First off I’d like to thank all of you that participated in beta testing both the CCIE Data Center Technology Lab Workbook and DC Rack Rentals, and for all the constructive feedback that was submitted. Yesterday the DC rack system left beta, and is now publicly available for bookings.
Data Center rack rentals cost 20 tokens for the base topology, which includes Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000, and Virtual Machines. There are three add-ons to the topology, which are Nexus 2000 & SAN, UCS & SAN, and ACE 4710. Each of the add-ons cost 5 tokens apiece, which means the maximum cost for the full topology is 35 tokens per session. With bulk token pricing this equates to about $11 USD per hour for rental, which is much more affordable than any other vendor out there.
For more detailed information on how to book sessions and use the system, please see the CCIE Data Center Rack Rental Access Guide.
Before the end of the month we will also be launching a second “Mock Lab” Data Center topology that will be used for full-scale 8-hour lab scenarios. More information about the availability of rentals on this topology will be posted soon.
INE’s CCIE Data Center Rack Rentals are now available for public beta testing. During this beta testing period, racks are 100% free to book for CCIE DC Workbook customers. Simply login to your http://members.ine.com account, click the Rack Rentals option on the left, and you will see the CCIE Data Center racks listed, as seen below:
Click on “Schedule/Cancel Session” and the calendar will appear as below:
After many months of development, INE is happy to announce that our CCIE Data Center Technology Lab Workbook is now available! The initial release of the workbook contains over 100 hands-on lab scenarios that walk you through the technologies used in Cisco’s modern Data Center architecture. Whether you are preparing for the CCIE Data Center Lab Exam, have an upcoming implementation project with Cisco’s Nexus switches or Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), or you simply want to gain hands-on experience with these cutting-edge technologies, this workbook is for you.
The labs in this workbook are all individually focused advanced technology labs that present topics in an easy-to-follow, goal-oriented, step-by-step approach. Every scenario features detailed breakdowns and thorough verifications to help you completely understand the technology. The workbook is subdivided into two sections, Nexus Technology Labs and UCS Technology Labs. A sample of the Nexus Technology Labs can be found here, and a sample of the UCS Technology Labs can be found here. The workbook is priced at $399, and can be purchased here.
Today my support team forwarded me an interesting ticket where a customer was complaining about not being able to login to their Data Center rack rental session. The support team was confused because INE’s CCIE Data Center Rack Rentals and workbook are currently still in closed beta, with a select few testing out the rack rental system and the workbook content. As this isn’t the only ticket they’ve gotten about the situation, I thought it was appropriate to address it publicly. In short, these tickets relate to another vendor’s Data Center rack rental issues as INE’s CCIE DC Rack Rentals are not yet publicly available.
The reason they got this ticket and the other related ones is that another vendor has pre-sold Data Center – and I believe also Wireless – CCIE rack rental sessions that don’t actually exist, and a few people are confusing INE with them. Apparently once it’s time to actually use your pre-paid rack session you get an email similar to the one below:
From: (redacted) Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 1:43 PM To: (redacted) Subject: Data Center Rack (redacted), We are going to have to cancel you 20:00 session today and upcoming sessions at least up to the 15th of April due to the fact that the DC rack is not complete at this time. We are expecting to get this up and running in the next couple weeks. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. You will receive a replacement voucher for all canceled sessions. -- Regards, (redacted) Technical Support/ Editor (redacted), INC.
The CCIE Data Center Facebook group has had a bunch of posts about this recently as well:
Normally I try to stay away from this type of industry drama, but I want to make sure that INE is not lumped in with the rest of our competitors that have this type of shady business practice. Pre-selling vaporware not only hurts the end customer and the vendor, but also other vendors in the CCIE training business, as apparent by the support tickets that we received. If you’ve found yourself in this situation and are being offered vouchers instead of a refund then I would suggest to get in touch with your credit company to dispute the charges, as this is pretty cut-and-dry as a product paid for and not delivered.
As for INE’s rack rentals, like I mentioned we are still in closed beta. Public beta is going to be starting next week, and if you are interested simply send me an email to email@example.com with the subject “DC Beta Testing”. If you already submitted a request you don’t need to send another one, we will be following up with everyone shortly after the weekend.
