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Community Member



Besides gaining access

to the Cisco PEC learning center lab and Websites that offer Rack time, are there any other

ways to gain Hands-On experience with the equipment that is required for the CCIE SAN? Anything that includes Simulators, Emulators, Demo's, any Books that include demo's and/or command-line/Fabric Manager practice, purchasing equipment for a reasonable price from any resellers or ebay-like websites?

Any thoughts, comments, or ideas from anyone, including current CCIE SAN recipents would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Community Member

Re: CCIE SAN Hands On

You can take some cisco authorized training from a learning partner like firefly and usually those classes include time on equipment, either with your own pod or sharing one.

I built my own lab.  It was not cheap and it can take a while to track everything down.  Additionally the heat output of 4 JBOD's, 4 servers, 3 MDS, McData, Brocade, PAA, gig switch, terminal server, etc is quite high.  You would need 3-4 dedicated circuits and cooling can be an issue if its stored in a regular room.

You can rent time at  Additionally they have very good lab study materials.  I bought their lab book and walkthrough books, as well as the fiber channel bench reference.  I am a CCIE and I can tell you that these materials are of the highest quality.  I am not affiliated with iementor in any way, I am just a candidate like yourself studying for CCIE Storage.

$10,000 is a good budget for a decent storage lab, but you may be able to pay a little more or less.  My lab has for example:

1 Catalyst 3750G

1 Cisco 2511 terminal server

1 PAA-2

1 Brocade silkworm switch

1 Mcdata ES-3016

3 Cisco MDS 9216A with SMIP-8 modules

4 HP DL360 G3 servers with dual HBA's

2 public loop JBOD's with 6 drives in them

2 private loop JBOD's with 6 drives in them

tons of gbics, cables, etc

3 APC remote control power strips

Lastly you need alot of time.  You have to build the servers, cable everything, rack it and set everything up.  The noise is quite loud from the above equipment and the heat output is more than you would think.  I keep my equipment at work, in a server room.

I think the renting of rack time is a smart option.  The PEC labs are pretty good btw, although a fraction of what you need for the CCIE lab, they cover many major topics.


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