It sure took me a while to read through the tons of performance related materials, but I admit that having done the Clariion IE Expert, Clariion TA and of course the latest VNX IE Expert and VNX TA Expert exams also helped. I got my invitation to join the USPEED gang a little over a year ago, in early 2013 and just like my fellow colleagues I was swamped in work and unable to even start reading through all the material.
During a beta I did for EMC in February ’14 I became interested again in actually getting that certification and all the goodies that come with it and I started reading and testing myself. For a test I just did the free VNX IE Specialist and Expert test exams as well as the TA specialist and expert exams: these are wonderful exams that can prepare you to actually enter the major league of storage gods (ahem).
Within the company I work for, Open Line Consultancy, I’m the 2nd one to achieve this. In fact only last Friday Jon Klaus passed the exam as well. The message I got on my screen was actually “Congratulations, you passed the USPEED Performance Guru exam”. What an honor!
As the name already suggests, SPEED is a performance related certification. There’s no ILT or books for this, just a collection of performance related documents. And I suggest that if you should get the invitation to join, that knowing your VNX inside and out also helps. So being an IEe / TAe does help!
SPEED first started with the original array: the Symmetrix. Only highly specialized EMC engineers could become SPEED certified. But when partners joined the force and it became clear that this group of “outsiders” was quite knowledgeable EMC decided that to become SPEED certified, partners needed to be included as well. There’s a whole bunch of xSPEED certifications out there:
- SPEED = Symmetrix Guru
- CSPEED = Clariion Guru
- USPEED = VNX Unified Guru
Being part of the Gurus will give you additional access to performance related documents and tools, like the ones you can find in the tool shed on ECN, but more. Being an xSPEED Guru also means you have to “knowledge back-end”, but you’re also under NDA. You will have access to more information, but everything gained by the xSPEED certification is under NDA: meaning you cannot share the tools you now have access to. These tools are for trained people, not by just anyone.
Oh and don’t think passing the exam is easy: you only need a 100% passing score, so that will probably scare away the faint hearted. But passing this exam means you know your stuff and you should be taken seriously!
Interested in performance “stuff”? Go and become VNX IE Expert or VNX TA Expert (or both, like me). I mentioned Jon Klaus before, haven’t I? Take a look at this interesting topic on ECN: Ask the Expert, performance calculations on Clariion / VNX. If you totally understand what the topic is about, you just might be USPEED material 🙂
What are USPEED people good for? They’re supposed to be knowledgeable and up to date on current technology. the next step is a continuous one: keep on reading everything there is to read, such as release notes, manuals, knowledge base articles, writing blogs, participating in betas, show some presence on forums, but also offer services to customers who are in need of some advanced troubleshooting.