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The exam VCAP5-CID is the design part of the Cloud path and it’s mandatory (with the admin exam) to reach the VCDX-Cloud certification (actually there is already somebody with the double VCDX certifications). Also it could give the VCP-Cloud certification in some cross-path scenarios.

I’ve take this exam some week after the VCAP5-CIA (see my related experience) and I suggest this strategies for two reasons: there are some admin related questions (more than one, so if you are really fresh from the CIA exam you will find them easy) and some concepts are really common between the two exams.

VCAP-CIDAs usal, this kind of exam give your result when you complete the exam (or when you finish your time) and it’s pretty nice to avoid long waiting (I’ve got the CIA result after this exam). This a nice plus compared to beta exam :)

Of course the transcript upgrade will take more time (usually a couple of days): you will receive the usual email with a new task to reflect your exam in your transcript. This was the result (with the old transcript format):


About the exam it consist in contains 115 questions. The items include a mix of multiple-choice, drag-and-drop items and specialized design items and the format is quite the same as the other two design exams (VCAP-DCD and VCAP-DTD).

Also the “visio” part is almost the same, but of course with other object. The Interactive Exam Simulation can give an idea, but consider that you may have to design networks (be really confidend with the networks concept of vCloud), VCDs, vApps, and there could also some vSphere related part.

According with the blueprint, there are 6 design items in which a vCloud-based solution is designed based on customer requirements using an in-exam design tool. These items take significantly longer to complete than multiple choice or drag-and-drop items, and time should be budgeted accordingly during the exam.

The total time for this exam is 195 minutes. Candidates who take the VCAP-CID Exam in a country where English is not a primary language will have an additional 30 minutes added to the exam time. This time extension is automatic, no additional action is required from the candidate. If you manage well your design items, the total time could be really enough. But don’t skip them, because you don’t have the back button or a review phase!

I found really useful and valuable the vCAT resources to better understand some design concepts, but of course it’s not enough: you have to know well the networking part (and different using scenarios both network pools and of org VDC connectivity), different allocation models (and the impact of them at vSphere level), vApp management (and also the consumer part of related task), how handle permissions, authorizations and how share different resources.

The exam itself is probably (in my opinion) better than the DCD (and at the same level of DTD) with most questions related to the vCloud Suite and only few about general or high level arguments. It really help, at least for non native English people, where you don’t have to worry to understand the meaning of each single word or sentence.


Exam experiences


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.