Posts Tagged ‘Brocade’

OMG! Free Brocade Certification Exam and Training (170-010) Expires Soon!

September 19th, 2014

Some time ago I got notified about this, but then there was VMworld and R&R and I let it go by the wayside… Well guess what IT IS STILL AVAILABLE! Whoa whoa whoa, let’s calm down. I CANT CALM DOWN! FREE CERTIFICATION AND TRAINING! Okay, that is something to be excited about…

Brocade Certified vRouter Engineer

This track entitles you to pursue NFV Certification! (Alright, I had to look that up… Network Functions Virtualization Certification :))

Most of the steps of what you need to do are contained in this handy Quick Start PDF Guide – It includes:

  • Downloading the Virtual Router you can use to train and get familiar with
  • Setting up your Brocade account if you don’t have one (And activating it)
  • Registering for and taking the Training Course
  • And lastly, the Promo Code to register for the exam at a Pearson Vue testing center (Not included here, but it’s LITERALLY at that PDF link :))

It’s all pretty simple and straight forward and a good way to add to your resume / portfolio while at the same time getting familiar with a technology which has been baked into the industry for some time.  I mean, why not, right? It’s free?!? :)

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Posted in Brocade, Certification, Education, Free, Virtualization | Comments (1)

500 Days in Afghanistan, a #vExpert retrospective from an #EMCElect

June 30th, 2014

Wow, so here we are… 500 days, it feels like just yesterday I was getting here. Okay, I’m only kidding, every day feels like every day before it, and every day after it.   So let’s take a moment to roll back the clock and see what kinds of things have happened and perhaps some various accomplishments out here! (Like how I rocked that title like a branding whore? ;))

Personal Accomplishments

  • Published two books
  • Completed a massive slew of Certifications including (But not limited to)
    • Cisco
      • CCNA (Routing and Switching, Security and Data Center)
      • CCNP Data Center
      • CCIE Data Center (Written… Can’t exactly take the lab out here can I :))
    • Brocade
    • VMware
      • VCP 5.0
      • VCP 5.5 (Beta and then the “Pass”)
      • Yet, due to the ‘class’ requirement I’m technically still NOT a VCP, yay right? :)
  • Finished 92 credit hours in a Bachelors of IT Security degree program (in a month) before I had to take time away to tackle other matters
  • EMC Elect for 2013 and 2014
  • VMware vExpert for 2013 and 2014
  • Avoided death by mortar, rocket, small arms fire, IED and any number of other VERY real threats for 500 days! (Woohoo!)

As you can tell that is quite a slew of personal things to accomplish (And I’m only scratching the surface), there are more things on the horizon some of which I honestly am not sure what else I want to pursue and other things which I’m always actively working on whether publicly or in secret to share later!

Professional Accomplishments

When it comes to what I do professionally I have to be a little obfuscated or in some cases I cannot even share any details due to the sensitive nature of the mission but there are some things which I can disclose and albeit a small list I’ll try to here (Essentially taken from my resume as it’s pre-scrubbed)

  • Afghanistan Senior Technical Director responsible for Operations, Management, Engineering, Implementation and Support of the US Operational Forces in CJOA-A mission command
  • Provide leadership and direction for team of 100+ engineers and architects geographically distributed across 30 Forward Operating Bases throughout Afghanistan
  • Subject Matter Expert for Virtualization, Storage, Data Center and Networking, lead coordinating efforts for the Dec 2014 US Troop draw down and architect of the sustaining architecture for post 2014 mission
  • Direct oversight and operations of enterprise infrastructure supporting over 100,000 users
  • Define policy, procedure and operational requirements to sustain OEF mission

This is equally a pretty awesome set of accomplishments, something I didn’t include in the bulleted list but I am particularly proud of, the fact that we have maintained 100% uptime. Yea you heard it, 100%, not five 9’s or three 9’s or one 8 and three 2’s, but 100%.  I do not include as part of that as scheduled outages where we were intentionally taking something down for maintenance nor do I include when we have a catastrophic site failure which is out of my control (Let’s say a generator gets hit with a rocket, or HVAC goes offline because its 140 degrees out, or someone decides to sever the network link) Yea, those aren’t included as a cause of downtime because there’s nothing we can functionally do about it, but operationally, configurationally, all of that, we’re talking about 100% baby! I’m sure if we owned the Network and Data center layers we’d keep their numbers higher, but logistically out of my control!

What is next on the horizon

Well, the question of what is next can be a difficult one to exactly predict, I mean there are certain levels of uncertainty and unknown but there are some things which are absolutely certain.

