I Am a CCNA Data Center Bad Ass!



I cleared the CCNA Data Center this week. It felt a little silly since I have been teaching NP level classes for Data Center for a long time now.

Thank you so much to 1ExamAMonth.com  ! I purchased their practice exam for the 640-911 DCICN exam and that was the only resource I needed. This is like CCNA with some Data Center basics thrown in. It was strange to see questions about hubs and Token Ring in a Data Center exam, perhaps some technical editor was asleep at the wheel when those questions made the cut.

For the 640-916 DCICT exam prep,  I used a beta copy of the 1ExamAMonth.com practice exam. It was excellent preparation once again. I felt very comfortable with this exam, since again, I have been teaching the NP level courses. This exam was a bit more what you would expect from Cisco on the CCNA Data Center, although I was pretty annoyed with a bunch of questions that would require a candidate to memorize facts out of the product catalog for devices and modules. Fortunately, if you know your stuff, there are not enough of those questions to fail you in this exam. These questions were derived from the product tour sections of the Official Curriculum, so be sure to generate some flash cards from those materials. I expect the final exam prep product from 1ExamAMonth.com will also provide adequate prep on this information. Remember with the  1ExamAMonth.com practice exams to pay close attention to the explanation of the questions and not just the questions themselves.

Best of luck to all of you in this pursuit!


50 thoughts on “I Am a CCNA Data Center Bad Ass!

    1. No – I am going to clear the Security CCIE then target the Data Center. It looks like I will go CCNP Data Center, then CCIE Security, then CCIE Data Center.

    1. Nothing out yet really – CBT Nuggets will have a video solution starting in July! This will be unmatched I believe.

    1. Hello jeiji!

      Thank you for the awesome question. CCNA Data Center starts by reviewing the basics of computer networking – the technologies that have marked the last 15 years or so like basic routing and Layer 2 switching. It then quickly turns to the new technologies that are being used today to make IT organizations more cost effective and agile. Agile means that they can roll out new applications much more quickly and efficiently. The new devices from Cisco that are covered are Nexus switches, MDS storage equipment, and the Unified Computing System.

      The CCNA Data Center also introduces new technologies. For example – Spanning Tree Protocol begins to be shoved out of networks in exchange for technologies like FabricPath and Overlay Transport Virtualization.

      As I write about this cert – I am reminded of just how important it is. These technologies are not going way! The old ones are! 🙂

  1. Anthony, big fan of your blog and the CBT nugget videos. Question, can you provide a link to the 1examamonth 640-916 study guide? I can’t seem to locate it, and Kevin Wallace’s book that you recommended for the 640-911 exam was a big help for me to gauge my preparedness.

    Thanks! and keep doing what you’re doing! You, Jeremy Sequira, and Keith Barker have been a big help in me learning Cisco technologies!

    1. I spoke with Kevin and that study guide will get published next week! Check back with me on Monday in one week and I will see how he is doing with it.

          1. Sure – I spoke with 1ExamAMonth and it looks like it is a still a week or two out – but it is definitely coming. I will be tech editing so I will be sure to post on this blog when it is complete!!! It takes a long time because of the attention to quality.

  2. Hi Anthony,
    Congratulation dude !
    What do you recommend for exam preparing in addition to your DCICN and DCICT nuggets.

    Thank you.

  3. Anthoooony, I’m soo great full for your DCICN nuggets It helped me passing my exam. I will do the next exam DCICT in the few coming days then jump to the CCNP
    by the way, when you will announce the DCUFT nuggets ?

    Thank you very much man,

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. It looks like DCUFT will kick off after Storage+ is complete.

  4. Hi Anthony,

    I’ve got a CCNA and CCNP R&S. I currently am working for an MSP as a Network engineer with only 1 year of experience in Networking (3 year experience in other support roles in IT).

    Is CCNA Data Center for me? Am I experienced/qualified enough for the CCNA Data Center curriculum? How long do I need to study before I will be ready for the exam?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. You are ready! Attack it. In fact, I bet you could pass the first of two exams right now since it is mostly CCNA

  5. Hi Anthony,

    Would you recommend the datacenter track for someone just starting on their cisco cert journey. I have networking experience but most of my focus is on security, however I’d like to focus on cloud/virtual solutions to pair up what I already know. Getting lots of mixed reviews that suggest a router/switching foundation first. However I think SDN is the future and for the time, $$$ and energy I would prefer to go that route instead. What are your thoughts???


