Thanks to Twitter and Patrick Kremer’s article, I caught the recent news that starting 10 March 2014, VMware will require VCPs to recertify every 2 years to keep their certification current. You can read VMware’s release here. I took the time to read the comment threads on Patricks’ and other’s blogs to get an idea of folks’ reactions. Since you asked, here are my thoughts on the subject.
I shouldn’t have to say that it’s obviously VMware’s prerogative to change or create new policies regarding their certification programs. This shouldn’t be a topic of conversation.
Working for a Cisco VAR, I recently had the opportunity to take the DCUCI exam to meet our Partner requirements. As noted in the title, I took version 5.0 of the exam. I thought I might take a moment and record my thoughts on the exam. As always, I have to stay within the limits set by Cisco’s non-disclosure agreement about test questions and content, but I hope to give someone an idea of what to expect and how best to prepare.
I haven’t recorded my test prep materials before, so here goes my first attempt. It includes a Data Center background in VMware vSphere, Cisco Nexus, and storage, on-the-job experience, lab time and training videos.
Introducing Cisco Data Center Technologies
I’m happy to report that I just passed the second CCNA Data Center exam. I’d like to take a moment and record my thoughts on it.
As many know, the exams went public less than a year ago in December of 2012. I’ve followed those interested in the entire Cisco Data Center program like Tony Bourke (@tbourke) of DataCenterOverlords.com, Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl) of the WahlNetwork.com, Andy Schmid (@andytschmid) and the PacketPushers.net dudes to get an idea of what to expect. I was also up against a timeline to get CCNA-DC certified in order re-up my CCNA for another three years.
Throughout October 2013, VMware offered $60 off all of their new VCA exams as a campaign kickoff promotion. There are three exams available today covering Datacenter Virtualization (DCV), Cloud, and Workforce Mobility (WM), what I gather to be desktop virtualization et al. (can you tell I’m not a desktop dude?). A Network Virtualization exam covering NSX should be available soon. I was trolling the Twitter the other morning when I followed a link to Mike Preston’s (@mwpreston) blog. There, I found his post Is October the month of certification? – The price is right! in which he shared a promo code that takes off the final $60 from the original $120 price of the certification test. Last time I checked, $120 minus $120 was a heck of a good deal. So I decided to drop what I was doing and take some tests!
Edit: To jump to the good stuff, check out Neil Anderson’s free eBook, How to Build a NetApp ONTAP 9 Lab for Free!
I’d like to share quick note about my experience in studying for and taking the NetApp Certified Data Management Administrator exam for Data ONTAP 8.0 7-Mode, NS0-154. Perhaps someone out there will find the links and study methods here useful .
I’ve never held a pure Storage Administrator position, but I did recently complete a year-long contract implementing NetApp FAS3240 and FAS3270 filers as part of an Enterprise Virtualization Project for the US Army in Southwest Asia. I was actually hired as a Network Engineer to install, configure and migrate to Cisco Nexus 5020s and 2224 Fabric Extenders, but coming from a Systems background, I was able to perform the role of Implementation Engineer for the VMware, NetApp, and Nexus environments. It was a very satisfying role overall and one in which I gained a lot of varied experience.