VMCE-ADO – My Exam Review & Tips

To round out 2019, I was able to sit the VMCE-A1 exam on December 20, 2019, and managed to pass it on my first try with 83%.

The VMCE-A1: Design & Optimization V1 (VMCE-A1) exam is the second requirement to acquire the Veeam Certified Architect (VMCA) designation after you have taken the VMCE-A: Design & Optimization V1 training. Compared to the VMCE exam, it is more costly (USD 300) as it’s also a higher level of exam.

The exam must be taken at a Pearson VUE local testing facility with a time of 70 minutes and an additional 30 minutes if your native language is not English.

This exam includes 40 randomized questions from each of the course modules:

1. Design and sizing
2. Infrastructure assessment
3. Security
4. Optimization
5. Automation
6. Audit and compliance
7. Troubleshooting

ALL the Veeam Availability Suite™ is covered, so expect many questions on Veeam ONE.

The exam itself is not similar to the VMware VCAP design type exams. With this exam, the questions are all multiple choice with some items requiring more than one answer (which noted on each question – number of responses needed). Each question is less than 2 minutes to answer based on the time, but this is not something to be concerned about if prepared well.

The VMCE-A1 exam pass gets awarded to those who score 70% or higher. With many questions being multiple choice it used to be that you got one answer wrong, you failed the entire question. Well, that is not the case now as you can be awarded partial marks for questions even if you have to pick 2-3 answers and get 1-2 wrong. This partial marking now makes things somewhat easier to help you in passing the exam.

How to Prepare?

Everything comes from the course material! Including the textbook and handouts, which are the most crucial things to read over (more than once).

For the troubleshooting section – there are examples of log files (pay attention to these) and also throughout the textbook are references to KB articles on the Veeam website. Also, be sure to check out and read over the Best Practices website as well – [link]

For the Design & Sizing section – be sure to note down the formulas from the textbook/handouts as they will come in handy for the exam. If you can memorize them, my first suggestion when sitting down for the exam is to write them down on the dry erase board given by the testing center (take the Tutorial on the exam at the beginning – hint).

Infrastructure Assessment, as well as Audit & Compliance sections – these sections are the ones that take in to account Veeam ONE. Complete a review of the reports as well as what they are for, what they contain, etc.  These things will help with this section of the exam.

Be aware that most people are very familiar with VMware, but for this exam, Hyper-V is very much a part of it. If you know one or the other very well, be sure to brush up and read over the sections that relate to the Hypervisor you are not as familiar. In my case, I reviewed the Hyper-V sections and information more thoroughly than VMware.

The course taken was based on v9.5 of the products and was online through Global Knowledge. The instructor was – Chris Huss, who was excellent. Also, Global Knowledge records the classes for you to watch them later, which I highly recommend as well since most instructors will point out things that “might” be on the exam.

My last tip is this, which helped me allot on the exam – if there is a question you are unsure of, then mark it for review, even if you think you know the answer. Then when done, the exam review only the marked ones, and if you have time, do a full review of all questions. This process is how I completed my exam as I was done all the questions in about 30 minutes or so, then went back to review the “Marked” ones only and finally did a full review of all questions to be sure. I finished with about 2 minutes to go and let the time expire.

So to be fully prepared –

1. Take the course at a recommended training facility or online
2. Read the textbook several times – CRITICAL
3. Read the handouts several times and make notes as there is room for this if printed
4. Review the noted KB articles in both the textbook and handouts
5. Go through the Best Practice website – [URL]
6. Ensure you know the formulas for anything and everything
7. Relax and have fun with the exam as it is not as stressful as you would think

Drop me a line if you have any other questions or to let me know how your exam went. Best of luck to all that challenge and take the exam. #Veeam #VMCE-ADO #VeeamVanguard

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