Book Review: vCAP-DCD5 Official Cert Guide

Publisher VMware Press
Author Paul McSharry
ISBN 978-0-7897-5018-1
Costs (UK) Amazon Book Format = £26.24
Kindle Format = £14:30

Product Description (taken from Amazon)

Product Description

This is the eBook edition of the The VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide. This eBook does not include the companion DVD with practice exam that comes with the print edition.

Trust the Official Cert Guide series from VMware Press to help you learn, prepare, and practice for exam success. They are the only VMware-authorized self-study books and are built with the objective of providing assessment, review, and practice to help ensure you are fully prepared for your certification exam.

  • Master VMware certification exam topics
  • Assess your knowledge with chapter-opening quizzes
  • Review key concepts with exam preparation tasks

The VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide presents you with an organized test preparation routine through the use of proven series elements and techniques. “Do I Know This Already?” quizzes open each chapter and enable you to decide how much time you need to spend on each section. Exam topic lists make referencing easy. Chapter-ending exam preparation tasks help you drill on key concepts you must know thoroughly.

The VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide focuses specifically on the objectives for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design exam. VMware Certified Instructor (VCI) Paul McSharry shares preparation hints and test-taking tips, helping you identify areas of weakness and improve both your conceptual knowledge and hands-on skills. Material is presented in a concise manner, focusing on increasing your understanding and retention of exam topics.

Well-regarded for its level of detail, assessment features, comprehensive design scenarios, and challenging review questions and exercises, this official study guide helps you master the concepts and techniques that will enable you to succeed on the exam the first time.

The official study guide helps you master all the topics on the VCAP5-DCD exam, including the following:

  • Understanding the design process and associated terminology
  • Creating the design, information gathering, and logical design presentation
  • Making meaningful choices in virtualization design
  • Creating logical designs and the process to evolve them into the final physical design
  • Comprehending project execution and the order of delivery, task validation, and project documentation
  • Preparing for the exam with tips and strategy
  • Reviewing the VCAP-DCD experience

The VCAP5-DCD Official Cert Guide is part of a recommended learning path from VMware that includes simulation and hands-on training from authorized VMware instructors and self-study products from VMware Press. To find out more about instructor-led training, e-learning, and hands-on instruction offered worldwide, please visit

Who is the Author?

Paul McSharry: – is an independent virtualization consultant and instructor based in the UK. He has been an IT professional for 15 years and now specializes in virtualization technologies and web hosting solutions, working with large retail and financial enterprises. When not working in the field, he is often instructing the VMware-authorized classes for various VMware VATCs. Paul holds a variety of vendor-based IT certifications, such as MCSE, MCITP, VCP, and VCAP, and he is also a qualified IT instructor, holding VMware Certified Instructor (VCI), CompTIA CTT+, and Microsoft MCT credentials. His recent consultancy projects include the following:

  • Producing a large-scale hybrid cloud platform to deploy and enable secure e-discovery web-based applications for data review
  • Several large datacenter migrations using various vSphere platforms
  • Multiple public and private vCloud director platform designs and implementations
  • Several enterprise-wide VMware view-based VDI deployments

Paul is an active blogger ( ) and Twitter user (@pmcsharry). He has also been awarded the vExpert designation for his work in the VMware community for two years running (2012–2013).

It is worth the price?

This is book was a large part of my arsenal when studying for my vCAP-DCD5. Did I find it useful, yes absolutely.  Paul is a VCI based in the UK and as such has given the VMware Design workshop countless times, this shows in the book, and for those that cannot afford to do the workshop this should be first on the list for study guides, The DCD exam is not just a design exam, but more specifically a VMware design exam and as such you will need to understand those little idiosyncrasies of VMware to pass the exam,  this book gives those who do not have the advantage of working for VMware or bottomless pockets or benevolent employers an equal footing on the ladder.

if you purchased the hardback version of the book you received a DVD which includes a copy of the Pearson Certification practice test engine, however the Practice exam is not, to get this you need to Activate the engine and download the exam from Pearson’s site. There is also a Premium edition at extra cost that give you access to two more practice exams.  I cannot say anything about these as I do not have that access.

Do I recommend this book, as an aid to DCD study, it is invaluable so are resounding Yes.