There are three primary (I guess they can't all be primary, so we'll call them Tier 1) sources of information. In no particular order:
- The student books from the vSphere 5: ICM course. I'm always surprised how much detail can be found in the slide notes from these two books. For example, there's a discussion about ensuring that NFS exports haven't been configured to deny root read / write access, since root owns the NFS vmkernel interface on the ESXi hosts. (Contrast this to Linux / UNIX systems where nfsuser most likely owns the connection). Great material for reviewing the foundation of your VMware knowledge.
- The VMware vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive. Who doesn't read this all the time, anyway?
- VMware vSphere Design v5 - Great source for looking beyond the technical aspects of a design engagement.
I've read these three several times, but I always refer to them. They're heavily defaced with notes and highlights and post-its. As opposed to my Sendmail bat book, which is nearly pristine after all these years.
This time around, I'm going to read two new books (perhaps I should have done this last time):
- Managing and Optimizing VMware vSphere Deployments, and
- Mastering VMware vSphere 5.
I suspect that I'll be half-way prepared for my VCAP5-DCA once I'm done with these books. I've been waiting until DCD was finished to really focus on the DCA exam, though I suspect that will be slightly easier. I've read lots of posts from people who sailed through the DCA only to get stymied by the DCD.
Of course, this is all just preparation for the ultimate goal: VCDX. I fear my opportunity to be a VCDX hipster has passed (I was VCDX before VCDX was cool), but I'd still like to at least give it a shot. Curious how the process works.
Anyway, the five books (six if you count the VCP study material as two) above should finally get my mind right for this beast of an exam. If you've found other material useful, let me know and share with the community!