EMC Data Center Architect – Achieved!!!!

Some of you may be aware that EMC announced a new certification back in December 2010 called EMC Data Center Architect (EMCDCA).  They released this certification with four tracks and also released other certifications such as the Cloud Architect certification.  The certification has four different paths:


  • Storage Networking
  • Information Availability
  • Information Storage Security
  • Storage Service Management

I of course went for the Storage Networking path, since I have a very diverse storage networking background.  The test formats are rather Open and vendor agnostic, which is something that makes it appealing to anyone working with storage from any vendor.  EMC’s introductory certification the EMCISA which is based on their Information Storage Management curriculum is a similar open format.

I am not aware of many people at all that have achieved EMC DCA.  I think it requires a pretty deep understanding of the topics at hand, and good preparation.  Similar to the Cisco CCIE Storage, which has only about 170 people who have passed it in the 6-7 years the program has been in inception, there likely won’t be tons of people knocking this down.  EMC does however have a formal class and VILT so we shall see, its a lot of information to cover and it is certainly doable.  I did not take the class or purchase the VILT, but rather, I had previously been reading just about every whitepaper, design guide, training and other materials EMC has available on Powerlink.  I work for an ASN partner so I have some additional training access as well.  I can safely say all the information is out there on EMC’s web site in one form of document or another.

EMC has done a great job with Powerlink lately, I think things are getting sorted and indexed much better than previously and I am finding it very easy to get all the information I need.

To prepare for EMC DCA I was already on a roll having spent a ton of time studying for my EMCTA SI2, and NX and NS certifications.  So I tried to leverage that as much as possible. I downloaded all the PDF’s/whitepapers on EMC and just religiously read them on my iPad whenever I would have free time, which wasn’t much, but believe me I killed myself to get this done.  The fact that its such as new certification, and I know of virtually no one who has passed it, makes it hard to get any supporting insight into what to expect.

The course outline likely breaks it down better but off the top of my head its got: Storage Networking (no surprise), project methodology and planning, business case studies, capacity planning, design and integration, virtualization and cloud architectures…..that’s just to name a bit.

What I really wish, is that EMC would give those who pass EMC DCA a pass to EMC World  :).  They give a free pass to the first 50 people who complete Cloud Architect.  I have looked at it.  Not sure my knowledge aligns well with it, but “Cloud” is a bit of an abstract concept depending on which vendor is pitching it.  We will see.  I do like the concept of cloud and I think I have done a good job in keeping up with each vendors vision of the cloud, ultimately landing with IT as a Service.   No doubt that is where this industry is going to end up, everything being abstracted and virtualized down to more simplified service offerings, where not as much time needs to be spent doing many of the more medial issues of today in deploying applications.

In any case, I am totally stoked I got this done.  I plan to finish out my EMC studies over the next few weeks and move on to concentrate heavily on NetApp, which I am very excited about and looking forward too.  On my About Page I always have a list of what I am working on, and it’s quite the task at the moment, but the good thing is all of these technologies work together.  The concepts between EMC, NetApp, SNIA, etc are very similar.  When I study, I go very deep, try to understand everything I can about a technology, prepare a lot up front and then go for the tests.  I have drank a lot of EMC Kool-Aid these last few months for sure.

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