VMware Certified Master Specialist - HCI 2020 Certification Has Been Retired

This certification has been replaced by VMware with new certification(s).

Certification Details

The VMware Certified Master Specialist – HCI 2020 certification validates a candidate’s ability to manage and deploy software solutions by using VMware vSAN. Also, the examinees will demonstrate that they understand how vSAN architecture works and how they can use its features to secure interoperability with VMware vSphere.

Target Audience for VMware Certified Master Specialist – HCI 2020 Certification

A candidate who wants to be eligible for the VMware Certified Master Specialist – HCI 2020 certification should have previously obtained the VCP-DCV and the VMware Specialist – vSAN certificates. Also, they should prove that they have at least 1 year of practical experience in configuring, upgrading, designing, and managing VMware HCI architecture and environment. In addition, the exam-takers will be accepted to take the test coded 5V0-21.20 only if they are familiar with administrating and deploying VMs with the help of Storage Policy-Based Management features. Besides, the candidates should have intermediate knowledge on how to ensure monitoring, remediation, and storage, as well as basic networking and security concepts. Finally, they should have previously completed the training for VMware vSAN deployment and management.

Exam Details

The VMware 5V0-21.20 exam is necessary to obtain the VMware Certified Master Specialist – HCI 2020 certification. It is proctored which means that the candidates should enroll by setting an account on the Pearson VUE platform. They have to follow the instructions mentioned on the site and pay a fee that is $250.

The test includes 55 questions presented in different formats. Therefore, applicants will face single and multiple-choice items, as well as solve proctored ones. The minimum passing score that one needs to obtain to get the certificate is 300 points. Also, the allotted time that all candidates will receive is 105 minutes.

Skills Necessary to Develop to Get Certified

Once they download the test’s blueprint, the candidates who want to get the VMware Certified Master Specialist – HCI 2020 certification should demonstrate that they have skills in the following areas:

  • Technologies and Architecture
  • VMware Solutions and Products
  • Design and Planning
  • Setup, Configuration, and Installation
  • Optimization, Upgrades, and Performance-tuning
  • Repairing and Troubleshooting
  • Operational and Administrative Tasks

While the first section doesn’t include any tested objectives that the candidates should consider, the second one is more detailed. Within the section dedicated to VMware solutions and products, the applicants will need to demonstrate that they can configure vSphere replication and understand which are the effects that storage policies have. Besides, they should become proficient in deploying vRealize Operations with the help of vSAN infrastructure.

The third section takes students through different scenarios and evaluates their skills in defining and demonstrating that they can use vSAN design considerations. For instance, they have to be familiar with vSAN policies, disc groups, VCG, networking, and VMkernel traffic. Another subtopic included here focuses on designing a vSAN cluster. This means that they need to know how to manage availability, toleration failure, along with capacity tier. Last but not least, the examinees should become proficient in using vSAN design and sizing tools properly. These include no of nodes, VM sizing, Live Optics, HCI Bench, and sizing cache tier for the workload.

The fourth chapter concentrates on evaluating the candidates’ skills in validating and configuring vSAN Health and Cluster Quickstart as well as managing and creating disk groups. Besides, they should use their best knowledge to properly validate and deploy vSAN services. For example, they should be familiar with using vSAN Encryption, fault domains, and dedupe/compression features, among the rest. Another subtopic tested in this section is dedicated to the configuration of vSAN stretched cluster and 2-node configuration. Finally, candidates will need to show that they can manage Cloud Native storage architecture with the help of appropriate policies.

Within the chapter focused on the optimization, upgrades, and performance-tuning, the examinees will need to show their skills in determining upgrade requirements. In addition, they will need to know to use the vSphere Update Manager tool to apply patches, how to remove or add hosts from a cluster, and evaluate cases and find the right maintenance mode options that fit best. Other skills that the applicants need to develop are the creation, expansion, and reconfiguration of disk groups. They should learn how to manage driver versions and firmware by using vSAN Health, Compatibility Guide, and VUM. When it comes to VUM, they should also know how to set their baseline preferences.

The sixth objective emphasizes the candidates’ ability to identify a failure scenario when it appears and interpret the situation by using vSAN Health warnings. Another subtopic included in this section is related to the proper determination of vSAN Health features with the help of vSphere Host Client and ESXCLI. Besides, the candidates will need to become proficient in evaluating performance information and managing hardware replacement. Their ability to assess the impact created by resync and remove unassociated objects to reclaim capacity is also tested in this exam. Another topic included in the questions for the VMware Certified Master Specialist – HCI 2020 certification is related to the skills in solving capacity issues and ensuring object compliance as well as properly configuring Network Diagnostics.

The final domain covers the effective description of vSAN data placement changes and the evaluation of vSAN performance metrics. Also, the applicants should be knowledgeable in the proper effects of maintenance mode options and monitoring the compliance of storage policy. Another subtopic included in this section is related to Health Check interpretation and the quick identification of the impact caused by the changes in policies. The exam-takers should also possess advanced skills in identifying any inconsistencies when it comes to cluster configuration and coming with remediation solutions by using Health check.

Career Path for Certification Holders

The VMware Certified Master Specialist – HCI 2020 Certification holder automatically becomes a valuable candidate for international companies and has increased chances to get one of the following roles:

  • Data Analyst
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Virtualization Administrator

Payscale.com mentions that a Data Analyst can get an annual salary of $61k on average. Also, a Technical Support Engineer can ask for an offer of up to $95k per year, while the compensation for system administrators with virtualization skills goes up to $89k per year.

Certification Prospects

A candidate who possesses the VMware Certified Master Specialist – HCI 2020 certificate can move on to obtaining the other VMware accreditations at this path of a higher level. These can be VCAP — Data Center Virtualization Design 2020 or VCAP — Data Center Virtualization Design Deploy 2020. Also, there are options such as VMware Specialist — vRealize Operations, VMware Specialist — Cloud Provider 2020, and others.