CCNP Data Center Thread - Here we go!

staticzstaticz Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
I've set a bit of a lofty, but hopefully obtainable goal - CCNP Data Center by June. Some of you may remember that I recently passed the CCNA DC. After about a month off I have decided to head after my first CCNP certification. After reading several threads here I have compiled a reading list and will also be using CBT Nuggets.

My Reading List (so far):
  • Cisco Unified Computing Systems
  • Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals
  • NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching: Next-Generation Data Center Architectures
And I'll be taking the exams in this order:
  • 642-999 DCUCI
  • 642-035 DCUCT
  • 642-997 DCUFI
  • 642-980 DCUFT
I'm starting with UCS because I have more experience there. UCS labbing on real gear and UCS:PE. NX-OS work will be done via VIRL or actual gear. I am going to do my best to chronicle my progress here and on my new blog (VLAN50 - A Networking Blog). The grueling details will be over there, but a lot of status updates will come here as well.

I know a handful of folks here have the CCNP DC. What were your thoughts on the exams? Par for the course with Cisco? Does my reading list look ok? I studied the CCIE reading list, but a lot of it looked very dated.

I get a lot of enjoyment reading other's "journey" threads, is there anything I could offer up to make this a good thread for people?

Link List:

Comments

  • staticzstaticz Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I spent this weekend working through a handful of the CBTNuggets 642-999 series, good stuff from Anthony Sequira. Admittedly I have watched a lot of other training material, but something about the trainers at CBTNuggets just clicks with me. I'm curious though - do they go deep enough? Hopefully my reading will fill in anything Anthony might miss.

    Anyway, I looked ahead and think I may be able to accelerate my timeline by a bit. The troubleshooting series is pretty short and I feel pretty comfortable with UCS already, so I may try to book those exams sooner and spend some extra time with NX-OS.

    I'm going to try to summarize my notes in logical topics and post them to my blog. I'll update the OP with links as I get the posts done. Any feedback is welcome!
  • staticzstaticz Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I was able to wrap up the CBT Nuggets 642-999 series early last week, but the rest of the week got away from me (illness, new projects, etc). I've cracked open the UCS book from Cisco Press and am hoping to get through it in the next couple of weeks.

    June may be a bit aggressive, because I really want to understand the material. I have nothing to gain by becoming CCNP:DC certified, so I don't want to just pass the exams, I want to know it inside and out.

    Anyway, here is an updated list of blog post. Look for several new ones this week. I'll update this post as I finish them up!

    UCS Resource Pools
    UCS Service Profiles and Templates
  • ninjaturtleninjaturtle Member Posts: 245 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I just finished up CCNP R&S, so I'm now jumping on the data center track. I'm hoping to put away CCNA-DC pretty quickly and move along to the CCNP-DC, where I know I'll need to spend a lot more time. I hope to join you real quick mate!

    I still need to look into how I'm going to lab the DC track. How's your labbing coming along?
    Current Study Discipline: CCIE Data Center
    Cisco SEAL, Cisco SWAT, Cisco DeltaForce, Cisco FBI, Cisco DoD, Cisco Army Rangers, Cisco SOCOM .ιlι..ιlι.
  • bharvey92bharvey92 Member Posts: 419
    I just finished up CCNP R&S, so I'm now jumping on the data center track. I'm hoping to put away CCNA-DC pretty quickly and move along to the CCNP-DC, where I know I'll need to spend a lot more time. I hope to join you real quick mate!

    I still need to look into how I'm going to lab the DC track. How's your labbing coming along?

    Nice one Ninja, finally got that CCNP R+S eh?

    Look forward to following your progress staticz and good luck ! icon_thumright.gif
    2018 Goal: CCIE Written [ ]
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195
    Dang! That's a lot of exams to take... I wish Cisco exams were cheaper...

    Good luck to ya! I will be following your progress as I feel this is an are of study focus I would like to chase after in the near future.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
  • ninjaturtleninjaturtle Member Posts: 245 ■■■□□□□□□□
    bharvey92 wrote: »
    Nice one Ninja, finally got that CCNP R+S eh?
    Oh yea!! icon_cool.gif Feels so good to put that one away.
    Current Study Discipline: CCIE Data Center
    Cisco SEAL, Cisco SWAT, Cisco DeltaForce, Cisco FBI, Cisco DoD, Cisco Army Rangers, Cisco SOCOM .ιlι..ιlι.
  • staticzstaticz Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I just finished up CCNP R&S, so I'm now jumping on the data center track. I'm hoping to put away CCNA-DC pretty quickly and move along to the CCNP-DC, where I know I'll need to spend a lot more time. I hope to join you real quick mate!

    I still need to look into how I'm going to lab the DC track. How's your labbing coming along?

    Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I've been down and out with some sickness. UCS Emulator and Cisco VIRL will be my lab platform. I have access to a live UCS chassis, but believe most of the work can be done via UCSE. I haven't had much luck finding any labs, so my current plan it to write my own.
  • ninjaturtleninjaturtle Member Posts: 245 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm hoping others can chime in on their VIRL experience with NX-OS. I'm very curious. I'm looking at some lab time here with INE in about 2 weeks, so I'll have to see what labs they have setup for the IE level. Maybe take those labs down a bit and build from those. Maybe we can start a thread where people post there data center labs. And we can all build off them. We'd create a base lab topology and build from that topology, and add more details as we go along.
    Current Study Discipline: CCIE Data Center
    Cisco SEAL, Cisco SWAT, Cisco DeltaForce, Cisco FBI, Cisco DoD, Cisco Army Rangers, Cisco SOCOM .ιlι..ιlι.
  • ninjaturtleninjaturtle Member Posts: 245 ■■■□□□□□□□
    And one more time, why hasn't any books from Cisco Press come out on these exams? They've been out for awhile now. I still don't understand how you can release an exam, with no OCG. Personally, I work off a book for my studies not searching Cisco website for valid material that "could" be on the exam. I don't mean to complain here, but come on now!

    I'm looking to take the 640-911 exam in a couple weeks. And the OCG provided some relevant info I didn't know, but at least it outlines what's needed to be studied. For the 2nd exam the book doesn't even release for a few more weeks.

    Just saying, I'm a book guy ...I like books ...give me more books Cisco Press!! And yes I do have all the relevant data center books, so I guess I'll just read those for the CCNP level which I'm hoping to start in about a month. #complainingoutofsystem
    Current Study Discipline: CCIE Data Center
    Cisco SEAL, Cisco SWAT, Cisco DeltaForce, Cisco FBI, Cisco DoD, Cisco Army Rangers, Cisco SOCOM .ιlι..ιlι.
  • Alex90Alex90 Member Posts: 289
    And one more time, why hasn't any books from Cisco Press come out on these exams? They've been out for awhile now. I still don't understand how you can release an exam, with no OCG. Personally, I work off a book for my studies not searching Cisco website for valid material that "could" be on the exam. I don't mean to complain here, but come on now!

    I'm looking to take the 640-911 exam in a couple weeks. And the OCG provided some relevant info I didn't know, but at least it outlines what's needed to be studied. For the 2nd exam the book doesn't even release for a few more weeks.

    Just saying, I'm a book guy ...I like books ...give me more books Cisco Press!! And yes I do have all the relevant data center books, so I guess I'll just read those for the CCNP level which I'm hoping to start in about a month. #complainingoutofsystem

    I know, I think this is ridiculous as well. Makes studying what are already 'difficult' exams much harder, the other thing I always wondered is why we don't see more Lab Guides from Cisco press? The CCNA Voice one is great so why they don't do one for each track is beyond me.
  • staticzstaticz Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Alex90 wrote: »
    I know, I think this is ridiculous as well. Makes studying what are already 'difficult' exams much harder, the other thing I always wondered is why we don't see more Lab Guides from Cisco press? The CCNA Voice one is great so why they don't do one for each track is beyond me.

    Not having books for CCNA DC really sucked. I used Lamalle's book for the first exam, but quickly realized it was outdated.

    In regards to labs - my guess is that Cisco would rather cultivate the third party market. It costs quite a bit to write a book, labs, etc so it probably makes more sense for them to let the 3rd parties take care of it.

    As for my studies - I've been extremely sick, so they've really stalled. I'm finally off antibiotics and back to 100% so I'll be picking back up this week!
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    I know the lack of a OCG makes it sound a bit more difficult but once you hit the exams, it actually really isn't as hard as you'd think. CBT Nuggets won't be deep enough - it's a review at best. I highly suggest reading the config guides, Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals and NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching. The vPC and OTV Best Practice guides are awesome too.

    As far as labbing is concerned, UCS Emulator is great. VIRL will help with some of it but completely useless for things like vPC, MDS, etc. I would recommend purchasing some IPExpert rack rental time. The tech labs are all you need and they always have spots available so getting the lab time won't be a problem. You can get INE rack rental tokens as well but lab time is a LOT harder to get over there and you're forced to purchase their lab workbook in order to get rack time and that's pretty much another $500 purchase on top of your tokens. Whichever way you go for labbing, it's going to cost some cash so that sucks but it's a good investment in your future
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Member Posts: 1,027 ■■■■■■□□□□
    FWIW, I believe IPExpert still has their buy one get one free rack rentals going for a couple of more hours, so hop on it quick. :)
Sign In or Register to comment.