CCIE: Data Center thread

ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
I'm kind of playing around with this track right now. Not taking it super serious just yet, but I'm doing a lot of reading/flashcarding. Sadly the amount of books out there pales in comparison to R&S. There's no books that walk you through UCS config/design at all.

NX-OS & Cisco Nexus Switching, 2nd Edition - 15% done
I read most of the 1st ed when it came out. It mostly assumes a lot of previous R&S knowledge and walks you through how to do the same things in NX-OS + the new features.

Cisco Unified Computing System - 67% done
This is just a book about the architecture of UCS itself, nothing in here about configuration or design. A 2nd edition is in the works and a lot of the hardware information in this book is outdated. Brian McGahan said the written has a lot of "useless trivia" type stuff, and this book is full of stuff that could fit that bill.

Introduction to Storage Area Networks - 40% done
Storage networking theory book. Lots of foundation knowledge here that can't be skipped.

I/O Consolidation in the Data Center - unread
This looks like an FCoE theory book and is very short at 168 pages.

Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals - unread
Not sure if I will read this or not. It looks like it covers all of the systems in the modern data center, some use cases and problems that are trying to be solved. It might be a good overview book.

I've also gone through about 25% of the INE videos on Nexus, Storage and UCS. If I were giving a recommendation to someone just starting, I'd say go through and learn/lab on the Nexus/Storage stuff first before you jump into UCS.

And speaking of labbing, the new rack rental system INE has is awesome now (except for picking the actual time which is kind of clunky). Looks like you can rent in a block of time as short as 30 minutes. If you pick out a large block of time, like 4 hours, it will let you know if certain slots are booked but still give you a screen to book the hours that are free. Looks like this is doing a lot to fix the overcrowding on the DC racks since I can actually book time each day. Gonna book an hour during my lunch break today to get my feet wet. :)
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Comments

  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Finished Introduction to Storage Area Network last night. Started on I/O Consolidation in the Data Center.

    Have gotten two 1-hour sessions of labbing in. The 1st section was "Classic Ethernet Switching" which is just configuring all the same technologies you do in IOS. No real big deal here. 2nd section was "Virtual Port Channels" when you actually start on the NX-OS specific stuff. Nothing too hard here configuration wise. I booked another session for tonight and I'll go over the FEX section.

    You can definitely tell they've put a lot of though into their next-gen workbooks. Web-based, and you have a dropdown box that changes the config tasks and diagrams based on what rack you're on. Also a feedback section which should hopefully lead to better WB fixes than what was in their R&S workbooks. Downsides are that the "resources" tab that it supposed to tell you what optional add-ons you need to complete the task is incomplete, although Brian McGahan covered what you need in a post at IEOC: Data center rack rentals - IEOC - INE's Online Community. The verification doesn't change based on the rack dropdown either. Each of the tasks are relatively short and it can be slightly annoying to remove all the configs to move on to the next task since they don't build on each other. I should probably start doing checkpoints and rollbacks in my sessions. Last downside is the tasks don't really cover everything that the videos do. No FabricPath, no AAA or QoS. These aren't nearly as comprehensive as the VOL I workbooks from R&S. It's a good foundation though.

    The new and improved rack rental system is really nice though. I don't know if they switched over to more capacity or the new 1-hr session booking has made it easier to get slots, but it's an improvement over looking at weeks of fully booked rack rentals.
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  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    Watching this one. It's a beast of an exam, that's for sure. Best of luck with your studies.
  • FloOzFloOz Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I just bought Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals. I've been working more and more with Nexus and UCS at work so I think data center will be my next focus after CCNP. Goodluck to you! I am sure to follow this thread
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    You're a damn beast. Good luck to you sir.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Just had a look at IPExpert's CCIE: Data Center offerings. Their workbook looks way more comprehensive than INE's, but it's $850!!! Their rack rentals are also $17/hr vs $7/hr (assuming base 5K/7K) at INE. Maybe some other time. :)
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  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good luck man!

    I have been getting involved with the flexpod design/deployments recently at work. I have to say its some pretty nifty stuff. I'll be keeping an eye on your progress.

    Whats your approach going to be in regards to the written/lab prep? are you going for a similar route to what R&S guys do and study 200~ hours for the written and then 1000~ for the lab? Do you have a study pattern or timetable prepared yet?
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm not really looking to take the written or lab just yet, although I do want to complete this track. The problem is, at my current employer, there's no way I can put in the amount of lab work necessary to complete this track; we don't just have spare Nexus and UCS gear lying around. What gear we do have is production. So 1) I want to get better at the technology for administrative and planning duties and 2) I want to be better at interviewing this technology when I change jobs soon. And if this track is really like R&S and requires 1000+ hours of lab time, you're taking about a minimum $10K investment just in rack rental with time slots being very rare and inconvenient right now. With R&S, I was able to log almost 100 hours of lab time a week some weeks if I was planning for it. But if nothing else, I was able to lab when I wanted, in any configuration I wanted. And since it was all GNS3 and spare switches, it cost me essentially $0. Not that I'm averse to spending $10K on rack time, since I spent more on R&S all costs considered, it's just that I don't want to do that.

    That said, DC track feels a lot easier than R&S track ever did. Part of that is there's overlap with R&S with the core technologies. So you're just learning how to configure OSPF on NX-OS, not learning how OSPF works. Then a lot of the NX-OS specific stuff doesn't feel terribly complicated once you've done it a few times. So maybe 1,000 hours of lab time is really like 300 for someone like me, who knows?

    And don't even think about using Titanium. Lots of crashes and bugs for no reason and you can't even configure 10% of the stuff you need to learn. If VIRL were out now and reasonably priced, I might be more gung ho about this, but not yet.
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  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,360
    Glad to see you moving forward! I like the idea of DC, and we do have spare gear, but I'm really lacking in UCS skills, which makes this a scary track.
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    Zartan:

    INE has had two guys recently clear the lab, and Mr. McGahan detailed the preparation steps that he took:

    How I Passed the CCIE Data Center Lab Exam

    So, there you go.

    MRock:

    Things are a lot less scary once you start using them. UCS doesn't scare me in the slightest, because I've XP w/ servers and virtualization. I really do not see it as an insurmountable challenge for you.

    Also, the fact that you approach this with humility and look at it as an opportunity to learn means that you'll treat the topics more carefully, and with greater respect.

    This is what Mr. McGahan says (all the time):
    The methodology is a basic four step process as follows:

    • Gain a basic understanding of the technologies
    • Gain basic hands-on experience to reinforce and expand your understanding
    • Gain an expert level of understanding
    • Gain an expert level of hands-on experience
    Source: How I Passed the CCIE Data Center Lab Exam

    Hope this helps.
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • powmiapowmia Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 322
    Zartan -

    I recommend adding Cisco Storage Networking Cookbook to your list:

    Cisco Storage Networking Cookbook: For NX-OS release 5.2 MDS and Nexus Families of Switches: Seth Mason, Venkat Kirishnamurthyi: 9781466463189: Amazon.com: Books

    Also, I would NOT skip Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals. I read the original Data Center Fundamentals. It was an excellent book, covering topics that no other Cisco Press title even went near. Virtualization Fundamentals is by the same author, so pretty much just a modern version. I actually have it open now... I consider this my first fun read in a while.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Just finished up a 4-hour rack rental session with IPExpert (proctorlabs.com)

    Overall, the INE rack rental experience is better. I didn't see anywhere on the site that you had to have the Cisco IPSec client downloaded. You don't actually see instructions for that until you start your rack rental, so that eats up a few minutes to start with. The INE "how to use our racks" documentation is much better. Logging into the 7K via the terminal server didn't work, so I had to ssh in from one of the 5Ks to configure it. Control/management of servers is "coming soon". No servers to RDP into, so verification for stuff like OTV has to be done from a 5K. It may have made a little bit more sense if I was working from their WB, but at $850, I'll pass.

    I've been doing a lot of reading of 7K/5K documentation; just going through it a page at a time, taking notes and putting together lab ideas. I went into my session with a list of stuff I wanted to configure and it was written in a workbook style. It was all vPC, FEX, FabricPath and OTV configurations. I wanted to get some SAN work in too, but I didn't have enough time.

    So in summary so far...

    IPExpert
    Pros: More comprehensive, but expensive workbook.
    Cons: Rack rentals more expensive, incomplete and can only be purchased in four hour blocks.

    INE
    Pros: Rack rentals more featured, cheaper, modular and can be bought in 1 hour blocks.
    Cons: Workbook is pretty thin.

    It seems like the best experience is IPX Workbooks with INE rack rentals. But INE doesn't let you use their racks unless you purchase a WB. I haven't seen the IPX VoDs, so I can't comment on those. The INE videos are much more comprehensive than the WBs. With either vendor, rental time is at an extreme premium. Well, it's the 2K, UCS rentals that are rare for INE. Seems like you can get a basic 5K/7K session most days, but it's adding 2Ks or UCS to the mix that are booked up for 2 months. Yes, I actually tried to schedule a 2 month block of time with INE just to see what was open. I actually wouldn't mind if INE quadrupled the cost of their rack rentals. If they aren't going to put some kind of quotaing system in where you can't get more than X hours of rentals per week, that seems like the only fair thing to do. Who wants to sit at the rental screen refreshing to see if a spot opens up? I think their old system of floating token cost based on popularity of the time slot was the right way to do it. Supposedly, more capacity is being added "soon".
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  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thats a shame. The availability of Labs seems very limited but it will grow given time. A few guys at work have the same issues. I have started watching some of the INE vids we have at work when i have some downtime and they seem pretty good imo.

    I am hoping Cisco VIRL will provide us with enough NX-OS functionality to learn alot of the stuff on. Sadly we have zero Nexus boxes in our company to play with.

    Will you be using the Cisco sandbox in your studies? How are you finding the books from the recommended reading guide?
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    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    NX-OS & Cisco Nexus Switching, 2nd Edition
    30% done now. There's hardly anything in this book for SAN configurations. Just basic FCoE, NPV, Storage VDC stuff. Nothing about zoning, enhanced zoning, device alias database, etc.

    Cisco Unified Computing System
    No change here as I decided it was best to go back and make SAN part of my base before getting into UCS.

    Introduction to Storage Area Networks
    100% complete if you don't count the IBM specific sales pitch at the end of the book. I would consider this like reading Routing TCP/IP for R&S.

    I/O Consolidation in the Data Center
    50% done. Basically for FCoE what Intro to SAN is for FC. Very quick and good read.

    Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals
    Still unread, but I added it to my Safari bookshelf on powmia's recommendation. :)

    Cisco Storage Networking Cookbook
    Unfortunately there's no e-book version of this so I'll actually have to pay the $35 to acquire it. How can a technology book, published in 2011, not have an e-book version? Might as well be smoke signals.

    Cisco DocCD
    Nexus 7000 Fundamentals, Interfaces, OTV and FabricPath guides completely read and converted into flashcards.
    Nexus 5500 San Switching guide about 100% done the non-IP storage guides and converted into flashcards.

    As I go through the DocCD, I read corresponding chapters in my reading list and (re)watch INE videos afterwards. I was able to snag 3.5 hours of lab time this Saturday with INE, complete with the 2K/SAN add-on. :D:D I intend to dedicate most of that time to SAN config labbing on the 5Ks.

    Mrock4> can I get some of that spare gear? Or a job referral to WWT? :)
    instant000> I agree that the UCS stuff isn't that scary, especially coming from an HP C7000 background in my case.
    powmia> Thanks for the book recommendations.
    nel> I don't know what that is. I did get a CloudLab account. I haven't done any of the labs, but they do have an "intro to NX-OS on the 7K" lab that could prove very useful. It's 37 pages and is run on Titanium. :)
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Just did the Cisco CloudLab for Nexus 7000. Like I mentioned before, it's based on Titanium so you can only do L3/System Management type stuff. Here's what the lab covers:

    Management VRF
    RBAC
    Config Rollback
    Config Session
    OSPF Config
    Process Restartability
    Licensing
    HSRP

    If you've never touched NX-OS before, this would be a good, quick and free intro. :)
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I/O Consolidation in the Data Center
    Completed. :)

    I check the INE Rack Rental calendar a couple times a day hoping a slot magically opens up. I lucked out and picked up a 3-hour session. Spent most of the time nailing down, OTV, FabricPath and vPC+. I can do the majority of the OTV config and verification without looking it up or using context-sensitive help. I haven't done some of the advanced features like redistribution, fast failure detection, or selective unicast flooding, but the config for that isn't terribly complex. I figure I'll add that on next time around and I'll have the entire Config Guide for OTV under my belt. I've done everything there is to do in FabricPath with the NX-OS version INE is running on their racks and this was kind of my "a-ha, that's how it all comes together moment" when doing vPC+.

    I had about 30 minutes left when I was done all of that, so I decided to cover private-vlans since I haven't messed with that in quite a while. I have an Excel spreadsheet with the entire Blueprint and I go through and highlight each line different colors. Basically blue is "reading, notetaking, preparing to lab", yellow is "labbing for the first time" and red is "labbing again, gaining better understanding". Just about everything SAN related is blue as I get ready for my 3.5 hours of rack time on Saturday. Once I'm done with that, I'm going to move on to UCS. I'm saving the L3, Management, Security stuff for much later because it's a pretty huge overlap with CCIE: R&S. I know it's not 100% the same (especially Netflow), but I should be able to backfill that easily.
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Got my 3.5 hours in minus the 20 minutes I overslept this morning. icon_redface.gif

    Went through their material on storage then watched the videos on IP storage. Everything is coming along and my next lab repetition with storage should be a big boost. Snagged an hour tomorrow so I can do some repetitions on a few topics that I should be pretty automatic with now. The new racks are supposed to go online sometime in late September. I can't wait since hoping for an hour or three each day is very disruptive to the process. There's some more advanced SAN features I need to go over that INE doesn't cover, so I'll have to write my own labs for those.

    Going to finish reading about QoS in the config guides and start on UCS (finally).
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  • WiseWunWiseWun Member Posts: 285
    Keep up the good work, I've been watching this thread and your progress. Definitely a great motivator.

    Purchased the Data Center bundle from INE which includes the videos, WB, and some spare tokens. I must say I'm very disappointed with the WB, it's very thin as you've mentioned and not all topics are covered. It's also impossible to get rack time with the 2K/UCS add-on unless someone cancels last minute. (patiently waiting for the new racks)

    But their videos is very detailed and covers all of the blueprint. Would you recommend purchasing IPX workbooks (double the cost) for INE rack rentals? How much time do you spend on setting up the topology?
    "If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” - Ken Robinson
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I haven't used the IPX workbooks or even seen a glimpse of them, but of their Table of Contents is any guide, it should be very thorough. I've been considering the idea of buying their WB to use with INE rack rentals which are much easier to come by. I've gotten tens of hours of lab time in on INE racks, whereas I've only gotten one 4-hour sessions on IPX and I check every day. $850 for that workbook seems like a lot though, especially if INE updates their WB soon.

    You don't really spend any time setting things up on the INE racks. All of the tasks assume a blank config then you move on to the next one. What you will find though, is that a lot of the subsequent tasks ask you to do 80-90% of what you did in the previous task with a new twist. So you just carry your configs over and back out what you need to do the next one.

    A few caveats about the INE rack rentals... You don't have the ability to create checkpoints and do rollbacks. You are placed into a VDC on the 7K's, so you can't practice VDC stuff or enable anything that requires you to be in the default VDC. Tonight I had a 1.5 hour session booked and I planned on spending it doing FabricPath and OTV. Well the FabricPath feature-set has to be installed from the default VDC and enabled on the other VDCs and for some reason that wasn't done this time. I've done FP on their racks before, so I don't know what's going on with that. And speaking of FabricPath, the only run Nexus 5000 in their lab, not 5500 so they don't support FabricPath which is probably why there are no corresponding tasks in the WB.

    Like you said, the videos are comprehensive and pretty well done. The ratio of CLI/GUI config to talking seems to be lower than the R&S videos though. If they could get their WB on par with their videos, they'd have the best deal going easily. I really wish there was another vendor out there offering DC rack rentals. Fastlane is the only one I've seen that does it, but it's meant more for bootcamps to resell to their students as part of the course. You can get X # of racks for X # of days, but nothing geared to a single user for a couple of hours.

    The UCS Platform Emulator is pretty nice though. Marko even said you can do about 90% of what you need with it, but the 10% you can't is really important.

    As far as my studies go, I've gotten an hour here and there this week with my repetitions. Feeling much better about my storage networking configs. I've finally gotten to reading the Config Guides for UCS as well as messing around with UCSPE. Up to 329 flashcards across 13 topics.
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  • WiseWunWiseWun Member Posts: 285
    Oh, I thought you purchased both workbooks. I'll stick with what I have now, it's interactive and they can always update with more contents.

    I've done some of the labs with INE, and your right about subsequent tasks because last week when I was working on the UCS to do OS installation, one of the steps referenced the vHBA Templates section which I skipped over as I was running out of time.

    My next UCS session is a month from now and nothing after that. I stopped booking the base 5k/7k because I now have access to these devices on a daily basis. Does INE stop you from installing features? I think so based on what you've said about FabricPath tonight.
    "If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” - Ken Robinson
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you don't count UCS Platform Emulator, I haven't gotten any hands on labbing since the 12th. icon_sad.gif I do count UCSPE, so I got plenty of labbing done this weekend. It's a godsend for those of us without the ability to get dedicated rack time. As I see it, there's 2 limiting factors; no real hardware so you can't really verify your configs or check firmware updates. Extreme lack of CLI support. No connect nx-os|local-mgmt at all. Other than that you can certainly learn quite a bit, and it's certainly much faster than real hardware. :)

    INE's UCS workbook looks pretty thorough so I'm going to schedule a 4+ hour session as soon as I can get one. I definitely recommend that anyone wanting to do this start with NX-OS to get the foundation on LAN/SAN switching and QoS since it makes some of the UCS topics easier to understand. I should be done with the UCS GUI Config Guide pretty soon. I have 2 spare B200 M3 blades at work that I'm going to install ESXI and Nexus 1000V on. After I finish that, I'm going to backtrack to what should be the easy stuff that overlaps with R&S; L3 routing, System Management and Security.

    It feels like there's so much more left, but you just have to keep chipping away at it. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any Written practice tests out there.
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Obsession, I mean perseverance has paid off. 2.5 hours of UCS rack time booked for later tonight. :)
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  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    Let us know when you hit the parts that crossover to R&S. I'm wondering the level of R&S you really need to understand to be able to pursue this path. I'm thinking NP R&S levels of protocol understanding should be sufficient but perhaps not? I figure it's just an NX-OS transition.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Finally got my VM-FEX config working in ESX. Order of operations is such a PITA with NX-OS!!!

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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Just got my Nexus 1000V switches installed into my lab after a bit of trouble. It kept failing at the powering up VSM stage with some error about min CPU or something. Not being a VMWare guy I had to poke around in the settings and I realized that the VSM is trying to reserve a minimum of 2.048 Ghz of CPU whereas my CPUs are "only" 8-core Xeon E5-2650s @ 2Ghz. icon_lol.gif You have to go in and change the reservation amount or add another CPU, but you have to do it quick before the process gets to trying to power up the VSMs or else you have to abort and start over.

    At any rate, here it is. :)


    ETA:
    Pro tip: Install Release 4.2(1)SV2(1.1) instead of Release 4.2(1)SV2(2.1) to avoid the CPU reservation issue. The older version only requests 1.5Ghz.
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  • iokoyeiokoye Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Zartanasaurus,

    I've been reading your post. Very motivational. I'm quite interested in the DC track and I'm hoping to get start asap. I think I'll go ahead and purchase IPX WB. Its very detailed compared to INE though expensive.

    When do you intend to take the written exam? How much time do you think is needed to attempt the Lab?
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think I'm going to give the Written a try within the next few weeks if I can get my labbing time back up to par. Can't really say for your 2nd question. I think the overlap with CCIE: R&S could help tremendously in certain topics. Vlans, private-vlans, port-channels, eigrp, ospf, hsrp, AAA, snmp, port-security, dhcp snooping, SPAN, netflow... all covered in R&S and nothing really new or mind-binding there. It's 95% review with 5% slight change in the way things are done. So I focus mainly on the NX-OS/UCS related technologies like SAN, FabricPath/OTV, vPC, vPC+ etc. Some reading, flashcards and labbing just like anything else. I haven't done anything remotely approaching a full-scale mock lab yet, but none of this seems really hard to me. 500 lab hours doesn't seem unreasonable. For someone having to learn all of the R&S stuff from scratch as well... probably double that.
    Currently reading:
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I haven't really updated my progress lately, so here we go.

    No real labbing to speak of. Haven't been able to get any hours on INE although I fired up Titanium and gave it another try. I got a copy of it a while back and kind of figured it was useless since you couldn't do any real NX-OS type stuff on it. It's pretty good as long as you stick to L3 stuff. No vPC, no FabricPath, no SAN. Good for adjusting to the small changes in routing protocols and it supports OTV as well.

    UCS Platform Emulator OTOH, is awesome. You really can do just about everything that doesn't require to you to verify from hardware somehow. You can do a boot from san service-profile, but you can't actually verify that it works. No matter, anyone doing CCIE: DC needs to have this to cut down on labbing costs. The few things it can't do (Nexus 1000v, boot from SAN, VM-FEX) I was able to accomplish with 2 spare B200 M3s at work. I spent more time than I care to admit getting 1000v to work, but I have it down pretty good now. I have 2 ESX 5.1 boxes doing boot from SAN, and all networks, vMotion included, going through the 1000v. I'm even running my UCSPE from ESX now.

    There's also a 1000v lab Cisco CloudLab that is pretty decent. You don't get to do the actual 1000v install, but you get to do just about everything else. Definitely check it out if you're waiting around for labtime.

    I've covered a lot of ground on the Doc CD. Only thing I haven't touched is ACE/MDS yet:

    Read
    Cisco Nexus 5000 Series NX-OS Fundamentals Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N2(1)
    Cisco Nexus 5000 Series NX-OS Layer 2 Switching Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N2(1)
    Cisco Nexus 5000 NX-OS Quality of Service Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N2(1)
    Cisco Nexus 5000 Series NX-OS SAN Switching Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N2(1)
    Cisco Nexus 5000 Series NX-OS Adapter-FEX Software Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N1(1)
    Cisco Nexus 5000 Series NX-OS FabricPath Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N1(1)
    Cisco Nexus 5000 Series NX-OS Fibre Channel over Ethernet Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N1(1)
    Cisco Nexus 5000 Series NX-OS System Management Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N1(1)

    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Virtual Device Context Quick Start
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS FabricPath Configuration Guide
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS High Availability and Redundancy Guide
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Layer 2 Switching Configuration Guide
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS OTV Configuration Guide
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Virtual Device Context Configuration Guide
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Fundamentals Configuration Guide, Release 6.x
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Interfaces Configuration Guide, Release 6.x
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Quality of Service Configuration Guide, Release 6.x
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS System Management Configuration Guide, Release 6.x
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Unicast Routing Configuration Guide, Release 6.x

    Cisco UCS Manager GUI Configuration Guide, Release 2.0

    Cisco Nexus 1000V High Availability and Redundancy Configuration Guide, Release 4.2(1)SV2(1.1)
    Cisco Nexus 1000V Interface Configuration Guide, Release 4.2(1)SV2(1.1)
    Cisco Nexus 1000V Layer 2 Switching Configuration Guide, Release 4.2(1)SV2(1.1)
    Cisco Nexus 1000V License Configuration Guide, Release 4.2(1)SV2(1.1)
    Cisco Nexus 1000V Port Profile Configuration Guide, Release 4.2(1)SV2(1.1)

    Unread
    Cisco NX-OS FCoE Configuration Guide for Nexus 7000 and MDS 9500
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Multicast Routing Configuration Guide
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS SAN Switching Configuration Guide
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS IP SLAs Configuration Guide, Release 6.x
    Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Security Configuration Guide, Release 6.x

    Cisco Nexus 5000 Series NX-OS Security Configuration Guide, Release 5.1(3)N1(1)

    Cisco Nexus 1000V Quality of Service Configuration Guide, Release 4.2(1)SV2(1.1)
    Cisco Nexus 1000V Security Configuration Guide, 4.2(1)SV2(1.1)
    Cisco Nexus 1000V System Management Configuration Guide, Release 4.2(1)SV2(1.1)

    I've also finished about 90% of the INE videos.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    This may be obvious, but the only doc on the ACE 4710 that seem worth reading, at least initially, is the getting started guide. It covers configuring interfaces, real servers, serverfarms, ACLs, VIPs, load-balancing, persistence, health probes, SSL offloading and the other stuff you need to get a basic HA configuration up and running. Not going to bother with the other guides for now. Booked a 1-hr ACE session for tomorrow and Sunday. The INE WB only covers a few tasks, so I'm hoping my Netscaler knowledge and 2 hours of rack time should be enough for now. I don't see this being a huge part of the written or lab, especially with the ACE being retired in favor of the Netscaler 1000v. Shame that's not on the blueprint now since that'd be one less thing to study! :)

    I've only skimmed the remaining UCS labs, but I feel pretty confident I can handle most of what they throw at me.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    How are you doing on the SAN stuff?
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm not sure I know how to judge that. I do zoning type stuff as part of my day job, so I'm fine with that. No IP-based storage technology or FCoE though.

    In terms of the blueprint I feel good about this:

    Implement Fiber Channel Protocols Features
    Implement Port Channel, ISL and Trunking
    Implement VSANs
    Implement Basic and Enchanced Zoning

    And eh about this:

    Implement FC Domain Parameters
    Implement Fiber Channel Security Features
    Implement Proper Oversubscription in an FC Environment
    Implement IP Storage Based Solution
    Implement IP Features including High Availability
    Implement iSCSI including Advanced Features
    Implement SAN Extension Tuner
    Implement FCIP and Security Features
    Implement iSCSI Security Features
    Validate Proper Configuration of IP Storage Based Solutions
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
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