Tuesday, 5 January 2021

NetApp Core Certs: NCDA (NS0-161) & NCIE-SAN (NS0-519)


Every so many years, I need to refresh my NCDA and NCIE-SAN. Really, if you time it right, you should just be refreshing the NCIE-SAN which refreshes the NCDA also (at least it used to work that way). I actually thought I had let both lapse but see from https://www.certmetrics.com/netapp/ that they don’t actually expire until 2021-Mar-05, which gives some time to prepare. Anyway...

If you’re looking to do the NCDA & NCIE-SAN, the key web pages to look at are:

Since I’m a veteran of doing many of these over the years (2012, 2015, 2018), I tend to skip the recommended NetApp University Web Based / Instructor Led courses, and just focus on the ‘View Exam Topics’ and ‘Reference Document (PDF)’ - essentially I’m only looking for new stuff which I’ve not come across. I have been known to turn up to the exam without doing any pre-study, but it’s best to look out for new stuff.

The reference document is an impressive and lengthy piece of work (covers all the NetApp Certification exams), currently the link (from the above links) is -


- I tend to look through that and the Exam Topics, see if there’s anything I need to swot up on, and use the appropriate references for the task.

And - from the above links, just written more succinctly - the exam topics are:

Exam Topics for NCDA ONTAP (NS0-161)

Storage Platforms: Describe ...
... knowledge of physical storage systems // ... software-defined on-premises or cloud storage systems // ... how to upgrade or scale ONTAP clusters

Core ONTAP: Describe ...
... ONTAP system management // ... high availability concepts // ... how to manage SVMs

Logical Storage: Describe ...
... how to use logical storage features // ... NetApp storage efficiency features // ... NetApp ONTAP Data Fabric solutions.

Networking: Describe how to use ...
... network components // Demonstrate knowledge of how to troubleshoot network components

SAN Solutions and Connectivity: Describe how to use ...
... SAN solutions // Demonstrate knowledge of how to troubleshoot SAN solutions

NAS Solutions: Describe how to use ...
... NAS solutions // Demonstrate knowledge of how to troubleshoot NAS solutions

Data Protection: Describe how to use ...
... ONTAP data protection solutions // ... SnapMirror // Identify MetroCluster concepts

Security: Describe ...
... protocol security // ... security hardening // ... inflight or at rest encryption // Identify SnapLock concepts

Performance: Demonstrate knowledge of how to ...
... administer ONTAP performance // ... troubleshoot storage system performance.

Exam Topics for NCIE-SAN, ONTAP (NS0-519)

ONTAP SAN solution assessment:
Identify ... all prerequisites for the installation of NetApp system, hosts, and FCP/FCoE switches are verified // ... a detailed inventory of SAN components.
Describe the solution design and the hardware provisioned to meet customer’s requirements and expectations.

ONTAP SAN planning:
Identify environmental and physical considerations. And describe these concepts:
storage controller configuration // switch configuration // host configuration // storage space utilization or management

 ONTAP SAN implementation and configuration: Demonstrate knowledge of ...
... clustered storage system node configuration tasks // ... SVM configuration tasks // ... clustered storage system FCP or NVMe configuration tasks // ... clustered storage system iSCSI configuration tasks // ... storage space utilization or management concepts
Describe how to configure ... switches // ... host systems 

ONTAP SAN implementation testing and troubleshooting: Demonstrate knowledge of ...
... testing tasks // ... troubleshooting tasks

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