This was a tough exam! I failed on the first attempt but was pretty close to the passing score. Luckily at the end of the exam, you get a print out reporting on each area of the exam (review the exam objectives below) so it was a case of going back to the books and reading the weak areas whilst also ensuring I did enough touch upon the areas I was strong on. The second attempt was a pass.
It is also worth noting I have been working with some of the equipment (Nexus, UCS) for a couple of years now in my current role, I use the UCSM manager on a daily basis so have ‘hands-on’ experience.
Below you will find the resources I used during my studies in pressuring the DCICT exam to obtain the Cisco CCNA Data Centre. I felt there was not too much material out there compared to the CCNA Routing & Switching, I guess this is because the Routing & Switching path is the preferred path for network engineers. Nevertheless, I found studying for the CCNA Data Centre very helpful in giving me more exposure to the Nexus line of switches and the Cisco Unified Computing System.
Before studying for any type of certification I always head on over to Exam objectives to get a feel for what I need to learn in order to pass the exam. The DCICT 200-155 exam objectives can be found here. In addition to this Cisco has a study material page breaking down the material required to pass the exam with some useful video links also, this can be found here.
A quick dirty mind map I created can be found here
I did not come across many books on Amazon… therefore I went with the official cert guide by Navaid Shamsee et al. I normally find the official guides very dry so was hesitate to buy this but giving there was very little choice… To be fair the book is good and includes the material you need to pass the exam. Though as a visual learner I needed to supplement this with videos.
The approach I took was to read a chapter and if there was something I was not quite sure on, I would to try and emulate this in a LAB environment along with sourcing further material to help me better understand i.e. Cisco docs, Pluralsight or YouTube (I love videos!).
Online Training / Videos
The following Pluralsight courses & YouTube videos complemented the official cert book very well:
- Cisco CCNA Data Center: Intro to Data Center Networking By Chris Wahl
- Cisco CCNA Data Center: Nexus, Advanced Switching & SAN by Chris Wahl
- Cisco CCNA Data Center: Unified Fabric, UCS, & Network Services by Chris Wahl
- Switching Configuration for CCNA Data Center (200-150/200-155) by Greg Dickinson
- Data Center Infrastructure for CCNA Data Center (200-150/200-155) by Greg Dickinson
- Routing for CCNA Data Center (200-150/200-155)by Greg Dickinson
Get 50% off your subscription when you use this link.
LumosConsulting over on Youtube has some good videos, on Cisco ACI you can find the playlist here > https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClzKhGbl3TTJoUPpYxGHV2A/playlists
The following video explained ACI domains ver nicely: How Devices Connect to the Fabric: Understanding Cisco ACI Domains by Tech Field Day
If you do not have access to a UCS lab environment Cisco has a UCS Platform Emulator that you can spin up in a virtual environment. Very useful to get familiar with the interface and make changes to see what the end result would be. Currently, UCS version 2.2+ (exam based on this) and 3.0+ are available.
I found the practice exams from Boson ($99) to be great and mimicked the exam (not brain dumps) very closely. The questions are tough but put you in good stead for the exam, gives clear explanations and references the official cert book and links to Cisco material for further reading.
The Last date to take this exam is February 23, 2020. Therefore plan your studies accordingly and allow enough time to take the exam and to be double safe I would buffer in time for an exam retake. You must wait for 5 days to retake.
- You can book the exam via Pearson Vue, make sure your name on your PerarsonVue account matches the ID you’re bringing
- Make sure you have two forms of ID as per PearsonVue requirements
- Get a good nights sleep
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early – Most exam centres I have been to have allowed me to enter early if there is space.
- The exam is 90 minutes and consists of around 55-65 questions
- Cisco does not disclose passing scores, but typically they are scored 800~ out of a maximum of 1000.
- Read the question carefully! Misreading could change the dynamics of the question and thus lead you to answer incorrectly.
- You have roughly 1 min 30 seconds for each question, I would aim to answer in less than this, as it will allow more time for the tricky questions that will require more thought. Practice your timings using something like the Boson ExSim mentioned.
- If you do happen to fail on the first attempt, make a note on the topics you felt you struggled with as soon as you get out of the exam, you do not want to leave it until you get home only to have forgotten!
I hope these resources proved valuable and I wish you all the best with passing this exam! Feel free to reach out to me via the contact form / social media if you have any questions.
This will be my last certification for a few months as my partner and I are expecting our firstborn so the learning will shift to working out how to operate a little human (never changed a nappy in my life)! Happy and exciting times ahead \o/