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Introduction to CCNA Data Center

December 30, 2013

With my CCNP Route/Switch completed, I am pursuing the CCNA Data Center exam and will go for the CCNP Data Center certificate shortly thereafter. CCNA Data Center is comprised of two exams: 640-911 and 640-916.

640-911 (Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking)

This exam appears to be similar to the CCNA CCENT exam but with a focus on data center instead of general networking. 640-911’s curriculum looks a little sparse so I’m concerned about what will be on it. I don’t however, expect this to be too challenging of a test.

640-916 (Introducing Cisco Data Center Technologies)

Of the two exams, this is the one I’m looking forward to the most since it covers Unified Fabric (aka. Nexus), UCS, and storage. DCICT appears to be the meat and potatoes test between the two options.

Study Materials

Most Cisco tests have Cisco Press books associated with them. Unfortunately, the CCNA Data Center exams seem to have been forgotten. None of my research on the topic has revealed any books written for the exams. Cisco has compiled a long list of technical videos to get students started. However, my opinion of them is quite mixed.

  • Some of the speakers have very quiet volumes. If you turn your speaker up louder to compensate, prepare to be deafened by another speaker with appropriate levels.
  • Video resolution is poor. When CLI examples are shown, the text is too small to read in the window. Maximizing the video creates blurry but mostly readable text.
  • Much of the content is redundant. Redundancy is important when studying for exams, don’t get me wrong. But there were at least two, maybe three, vPC videos covering mostly the same content.

I am told Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals: Understanding Techniques and Designs for Highly Efficient Data Centers with Cisco Nexus, UCS, MDS, and Beyond is good for the exam although I did not purchase this one. Instead I ordered CCNA Data Center – Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking Study Guide: Exam 640-911. I await this book’s arrival and will post a review on it when I have completed the 640-911 exam. Its complimentary book for the 640-916 exam, CCNA Data Center: Introducing Cisco Data Center Technologies Study Guide: Exam 640-916 , is expected to be released in April 2014. Unfortunately, I expect to be done with the exam by then.

Summary

I look forward to my studies with the CCNA Data Center exams. Expect some posts in the near future.

Note: All links to Amazon are Amazon Associates links. If you would prefer not to use my Amazon Associate links, simply search for the book’s title on Amazon.

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