Traditional versus Cloud Native Web Applications

Here’s a quick whiteboard session of the differences between traditional and cloud native web applications.

Differences in how Fibre Channel and Ethernet Measure Speed

That Moment When You Realized You “write erase” the Wrong Device…


Nexus versus Catalyst

When someone asks me to explain Nexus versus Catalyst:


Nexus 7K Happiness

How it feels getting a 7K to lab on for CCIE DC prep


When I’m Asked What The Next 5 Years of Networking Will Look Like


#CCNPDC CCNP Data Center: A Slightly Longer Journey

As of Monday December 10th (12/10/2012) I’m now officially CCNP Data Center certified (though my cert didn’t show up in the system until Saturday). 



To get the CCNP Data Center certification, you need to pass four of six exams in two available combinations. 

First, you must pass DCUCI and DCUFI. Currently, you can take either the version 4 or version 5 of those tests. 

  • DCUCI (642-994 v4/642-995 v5)
  • DCUFI (642-992 v4/642-997 v5)

Currently, passing either versions will work towards a CCNP DC, and they don’t have to be the same, i.e. you can pass the version 4 of DCUCI, and the version 5 of DCUFI, etc. After Feb 23rd though, only the version 5 works. 

Two more tests need to be passed (they don’t need to be done in any specific order), and you have two options: You can pass the troubleshooting tests, or the design tests. I opted for the design tests, though I did pass the UCS troubleshoot test (though I figured out later it was an older version, and didn’t count towards CCNP DC). 

Design Path

  • DCUCD version 4 or 5 (642-993 or 642-991)
  • DCUFD version 4 or 5 (642-991 or 642-996)

Troubleshoot Path

  • DCUCT v5.0 (642-035)
  • DCUFT v5.0 (652-980)

I’ll likely need to take DCUCT anyway, since I’d like to start teaching the UCS troubleshooting course. I did actually pass the troubleshooting test, but it was version 4, which doesn’t count. D’oh. 

These exams have been around for a while in one form or another, so they’re not brand new like the exams for CCNA Data Center. In fact, there are those that will probably automatically trigger a CCNP Data Center certification when they pass the CCNA Data Center tests, because they’ve already done the NP tests. Especially among the CCSI (Cisco Certified Systems Instructor crowd). 

These are expensive tests, as the price to sit exams has gone up. The CCNA Data Center tests are $250 a piece, so it’s $500 just to get your CCNA Data Center (assuming you pass on the first try).  The CCNP Data Center exams are $200 a piece, so that’s another $800, assuming you pass on the first try (I didn’t). I got DCUCI on my third try, and passed the rest on the first try. So all told I spent $1,700 to go through CCNP Data Center. Some of the exams will be reimbursed by Firefly, as I need some of them to continue teaching (my old DCUCI was about to expire, for example). Still, I’m covering at least part of that $1,700 out of pocket. 

I have some more to add in a bit about the experience, as well as “why” and “how”. More later. For for now:


How I Would Feel Taking One More Exam…