  • I’ll be attending VMworld in San Francisco this coming August
    • Will I be throwing a #CXIParty? A question I get asked often… well, … Maybe. You tell me, the logistical effort can be a pain to do from afar…
  • I will be going on R&R to spend time with my awesome family who will be living in (after having moved) to Nashville!
  • I will be spending (another) Birthday here in Bagram, Afghanistan. Oh the greatest place on earth to spend your birthday. Seriously. Not. :)
  • I will be talking to folks at VMworld (and as I currently am) plotting and planning for the next stage of my adventure when I am done with my mission here and ready to invest my time elsewhere.   I keep getting solicited and unsolicited offers from folks, keep it coming… I’ll find the right place to land my feet and make an epic impact like I have here (and everywhere else I’ve been)
  • Will I continue to be here in Afghanistan following November to see the final stage of the draw-down through and beyond into the Resolute Support Mission? That is really answered by the viability of finding where the ‘next stage of my adventure’ will take me. So that’s an unknown.
  • Will I keep being awesome? Definitely. You should too. :)

So there you go, a look back and a brief look forward.  See ya’ll at VMworld! <3

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Posted in Afghanistan, Brocade, Certification, Cisco, EMC Elect, Storage, vExpert, vmware, VMworld | Comments (0)

The Definitive Guide to the Brocade Distinguished Architect

April 12th, 2014

If you’ve been in the FICON, Data Center SAN, Internetworking or Converged networking tracks at any point in your career then the Brocade Distinguished Architect is the ultimate pursuit available within the Brocade family, and it is by no means easy, frankly quite the opposite!   That said though, hopefully this can help steer you in comfort in the direction of a pursuit of this designation or the tracks leading up to it!

Brocade Distinguished Architect

The Brocade Distinguished Architect is a series of exams. Oh, a series indeed! It is actually achievable by finishing 3 of the 4 tracks listed below.  These tracks are broken down into FICON, Data Center, Internetworking and Converged. 

The Brocade Certified Professional – 3 out of 4 tracks!

Brocade Certified Professional FICON Track

  • Brocade Accredited Data Center Specialist Exam 160-130
    Brocade Accredited FICON Specialist Exam 160-140 
    Brocade Certified Fabric Administrator (BCFA) Exam 143-410
    Brocade Certified Fabric Professional (BCFP) Exam 143-070
    Brocade Certified Architect For FICON (BCAF) Exam 143-120

Brocade Certified Professional Data Center Track

  • Brocade Accredited Server Connectivity Specialist Exam 160-020 
    Brocade Accredited Data Center Specialist Exam 160-130 
    Brocade Certified Fabric Administrator (BCFA) Exam 143-410
    Brocade Certified Fabric Professional (BCFP) Exam 143-070
    Brocade Certified SAN Manager (BCSM) Exam 143-360
    Brocade Certified Fabric Designer (BCFD) Exam 143-260

Brocade Certified Professional Internetworking Track

  • Brocade Accredited Internetworking Specialist Exam 160-120
    Brocade Certified Network Engineer Exam 150-120
    Brocade Certified Layer 4-7 Engineer Exam 150-320
    Brocade Certified Network Professional Exam 150-220
    Brocade Certified Layer 4-7 Professional Exam 150-420 
    Brocade Accredited WLAN Specialist Exam 160-170
    Brocade Certified Network Designer Exam 150-510

Brocade Certified Professional Converged networking Track

  • Brocade Accredited FCoE Specialist Exam 160-160
    Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Engineer Exam 150-610
    Brocade Certified FCoE Professional (BCFCoEP) Exam 143-510

You do not have to pursue all 4 tracks to accomplish this, in my particular case I pursued the FICON, Data Center and Internetworking as there was a decent amount of overlap between those, and I have an extensive background in working with Data Centers, Internetworking and experience with FICON which made that particular pursuit significantly easier.   That said though, after I did a cost benefit analysis I also found those three tracks combined to allow for taking only 13 exams to achieve the end result!

Accredited vs Certified

You may notice some of the exams are listed as “Certified” and others listed as “Accredited” The differences of those two is simple; Certified Exams are delivered via a Pearson Vue testing center and cost $150 a piece.  Accredited exams are delivered via Kryterion, are non-proctored and delivered online via a Web Browser.   To be honest, the Certified Exams were SIGNIFICANTLY easier than the Accredited exams, but none of these by any means are a walk in the park, unless you have extensive experience working with the technologies.

How do I even begin to prepare and study?!

Brocade as a family makes it both easy and difficult to prepare as most certification tracks often do.  That is to say, it is not so easy you can go into it without any knowledge, experience or training; But also not such an enduring task that your real world experience and knowledge are discarded in favor of arbitrarily complicated questions!   Each of the Certifications have available in the Brocade Certification Information pages links to reference materials, pre-requisites and Study Guides for each respective track!   In addition to this, each track also has a series of web-based, online and classroom type training to prepare, educate and take you to the next steps!  

