AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

August 10, 2017 at 10:13 pm


Do you need to get up and running quickly with your System Operations Administration of Amazon Web Services (AWS)? My course is complete for you at CBT Nuggets. Click here to experience it!

This is the second course in our AWS library and there are MANY more to come over the coming months. ENJOY!

Here is the list of videos:

1. Course Introduction (3 min)
2. The AWS Free Tier (4 min)
3. Building an AWS Environment (8 min)
4. Architecting for AWS Best Practices (9 min)
5. Provision and Automate Cloud Resources (20 min)
6. OpsWorks (5 min)
7. Other Automation Methods (10 min)
8. Meet your Default Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) (9 min)
9. Creating Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) in AWS (19 min)
10. AWS Connectivity Features (11 min)
11. Introducing Elastic Load Balancing (8 min)
12. Creating an Elastic Load Balancer (8 min)
13. Relational Database Services (RDS) (10 min)
14. Backups (10 min)
15. Disaster Recovery in AWS (7 min)
16. The Shared Responsibility Model (3 min)
17. AWS Identity and Access Management (11 min)
18. Data Integrity and Access Controls (7 min)
19. Prepare for Security Assessment Use (7 min)
20. Enforcing Compliance Requirements (3 min)
21. AWS Pricing (8 min)
22. Monitor and Manage Billing and Cost Optimization Processes (5 min)
23. Monitor Availability and Performance (10 min)

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What is AWS?

June 20, 2017 at 8:18 pm


I am taking careful notes on the incredible AWS course at CBT Nuggets for AWS Technical Essentials. Enjoy the notes for this first Nugget in the course – What is AWS?

  • “The Cloud” – specifically the public cloud
  • CBT Nuggets, GMAIL, DropBox are all valid examples of common cloud usage today
  • Access everywhere
  • SaaS (Software as a Service)
  • Pool of resources; multi-tenant; rapid provisioning; on-demand (as-a-service); like a utility bill; scalability; elasticity
  • Cost effective; easy to “on-ramp”
  • Hybrid – part of your usage is in the public cloud while part of it is in your private cloud
  • 1995 –; 2006 – AWS; 2009 – RDS; 2011 – Elastic Beanstalk; 2016 – Lambda
  • Regulations compliance is also available in AWS

The Quiz Questions – Be sure to post your answers in the comments below:

  • Rapid provisioning allows you to very quickly spin up a new virtual machine with minimal effort. True or false?
  • As Ben describes it, a hybrid setup is one in which part of your resources are in AWS, and the rest are with another cloud provider. True or false?
  • In what year did Amazon release Amazon Web Services?
    • a) 1995
    • b) 2006
    • c) 2016
    • d) 2008


Pearson Education (InformIT)

Transferring and Seizing Operations Master Roles

March 16, 2017 at 9:37 pm



Here is a section from my dear friend Ben Finkel’s upcoming text – MCSA 70-742 Cert Guide: Identity with Windows Server 2016

Remember, if you need a refresher on the FSMO roles, see my post here.

Transferring and Seizing Operations Master Roles

The Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) roles described earlier in this blog are important pieces for a functioning AD DS deployment. Occasionally you may need to transfer the role from one DC to another. For example, if a controller is being retired or shutdown you will want to transfer the role to another DC prior to that. If the need arises to move these roles from their current DC, there are different management tools required for each role. The following summarizes the tools:

  • RID: Active Directory Users and Computers
  • PDC: Active Directory Users and Computers
  • Infrastructure Master: Active Directory Users and Computers
  • Domain Naming Master: Active Directory Domains and Trusts
  • Schema Master: Active Directory Schema Snap-In

To change the RID, PDC, or Infrastructure Master role you need to “seize” it from the current master:

  1. Log onto the domain controller that you wish to host the role.
  2. Start Server Manager from either the Start Menu or the Taskbar.
  3. From the navigation menu on the left choose AD DS.
  4. Right-click your server in the contents pane and click Active Directory Users and Computers. NOTE: This ensures you are launching Active Directory Users and Computers on the domain controller you want to transfer the role to.
  5. Right-click the domain in the left-hand pane and select Operations Masters…
  6. On the Operations Masters dialog, choose the tab for the role you wish to seize (RID, PDC, and Infrastructure are available).
  7. Note the current master is listed, and the current machine name is in the second text box. To seize the role click Change…
  8. Click Yes to confirm.
  9. Once the transfer is complete click OK.

To change the Domain Naming Master you need to “seize” it from the current master:

  1. Log onto the domain controller that you wish to host the role.
  2. Start Server Manager from either the Start Menu or the Taskbar.
  3. From the navigation menu choose AD DS.
  4.  Right-click the server and click Active Directory Domains and Trusts.
  5.  Right-click the Active Directory Domains and Trusts in the left-hand pane and select Operations Masters… (Note:  Right-click on the top-level node that reads Active Directory Domains and Trusts, not on the domain itself).
  6. Note the current master is listed, and the current machine name is in the second text box. To seize the role click Change…
  7. Click Yes to confirm.
  8.  Once the transfer is complete click OK.

