The VCDX Defense

The VCDX defense was like nothing else I have ever experienced. It was intimidating but I really enjoyed doing it now that I look back at it. It is kind of funny looking back at it now with a different perspective. Take all of the time and effort you did just to get to this point and it is all over in about 2 hours. It is really crazy.

Couple things I want to point out and everyone should remember if they are planning on taking this “journey” to VCDX stardom. The panelists are your peers. Their goal is not to beat on you until you trip up with the goal of getting you to fail. That couldn’t be any more wrong. The bottom line is this….they want you to PASS! They are making sure you applied critical thinking to your design and thought about each decision rationally.

To be an architect, you have to begin to think like an architect. Apply rational, analytical and critical thinking to each and every decision made. For example…

What influenced the design decision?
What are the implications of the design decision?

Enabling or using a feature because “I always enable or use this feature” or “…because it is best practice” are not sensible or justifiable answers. I have always believed in the motto “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” because it proves you are thinking clearly and are well aware of the consequences (if there are any). Best practices should only be used to fill gaps in the design. It is certainly possible for something known as “best practice” to violate a requirement in a design. If the best practice violates or does not satisfy a design requirement then the conclusion is simple. It’s a bad design.

One of my favorite books during this journey helped me not only with my defense but sharpened my ability to think like an architect. Go online locate the following book….

IT Architect: Foundation in the Art of Infrastructure Design: A Practical Guide for IT Architects (by VCDX-001 John Yani Arrasjid, VCDX-023 Mark Gabryjelski, VCDX-079 Chris McCain)


I first noticed it at the book store at VMworld. A few days after I got home I went online and bought it from This book is by far the most favorite book of mine in my IT arsenal. All I can say is buy it and read it over and over and over.

Another one I enjoyed and helped me tremendously was the “VCDX Boot Camp” book by John Yani Arrasjid, Ben Lin and Mostafa Khalil. Amazing book and a very short read. If you are on the journey and don’t own this book you must stop what you are doing and add this to your library. I can’t remember how many times I’ve read through this book entirely and/or referenced it. There are little post-it notes stick out of mine where I’ve book marked and made numerous notes for myself.