Posts from ‘Unified Computing’
The first two CCIE Data Center Full Scale Labs are now available on the INE Members Site, with more labs currently in development. Click here for the direct link to them. These labs are included with any purchase of the CCIE Data Center Technology Lab Online Workbook, so if you currently have access to the Nexus and UCS Technology Labs, then you also have access to these new Full Scale Labs.
These labs use a separate topology from the Nexus and UCS Technology Labs, and this topology will be available for public rack rentals starting July 1st. In brief, this new topology is as follows:
- 1 x Nexus 7010 with M132XP and F132XP line cards
- 2 x Nexus 5548UPs
- 2 x MDS 9200s
- 2 x UCS 6248 Fabric Interconnects
- 1 x UCS B 5108 Blade Chassis
- 2 x UCS B200 M2 Blade Servers
- 1 x UCS C200 Rack Mount Server
- 1 x Catalyst 3750G
- Fibre Channel SAN
More specific details for the topology will be available when the rack rentals go public. Beta access to these racks will be running the week of June 24th. If you would like to beta test the new rack rentals and these full scale labs please send me an email at email@example.com. Please include in the email when your lab date is scheduled, as I will be prioritizing beta access based on people who have their lab exams coming up first.
These labs are similar in format to what you may already be familiar with as our “Volume 2″ labs for other tracks, however for simplicity both the Technology Labs and the Full Scale Labs are packaged together as one product, so you don’t have to buy them separately. In the near future you will also see our other tracks, e.g. R&S, Security, Voice/Collaboration, etc. go this route with a single lab “workbook” that covers both the individual technologies and combined technologies, and they will be delivered through our new online content system.
Each labs starts with a set of initial configurations and a logical topology:
Labs are broken down into four major sections, which are Data Center Infrastructure, Data Center Storage Networking, Unified Computing, and Data Center Virtualization. Each of these sections contains individual tasks which are assigned separate point values, similar to the format of the actual CCIE Lab Exam.
Solutions for each of the labs feature the configuration broken down on a task by task basis:
Verification sections guide you as to which show, debug, etc. commands you can run to ensure that the devices are configured properly. The verification sections also highlight the specific relevant output, and contain explanations about the specific configurations and outputs.
For UCS related tasks, screenshots of the UCSM GUI walk you step-by-step through the configuration of each of the required tasks, and include any relevant explanations as to why this solution was chosen over other possible solutions.
As previously mentioned, more labs will continue to be added to the Full Scale Labs section of the workbook, and will automatically show up in the table of contents when posted.
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.
Last week we quietly snuck into the All Access Pass the recordings of the live UC on UCS and Nexus 1000v on UCS classes that I ran just a few weeks back. If you have never run Unified Communications in a virtual environment or have never worked with a distributed virtual switch in a VMware environment, these classes will certainly aid you in preparing for that first deployment. If you have worked with either product for a little while, these classes will deepen your understanding of what’s needed and what’s really going on behind the scenes. The Nexus 1000v class is also very useful for the Unified Communications engineer, as most deployments these days are virtual machines, and the Nexus 1000v is the recommended L2 switch to run them on, since the UCS can only match/mark at L2 CoS, whereas the Nexus 1000v allows you to match the L3 DSCP that the UC servers are natively sending and map them to a L2 CoS value, which is currently the only value seen and honored by any of your UCS or Nexus switches in your modern data centers.
I will be furthering this series with classes on the VSG with VNMC, the ASA 1000v, and later with the InterCloud 1000v as well as possibly more virtual devices in the weeks to come.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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
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.
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 email@example.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.