To change the Schema Master you will first need to activate the Schema snap-in:

  1. Log onto the domain controller that you wish to host the role.
  2. Open a command prompt.
  3. Type regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll and press Enter.
  4. Click OK on the success dialog.
  5.  At the command prompt type mmc.exe and press Enter.
  6.  The MMC window will launch. Click File then select Add/Remove Snap-in…
  7.  Select the Active Directory Schema snap-in from the list of Available snap-ins on the left then click Add >
  8. Click OK.
  9. On the MMC window click to select the Active Directory Schema snap-in. Two folders, classes and attributes, should show up on the right.
  10. Right-click the Active Directory Schema and select Operations Master… (Note: You might need to right click and choose
  11. first to ensure you are configuring the correct DC)
  12.  Note the current master is listed, and the current machine name is in the second text box. To seize the role click Change…
  13. Click Yes to confirm.
  14. Once the transfer is complete click OK.

InformIT (Pearson Education)

200-155 DCICT Exam Contents for CCNA Data Center Version 6.0

March 5, 2017 at 8:43 am



In the previous post on this subject, we discussed the changes from the “old” DCICT exam to the “new” 200-155. In this blog post, I lay out the exact exam topics you need to master in order to pass this exam.

The 200-155 Exam Topics

Here are the exam topics. Note that the percentage shown for each major topic domain indicates the number of questions in your exam that will come from that section! I also resisted the temptation to do a bunch of formatting for this blog post on this list of topics. This is so that you can easily copy and paste this list into the tracking software of your choice as you study.

1.0 Unified Computing – 25%
1.1 Describe common server types and connectivity found in a data center
1.2 Describe the physical components of the Cisco UCS
1.3 Describe the concepts and benefits of Cisco UCS hardware abstraction
1.4 Perform basic Cisco UCS configuration
1.4.a Cluster high availability
1.4.b Port roles
1.4.c Hardware discovery
1.5 Describe server virtualization concepts and benefits
1.5.a Hypervisors
1.5.b Virtual switches
1.5.c Shared storage
1.5.d Virtual Machine components
1.5.e Virtual Machine Manager

2.0 Network Virtualization – 17%
2.1 Describe the components and operations of Cisco virtual switches
2.2 Describe the concepts of overlays
2.2.a OTV
2.2.b NVGRE
2.2.c VXLAN
2.3 Describe the benefits and perform simple troubleshooting of VDC STP
2.4 Compare and contrast the default and management VRFs
2.5 Differentiate between the data, control, and management planes

3.0 Cisco Data Center Networking Technologies – 26%

3.1 Describe, configure, and verify FEX connectivity
3.2 Describe, configure, and verify basic vPC features
3.3 Describe, configure, and verify FabricPath
3.4 Describe, configure, and verify unified switch ports
3.5 Describe the features and benefits of Unified Fabric
3.6 Describe and explain the use of role-based access control within the data center infrastructure

4.0Automation and Orchestration – 15%
4.1 Explain the purpose and value of using APIs
4.2 Describe the basic concepts of cloud computing
4.3 Describe the basic functions of a Cisco UCS Director
4.3.a Management
4.3.b Orchestration
4.3.c Multitenancy
4.3.d Chargeback
4.3.e Service offerings
4.3.f Catalogs
4.4 Interpret and troubleshoot a Cisco UCS Director workflow

5.0 Application Centric Infrastructure – 17%
5.1 Describe the architecture of an ACI environment
5.1.a Basic policy resolution
5.1.b APIC controller
5.1.c Spine leaf
5.1.d APIs
5.2 Describe the fabric discovery process
5.3 Describe the policy-driven, multitier application deployment model and its benefits
5.4 Describe the ACI logical model
5.4.a Tenants
5.4.b Context
5.4.c Bridge domains
5.4.d EPG
5.4.e Contracts

Pearson Education (InformIT)

The New 200-155 DCICT Exam for CCNA Data Center

March 4, 2017 at 3:51 pm


Overview of the DCICT Exam

The CCNA Data Center has finally revised! This certification has lunged from version 1 to version 6. The CCNA Data Center is still made up of two exams you must pass. These exams have no prerequisites.  This post focuses on the new Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking Technologies (DCICT) exam. In a previous post, we did this for the first of the two exams – DCICN.

The Old DCICT Exam

Are you interested in squeaking out the old DCICT exam? Its number is 640-916 and your last day to test is April 11, 2017. If you are interested in my training course for this exam, it can be found here at CBT Nuggets until its retirement.

This “old” exam featured these major sections and exam percentages:

1.0 Cisco Data Center Fundamentals Concepts 30%
2.0 Data Center Unified Fabric 20%
3.0 Storage Networking 18%
4.0 Data Center Virtualization 14%
5.0 Unified Computing 17%
6.0 Data Center Network Services 1%

The New DCICT Exam

The new exam features these major sections and exam percentages:

1.0 Unified Computing 25%
2.0 Network Virtualization 17%
3.0 Cisco Data Center Networking Technologies 26%
4.0 Automation and Orchestration 15%
5.0 Application Centric Infrastructure 17%

What was removed from the old exam to the new and what was added? Here are the biggest areas:


  • Removed Cisco Data Center Fundamentals topics including SAN have removed
  • Removed network design models
  • Moved and expanded Storage Networking, including SAN, Fibre Channel, and IP Storage topics into 200-150 DCICN
  • Removed Network Services topics such as load balancers, Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) and Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS)

Added or Changed:

  • Expand virtualization of compute and network
  • Overlay and underlay, control plane and data plane
  • Basics of cloud computing
  • Automation and orchestration of data center infrastructure including Cisco UCS Director basic functions
  • Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) including the architecture of an ACI environment, the policy-driven application deployment model, and the ACI logical model

In the next post – I will provide you with the complete topic list for this new DCICT exam!
InformIT (Pearson Education)