First step with Brocade networking......

The new estate that I look after has some Brocade switches (well planned at time of writing), as a result I thought I should start to gain some knowledge of their area. While getting access sorted  to the myBrocade (like CCO) pages I started to look around the certifications site. The first that jumped out was the Brocade Certified IP Network Engineer (BCNE), probably as it looked similar to the CCNA. During my navigation I stumbled across a voucher for a free exam (here). I though what the hell I would schedule the exam to get a feel for how Brocade see the networking certification world.

The Brocade certification site gives you a number of study guides so I downloaded a couple (BCNE & BCNP) as well as their IP Routing Primer and started reading them on my iPad. Unsurprising the concepts and technologies don’t differ to much from the other vendors, they have their own proprietary version of things but which vendor doesn’t.

When the exam date came around I strolled down to my local PearsonVue centre and about 45 minutes later walked out with a pass. The pass mark was 53% and I was around the 80% mark. A couple of things surprised me about the exam, the first the pass mark seemed low, the second that I actually enjoyed doing the exam! I cast my mind back to the days when I started my CCNA (back in 2002)  which was a nice bit of reminiscing. It is very much like any of the Cisco multi-choice however with the big difference of the questions making sense and not ridiculous. At the time I did it you could also go backwards. The other good thing to come out of the exam was the noodle bar that I found near the exam centre on the way back to my office.

The objectives of the certification are;

  • Layer 1/Hardware Concepts
  • Layer 2 Switching Protocols
  • General Layers 2/3 Concepts
  • Routing Concepts
  • General Layers 2/3 Concepts
  • Access Control (ACL) Concepts
  • Quality of Service (QoS) Concepts
  • Wireless Concepts
  • Network Security, Management and Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting

The main areas I lost marks on I think where related to the Brocade specific CLI in which I have had limited exposure to. I plan to start compiling a list of Cisco, Brocade and other vendors commands putting them side by side as a quick look up table

The bad new is it now looks like I have more things to learn :-) The Brocade Certified Layer 4-7 Engineer might be the next one or their Designer exam as I want to get fully up to speed on  products they have (nice way of testing that I do know the product sets).

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