After preparing so long for my CCIE Storage written exam, I decided to take the DCSNS 642-357 (Designing Cisco Storage Network Solutions) and ICSNS 642-359 (Implementing Cisco Storage Networking Solutions) exams. These tests are requirements for the Cisco Data Center Storage Networking Design Specialist and Cisco Data Center Storage Networking Support Specialist certifications.
As part of my preparations for CCIE Storage written, I went through the ICSNS, IASNS and DCSNS training available to me as an employee of a Cisco partner. I thought the training was pretty good. Not only does it help prepare you for the CCIE written, but it was primarily written for the preparation of these certifications, so it only makes sense to pass these tests and pickup two storage certifications.
The tests of ICSNS/DCSNS vs. CCIE Storage are very different. I have to stop short of giving any details, as that would be against the rules, however its clear if you look at the syllabus for each that there are differences. Also it only makes sense that the CCIE test is going to be significantly more difficult.
Like with the CCIE Storage written, there are not alot of commercial materials written just for the passing of these tests. You have to utilize documentation on Cisco.com as well as training available such as ICSNS, IASNS and DCSNS. I wanted to take these tests while knowledge was fresh in my head from preparation of my CCIE Storage exam. Now that this is over, 100% of my development time will goto the pursuit of my CCIE lab exam. I have already been logging many hours on my equipment and continue to make strides toward my goal. I am currently shooting for possibly the August timeframe for taking my lab exam.