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  1. Senior Member
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    #26
    Iristheangel, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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  3. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #27
    Another week, another update.

    Good steady progress this week. I started and finished the CBT Nuggets DCUCI 642-999 videos (notes coming by EOD tomorrow - just trying to clean up the mess). I had to fly to San Jose for half the week so I was able to polish off more of the DCV Fundamentals book. I have about two more chapters to go. Work is sending me to a retreat up in Santa Barbara next week so I'll probably be able to finish the book off them on my downtime. I also have been heavily utilizing the UCS Emulator and was able to do a 5 hour UCS Cisco Gold Lab where I set up a UCS and the FIs from scratch so that was a lot of fun.

    Thoughts so far: I started out this track with almost no UCS experience but in the last couple of weeks, I'm finding it easier and easier to get. Surprisingly, I think the UCS tests might be the first tests I tackle in the course of the CCNP DC. I'm going to set the goal to complete the CBT Nuggets 642-035 video series next week and the DCV Fundamentals book by the end of next week. After that, I am going to focus in on UCS. I think I'll go in this order:
    Books
    Storage Networking Fundamentals (360 pages - Zartan's thread mentioned that it would be a smart idea to dive into storage a little before UCS)
    Implementing UCS Solutions (300 pages or so)
    Cisco Unified Computing System (350 pages)
    I/O Consolidation in the Data Center (125 pages)

    Videos
    INE's CCIE Data Center Storage Course
    INE's CCIE Data Center Unified Computing Course
    INE's CCIE Data Center Unified Communications on UCS

    Configuration Guides
    Totally stealing from SteveO's thread and going to use the guides he recommends


    ETA to finish the UCS study materials: 3 months or so? Not sure. It's been a long long time since I didn't have to work nights and weekends so it might take less time. The thing I'm curious about are the tests. There is a UC implementation test and then a UC troubleshooting test. I wonder if the troubleshooting one will be similar in format and difficulty to the CCNP R&S TSHOOT test or something a bit harder that will require additional study. If anyone who took both tests couple chime in, that'd be awesome. I really would like to know if I could schedule both tests on the same day or should hold off.

    Edit: Here are my notes so far
    CBT Nuggets 642-999: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
    INE DC Written: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
    Last edited by Iristheangel; 05-12-2014 at 03:13 AM.
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  4. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #28
    Here's my weekly update. I didn't get far this week because I was still trying to work my arse off learning the ropes at my new job.

    I've started the 642-035 CBT Nuggets video series. I should have half of it done by the end of the weekend and my goal is to get the rest done throughout the week. I'll post notes when I am completed. I am on the last chapter of the DCV book so I should be wrapping that up this weekend. I'll work on getting the notes typed out and posted when I'm done but that's going to take awhile knowing my crazy schedule lately.
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  5. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #29
    Finished the CBT Nuggets 642-035 videos. Nothing that amazing. Gave me a nice little overview just like the last CBT Nuggets series but it was about an inch deep.

    Here are my humble notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    I also finished the Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals book. Since I read it on the Kindle, it's going to take some time to turn my highlights into notes but I'll eventually do it and post it here.

    I think in the next week or two, I'm going to focus on getting through the INE CCIE Storage videos and reading Storage Networking Fundamentals per Zartan's CCIE DC thread. I'll get a good understanding in storage concepts before I circle back to the UCS to deep dive into it.
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  6. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #30
    Great notes Thank you! Gonna grab a copy for myself

    Have you watched the INE UCS videos? (Just wondering how they stack up against INE, I haven't looked at CBT Nuggets since I did my CCNA:W)
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  7. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #31
    I have not watched the INE UCS videos but I imagine they are a lot more detailed than the CBT Nuggets ones. CBT videos are maybe 4-6 hours at most for a whole series while the INE videos are 17-25. That and INE is geared towards the CCIE so it's a lot more indepth.

    I am following the advice of Zartan's thread and getting an understanding of storage before heading into UCS. I have two decent and fairly small (under 300 pages) books on UCS and I'll probably go through the config guides before taking the tests.

    Honestly though, I probably wouldn't even bother with the CCNP and go right into the CCIE DC if it wasn't for the fact that my company pays for the exams, gives me a bonus for getting the CCNP DC, and it's another nice little thing to put on my resume.

    I'm going to shoot for at least the CCIE DC Written by the end of the year if I can. I'll have most if not ALL the reading list books done by the end of August and from then on, it's restudying my notes, labbing and going through config guides for a few more months before hitting the written.
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  8. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #32
    Good point, I'll just stick with INE's videos.

