Struggling For “Hands On” Nexus Time For Cisco CCIE DC?

So you’ve made the commitment, read the CCIE DC blueprint, and you’re still in!!! Setting the theory part of the CCIE DC syllabus aside, let’s concentrate on the practical side of the exam. The blueprint tells you the syllabus is huge…..a large chunk of knowledge to have mastery of.

So how do you get get the hands on “stick time” ?

At the compute layer, the biggest element is the UCS B series….. not in the average engineer’s buy range! You can get the UCS simulator as a Virtual Machine (VM)……. any good?…. as always yes and no…..good to see and use the interface, but it’s not attached to hardware, so no testing of configurations!!! it means you can’t break, fix config etc…..(the only to attain mastery of a network device)……on the upside, better than nothing! But simulators really do have an important place in our technical learning.

A lab setup, I personally have learnt so much from….2 small HP micro servers, both with ESXi5.5 installed, a Layer 3 physical switch and installing Nexus 1000v and VSG, break, fix and re-install. That lab alone has dramatically improved the depth and granularity of my understanding of compute/vMware.

Network layer, Nexus 7K, 5K, and (Fexs)….. again outside an engineer’s reach, so remote labs and even if your day job is on Nexus, you can’t lab!!!! You can’t break, fix, re-install again and again until you gain that depth of understanding required to pass a practical lab exam like CCIE. Even if you use remote labs, you need to reinforce what you’re configuring and learning….and that really means not having to look up the commands, not having to constantly Google or read the docs to understand how to config and then verify.

To achieve that, you need to have a biteable chunk of code (configuration) for each subsection…so for example, let’s take Fex port channels…you need blog2that block of code in your head, so in the exam you can, with confidence, simply type it into a text editor without consulting the documentation and paste into the 5K or 7K, or wherever the config is required.  It means you need to memorise that code block and then you need to space repetition that code, so you can instantly recall it when needed….that is exactly why we designed “Instant Command Recall” to achieve exactly that… check it out here:

CCIE DC Instant Command Recall