CCIE Data Center: It’s Official

My twitter mentions was blowing up like a Michael Bay movie about the news that the CCIE Data Center certification was officially-officially announced at Cisco Live! in Melbourne this week. We’ve been teased with it for years, such as thinking we were getting it at Cisco Live last year, but our hopes were dashed. Even when A PDF was found on the Virtual Live site, we were still a little apprehensive.  Now we finally have full on confirmation.

Timeline? Written beta tests will be available in May, and apparently any passing grades there will allow you to take the lab. The CCIE DC Lab will be available September.

I’ll be taking the beta written the first day I possibly can, and likely will take the lab shortly after it’s available.

The equipment/subject list was what we expected from the PDF found at the Cisco Virtual Live website.

Let’s take a look at the equipment list, shall we?

Cisco Catalyst Switch 3750

Hilariously enough, this is the one device in the entire list of devices that I can’t ever remember having logged into. I’ve got Cat 6K experience, but not the 3750s. I’ll have to figure out what I need to know on these guys.

Cisco 2511 Terminal Server

Well, duh. Plenty of experience here, although I could stand to brush up on it. I wonder if they’ll make us set it up, or if it’s transparent to the infrastructure.

MDS 9222i

Interesting choice, instead of an MDS 9500. I’m studying for the CCIE Storage anyway, so this should be good. I don’t see mention of FICON, which is good. Because screw FICON.

Nexus 7009, 5548, 2232 FEX

I’ve taught Nexus before, and I’m still cert’d to do so, I just haven’t in a while. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that any routing protocols are including in the subject list. I don’t deal with routing on a day-to-day basis, so it’s tough to get practice on them. My old nemesis is listed though, multicast (and IGMP).  FabricPath and OTV are fairly new to me, but I should be able to get up and running on them quickly, especially since FabricPath is TRILL-ish.

Nexus 1000v

I’ve taught Nexus 1000v (DCUCI). Could always use more practice, but I’m good there.

Cisco UCS B-Series, Cisco ACE 4710 Appliance

UCS? ACE? Why Cisco, I thought’d you never ask.

I’ve been teaching ACE for the past 4 years, and I’ve done lab and course development for it. I’ve been teaching UCS almost weekly for the past 2 years, and I’ve also done course and lab development for it. So I’m totally prep’d for this, both written and lab.

I may not even need to study for the UCS and ACE sections. (ed: Bold statement there, buddy.)

Dual Attached JBODs

Need some lab practice on this with the MDS.

Not For Your Laundry Room

One thing is certain, you’re not going to build your own home lab on this. The equipment list is fairly cash intensive, so it’ll be interesting to see how the rental racks get priced out. As soon as I possibly can, I’d love to start teaching CCIE DC boot camps.

Tony’s Take

Now that it’s all official, I’m stoked. This is the CCIE I’ve always dreamed of. A R&S CCIE wouldn’t really help my day-to-day work, and there’s lots of aspects of a R&S that don’t really interest me. Everything about the CCIE DC (except the 3750s perhaps) interests me. Data center was a pretty big gap in Cisco’s certification track (there were a couple of specialization certifications but they don’t have much cachet).

You’ll be seeing a lot of posts from me in regards to my prep for the tests and the lab. Perhaps I’ll put together an ACE workbook. Should be fun.

6 Responses to CCIE Data Center: It’s Official

  1. Krunal says:

    Strange part from blueprint is they did not include VM-FEX as a topic they can test on.

    • tonybourke says:

      I’m guessing they didn’t include VM-FEX because of time. Setting up VM-FEX by itself can take around two hours, because it requires setting up vCenter and installing the plugins. Worthwhile to test, but it would eat up at least 1/4 of the lab time.

  2. peter says:

    Hi Guys

    I am at Cisco Live right now, i have a bit more information for you about the CCIE DC available at:


  3. fredhsu says:

    In order to test OTV, I’m guessing two n7k’s will be needed at a minimum?

    • tonybourke says:

      Yes, there would have to be two. And you can bet they’ll have something about OTV (setting up or troubleshooting) on the lab.

  4. Pingback: Wrath of Data Center: Show 1 – The Phantom Test

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