untitledHave you thought about studying for the VCP-510 exam? Do you want to be VCP5-DCV certified? Finding a good study guide can really get you off on the right foot. The VCP5 Study Guide by Brian Atkinson is just that book. Chock full of great information on every exam objective, this book will give you the tools you need to study for and successfully pass the VCP-510 exam. Whether you are new to VMware or you have years of experience; if you really want to buckle down and study for the exam then this book will be a great ally to your efforts. Brian covers in detail all of the exam objectives and the book is laid out in a easy to read fashion. You can read this book cover to cover or simply read and study specific sections that you need to brush up on. Not only is this book a great study tool, it could also be helpful to the junior administrator to use as a tool in their everyday job and should be an addition to their desktop library. Here’s a short bio about the author, Brian Atkinson, that will give you a good idea of why he’s qualified to write such a book:

Brian Atkinson is a senior systems engineer with 15 years of experience in the IT field. For the past six years, he has been focused on virtualization and storage solutions. Brian has been awarded the VMware vExpert designation from VMware for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He is a VMware Technology Network (VMTN) moderator and guru. He maintains his personal blog in the VMTN communities at communities.vmware.com/blogs/vmroyale/.

With 816 pages and weighing in at 2.6 pounds, this is a bigger book that will definitely make your backpack heavier and is not necessarily one you would carry around wherever you go. The book also comes with a custom test engine, over 300 flashcards and a glossary of terms in PDF format. You can also download practice exams and chapter review questions from the website along with electronic flashcards. I recommend getting this book in paperback as it reduces some of the bulk associated with this book and is easier to keep the book open when studying.

What’s Covered?
This book has 11 total chapters and each chapter covers different exam objectives. Of course you should really read this book cover to cover at least once, but several of the chapters really stand out. First and foremost you should read Chapter 1 which is titled “What’s New in vSphere 5.” This chapter covers the newer features of the vSphere 5 release and is a good place to start with your study plan, obviously placing this chapter as the first in the book. You’ll learn about the retirement of ESX server going forward with all newer versions only shipped with ESXi. Chapter one also covers the improvements to vSphere High Availability (HA) and virtual machine enhancements. With the release of vSphere 5 there’s also the new vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) and Storage DRS (sDRS) feature which is covered in the first chapter as well. Chapter two covers some really critical information as it goes over how to “Plan, Install, Configure, and Upgrade vCenter Server and VMware ESXi.” You will find information covering how to enable sizing and disabling memory compression cache as well as the ins and outs of licensing an ESXi host. You’ll learn how to handle important tasks such as updgrading from VMFS-3 to VMFS-5, upgrading VMware Tools, updgrading the virtual machine hardware and using vSphere Update Manager to upgrade an ESXi host. Like I said earlier, the book covers just about every aspect of vSphere 5 that you need to know for the exam and doubles as a guide for future installations and feature configurations.

Should I Buy It?
Yes and no. If you are studying for the VCP-510 exam trying to get your VCP5-DCV certification, then resoundingly yes. If you are new to VMware and looking for a good guide to installation and configuration of vSphere components, then yes. That being said there are better books on installation and configuration like Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 5 (that book is really hard to beat). If you are a seasoned vSphere veteran, already have your VCP5-DCV, then I wouldn’t buy this book. Chances are vSphere 6 or vSphere Next will be released within a year from now and you’ll be better off spending your money on the latest vSphere book at that time. Here’s a short excerpt from the book titled “Who Should Read This Book?” that will give you a good idea of the intended audience:

Any experienced vSphere administrator who is ready to pass the VCP5 exam should read this book. This book covers each objecetive of the VCP5 eaxam as listed in the exam blueprint. Using this book as you study guide for the VCP5 exam will streamline your studying process and increase your odds of passing the VCP5 exam.

Win This Book Today!
As a disclaimer I did receive a free copy of this book, but did not receive any monetary compensation for writing this post. That being said, I fall in the category of someone who alread has VCP5-DCV cert and I’m already working everyday with vSphere 5.1. This book doesn’t do much for me so I want to give it to you! If you would like a free copy of this book, leave a comment on this post with your full name and twitter handle if you have one, and I’ll pick a winner out of hat tonight, and the book is yours! All you have to say, is Greg, I want the book, and that qualifies as an entry into this contest. I’ll stop taking entries today, May 20th at 8pm Eastern time. The contest is open to anyone in the world, I’ll foot the shipping for you. Good luck and happy reading!

For more great VMware Books see my past posts: Mastering VMware vSphere 5, Top 5 VMware Books List, and Do You Own These VMware Books? You Should!

Greg W Stuart
Greg is the owner and editor of vDestination.com. He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He works as a Sr. Consultant at VMware and resides in Northern Virginia, 15 minutes west of Washington DC.

20 thoughts on “Book Review: VCP5 Study Guide

  1. Greg, I want the book, as I’m going to prepare myself to pass the VCP5 exam in the near future.
    Jose – @jsaavedravarela

  2. Hey Greg, I’d like the book as I’ll be taking the VCP Exam later on this year. Cheers

  3. Greg… I WANT the book Hoping to be VCP soon– James Kilby @jameskilbynet

  4. Greg, I would love a copy of this book – perfect timing! @McFarky

  5. Greg, I want the book ! Thanks for this nice review and for this contest. Jerome Maury @JeromeMaury

    1. James, congrats you are the lucky winner of the book! Please follow me on twitter so I can DM you my email address and get your info to send you the book.

      Thanks for reading…

  6. Greg, since I am working toward my VCP5-DV, thanks for the book review. I want to win that book. @gbrandt93

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