Last wednesday the VMware roundtable discussion was about the VMware VCDX program. Among alot of good discussion there was one thing that kept spinning in my head. The price you have to pay to become a VCDX. And no, I don’t mean anything else then money (so no mad wife and screaming kids because daddy is never there ;-))

Let’s calculate the cost (I’ll use €) for 3 major Architect certifications: VMware VCDX, Microsoft Certified Architect and the Cisco Certified Architect programs.

You need to have the following prequisteres to apply for the VCDX program. You’ll have to be a VCP 4 (to become this you must follow the install and configure training € 2795,- and the exam € € 160,-).

After you became a VCP 4, you need to become a VCAP-DCA and VCAP-DCD for which no courses need to be followed. For this the only costs are the exam costs: € 365 * 2 = € 730,-

After getting these 2 certification you should apply for the VCDX program: Application costs € 211,- ($ 300) and your defense registration fee € 633,- ($900) So let’s sum that all up:

2795 + 160 + 730 + 211 + 633 = € 4529,- to become a VCDX

That looks like a lot of money, but let me explain why this is a bargain.

Worldwide there are only 65 (maybe 2 or 3 more now) people who can say they’re VCDX. This means it’s a very exclusive certification and is therefor one of few certifications that provide this kind of status. To keep simple I’ll highlight the cost for two other “top” certification’s.

Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA I’ll use AD as this is cheapest) and Cisco Certified Architect.

Let’s start with the MCA, you’ll first need to become a MCITP Enterprise Administrator. Microsoft does not make a must for following a course so we’ll count only the exams, which are 5 in this case at a cost of € 140,- each. So that will be € 700,- (a good start for Microsoft)

After this you’ll need to go for one of the MCM: SRV 2008 R2: Directory with a application fee of € 89 ($ 125) and a program fee of € 9.865 ($13950) to become MCM.

The last thing needed is the MCA with a application fee of € 89 ($125) and a program fee of € 5.304 ($ 7500)

So let’s total that:

700 + 89 + 9865 + 89 + 5304 = € 16047,- to become a Microsoft Certified Architect

Now let’s take a look at the Cisco certification:

First of all you’ll do the CCNA exam for which there is no obligation to do a course. So only the exam € 140 ($ 200).

Then you’ll do the CCNP again no obligation for courses so only the exams 3 x € 140 = € 420

The next step is to become a CCDE (Design Expert) which is done by a written exam € 248 ($ 350) and a lab exam € 990 ($ 1400)

After you become a CCDE you can become a CCAr (Certified Architect) by doing a board exam which costs € 10608 ($ 15000)

And again let’s total that:

140 + 420 + 248 + 990 + 10608 = € 12478,- to become a Cisco Certified Architect

So VMware VCDX  : € 4529,-

Microsoft MCA       : € 16047,-

Cisco CCAr               : € 12478,-

That’s why I think the costs for becoming a VMware VCDX is a bargain 😉

If anything is out of order in the these calculations, please comment.

I didn’t include any travel costs as all three have about the same travel expenses I imagine….