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Brocade Certification Update: News Exams & Free Training

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Lots of new stuff going on in the Brocade certification program these days. Thanks to an update from Joe Cannata, Brocade's Senior Manager of Certification, I've recently been informed about new and upcoming certifications, training offerings and program news all straight from the source at Brocade University.

One of the best things about working in a particular technology patch over a period of time is the personal relationships that develop as people get to know each other. In my case, I've been lucky enough to strike up a regular correspondence and interaction with Joe Cannata, one of the movers and shakers in the Brocade certification program based out of Alpharetta, GA. Just last week, I got a news filled email from Joe that covers a wide variety of topics and milestones, which I'd like to share.

[Read: IT Career Paths & Certification Guides]

Brocade Passes the 30,000 Certification Mark

On April 5, 2014, Brocade issued its 30,000 certification credential. I usually consider the issuance of a 10,000th credential to be something of a major credibility milestone for most IT certification programs. Brocade obviously passed that milestone a while back, and has now let that odometer click over two more times since then.

In numerous technology areas (especially internetworking, data center, fiber connectivity, storage, Ethernet fabric based switching, and more) Brocade offers some of the best and most highly-regarded IT certs around. Their latest animated video covers this program and its offerings, and comes to a tasty conclusion (which I've agreed not to spoil, so you'll have to watch it for yourself to see how it all ends).

Free Training on Brocade Ethernet Fabrics

In early March, Joe himself blogged for Brocade about what he described as a "Bridge to Brocade Ethernet Fabrics." This is a special promotion currently running at Brocade that makes a self-study course on Ethernet Fabrics (it's entitled Bridge to Ethernet Fabrics for Network Professionals [CEF 250-WBT]) available for free to already-certified Cisco an Brocade professionals with field experience.

The certification provides a shortcut path to the BCEFP (Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Professional) credential, which normally requires a BCNE (Brocade Certified Network Engineer) cert, or equivalent Layer 2 and basic Layer 3 routing knowledge, plus the Brocade Introduction to Fibre Channel Concepts (FC 101) course.

While this promotion is on, anybody with a BCNE, BCNP, CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE can take this course for free to get a leg up on the BCEFP exam, also available at no cost to those who obtain a promotional code while the offer remains valid.

New Ethernet Fabric Exams

Coming at the end of April, Brocade will launch two new Ethernet Fabric exams:

  • BAEFSS, or the Brocade Accredited Ethernet Fabric Support Specialist
  • The BCEFP exam goes into beta on 4/24/2014, which means it will probably go live in late June or sometime in July, depending on how long the beta period and subsequent analysis take to complete, and exam changes made, prior to final commercial exam release.

There's also a Certified Fabric Administrator Gen 5 Exam, which leads me to expect the admin level to be reflected somewhere at or below the base of the Brocade certification pyramid for fabric and related SAN technologies in the upcoming elaboration of the Brocade certification tracks in its pyramid model (which currently includes tracks for FICON, Converged Networking, Internetworking, and Data Center).

The accredited specialist certs are mostly intermediate level credentials, where the "Certified ... Professional" credentials lay the foundation for various technical specialties. In this case, we're talking Ethernet Fabric as the domain, with the BCEFP as the foundation, and the two specialist certs at the next level up in the pyramid. This looks very much like the beginning of a new certification track for Brocade, so we can expect their pyramid to gain a new face soon, at which point, it will exceed the capabilities of a physical pyramid, and move more solidly into the virtual realm; somehow, this seems quite apt.

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