Dec 03

Preparing for the Brocade BCNP Exam

I recently passed the Brocade Certified Network Professional (BCNP) exam. The BCNP is Brocade’s professional level Route/Switch certification exam.

Unlike Cisco, Brocade has not written study guides that can easily be purchased. Instead Brocade has published all of the information that you need to know in order to pass this exam for free. I found it refreshing not having to spend money on the study material. Even though the study material didn’t have a financial cost, I did find it to be a bit frustrating to pull it all together. With a bit of effort I was able to pull together all of the required materials. To reduce the frustration for you, I have listed the material below.

Here is the list of documents that I used.

BCNP Exam topics
BCNP Nutshell Guide (Your Main Study Guide)
Brocade Primer IP eBook
BCNP Extended Study Material (Once on page, scroll down for BCNP)
BCNP Practice Questions

When reading the IP Primer ebook, I only read the sections that covered the topics listed in the BCNP Exam Topics page.

The BCNP Extended Study Material site lists a handful of documents and page numbers to read.

For IPv6 knowledge, I used the Brocade IPv6 Fundamentals Web-Based Training. You can access this free IPv6 training after you log into, Click on “my education” –> “Brocade Training Portal”. You will find a section titled “Web-Based Training Search” Search for “IPv6 Fundamentals” and you will find the IPv6 Fundamentals web-based training.

If you are interested in attending an instructor led class you can search date and locations for the CNP 300 on the Brocade Web Site.

Overall I was a bit frustrated with all of the study material in multiple locations. I never really felt like I knew how in-depth I needed to know each topic or protocol. As I read through each document I would take notes in a notebook to review later.

The Exam Topics page was a very good reflection of what was covered on the exam for the Layer 2 and routing protocols. I was a bit confused on what “maintenance tasks” and “troubleshoot typical network problems” really included in the eyes of Brocade.

The BCNP 2012 exam was a straightforward exam. All of the questions were very clear on what they were asking. I didn’t feel like there were any trick questions. 90 minutes was allowed for 60 questions with a passing score of 60%. I do feel like the 60% passing score is low, but the test was not easy and if you are not well prepared, it would not be hard to fail.

If you are aware of other documents that would help with studying for this exam please reply and list them!!!
Please share your opinion of the exam if you have taken it!!!

Aug 06

Don’t forget to remove the fan tray screw on a Brocade SX800 chassis

When Brocade ships chassis switches, some of them have a single screw holding the fan tray in place. That screw is only there to keep the fan tray in place during shipping. Brocade does a good job of placing a yellow sticker on the front of the fan tray informing the tech to remove the screw before racking.

Recently one of my coworkers racked a Brocade SX800 and started cabling it. When I was in the data center, I noticed the yellow sticker was still on the chassis. I reached down and pulled on the fan tray to find that it wasn’t coming out.

My co-worker wasn’t pleased with himself when I informed him of the yellow sticker and the screw. He then unracked the SX800 and removed the screw.

I was glad that I found this before we had loaded the chassis up with clients, then had a fan failure. If that would have happened it would have been a lot of work just to get the fan tray replaced.

Have you have had to replace a fan tray that you couldn’t get out of a chassis?
If so, tell us about it and how much work and time it took!!

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