I just earned my VCP5 today!
Phew, I did it, I passed the VCP-510 test today, glad that's done.
For me, it all began with "kicking the tires" on ESX 1.5 & GSX Server in August of 2002, using some server gear I had lab access to, an IBM eserver xSeries 440. Remember floppies for NIC driver installs?
In 2005, things got more formal, here's my transcript, VCP #2681:
2005-Sep VCP-101V:VMware Certified Professional ESX Server 2.5 and VC1
2007-Feb VCP-310: VMware Certified Professional 3
2009-Nov VCP-410: VMware Certified Professional 4
2012-Feb VCP-510: VMware Certified Professional 5
If I hadn't completed this test today, the last day where VMware allowed VCP4s to move to VCP5 with just one test, I would have had faced an expensive, time-consuming update class.
No great words of wisdom at the moment, but I can say it was challenging, and I'm just happy it's done at the moment, and that I got home safely through the snow.
I now also know that you most certainly do need a lot of lab hands-on time to prepare ;-) .
Time to reward myself for the rest of my day off, "playing" with both Windows 8 versions (Consumer Preview, and Server Beta). Then revisiting Microsoft Hyper-V.
Well, right after some snow shoveling...
Update May 17 2012:
Here's my tip. Read mind-numbing PDFs, spending the most time on stuff you never tried before, then try them in a lab, much as I did on vZilla, giving myself some months to study during any time I could spare.
Here's the sites I found helpful in my studies, in no particular order:
VMware Communities: VCP5 Exam Blueprint Guide
VCP5 | vInfrastructure Blog
My Prep Guide for VCP5.0
Cosonok's IT Blog: VCP510 (VCP on vSphere 5) Exam Cram Notes Part 1/3
VMware Training and Certification: Studying for the VCP5 exam
vSphere 5 Card | vReference
vSphere 5 notes | vReference
Eric Sloof's VCP5 exam experience - Eric Sloof - NTPRO.NL
VCP 5 Exam Thoughts and Experience « vPrimer
Create online tests - ClassMarker
VCP5 Practice Exams - The SLOG – SimonLong/Blog
Practice Questions | Elastic Sky