Review: VCP5 Study Guide by Brian Atkinson

A few months ago Erik and I passed our VCP-510 Exam, we used several different resources to get the job done. Several people asked us how to prepare for the VCP-510 exam. Fortunately Brian Atkinson a fellow vExpert, wrote a “small” book (almost 800 pages!!) as a study guide for everyone who wants to prepare for the exam and to get their VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 title. The book helps you prepare for this tough exam, it points out things you normally don’t touch in your daily work with vSphere.

While reading the book it felt like I was taken on a journey, from What is New in vSphere 5 to How to Plan, Install, Configure and Upgrade vCenter Server and VMware ESXi with this new version. But you aren’t finished after installing vSphere. Eye for details, like The way you secure vCenter Server and ESXi and how to Plan and Configuring vSphere Networking and Storage to get the most out of your installation, are unfolded. So you now have the basis and want to Create, Deploy and Manage VMs and vApps.

After putting the environment to work your organization wants to know How SLAs are translated into technical things like Cluster, Fault Tolerance and Resource Pools but most important: The way you can maintain Service Levels even If things go bad. If things go bad How you are going to do basic troubleshooting? After recovering from some outages, how can you prevent future disaster by Monitoring and Managing vCenter Server Alarms. All these topics are covered in the book and after almost every chapter the chapter is concluded with 20 review questions to help you practice the matter.

The book is filled with a lot of exercises, test questions and an Assessment Test with 40 questions. Also almost every chapter is concluded with 20 review questions. So you get a lot of practise, how and what will be asked on the VCP-510 exam. I have seen several questions who looked very similar to the questions I got during my test at the end of February 2012. I see a high level of detail in almost every chapter I read and I know that takes a lot of time and dedication.

Why should you take and try the VCP exam?

VMware Certified Professional benefits include:

  • recognition in the industry, distinction for partners, and a credential that consulting clients can trust
  • use of “VMware Certified Professional” logo on business cards and websites
  • complementary license of VMware Workstation 8
  • invitation to beta exam programs
  • discounts to VMware events
  • access to the VCP Store


The book is easy to read with a high level of detail on the right moments, filled with real world examples and linking and pinpointing to relevant resources like VMware knowledge base articles. I wish I had this book before I went up for my VCP-510 exam, would have made my life so much  easier. The book focuses completely on how to prepare for the VCP-510 exam, but most information is still highly valuable after passing the exam as a reference guide.

So if you are preparing or thinking about going up for the VCP-510 exam, I would advise you to buy this book. It will help you tremendous in the preparation and getting a good test result in the end.

How to buy?

The book is published by Sybex, an imprint of Wiley and can be ordered through Amazon or when living in the Netherlands you can buy the book through Van Stockum or

For a full list of retailers, visit