Posts Tagged ‘UCS’

Jul
10

This past Monday I passed the CCIE Data Center Lab Exam in San Jose CA, making me four time Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) #8593 in Routing & Switching, Service Provider, Security, and Data Center, as well as Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) #20130013.  This was my first – and thankfully last – attempt at the DC lab exam, and also my first experience in the San Jose CCIE Lab location.  In this post I’m going to outline my preparation process for CCIE Data Center, as well as to talk about my experience with the actual day of the lab.

 

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Apr
24

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.

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Apr
15

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.

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Mar
24

Update: The CCIE Data Center Technology Lab Workbook is now available here

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:

Implementing Nexus 5-Day Bootcamp
DC Workbook Delivery
DC Rack Rental Topology
DC Workbook and Rack Rental Pricing
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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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Jan
07

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.

Topics Include

  • 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!

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Dec
10

The third and final portion of our CCIE Data Center Live Online Bootcamps – Unified Computing with Nexus 1000v – is now complete, and the videos are available for both streaming and download. This class focuses on the Cisco Unified Computing System – both B-Series and C-Series servers, Fabric Interconnects, and also the Nexus 1000v. We use the Nexus 5548UP switches along with Cisco MDS 9222i and a rack of JBODs to configure absolutely everything live in the class, including boot-from-SAN, FC zoning, static and dynamic pinning, normal and vPC port-channels, FCoE and vPC-HM (Host Mode) with MAC-Pinning. We also discuss many of the very recent enhancements to the Cisco UCS line with the new addition of version 2.1 and UCS Central.

All Access Pass (AAP) subscribers can view the videos in streaming format for no additional fee and also purchase the download version at a discounted rate. If you are not an AAP subscriber you can purchase the standalone download version here. As usual, all of these videos have cross-platform support (desktop, iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows phone, etc.), and the download versions are DRM free. After you purchase them, they are yours to do with as you please.

A few samples of the class, along with the outline can be seen after the break.
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Nov
20

We had seen the official press release last week, but weren’t able to say anything until it became public today, and now the Learning@Cisco team has finally released the CCNA Data Center and CCNP Data Center certs for public consumption. A consolidated requirements page can be found here. One unique thing about these two is that they don’t require a standard CCNA (R&S) first as a pre-requisite. This makes sense, since this track has literally nothing to do with IOS. It also is largely because at the CCNA Data Center level, they are basically re-introducing you to every standard Ethernet and LAN switching concepts in the DCICN exam. Also, they seem to to be doubling down on the Cisco ACE, even though they are now partnering with, and recommending Citrix NetScaler to customers. Strange.

If I were a betting man, I’d wager that CCNA, CCNP and CCIE Video shouldn’t be too far around the corner as logical next steps for Cisco to release. Now, if you take a look at Cisco’s Career certs and learning paths, I wonder when they’ll finally fill in the CCNA and CCNP for Storage? My wager on that one would be … never. ;-)

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Nov
14

While delivering what turned out to be a very successful UCS and Nexus 1000V class a week and a half back, a number of you on the east coast of the US got tragically knocked out of class due to Hurricane/TS Sandy. While the class had to go on, I received a number of emails later on the following week mentioning about the disappointment many of you had based on not being able to ask questions during the live class. So we’ve decided to run the class again, live, the week after next. So for any who were not able to attend the first time due to this or any other reason, or would just like to attend again (or simply have an opportunity to purchase it for the first time and still attend a live version of this class), we will offer it again beginning on Nov 26 and running through Nov 30.

For anyone who may not know INE’s teaching style very well – let me just tell you that you will not be bored to death-by-powerpoint. We’ll present a very few slides with key points to remember, but 90% of the content you will see will be live, hands-on configuration and troubleshooting. We test everything the box(es) have to offer. We’ll do static pinning, dynamic pinning, and port channels for both LAN and SAN, and verify and fail(over) everything to show exactly what’s going on. We don’t just do GUI (that’d be too boring). We verify everything in the NX-OS CLI, and the upstream Nexus 5548UPs and MDS 9222Is. We’ll boot from local disk, boot from SAN, and build ESXi 5 live on the blades and pizza-box C200 as well, while talking through a number of the recommendations from both Cisco and VMware on the box. Things like number of vNICs, vHBAs, when to enable failover or not to enable failover and on which vNICS – and when should you do these things on ESXi with standard vSwitches vs when you should do them on ESXi running on top of the N1Kv VEM module.

Also, watch this blog as we will soon announce dates for a few new classes I will be holding relating to some very real-world production network training. Things such as UC on UCS (actually building it – not just talking about it), as well as BYOD with Cisco ISE across Wireless, Nexus and Catalyst platforms, as well as an across-the-board QoS class that shows both relevant and similar comparison configurations spanning Catalyst 3550, 3560/3750, 6500 with many various model blades, and Nexus 5500, 7000 and even 1000 platforms. The QoS class is something I’ve been asked by students to do for a while now, and am quite excited to bring all the hardware together in a single class.

See you in about a week.

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Sep
17

Just about an hour ago, Cisco made the CCIE Data Center written exam available to be both scheduled and tested. So stop reading this and go schedule your written exam!
 
 
Assuming you are now back from scheduling your written, purchase and begin watching our CCIE Data Center Nexus Switching course to prepare for your lab exam, as those videos are now available for streaming and download (the page still notes they are coming, and we will get that updated today, but be sure they are indeed ready for your viewing pleasure). All Access Pass (AAP) customers can view the videos direct via this URL or via the link in their members account. To prepare for the written, get busy reading everything on the CCIE Data Center Recommended Reading List. Also don’t forget that the CCIE Data Center Storage class kicks off next week!

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