPified! – VCAP5-DCA « vBacon on December 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm
  9. My VCAP5-DCA Exam Experience » on February 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm
  10. VCAP5-DCA Study Resources on April 29, 2013 at 3:38 am
  11. VCAP5 DCA Exam Experience and Study Tips on May 17, 2013 at 5:26 am
  12. VMware VCAP5-DCA Experience | Ben's Jibber Jabber on May 29, 2013 at 4:32 am
  13. La importancia de la certificación VMware Certified Professional 5- Datacenter Administration (VCAP5-DCA) | vDestination: you're virtually there on June 5, 2013 at 9:00 am
  14. VCAP5-DCA exam experience | VirtIRL on July 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm
  15. VMware VCAP5-DCA Exam Experience » – VMware vEvangelist on November 7, 2013 at 11:26 am
  16. Yet Another VCAP-DCA post – Sección 1 – Objetivo 1.1 / Parte 1 | Chubascos Blog on November 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm
  17. VCAP-DCA Studying the vNoob way on December 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm
  18. VMware VCAP5-DCA passed – exam experience notes and study aids « TriathlonMike on January 8, 2014 at 9:18 am
  19. VCAP-DCA: esxcli Command List for Storage | on January 30, 2014 at 11:20 am
  20. VCAP-DCA: CLI Command List for Networking | on January 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm
  21. VCAP5-DCA Study Resources and Exam Experiences | Neil Bryan on February 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm
  22. Derek Seaman: VCP5 to VMware VCDX #125 in 180 Days | Philip Hung Cao on April 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm
  23. Episode 22-Trevor Roberts Jr (@VMTrooper) – Put some DevOps in your vSphere | VUPaaS on October 16, 2014 at 11:55 am
  24. Preparing to Learn VMware version 6 | allsidesvirtual on February 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm
  25. Preparing for the VCAP5-DCA exam – DefinIT on August 19, 2015 at 6:45 am
  26. Overview sobre o VCAP5-DCA - Solutions4Crowds on September 8, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *