HP Master Accredited Systems Engineer
As many other vendors HP has a fast track for people already certified with Cisco to achieve an HP certification skipping some basic exams. There’s an upgrade path tool available on HP website than shows the required exams for each path. CCIE R&S certification in my case allows to get “HP MASE Network Infrastructure” passing two exams:
HP0-Y32 is focused on design and troubleshooting L2 and L3 protocols. Many topics are already covered in CCNP/CCIE blueprints like VLAN, OSPF, BGP, subnetting so it’s just a matter to get familiar with the syntax and some things called with another name. An example: a trunk in HP lingo is a port aggregations for all the other vendors. Some topics that are covered in details are the coexistence of different or when PVST and MST coexist in the same network, how an HP switch manages PVST BPDUs
HP0-Y37 is focused on migration and troubleshooting. Migration for HP means replace Cisco gear, first chapter is “Migrating a Cisco Network to Open Standards” so the target is clear.
Some chapters of the related book are very superficial but that is the only option when the topics range from VLAN to OSPG, BGP and VPLS/L2VPN.
The bigger difference I’ve found from other Cisco exams I did (ARCH excluded) is that migration path and possible dowtime is always taken in consideration, while like in CCIE and CCNP exams the focus is in configuration/troubleshooting only (maybe newer exam versions are different).
One thing to keep in mind is that HP exams are actually based on two different families of products, HP and former 3COM, now called HP A-Series. Afaik the CLI will eventually converge to 3COM/Comware but for now you need to know both.
HP MASE is sometimes compared to Cisco CCIE, I don’t think that’s fair. The complete track can be long if you can’t fast track but what this certification misses is a real hands-on lab exam that differentiates CCIE from many other certifications.
I can say that I’ve enjoyed the exam preparation, many topics were discussed from a different point of view and the focus on downtime while migrating is quite interesting and reflects the real word scenarios I see on daily basis.
If you have a CCNP/CCIE preparation ASE or MASE tracks won’t be too hard to achieve and may be useful if you work in multi vendor environments.
If you’re familiar with Cisco CLI yo may find this “HP Networking and Cisco CLI Reference Guide” very useful. PDF edition is FREE.