Archive for February, 2013

Feb
26

This past week I took and passed the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) Practical Exam, making me CCDE #20130013, or CCDE #2013::13 in geek-speak.  Cisco doesn’t publish official stats on either the number of CCIE or CCDE certified people anymore, but per the unofficial stats of the CCIE/CCDE Hall Of Fame this makes me one of about 100 engineers globally that currently hold this certification.  Pretty neat, considering I thought being one of 7500 CCIEs was really cool back in 2001.

In this post I’m going to talk about my personal journey to obtaining the CCDE, details about the practical exam itself (within NDA of course), and some recommendations for engineers that are currently pursuing or thinking about pursuing CCDE.
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Feb
26

Our new CCIE Data Center Written course has been released. For the All Access Pass members it’s already available in your members site account. Below are some sample from the new course.

Nexus 5000 & 2000 Hardware Architecture:

NX-OS Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)

UCS :: LAN Modes and Behaviors :: Part 1

Here is the playlist:
CCIE Data Center

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Feb
22

First off where are we at with the Data Center CCIE rental racks? INE is going to offer two types of Data Center rental racks. The first option is a modular rack option where you can rent Nexus 2ks, Nexus 5ks, Nexus 7ks, MDS 9222i, ACE 4710, UCS, etc on a per device basis. This is a new system we developed where you select the devices you want to access during your rental session. The second option are the full scale Data Center racks which include everything on Cisco’s CCIE Data Center hardware list. The first option is designed to enable someone to learn the technologies and features without having to pay for a full rack while the second option is designed for someone who is doing our full scale Data Center labs.

What about Data Center CCIE workbook labs? We will have the Data Center CCIE workbooks releasing and racks available the third week of March which is less than a month away. Of course the big difference with INE’s Data Center workbook products is that you will be able to actually rent racks to do the labs in the workbooks and use your existing tokens! The workbooks will be bundled as a single Data Center CCIE workbook solution and not a confusing jumble of volumes and add-on products you need to buy to prepare for the lab.

Next week we will be releasing our new Data Center Written Bootcamp course. The course is over 23 hours in length and cover the topics listed in the Data Center CCIE Written blueprint. These new videos, as with all new videos will be available to All Access Pass members for free.

* Note: The new Security CCIE updates mirror the DC update schedule which means workbooks and racks next month. I’ll do a post regarding the details next week.

Feb
19

INE would like to send a big congratulations out to our very own Brian McGahan, who just moments ago took and passed the Cisco CCDE exam! Numbers are still forthcoming, but this being the first exam given in 2013, may well be CCDE #2013::1. Brian will be writing a more in-depth blog post here, outlining some of the more fundamental aspects related to reading and studying for the exam, but in the interim, we just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS!!

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Feb
13

We are postponing both of the 1-day classes -Nexus 1000v and UC on UCS) to focus on what everyone really wants — Data Center Labs. We apologize for any inconvenience. For those of you who were planning on attending the Nexus 1000v, please note that most all of this training can be found contained in the 5-day Unified Computing class, beginning here.

Also note, that more content related to both Nexus 1000v, ACE and everything else in the written exam will be shortly forthcoming as Brian and I just wrapped on recording that class this past week.

Feb
11

Firstly, the IOS XR Primer class that was scheduled for this week has been postponed due to a time crunch in my schedule. Sorry for the late notice on this, but for those of you that were planning on attending I’ll be posting an updated date for this class soon, which will likely be in about 6 weeks.

Next, the Nexus NX-OS Primer class is now available for streaming for All Access Pass members, as well as a standalone download for just $99. This class is great for anyone that has an upcoming project on Nexus and quickly needs to get up to speed on using NX-OS.

Now – the topic that everyone has been waiting for ;) – Data Center Labs and Rack Rentals! Both our Nexus and Unified Computing System Hands-On Labs are nearing completion, and will begin posting within the next two weeks. This release will also coincide with the launch of our Data Center Rack Rentals to support the labs. Both the Hands-On Labs and the Rack Rentals will be using a new delivery system, so right now we’re looking for beta testers that are interested in trying out the new delivery system and giving us some feedback on it. If you are interested simply send me an email to bmcgahan@ine.com with the subject “DC Beta Testing”, and I will get back to you with more information later this week. Pricing for both the labs and rack rentals is still forthcoming.

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Feb
05

As expected by many since the introduction of the new CCIE Data Center certification track, today Cisco officially announced that they are retiring the CCIE Storage Networking track. The last day to test for the CCIE Storage Networking written exam is April 30th, 2013, while the last day for testing the CCIE Storage Networking lab exam is June 30th 2013. Per the announcement:

The CCIE Storage Networking certification is being retired because of its increasingly narrow focus within IT networking and the broader scope now available with the Data Center training and certification programs. While the job roles of professionals working in the storage networking area remain important for a company’s success, Cisco is concentrating its focus on the broader solutions that exist for the data center as a whole.

While many of the SAN switching topics overlap between CCIE Storage Networking and CCIE Data Center, such as VSANs, Basic & Enhanced Zoning, SAN Trunking & Port Channeling, iSCSI, and San Extension with FCIP, many features covered in CCIE SAN are not being carried over to CCIE DC, such as FICON, Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR), Storage Media Encryption (SME), and Data Mobility Manager (DMM). Instead, the SAN section of CCIE Data Center focuses more on storage features of the modern data center such as Unified I/O, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), N-Port Virtualization (NPV), and N Port Identifier Virtualization (NPIV).

If you’re interested in learning more about storage networking, especially within the scope of CCIE Data Center, check out our CCIE Data Center :: Storage video series. All Access Pass members can access the playlist of this series directly here.

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