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  1. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Jumping into CCNP Data Center

    Hey guys!

    I just got a Consultant position on a strong IT integrator here in Brazil, which is focused on SAN and Storage technologies (along with routing and switching, wireless, virtualization, also).

    I have a solid background in IT and network, some experience with Nexus switching (mostly vPC) and Brocade.

    I am currently reading CCDP ARCH (DC and SAN) and NX-OS Switching (really good one), but I still need some SAN, FC, Storage resources, since I have never ever touched anything related to it.

    I will start by DCUFI and then DCUFT (achieving Unified Fabric Support will be great for partnership purposes), and later will be focusing on UC stuff.

    Could someone suggest any resource/book that covers the SAN related topics on the DC track?

    Currently using Titanium for labbing, but need way more knowledge about the technologies to get more from it.

    Also, I'd like to hear from you guys if VIRL would be better than Titanium, because i found it kinda limited (couldn't find anything LISP and VXLAN related).

    Thank you in advance!
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    VIRL uses Titanium, so answer to your question is no, it's not any better ;(
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  4. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #3
    @Status

    Went through DC LAN architectures (Top of Rack, End of Row) and described each Nexus product for each function.

    Moved to Nexus 2k 5k and 7k chassis/forwarding architecture, describing modules and so on.

    Now starting to take notes of NX-OS software architecture, and finally, VDC operations and Management options for NX-OS.

    Using NX-OS book (covers almost everything), Cisco Docs (comparing old stuff to new stuff and learning possible caveats and taking notes), CBT Nuggets DCUFI and Cisco PEC Gold Labs.

    I hope I can finish hardware/software architecture until the end of the next week, and start the actual technology stuff.

    Taking notes of hardware specific applications, software behavior and specific tshoot/config commands for each section.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  5. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #4
    Reminder: never reload your VDC on PEC Labs.

    Awful experience yesterday, was not able to configure anything.
    Anyway, I managed to finish the tasks, which includes show env, show invent, basic hardware stuff.

    Very bad experience for a first time. I hope that today's session will be way more productive.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  6. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #5
    Let me update this:

    During this meantime, I had to attend an ITIL Foundation course, finished it and got certified

    Back to my DC studies, went through NX OS Fundamentals and Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals about twice, and reading the later one once again.

    Having such a hard time with VMware and VM FEX (completely new to server and network virtualization), so I bought an online VMware course.

    PEC Labs are amazing, specially the 5k-2k vpc FEX, which includes FCoE and VM FEX at the end.

    Still need to review some stuff, but I think they are less important (like RBAC, Multicast, Routing and FHRP), since I have a lot of experience on that, so I am focusing my energy on Nexus specific stuff.


    My contract ends in about 3 months, and I am getting in touch with an integrator that is Cisco/VMware/EMC partner, so I need to rush and get UFT certified.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  7. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #6
    Sitting for DCUFI on jun/08. Wish me luck.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    good luck
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  9. Senior Member joelsfood's Avatar
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    #8
    Best of luck. DC is definitely a great track to pursue, even if I haven't convinced any of my coworkers to start yet.
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  10. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #9
    Hahaha, yea...when I talk about SAN or FCoE my coworkers are like "you are not mixing my LAN with storage stuff bro"

    Btw, I'll use this next week to review the basics like routing with nx-os, NPV/NPIV FCoE and adapter-fex/vmfex. Pretty confident about everything else already.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  11. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #10
    >be using FP lab on PEC
    >vpc+, peer link not coming up
    >spent 30-40 mins trying to tshoot (even went to the config guide)
    >sh int status
    >e1/29-30 not connected

    huge facepalm
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  12. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #11
    Just passed DCUFI this morning. 9xx score.

    It is kinda easy if you know well the concepts, and answers to every single question are on the docs.

    Now preparing for DCUFT
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  13. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #12
    Wow, it's been 2 months already.

    I've been preparing everything so I can start studying for the CCIE DC, got everything on my hands now.

    Also, I have prepared a plan to study and tackle DCUFT which is aligned with my CCIE studies.

    The USD to local currency rate is around 1x3.5, which makes the cost for the exam way too high, something around R$900~. Kinda expensive.

    Scheduling it by the next week for mid sept. Meanwhile, I will stick to my studies in QoS on Nexus platforms (super uber complex, way too different from the ones I used to configure) and getting to know the UCS platform.