Leveraging these tools and some real world experience will prepare you to take these certifications and take your career to the next level!

Making the Honor Roll

As you proceed through the ranks of the many who’ve taken Brocade exams (They hit 30,000 exams taken this past weekend 4/5/2014) once you’ve achieved this rigorous and arduous process though, you make it onto the Brocade Distinguished Architect Honor Roll which is an official list of everyone who has achieved Brocades Highest Certification Credential  Going back as far as January of 2011 until today April of 2014, there have been 88 people who have achieved this credential.   Just like other highest credentials, VMware’s VCDX, Microsoft’s MCM and MCA, and Cisco’s CCIE, this certification track is not for everyone but it is an achievable and reachable target!


Brocade Certification and essential links!

Doing your Part

This track may not be for all but this is definitely a way to set you a part from the rest.   Brocade has been a staple of the Data Center for a very long time, and are the market leader in their particular industries.   If you’re looking to enhance your resume portfolio, grow your capabilities and really stand out, this is definitely a good way to do it!  Good luck and good pursuits!

Brocade Banner

Ooh and here I am on the official Brocade Page, awesomeness :)

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Posted in Brocade, Certification, Storage | Comments (0)

OMG! Free Brocade Certification Exam and Training (150-810) Good ‘til May 2014!

April 12th, 2014

So there I was going through my Brocade Certification track in pursuit of the Brocade Distinguished Architect (More details in my next post ;)) and I came across this little gem!   Free Voucher, Free Training, free-all to knock out one of these exams! Awesome, right?!?

BCEFP - Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional

This is broken down into a few key steps;

Ooh, Ooh! So they asked I pull down the code itself because they’d like people to register, get the training and also sign up to win $500 Amazon Gift Card in a drawing held TWICE per month! (Baller, right?!) So I obliged! Be sure to check out these two links!

And then there you go! Free training, Free Voucher and that’s one step done including additional resume building power!

The drawings remaining are running April 14th, April 28th, May 12th and May 30th!!!

Check it out and certifiiiiiiiiiy! :)

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Posted in Brocade, Certification, Free, Storage | Comments (3)

EMCWorld Day 3 and TC Conf Wrap-up – Symm Cakes, StudioE Videos and Fun!

May 16th, 2010

Wow… Oh and Wow… Look at me publishing this DAYS Later.  The first reasoning behind that is frankly.. I WAS and still sort of AM Exhausted! OMFG it was quite a tiring yet amazing experience! I believe the best follow-up quote I had (which I tweeted and just noticed it didn’t send) on my way home from the airport in the cab was… “I’m so tired I was wondering why it all of a sudden got dark and realized my eyes had closed!”  So, quite the great and amazing set of experiences.. oh, but don’t take my pre-fix word for it… get ready for the final coverage of the event!

Meet EMC's finest! (my coworkers)

Day three of the EMC World Conference also happened to be Day 1 of the TC (That’s Technology Consultant if you’re asking) conference.  This is a great event where our finest TC’s, TC Managers and some various other ninjas get together and well.. Learn stuffs together!   In the picture above you see a small sampling of ~1700 of EMC’s finest, all collapsed into a single room to learn together as one!   I wish I would have gotten more photos on the whole of day three (or four, or five) but my coverage was limited and I was focused on the events at hand.. so you’ll need to take my word for it!    This particular session/meeting above is what kept me.. well, for quite some time, so long that I missed the “Bloggers Lounge” group photo.  So don’t take the word of some of the bloggers that I apparently don’t exist because I wasn’t in the photo! It’s not true! :)

image image

We had the great pleasure of having a birthday here at the EMC World this year – the birthday of the wonderful @c_weil – As you can see by this beautiful Symmetrix cake above, there was definitely some planning which went in to it :) (I was so disconnected from things going on… I didn’t find out until I saw the cake! shame on me I say!)  It was great to finally meet her in person in this event of events where Christina was receiving an award as part of the Women’s Leadership Foundation (Please let me know if I’m bastardizing the name/etc :))

But that’s not all, right? I mean, seriously… how can that be all?!   I didn’t get many good photos to speak of later until we had our team dinner (but who wants to see photos of my entire team.. I’m not sure if they want that out there, so I won’t share :))   But I did get to have a great interview with a great organization!

I’d like you to meet StudioE! They’re the folks who the customer/community of EMC’ers are able to leverage and other magical mysterious stuff.. I’d say watch the video to find out more, as well as visiting their website.. I’ve talked with some others who are in StudioE and from what I hear, it’s a great program to be a part of, makes me wish I were a customer!

