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  1. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Going to tackle the CCNA Data Center

    (Since there is not much concerning the CCNA: DC, I figured a start another thread. That & I could use an official break my CCIE: R/S studies)

    Well, considering my current projects are involving data center-centric material I am going to be knocking out the CCNA: DC. Possibly the CCNP: DC as the project progressing/finishes but I'll have to weight in on my involvement with UCS. (I wonder if Cisco will be branching apart the Data Center certification into a networking branch and a UCS path sometime in the future, similar to what they did with Service Provider and SP Ops, but that could be a whole separate thread/discussion)

    For a little back story, I've got previous experience dealing with FC on a few Nexus 5k's so I am no stranger to NX-OS. Typical zoning, FC naming, VSANs, and etc. Now for the last 2-3 months I've been waist deep in data center designs. Nexus 7ks, OTV, UCS, 2k FEX's, vPC, all the fun stuff between multiple Data Centers. (Not to mention all my previous networking experience and various SAN/iSCSI/VMWare experience)

    As far as my study material, I am going to be using the following:

    Sybex 640-911 Book
    NX-OS & Cisco Nexus Switching 2nd Edition -I've already read most if not all of this book already.
    Storage Networking Fundamentals -I've already read portions of this book
    INE's CCIE Data Center Videos -For specific topics
    Cisco Learning Network CCNA: Data Center Videos -Free Resource

    I am debating at looking at the CBT Nuggets stuff, but since I have the INE material I may not even bother with CBT Nuggets.

    Exam Blue Prints:
    DCICN 640-911 Exam Blue Print
    DCICT 640-916 Exam Blue Print

    This thread will probably have 2 sections, one for the 640-911 and another section for the 640-916. Now the 640-911 does not look very intimidating so I am probably just going to skim through this Sybex and see how I feel about. Honestly by the looks of the 640-911 topics I don't see why I can't knock this exam out over the next week or two so I am going to start with this one. The 640-916 looks to be where all the fun stuff is.

    So, Here we go!
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  3. Senior Member Mrock4's Avatar
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    #2
    Best of luck to you! I found the 640-911 exam to be basically a CCNA R&S level exam with a bit of NX-OS. 640-916 was a bit trickier. Know your FEX's!
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  4. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #3
    Thanks MRock!

    Yea I've been through the Sybex book (finished it tonight), and I've been through the CBT Nuggets videos.

    Going do some review this weekend (time permitting) and tackle the exam next week (time permitting)

    I honestly skipped through a lot of the material Spanning-Tree, Routing Protocol fundamentals, blah
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  5. Senior Member RouteMyPacket's Avatar
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    #4
    I will circle back and do DC one day, I really like the material. Let us know how it goes on your first test
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  6. Network Consultant FloOz's Avatar
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    #5
    I am studying data center on the side during my CCNP. I recommend you check out Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals by Ciscopress. Its a really good read for any DC candidate.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    Steve! The CCNAC track isn't too bad at all and rumor has it you have the opportunity for some great hands on experience with a lot of the gear coming up.

    BTW... after I move down I'll have a small DC and Voice Lab for us to play with. More on that later though
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
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  8. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #7
    Well, I know it's looks like I've ignored this thread for a while but I really haven't

    I spent two weeks last month in Chicago attending INE's CCIE Data Center bootcamp, and I spent the last week and half in Atlanta setting up a new data center.

    Multi-VDCs
    vPC's 7k/5k's
    FEXs
    OTV
    Multicast
    Fibre Channel on the N5k's down to some FIs & B-Chassis'

    (That's not a rumor anymore Down)

    and of course a bunch of ASA firewalls, F5's, ASRs/etc outside the data center realm.

    But 16 hours days for a week a half straight I'm relaxing this weekend and getting back to the gym! (Plus I got a another pair of 7ks waiting elsewhere to complete the second OTV site)

    So chances are I'll try and knock out the CCNA: DC either before Thanksgiving or right after.. although I am tempted to go for Gold and focus on CCIE: DC

    (P.S. When I get my Data Center notes in an acceptable format I'll be uploading them to my blog)
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  9. Senior Member RouteMyPacket's Avatar
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    #8
    Why don't you focus on finishing your R/S IE, then hop over to take the DC Written? Then when you are ready to focus on DC you will have had all this exposure to Nexus.