    1. Yes – I think it is an excellent place to start. The first exam covers the networking basics you need. CCNA Data Center is where you need to start focusing. I have training for that and many individuals have given it great reviews.

  6. I want to get my CCNA, just not sure whether to go Route/Switch or Data Center. If I go for CCNA Data Center, will I still learn the same route/switch info from CCNA Route/Switch path? I hear mixed reviews to always get a route/switch cert first.

    1. I would do R&S and then I would do Data Center. Yes, there will be some review in the Data Center part of your R&S, but that won’t hurt too badly. Your overall experience will be much richer.

        1. It is not the best since there are many Nexus layer 2 features still missing from VIRL. But what it most definitely is – the cheapest! 🙂 Rack rentals would be the best, but come at the cost of convenience, price, and most are going to be overly complex for a CCNA student.

  7. So I’ve been reading that the most current version of 640-911 has a bunch of Nexus hardware questions that are not on the blueprint. Can you tell me without being specific if that is accurate or not? I want to be ready to take this exam by the end of the month, but worry that the hardware questions are going to throw me off. By the way, I’m currently CCNP R/S so most of this seems like review.

    1. If it indeed does – which I doubt – it cannot be enough to fail you. I can assure you that my CBT Nuggets on this exam are accurate for the content covered. I cannot imagine Cisco messing with this exam too much now since the Version 2 is on the way.

  8. Actually I am just confused whether to go for CCNA DC or Security,could you please suggest.Currently I donot have any experience with Networking all my expereience is with Desktp Support.Need a change now.

    Please advice.

    1. I would recommend you do CCNA R&S, then CCNA Data Center, then CCNA Security. Then, whatever you find most interesting, specialize in and take to the CCNP level.

  9. Hi Anthony,

    I’m working on CCNA Datacenter, do you think CISCO VIRL will help me to build a lap? Please advice. Thank You

    1. It can help with the basics of NX-OS and a bunch of Layer 3 practice. Layer 2 is not really fully functional yet.

  10. hello!
    please, what’s the difference between ccna Datacenter and ccna cloud ?
    which one to choose? please advise.

    1. The short answer is that Data Center is more focused on the Cisco UCS solution. The Cloud has a much wider focus.

  11. Hi Anthony,

    With regards to the future of networking, what would you recommend as a study path to Cisco?

    I hold CCNA R&S but all i hear is virtualization etc. is going to take over the network engineering role.

    So in regards to the future where would be the best path to go? I am interested in both security and DC but im unsure that this is the correct path for the way things are going.

    Would this path be one thats going to be used in the future? – as I understand its changing, but security will never die.

  12. Hi sir,
    Can i pass the both dcicn and dcict exams of datacenter by watching your cat nuggets video course, or do I have to read the Cisco certification guide books for those two exams alongside too. What could be the best books to read and can you suggest a good nexus simulator for practice as well.

    1. Most indicate the Nuggets are enough. Cisco VIRL has an NX-OS inside. It lacks some Layer 2 features, but it gains features all the time.

  13. Anthony Sequeira May 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    No – I am going to clear the Security CCIE then target the Data Center. It looks like I will go CCNP Data Center, then CCIE Security, then CCIE Data Center.

    So Mr. Sequeira did you go exact same sequence or shuffled it? Please let me know I am about to follow the sequence as stated by you.

    1. I only have my CCIE in R&S. But if I still may make a suggestion – stay focused! So clear all of your security levels – THEN – go and study all of the Data Center. It is too difficult to jump around in tracks in my opinion.

      1. Namaste!

        Thank you so much for the response Mr. Sequeria.

        I have a Bachelors degree in Telecommunications.Currently I’m studying for CCNA R&S. I wanted to know,if interested in Security field, is it recommended to do CCNP R&S and the start from CCNA to CCIE security, —or— after CCNA R&S directly start with security —or— complete until CCIE R&S then move over to security.
        Sorry for making the query this big.
        Please guide me accordingly.

        Extremely thankful for the guidance until.

  14. May be same question like above but asking you again. Sorry for that.

    Right now I’m CCNP (R&S) certified & working in a Cisco partner. Now planning to move to DC track. It contains li’l bit wide knowledge, am I right? Shall I proceed? Yesterday I saw your CCNA DC tutorial 1st video. It was started with basic networking ie. OSI layer.

    What’s your advice Anthony?

  15. hello sir i want to which certifications best in ccna i confused ccna r&s or data center or security and so on which is the best for in carrier

    1. You will want to start with CCNA R&S for sure. Then move to the other disciplines that interest you.

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