E20-501 Passed! EMCTA in sight……

After a very long time of preparation, I passed my EMC E20-501 “Commercial Storage and Information Infrastructure”.  This was a tough test.  There are so many topics to study from, it is a huge chunk of the entire EMC product portfolio!  When preparing for this test, I studied the CLARiiON and Celerra products in great depth.  I basically did the EMCTA level of NAS and SAN study, combined with the other product topics.  I did this so I could use my preparations time to prepare for three EMCTA’s simultaneously: SI2, CLARiiON and NAS (Celerra).  What this meant was an enormous amount of up front study and time before I even saw my first test, which was today.  But the good news for me is that most of the study is actually behind me and now I am just doing final test preparations for three remaining tests.

The topics I had to cover on the E20-501 were:


Product Version
CLARiiON, SnapView, MirrorView CX4 Ultrascale, Flare v.29
Navisphere v.6.29
SAN Copy v.6.29
Connectrix Brocade (B-series v.6.3 

Cisco (SAN OS 4.2, NX OS 4.2.x)

PowerPath v.5.4 with RSA
Celerra, Celerra Manager, Celerra Replicator Dart v.5.6
Rainfinity FMA v.7.3
Centera Gen 4, Centrastar v.4.1
Networker v.7.6
Avamar v.5.0
EMC Disk Library (EDL) EDL 5000
Data Domain DDOS 4.7
Data Protection Advisor (DPA) v.5.5
VMware vSphere v.4.0
Recover Point v.3.2
Replication Manager v.5.2
Envision V3.7
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) V7.0

I had a lot going for me in that I already knew the Connectrix line extremely well.  Most of my studies were on the CLARiiON, Centera and Celerra.  I have been studying for my VMware VCP and took the FastTrack 4.1 class so that was another series of product I knew pretty well.  I was also previously an EMC Accredited SE so my familiarity with many of the other technologies was already there I just had to go deeper.  In the end it was great studying for E20-501, as many of these products are pretty cool to work with and have some interesting integrations between them.

The next test is E20-322 which is the Technology Architect Solutions Design exam.  This exam is in common for all EMC TA certification tracks.  It’s really more of the practical solution design of the many products I have been studying.  In the course of studying these products you learn quite a bit about how they should be designed and deployed.  There is also the EMC Solutions Design e-learning and workshop which is beneficial.  I hope to have this test taken down within 1 week (probably less) since I have already studied all the material.

Shortly to follow will be the E20-520 CLARiiON Solutions Specialist and E20-540 NAS Specialist exams, giving me three EMC TA Specialist level certifications.  There has been a tremendous amount of studying involved.  I have read everything I can get my hands on, on EMC Powerlink such as all the Techbooks, Quickstart trainings, numerous VILT’s, my previous ISM, Accreditation and SAN/Storage Studies, Navisphere Simulator, and Celerra VSA.  The hardest of them all is the SI2 studying because of all the different products.

Finally I will complete my studies with EMCIE in NAS and SAN.  At some point I could take the SI2 TA, NAS and SAN IE’s to the “Expert” level but for now I will be very glad just to have achieved so much with EMC.  My professional development plan for this year is as aggressive as ever.  After the EMC studies I will engage in my NetApp NCDA, and two NCIE’s, followed by finishing my SNIA SCSE, SCSA, and SCSN-E, VMware VCP4, and finally ITIL v3 Foundations.  Longer term I hope to take down my VMware VCAP DCA.  The reality is I am using much of this stuff all the time, so the training side is happening very much in parallel.  You can’t study the hell out of NetApp, EMC and Cisco MDS and not learn relevant material toward SNIA certifications for example.

Key push for me to finish these EMC trainings is the fact that EMC will be refreshing it’s certification tests soon.  I had all the VILT’s I needed for these versions of the exams so its important I finish these EMCTA’s by April 15th for sure!  Everything with EMC is going VNX centric, but as we all know the CLARiiON and Celerra products will be out there in the field, supported and used for quite a long time.

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