EMC Community NetworkLinkedInFacebookTwitter

Being that they have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the new ECN… well, to tell you the truth, I dragged/stole the icons off of their site! Makes my work easier! :)

And on the final-final day I got the opportunity to attend what was a HIGHLY and HEAVILY attended session of the VPLEX Labs! (What does highly attended mean? After each lab session.. there were HUNDREDS waiting outside of the room ready to pile in to play with VPLEX.. I consider that to be fairly heavily attended :)) I heard there were similar things happening for the Unisphere demo labs as well, but hey… I like new juice and VPLEX is new! :)

What did I learn from the VPLEX session, well.. I learned… I’ll find out soon if (via access to the lab) whether I can expose some of the internals and share with you far more than you’d normally typically see! Oh, and be excited about some other things to come.. I talked with some groups and there will be some amazing things coming on the horizon over the next several months, which will equal a win for people all around!

So, in wrap-up, let me break down the high-lights of this past week and over the events of everything encountered!

  • Counting Crows put on a rocking concert, and apparently I do not remember nearly as many songs of theirs as I thought! (++)
    • I believe someone in my hotel at Colonnade stole my Counting Crows Concert glow cup, WTF?! Yea, no idea there, but it WAS in the room! (-)
  • EMC definitely knows how to put on a Bloggers Lounge! OMFG that was amazing and really a shining beacon for the community as a whole! (+++++)
    • EMC really has no idea how to coordinate the unique requirements of Vegans and Gluten Free folk, I wonder how Halal and Kosher is handled (—)
    • The Partner Pavilion was populated by the best of breed in industry who really knew how to engage and take care of the customers in attendance! (++)
      • VMware is a real stickler with their SWAG, making me ‘listen’ to their presentation and answer a question to win a T-Shirt #advertisingfail ;) (null)
      • (Disclaimer… I merely hovered nearby at the end and knew all of the answers they were positing, I told them I could run the preso if they wanted)
  • Labs, Labs, Labs – Wow, people could not get enough of these! Every one in attendance was a clear winner who got time with those (+++++)
  • I lost my voice by the third day.   Imagine me barely able to speak, well, an extremely distorted version of my voice total suck (null)
  • Boston as a city took care of us, with numerous highlights and an accommodating Public Transportation (T-Line) (+++)
  • The Red Sox put on a great game which we had the opportunity to be a part of an amazing ecosystem of characters, they’re real family the fans. (+++++)
  • Brocade put on an OMFG great event the likes of which were unparalleled the whole week, well done!  Yes they were strict on attendance but they made sure me and my people (you people :)) were taken care of, so I commend them for that, and a special shout out to @charleshood of! (+++++)
  • Emulex put on a good event too, but I didn’t show up until the end, so I cannot really speak to the full character of the event but I heard good things from other attendees, so champion for Emulex (I do like Emulex, and they’re not paying me to say this – and I don’t drink nor eat food at events, so it’s not like they’re convincing me somehow :)) (+++)
  • Beantown Bash was pretty good, I did spend a fair amount of time trying to get my customers who forgot their badges into the event, so… that should have been communicated to them a little better of the importance of the badge (That, and find better ways for me to circumvent your security to get them in, and yes Security does not stop me from getting what I want) (null)
  • The TC Conference was by far the most amazing employee focused event I’d ever been to.  The care and attention and access we were given, both to our needs, driving us technically and enabling us as individual leaders, and not to mention the sheer number of our leaders who turned out to talk with us (not to us) including Joe Tucci, it’s no wonder this is one of the best places to work for (often not recognized outside of our walls).   If you were ever looking for a good reason to work with these rock stars, this event certainly shines as an example – Just let me know and I can get you in touch with hundreds of others who will tell you their take!

So in final… I’d like to thank EMC, the Partners and other Vendors, but most importantly the Customers which made all of this possible.   If not for you, well, there’d be no cool technology to be solving problems… and I’d have no reason to go out to Boston! :)

I hope you find these summaries and break downs useful, I know I will go back and reference it and probably end up getting yelled at about the SWAG (Hey, it’s for my customer! And it’s true, it is!   Don’t you dare tell me I can’t get my customer the little trinket you have, or you’ll find yourself staring down the gaze of an upset @cxi and I don’t get upset ;))

I hope you all had a great time, and I’d love to hear your take, experiences and more, and how to make the next one just as successful! (Anything you share I’ll be sure to communicate it upstream to people who will not only listen, but even take action!)

EMCWorld 2011 will be in Las Vegas, so that’ll be quite a unique experience… :)

In closing.. it’s good to be home with my family, and my dogs! I wish you all well and get ready for the onslaught… the technology is only getting better! :)

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Posted in Brocade, Education, emc, Storage | Comments (4)

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