    Which two books do you have for UCS? I'm only aware of the one UCS book by Cisco Press (from about 4-years ago)

    Very nice, yea I guess my company paid for CCIE Labs I wouldn't bother with anything else either haha.
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    #33
    I watched the INE material when it was Live back in 2012, and have seen a few of the CBT Nuggets DCUCI videos. The INE Videos are much more in depth than the CBT Nuggets. But as Iris stated, INE is geared towards the CCIE.

    I've gone over the following books that go over UCS in some form or fashion:

    Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) (Data Center): A Complete Reference Guide to the Cisco Data Center Virtualization Server Architecture (Networking Technology): Silvano Gai, Tommi Salli, Roger Andersson: 9781587141935: Amazon.com: Books

    Implementing Cisco UCS Solutions: Farhan Nadeem, Prasenjit Sarkar: 9781782170662: Amazon.com: Books

    Amazon.com: Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals: Understanding Techniques and Designs for Highly Efficient Data Centers with Cisco Nexus, UCS, MDS, and Beyond (9781587143243): Gustavo A. A. Santana: Books

    I would also recommend reading the Cisco Validated Design Guides, such as the Unified Computing System
    Technology Design Guide. That one in particular does a great job of showing end to end connectivity and installation and I may or may not have been a tech reviewer on the guide .
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
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  10. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #34
    Thanks for the links Down77!

    Funny you mention that CVD, I had loaded that CVD on my iPad Kindle App late last year!
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    #35
    Great thread. I decided to add the Data Center Virtualization and Storage Network Fundamentals to my offline book bag in Safari.

    Coming from a U.S. Marine (though these are not the views of the United States Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or USMC), Iris, you're motivating. I can "see" you getting a CCIE based on the past few years.
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    #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    I've moved on to start studying for my CCNP: Data Center as of the beginning of this month. I'm going to go ahead and start charting my progress here to keep myself moving and motivated. Since there are no dedicated CCNP DC resources out there, I'm utilizing the CCIE DC reading list, the INE CCIE Data Center videos, the configuration guides and the INE DC rack rentals to get me there.

    Here's the reading list I own and progress I've made on each book so far:
    Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals - 75% done [should be finished within the next week or two]
    Data Center Fundamentals - 50% done [Reading of this book is on hold - It's very dry and I had to mix up my studying]
    NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching - 0% [Not Started]
    Cisco UCS - 0% [Not Started]
    I/O Consolidation in the Data Center - 0% [Not Started]
    Storage Networking Fundamentals - 0% [Not Started]

    INE Videos:
    CCIE Data Center: Written - 30% done [Very easy to follow]
    CCIE Data Center: Unified Computing Course - 0% [Not Started]
    CCIE Data Center: Unified Communications on UCS - 0% [Not Started]
    CCIE Data Center: Storage Course - 0% [Not Started]
    CCIE Data Center: Nexus NX-OS Primer - 0% [Not Started]
    CCIE Data Center: Nexus Course - 0% [Not Started]
    CCIE Data Center: Nexus 1000v on UCS - 0% [Not Started]
    CCIE Data Center : Implementing Nexus - 0% [Not Started]

    DC Rack Rental hours Completed (since late February): 42


    It's probably going to take me forever to get through this track because I'm am going to read/watch all the books and books above but the goal is to learn as much as I can. After I'm done reading and watching the above, I'll start going through the configuration guides and play around more with the DC rack rentals. I'm not going to bother setting dates for when I am going to take these exams but rather take them when I feel comfortable with my skillset in the topics of the exam.

    Hi can i get the pdf versions of these books plz
    Cisco UCS
    I/O Consolidation in the Data Center
    Storage Networking Fundamentals

    i cant afford them and seriously i love learning them
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  13. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #37
    Sorry, Can't help you out with the PDF versions. I have hard copies
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  14. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #38
    Busy busy week. I was taking an online class on the Nexus 9Ks this week, my SDN class from Coursera and trying to balance work. For those reasons, I didn't get as much of the CCNP DC stuff done.

    I'm alone this weekend since the SO is out of town so I'm cracking down. I should be completing the INE Storage course today. I'm about halfway through the Storage Networking Fundamentals book and 3 chapters away from finishing the IBM SAN book. I'm going to aggressively read after today until both books are done. I give myself a week.

