New blog and new focus

I’ve tried doing this blog thing a few times.  I’d catch fire and put out stuff fairly quickly.  I’d suddenly change focus or find I didn’t have time to put in the effort that it took to keep a technology blog up and running with any currency.  Clearly I’m going to try and reverse that course and try and keep up. My current responsibilities include engineering VMware and NetApp solutions for our organization.  Given that I’m already certified VCP5, I’m shifting focus on fully learning all the technologies associated with NetApp.  With that in mind, I have decided to head down the certification path to help structure my learning of our NetApp purchases and all that they’re capable of.  The best structure that I’ve found for most technologies is to look at their certification path.  Certifications can be great at helping provide a blueprint of the best way to learn and apply technologies. 
NetApp has a few certificationsfor their products.  They range from Professional level to Specialist. 
  New blog and new focus
What this means to me is to look at the NetApp Certified Data Management Administrator, NCDA, NS0-154certification.  The exam covers several areas and they can each get very deep.  There is a study guide for the NS0-154 exam located here.  I plan on using it to help as my blueprint to structure the learning process on each topic.  Depending on workload and how well I can learn the material on my own, I may consider taking the NCDA training.  Once you purchase a NetApp product you’re provided quite a bit of free training materials on their web-based learning center.   You have to have a NOW account to access the site. 
Perhaps the biggest learning tool that I will be taking advantage of, and one that I’ve already been using quite a bit, is the ONTAP Simulator.   The simulator requires a NOW login as well and is only available to customers and partners.   This simulator allows you to run a virtual storage device that comes with a shelf of disk, the ONTAP software and nearly all the abilities of an actual piece of hardware with the exception of NVRAM and Fibre Channel.  I’ll be doing another post that goes into my lab configuration as well as getting the full benefit from the ONTAP simulator should you have access to it. 
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