    I've been working for a few months with a client that has dual 7k's at the core, tons of FEX's..it's cool stuff but definitely different. Nothing like logging in having to "swithto vdc ..." or "switchback" lol

    I went ahead recently and configured the various VDC's for TACACS directly so no more switchto etc. If I ever get solid design/implementation exposure to Nexus I would definitely start the track. As I have been told "once you go Nexus..you don't go back"
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  10. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #9
    I'll definitely go back to R/S when my data center projects are finished. It's more of work thing, I need to get very familiar with Nexus.

    Plus considering my employer paid for the Nexus training I'm thinking should get something show for it.

    Besides v5 is on horizon so I've essentially got 6-8 months (if the rumors are true) on the v4 objectives and I'm not too sure I'd be able to juggle everything successfully.

    Nexus is still a growing technology so I'm definitely not hurting myself.

    (Plus I do have some good routing going on between data centers authentication, redistribution, summarization, route-map/prefix-list, multicast/OTV, etc)
    Last edited by SteveO86; 11-26-2013 at 04:19 AM.
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Thanks for the good info and links

    Looking at doing this after christmas along with vmware certs.
    Newly(one month) in a systems engineer/dev ops role sort of Systems Engineer/IT support(windows and linux)/Networking/websites/Development plus some modelling work. Keeping me rather busy.

    After this need to get up to speed on vswitch and voip as looking likely they'll be needed/deployed next year.

    Job has been great so far and very good company, but taking a fair bit of effort as working on 5 seperate projects(just the one main boss luckily)

    Got to recable the data center (a weekend), 40TB of storage went in at the same time and another 40TB going in a few weeks
    Plus lot of programming - python , javascript and fortran (writing some queuing systems plus new admin system as well as montecarlo sim/modelling code and job flow control gui's).

    Next year is going to be my year of the certs - ccna datacenter , ccnp r&s and really need to do voip + security but that'll be pushing it for time, vmware (i'm looking after the vm cluster as well) as well as getting fully up to speed on all the modelling work.
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    #11
    I have started to study for the CCNA: DC. Issue i am having is motivation, seems like i am re-hashing just CCNA stuff.
    Oh well, i am aiming to have it finished (first part) by end of Jan.
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  13. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #12
    Yea the first exam DCICN is very basic.. Just networking basics.
    DCICT is where the Data Technologies start making an appearance.

    I guess Cisco did this because the CCNA: R/S is not Pre-req, but who is going to hire a Data Center Tech with a CCNAC and not a CCNA:R/S?
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  14. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #13
    Finally wrapped up my the latest data center project , and I can't do anything the last 2 N7K's & UCS Chassis's till January so the rest of this month should be calmer for me. Probably going to squeeze in one or both of these exams next week.

    A few CiscoLive365 sessions. (This place is a great resource I've blogged about in the past if you haven't been there)

    N7k Architecture
    https://www.ciscolive365.com/connect...1&backBtn=true

    Troubleshoot N7k
    https://www.ciscolive365.com/connect...7&backBtn=true

    VDC on N7k
    https://www.ciscolive365.com/connect...8&backBtn=true

    QoS N7k
    https://www.ciscolive365.com/connect...0&backBtn=true

    Troubleshoot N5k/N2k
    https://www.ciscolive365.com/connect...8&backBtn=true

    N5k/N2k - Architecture
    https://www.ciscolive365.com/connect...0&backBtn=true

    Deploy/Troubleshoot 1000v -(No video in this link)
    https://www.ciscolive365.com/connect...0&backBtn=true

    FCoE For IP Engineer <-Storage
    https://www.ciscolive365.com/connect...9&backBtn=true

    Some of these are probably well beyond CCNA: DC level, but I found them extremely helpful in preparing for my projects/deployments.
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