    After that, I'm launching myself right into UCS. I have two UCS books, the INE UCS course, the configuration guides and the Cisco Gold Labs. Given the size of the books and video courses and making time to lab, I'm going to project taking both UCS exams in 3 months. I might be making a huge assumption by thinking that the Unified Computing Troubleshooting exam will be on par with the CCNP TSHOOT exam but I think it's totally doable to do both exams in a short amount of time. If anyone has taken these exams and want to give me feedback on 642-035, I'm all ears
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  15. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #39
    My weekly update:
    Still pounding away. It was a slow week for studying for me because I was so wrapped up in designing stuff for work. Finally finished the IBM SAN book and still pounding away on the Cisco Press Storage Networking Fundamentals book. Hopefully I'll be be done with the Cisco Press one in the next week and a half.
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  16. Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    #40
    Great progress Iris.
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    #41
    I've had a slow week too and I can't afford too many. Glad someone is making progress.
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  18. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #42
    My update:
    Done with the Storage Networking Fundamentals Book. Getting through the CCIE Data Center reading list and videos:

    Data Center Fundamentals - Done (900+ pages)
    Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals - Done (900+ pages)
    IBM Introduction to SAN Networks - Done (300+ pages)
    Storage Networking Fundamentals - Done (Almost 400 pages)
    INE CCIE DC Storage Course - Done
    INE CCIE DC Written Course - Done

    Still to read:
    Cisco Unified Computing (300 pages)
    Implementing UCS Solutions (300 pages)
    I/O Consolidation in the Data Center (100 pages)
    NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching (800 pages)

    Still to watch:
    CCIE DC Unified Computing Course
    CCIE DC Unified Communications on UCS
    CCIE DC Nexus NX-OS Primer
    CCIE DC Nexus Course
    CCIE DC Nexus 1000v on UCS
    CCIE Data Center Implementing Nexus

    So far, I've read about 2500 pages and I have about 1500 to go for the CCIE DC reading list. I am going a bit above the reading list by adding the Implementing UCS Solutions and IBM SAN books but they came highly recommended.

    Shooting for all this done by the end of the year and my CCNP DC completed by Novemberish. If I am feeling confident by the end of the year, I might go for the written since I'll have read all the books and watched all the INE videos. Don't know yet. I heard it's a beast of a written exam. Next year will be dedicated to labbing for 30-50 hours a week and maybe I'll try the IPExpert videos. 


    Last edited by Iristheangel; 06-23-2014 at 07:06 AM.
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  19. Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    #43
    Beast Mode ON!
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    #44
    Did you find the Data Center Fundamentals book useful at all considering you also read the Virtualization Fundamentals book?
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  21. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #45
    Eh. It's full of good info but a lot of outdated info as well. You kind of have to rely on experience and just knowing better to separate the obsolete from the current. DCV was a very very very different book from DC Fundamentals in terms of content and readability.

    I would say go through the DC Fundamentals book but don't spend too much time analyzing it or rereading it.
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  22. Senior Member
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    #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    . I heard it's a beast of a written exam. Next year will be dedicated to labbing for 30-50 hours a week and maybe I'll try the IPExpert videos. 

    IPexpert seems like a good resource for the CCIE Data Center they post a guy passing the Lab almost every other day on there twitter account.
    In life you have to make your own opportunities. Don't let anyone stop you from your dreams to many negative people want you to fail because they can't succeed.
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  23. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #47
    I've heard good things about them. I know a lot of people have their preferences and brand loyalty (INE vs IPExpert) but I like the idea of mixing it up. Some instructors on INE are amazing to me and others put me to sleep, sometimes the material isn't explained in a way that I understand, etc. It's not a bad idea to branch out and try something else.
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    #48
    Did you check out the new website yet? They're new modo is no more death of powerpoint in the there videos. I tend to lean more to ipexpert since they've taken care of me and continue to hook me up. I can't say that about INE.
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    #49
    I got a bit angry at INE awhile back. I signed up for AAP and paid for 2000 rack rental tokens (about $1800). I went to sign up for my first rack rental only to be told that I needed to purchase the workbook FIRST before I would be able to reserve time- something specific to only the CCIE DC racks. $500 workbook after just spending about $1800 was a bit frustrating. I called up sales and asked for any sort of discount given my previous purchases that day but the guy I got on the phone didn't like me much since he shut me down and claimed there were no discount codes at all. Thankfully, one of my buddies was able to hook me up with a discount code that got me 20% off so I begrudgingly paid.

    I think INE is great training but that put a bad taste in my mouth. I wouldn't mind trying other options after I finish off my rack tokens. I like IPExpert's new site and their new subscription model looks pretty affordable. Plus I get to watch a old TE member teach me
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    #50
    I spent around that much for the IPexperts CCIE Blending Learning Solution with 200hrs rack rentals and the sales guy threw in extra video series to make the deal. He gave me a BOGO for rentals got 400 hrs of rack rentals for the cost of 200 hrs. The next month I seen the blended learning solution for $500 less I brought it up to him and he gave me another 200 hrs of rack time to make up the difference.

    I heard about the guy that was a member on here is the new DC instructor. His TE handle doesn't ring a bell I think that was before my time. I may have been still working under the hood of cars when he was around.
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