    Nothing else too difficult. I feel that I have been at every topic for the CCIE, but need to go deeper on every aspect of the test.

    Using INE videos, Cisco Docs, PEC/IPexpert and, of course, taking several notes.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  14. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #13
    After two long weeks trying to master QoS in Nexus platforms, I feel that I am starting to grasp the fundamentals and I am comfortable with the syntax. Now need to include QoS on my labs.

    Since QoS was the only topic that I have had little exposure during my studies, I am feeling confident enough to start pushing my knowledge on the CCIE topics to a more advanced level.

    I am starting with SAN and FCoE this week, then I will focus on UCS (along with Nexus switching such as FEX/VPC).

    My goal is to align the knowledge and practice on every major topic (Nexus, UCS, Storage) before going deeper and deeper into each topic.

    By the way, my major issue is to keep motivated. But let's see where it goes from here.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Two things, i like the progress you are on and hope to get on that path myself, really like the nexus DC track

    Second where are you from, i only ask because i see the Tribe of Judah badge at the side
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  16. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #15
    Hi m8!

    I am from Brazil, this pic is not related to my nationality
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  17. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #16
    Just scheduled my DCUFT exam. 21/sep it is!

    Going deep on vPC's and Fabricpath, and looking forward to finish OTV this week.

    Very confident on MDS and SAN stuff. Need to review FCoE and system management.

    Sounds like it is going to be like a walk in the park

    Right after this one, I will drown myself on the docs and lab as much as I can. Let's see if I can make it to the IE.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  18. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #17
    Cramming vPC and fabricpath for the past six days on PEC, starting OTV by the next week.
    After that, will focus on SAN (fabric merge, to be more specific) and then FCoE.

    Decided to move to another state by the end of the year, spotted a Gold partner already

    This Specialist certification will be of much help!

    Besides labbing, I am reading Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals every single day on my commute (60-80 mins everyday) and a few Cisco docs at work.

    I am already messing up with the catalyst/IOS commandline hahaha. Entered "sh int br" and "sh port-c summ" like 10 times today!
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  19. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #18
    Found out that it is possible to run OTV on the fabricpath PEC lab

    Finished vPC and Fabricpath, and planning to finish OTV by the middle of the next week. 19 days until DCUFT, and there is like 60% of the blueprint left, so I will be kinda busy.

    Cisco Docs are my best companion at work, and now I am trying to lab everyday (it is getting overwhelming already >.<).

    Let's see how it goes from here.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  20. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #19
    1 week left, and I think there is still too much to review :/

    Starting SAN (NPV-NPIV and Fabric merge) today, may finish it by tomorrow, since I overstudied these topics for DCUFI.
    By wednesday I will start focusing on platform specific stuff (don't even know where to look at first >.<) and FCoE.
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  21. Mow
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    #20
    Woo hoo! gotta love the frantic last week before an exam! Good luck, you can do it!
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  22. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #21
    Thank you!

    Yea, it seems that things will be fine at work, which gives me more time to read the docs and prepare my lab session at night.

    Let's see how good I am under pressure x.x
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  23. Senior Member joelsfood's Avatar
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    #22
    Best of luck! As you've learned, DC has a huge amouhnt of information you can learn, but I know you've done a ton of work.

    Good job on using fabricpath lab to practice OTV. That's still on my list of things to write up sometime (along with a network section for Flexpod Labgear lab, which is even more intimidating), but there's always something else to do. Probably better anyway to just tell people it can be done and let them figure it out themselves.
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  24. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #23
    Thank you joels!

    Flexpod lab? Is it Cisco PEC?

    Omg, I am in need of this!
    2017 - CCIE RS
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  25. Senior Member joelsfood's Avatar
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    #24
    This is actually Labgear, not pec, but another similar site. While PEC is pretty much just training though, Labgera is training and proof of concept/sales pitches. Actually, it looks like I need to update that blog post on it now, as the DCV-OTV lab isn't available anymore.

    LabGearCloud™

    Joel's CCIE Journey | Labgear


    Last edited by joelsfood; 09-15-2015 at 09:59 AM.
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  26. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #25
    PEC labs were offline yesterday

    Btw, finishing FCoE and will try to lab everything together on sat/dun (IPX)
    2017 - CCIE RS
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