June 20, 2017

Preparation for CCNP Cloud Certification

Today (19/06/2017) I passed Cisco 300-465 exam so I want to share how to prepare to it without taking any external training. Only self-study, hope someone will find it useful. In this post I will provide the list of preparation materials and resources, which will help to pass Designing the Cisco Cloud exam (CLDDES).

First of all you need to check exam topics on Cisco Learning Network - CLDDES Exam Topics I recommend also to look at authorized training. Partners provide official training, just find any through the partner locator and copy study topics, it will be useful to have.

Practice part. Register on dCloud portal using your Cisco ID. Complete all UCS, IAC, PSC labs. Very important to complete them if you don't work with these products. Additionally it is recommended to download and install trial versions of UCS Director, UCS Manager, IAC and Intercloud Fabric software in Lab environment.

Below are the topics that must to be studied before taking an exam (most of them from Study Materials with my amendments). In conjunction with labs above they will provide the best experience and understanding the material. I do not provide the links because it seems that Cisco doesn't treat links properly (many broken links, removed, non available links, to be honest a sad story). So just search or google search the information on Cisco site by the following topics:
1. Get Started with Cisco UCS Director.
2. Introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud.
3. Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud.
4. Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Data Sheet.
5. Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 4.3.2 Installation Guide.
6. Cisco UCS Director Fundamentals Guide, Release 6.0
7. Cisco UCS Director Administration Guide, Release 6.0.
8. Cisco Prime Service Catalog.
9. Cisco Prime Service Catalog datasheet.
10. Cisco Prime Service Catalog Plan and Build Service datasheet.
11. Cisco Prime Network Services Controller.
12. IT as a Service with Cisco Prime Service Catalog and UCS Director.
13. Cisco Cloud Accelerators.
14. Enterprise Platform as a Service.
15. Understanding Cisco Cloud Fundamentals.
16. FlexPod Overview.
17. FlexPod at a glance - Simplified Multivendor Support for Your FlexPod.
18. FlexPod Infrastructure Automation.
19. FlexPod Datacenter with VMware vSphere 6.5 Design Guide.
20. FlexPod Data Center with Cisco Nexus 7000 and NetApp MetroCluster for Multisite Deployment.
21. FlexPod Data Center with Microsoft Fast Track Private Cloud 3 Design Guide.
22. FlexPod Data Center with Microsoft Private Cloud v3 Design Guide.
23. Vblock Systems.
24. Cisco Solutions for VSPEX.
25. Cisco Solutions for EMC VSPEX.
26. Cisco UCS Director VSPEX Implementation Guide.
27. Cisco Intercloud Fabric Security Features Technical Overview.
28. Cisco Intercloud Fabric Architectural Overview.
29. Cisco Intercloud Fabric Provider Platform Architecture.
30. Cisco VMDC Cloud Security 1.0 Design Guide.
31. Cisco Cloud Security Solutions.
32. Cisco Secure Network Container Multi-Tenant Cloud Computing.
33. Cisco Cloud Security Architecture: Un-Cloaking Invisible Threats.

Additionally you should be able to understand the following (it includes some tips after passing the exam):
1. Difference and case usage of VXLAN and OTV.
2. VMware VM migration procedure and requirements (hot, cold, vMotion etc).
3. Deep Packed Inspection (DPI) principles and usage.
4. Context aware infrastructure.
5. Cisco Virtual WAAS (vWAAS) is a virtual appliance
6. Pay attention on on Stack Designer.
7. WMware datastores, VM disk formats (thin, thick etc).
8. File-level and block lever storage, usage and difference.
9. Application Centric Infrastructure 
10. Pay attention on multi-site HA/DRS solutions, license requirements etc.
11. Integration part of PSC with UCS director.

Overall impression after passing an exam is a bit frustrated as documentation and study material is not up to date and spread across so it was wasted much time just trying to find information.

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