Certifications

CWDP

Today I passed exam CWDP-302 and got CWDP. To be honest I had to renew my CWNA that was about to expire but I don’t really like to renew, I prefer o move forward when I can. Exam preparation To prepare the exam I read cover-to-cover the official study guide and review some topics on the CWNA study guide. The study guide is dated 2011 so it covers up to 802.

VMware VCP5-DCV for a network engineer

Today I passed exam VCP550 and got VMware VCP5-DCV certification. Exam preparation For exam preparation I attended the official training that is mandatory to access the exam. The printed material provided with the training is good enough but I integrated with the great Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5 by Scott Lowe. The official documentation available online for free. I had some hands-on experience with VSphere, did some installations myself and supported some trouble tickets so even if I don’t work every day with VSphere I have a decent knowledge on the topic.

Exam passed HP2-Z31 - Creating HP Software-defined Networks

As a holder of many technical certifications every few months I have to renew some. When possible I try to renew the certifications with a new track instead of doing the newer version of the exam I’ve already done. This time was the turn of HP ASE - Network Infrastructure 2011 to be renewed as HP ASE - FlexNetwork Integrator V1 and HP ASE - FlexNetwork Architect V2. Four exams are availale to upgrade, I choose HP2-Z31 - Creating HP Software-defined Networks because I hear a lot about SDN but I had not the opportunity to explore this topic yet.

Meraki CMNA

Today I’ve attended a Meraki technical training course at Cisco offices. The training was organized in short presentations of product features followed by hands-on labs based on all the products available today. I was suprised to find not only people from small companies or system integrators but more that 50% of the attendees were from Cisco Gold Partners sent to evaluate the products for “managed network” services. Cloud managed network gear is quite a hot topic today and I expect many projects in the future will involve this kind of solutions.

CCIE renewed

In the very last day of availability of the CCIE v4 350-001 written exam I’ve renewed my CCIE for a couple of years more: My plan was to recertify with another track - Wireless or Security - but life happens and I took the easy path and did R&S again. I’ve passed the same written exam 3 times. The first time in 2010, followed by a failed lab attempt in 2011.

CCNA 10 years

Ten years ago I’ve passed my first Cisco exam: CCNA! What was supposed to be just a marginal skill for a junior systems engineer became both my job and my passion. Ten years and 21 Cisco exams later (and a bunch of other vendors), with 2 labs in Brussels, 1 FAIL and 1 PASS, I’m still excited about networking and I hope the next ten year will be as valuable and inspired.

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: designing and troubleshooting open standard networks HP0-Y37: migrating and troubleshooting HP enterprise networks

Four letters more CCDP

Today I’ve passed 642-874 ARCH exam that in conjunction with CCIE and CCNP entitles to obtain the CCDP certification. To prepare the exam I’ve used the official study guide along with the documents in the Cisco Design Zone. The hardest part of the exam preparation was to study technologies I’ve never really implemented and to focus on design, scalability and restrictions more than on the commands.

Huawei Certified Datacom Professional

Huawei network devices are becoming more and more popular in european market lately. It all started with 3G adapters, then mobiles, and now I see routers and switches deployed in many locations. For a project I’ll deploy in the next few weeks I had the opportunity to attend an Huawei training. Huawei provides a fast-track for people already certified with other vendors, three training courses are condensed in just one week but it works if you don’t want to hear for the 100th time how STP works ;)

My CCIE experience

In really enjoyed to read all the blog post of people passing the CCIE lab exam over the years. I’ve found the stories very inspirational so now it’s time for me to give back. I started working as a system engineer in 2001 supporting Microsoft Windows 2000 client and server for a bank. I had the opportunity to work with some network engineers for a project and being intrigued by the new world I started to study what seemed to be the right choice for the moment: Cisco CCNA.

CCIE lab numbers preallocation myth certification value

Cisco stopped to publish CCIE statistics some time ago but in Cisco Live presentations we can find some slides like this: A couple of days ago on twitter Bob McCouch who passed his lab on February 21st posted this: I know 14 days are not enough to make statistics, but let’s play with the numbers since they’re very fresh. There’re 9 CCIE lab locations worldwide, suppose each lab locations ha 5 seats per day.

Alcatel Lucent Certified Field Expert

After one week of training in Milan and passing the exam I’ve added an Alcatel-Lucent certification to my c.v.: “Alcatel-Lucent Certified Field Expert - ACFE - OmniSwitch R6/R6“ OmniSwitch have some proprietary features, like mobile vlans, that may be very useful in some deployments. The new 10K platform with MC-LAG and other featuers seems great as core switch. The bright side of working for a system integrator is the opportunity to mess play work with many different vendors and accumulate experience with many devices.

Brocade Certified Network Professional

Passed Brocade 150-220 exam, another badge added to my c.v. Having a CCNP background and some CCIE theory knowledge I found this exam quite easy.On the exam blueprint just some QoS implementations, VRRP-E and Metro Ring Protocol are different than Cisco exams. STP and IGP/BGP are almost the same, and no EIGRP of course!

HP Fast Track

HP allows Cisco certified people to achieve it’s MASE/ASE certs using Fast Track: While HP certifications aren’t as popular as Cisco’s they can be a way to learn a different platform and increase career opportunities. The official cert guide is available on Amazon.

Certified in Cisco Data Center Support for UC Specialist

Today I passed Cisco 642-983 DCUCI exam and it was a surprise to see two certifications on my Cisco curriculum: Cisco Unified Computing Technology Support Specialist and Cisco Data Center Support for UC Specialist The next step would be “Cisco Data Center Unified Computing Support Specialist” but since VCP is a requirement and is not in my plans I have to skip that cert.