After a long and highly anticipated wait, INE’s CCIE Data Center Workbook and Rack Rentals are (almost ) finally here! This post covers three items of business, the state of the DC Workbook & Rack Rentals release, and the Implementing Nexus 5-Day Bootcamp that I am running online next week. This post ran a little longer than I had initially anticipated, so below are some quick links to the particular sections that you may be interested in:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
Update: There will be another session running May 27th – May 29th, 2013 in Chicago. Registration info can be found here.
I will be holding a CCDE Open Study Session in Chicago, IL from Saturday Feb 16th through Monday Feb 18th. The CCDE Practical Exam in Chicago is the following day, Feb 19th. This is similar to the one that I held in London last November prior to the previous practical exam, but this time I didn’t miss the cutoff for scheduling the practical so I will actually be taking the CCDE exam on the 19th with others who are attending the session
This isn’t a “bootcamp” per-se but more of an open discussion or “groupstudy” if you will. We will be working through scenarios written by myself, Brian Dennis, and Petr Lapukhov (CCDE 2010::7) for the days leading up to the CCDE Practical Exam.
There is no cost to attend the session. Even if you aren’t going to take the CCDE but are interested in getting a chance to discuss real world networking with other senior engineers then you should attend. We had a great time in London as nearly everyone was at least a CCIE and many double/triple CCIEs which allowed for interesting discussions on the scenarios and technologies in general. Candidates who are actually taking the practical in Chicago will be given priority though as seating is limited.
If you would like to attend please send an email to Jeremy Brown (INE’s Class Coordinator) at email@example.com to reserve a seat.
The location of class is yet to be determined, but it will be in downtown Chicago (Chicago Loop) close to where the CCDE practical exam will be at the Pearson Professional Center.
This week I will be running a Nexus NX-OS Primer class online. This class is essentially Nexus NX-OS for Cisco IOS engineers, and is designed to get you quickly up to speed with using Cisco’s Next Generation Data Center Switching Network Operating System, Nexus NX-OS. Class will run Wednesday – Friday (Jan 9th – 11th) from 10am PST – 2pm PST (18:00 – 22:00 GMT). This class is free to attend for all users with active All Access Pass subscriptions. Recorded versions will be available in streaming format for AAP members a week or two after the class’s completion, as well as a download version available for separate purchase.
The advantage of attending the class live is that you will be able to ask me questions and get immediate feedback. Technically I guess you could still ask me questions while you’re watching the recordings, but I won’t be able to respond and you might get strange looks from those around you
AAP members do not need to pre-register for this class. Simply click the Nexus NX-OS Primer link under the All Access Pass section of your Members dashboard. This will also give you a countdown timer so you know exactly when class is starting.
Specifically this course will help engineers with a solid understanding of traditional Cisco IOS technologies and features to quickly transfer their knowledge to NX-OS. The course materials will be useful for engineers who plan to implement or support Cisco’s Data Center Unified Fabric architecture on platforms such as the Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000/5500, Nexus 3000, Nexus 2000, MDS 9200, MDS 9500, or the Unified Computing System Fabric Interconnects (UCS FIs). Candidates pursuing the CCNA Data Center, CCNP Data Center, or CCIE Data Center certifications will also benefit from this course.
This course consists primarily of live, hands-on examples comparing and contrasting Nexus NX-OS to traditional Cisco IOS, and introducing new Nexus NX-OS-specific features.
- NX-OS CLI Fundamentals
- NX-OS AAA & Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
- NX-OS Setup Utility and Control Plane Policing (CoPP) Templates
- NX-OS Feature Licensing
- NX-OS Virtual Device Contexts (VDCs)
- NX-OS Virtual Routing & Forwarding Instances (VRFs)
- NX-OS In Service Software Upgrade (ISSU)
- NX-OS Parsing with GREP, PERL, & XML
- NX-OS Ethanalyzer Packet Capture and Analysis
- NX-OS vs. Catalyst IOS Ethernet Switching (VLANs, VTP, Trunking, STP, etc.)
- NX-OS vs. IOS First-Hop Redundancy Protocols (FHRP/GLBP/HSRP)
- NX-OS vs. IOS IPv4 & IPv6 Routing (EIGRP, OSPF, IS-IS, BGP, etc.)
- NX-OS vs. IOS IPv4 & IPv6 Multicast Routing
- NX-OS vs. IOS Security (ACLs, Port Security, DHCP Snooping, etc.)
- NX-OS Specific Features (FEX, vPC, FabricPath, OTV, etc.)
I hope to see you in class!