Passed the CCIE Storage Lab!

I found out today that I passed the CCIE Storage lab!  It was a long and stressful journey and I glad I have finally made it.  I took my lab on Tuesday Oct 12, 2010 in San Jose.  San Jose is a beautiful city and hopefully I can go back there sometime (maybe to take another lab!).  I plan to post a writeup of some of my preparation and what I feel were some of the essential ingredients.  Also some of the mistakes I made along the way, which hopefully will save some others time and money.  It is definitely a worthwhile journey.  Storage is increasingly an even more important part of the network as it ever was.   Storage networks and data networks are converging into unified networks.  There will be a surge in advanced technology surrounding these areas and continued increased professional services for many years as companies convert from FC to IP based storage technologies.  The Cisco MDS runs the same OS as NX-OS used in the Nexus switches.  The work done on the CCIE Storage can be leveraged to help understand the Nexus 1k, 2k, 5k and even the 7k.

There are only approximately 150 CCIE Storage certified engineers in the world.  The program has been around for over 5 years.  Having the CCIE Storage does not just show Cisco MDS knowledge.  It involves expert understanding of Fibre Channel technologies and storage architecture.  In my journey I also got my Storage Design and Support Specialist certifications from Cisco.  All the things learned about RPO/RTP, fan-in/fan-out, replication, IOps, zoning, security, etc are important regardless of the underlying vendor.

I encourage anyone who is interested to seek this certification and contribute to the Cisco CCIE Storage Study group which can be a valuable resource.  I will continue to blog here as I learn exciting new stuff with the MDS and other technology.

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10 Responses to Passed the CCIE Storage Lab!

  1. miroslaf says:

    Wow… Congratulation !!!
    Your blog is the best in industry (Storage Networking). Please don’t stop 🙂

  2. Ryan B says:

    Great job! From what I’ve heard the stoage track isn’t easy, congratulations on getting through it.

    -Ryan, CCIE #5847 (R+S)

  3. Caio Oliveira says:


  4. Deepak says:

    Congratulations…I am on my way to pursue the lab possibly in Feb/March of 2011.Please post your preparations and tips.Yours is the only blog I found on the storage side which talks about CCIE-SAN…

    Again Many congrats

  5. Alkemyst says:

    Gratz…especially on doing this so quickly with an incredibily busy schedule.

    You are a monster.

    Get some sleep now 🙂

  6. Caio Oliveira says:

    Could you answer this questions:
    1) Is it a good approach to set up all domain IDs from the different VSANs on all the switches statically? Or is better to only do that if the question in the exam is asking?
    2) On which situations is better use the FM or DM instead of the CLI?

    • brian says:

      Well, it depends on how the question is worded and future tasks. I recommend to read through the guide so you can get an idea of what they are trying to ask you to do. I don’t think they would take off points because you configured a static domain, unless it went AGAINST what they were asking. But then again I am not a proctor so really don’t know. I can tell you I personally don’t do statics in lab unless I feel they are needing me too. In real life I would do statics always.

      I outline a few situations on my web site where I say that DM/FM may be beneficial. Some of the SET stuff, fcflows, DMM, verifying RBAC or even FICON port swaps can be useful via FM/DM.

  7. Paolo M. Serra says:

    BEST Congratulations!!!
    ..just a question..
    Did you follow the Cisco’s preparation materials for CCIE storage?

    Do you think which ones of these books are the best to read?? I’ve just read “Storage Networking Protocol Fundamentals” of Long and i think it is a very good one..
    THX a lot in advance

    • brian says:

      I followed a bit of it and a bit of my own. I will post more details and certainly I give alot of insight on my website. The main thing is the configuration guides, tech notes and command reference. I started with the Cookbook. I re-enforced my training using ieMentor which was probably the most valuable part of my training. I also did the ICSNS, IASNS and DCSNS courses via Partner e-Learning Connection, and spent ALOT of time on the rack.

  8. Hi,
    Please do not stop the blogging.

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