Virtual Elephant

VCDX Certification

The VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification is the highest-level certification one can earn. Focused on the core infrastructure design principles, earning the certification validates the holder as an expert in enterprise architecture. As a VCDX certification holder and panelist, I strive to give back to the community that has given me so much.


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the VCDX certification from the past several years delivering the VCDX workshops

How long is the VCDX Design Defense phase?

The Design Defense phase is 75 minutes. You should be prepared with a presentation highlighting the business use-case, key requirements/constraints/risks, high-level design, and logical design details for the critical portions of the blueprint.

How long is the VCDX Design Scenario phase?

The Design Scenario phase is 45 minutes. You will be given a hypothetical business use-case and you are expected to derive the key requirements and work through a high-level design using the physical whiteboard or digital whiteboard if performing a remote defense.

How many pages should my design document be?

There is no correct answer here. The design documentation needs to include every area covered in the VCDX Blueprint for the given track you are applying for. The documentation should be sure to provide enough detail to allow another architect or VMware Administrator/SRE to be able to understand the key areas of the environment and be able to reason out why each design decision was made.

What additional resources do you recommend?

If you were to only pick one additional resource beyond the VCDX Blueprint, I recommend to everyone to purchase and read the IT Architect: Foundation in the Art of Infrastructure Design book (available on Amazon). The book covers all of the key areas in the blueprints, makes recommendations on design documentation structure, how to create the presentation, etc.

What information should be included in the design decisions?

The design decisions are the core of the VCDX certification. A candidate needs to be able to show mastery of the process and be able to justify their individual decisions. At a minimum, I recommend including the justification, impact, identified risks, and risk mitigation for each design decision.

What diagrams should be included in the documentation?

The design documentation  should include diagrams for the conceptual, logical, and physical portions of the design. At a minimum, these should be included for the compute, networking, and storage sections.

What should my presentation include?

The presentation will be the talk track for the 75 minute design defense portion with the VCDX Panelists. The presentation should highlight the key business requirements, conceptual, logical and physical portions of the design. It can also include reference slides for other critical aspects of the design to assist in answering the panelists questions.

Where can I find a mentor?

The VCDX community is very welcoming. The main resource for finding a mentor should be the website. In addition, the hashtag #VCDX on Twitter is also a good way to reach out and find individuals willing to mentor you during your process.


VCDX Videos

3 Reasons to get your VCDX!

Are you an aspiring Architect looking to elevate your career in the dynamic world of virtualization and cloud technologies? Discover the top three incredible reasons why you should dedicate your time to pursuing the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification in 2024!

Top 4 VCDX Defense Prep Tips

In this video, as a VCDX Panelist, I provide my Top 4 Tips when creating the PowerPoint presentation and preparing for the delivery of the VCDX Defense Presentation and show you my presentation from 2017 for you to draw inspiration from!

VCDX Design Decisions

In this video, I provide tips and recommendations on how to structure your design decisions within your architecture design documentation. This video highlights key areas of a design decision and what how it relates to the architecture lifecycle of a cloud environment.


Quick Hits

A series of short blog posts covering a variety of topics relevant to architecture and the VCDX certification process

Design Decision Template



Sample documentation for the VCDX design submission

Table of Contents

Design Decisions