I can't believe I'm beating Gina to it this time *lol*
I'm going to tell you the same thing she will though.. and the same thing most people with an understanding of the EMC Proven curriculum and tracks will tell you. Start at the beginning. In this case that would be Information Storage & Management. There is a book that will get you started (by the same name), and there are a variety of curriculum choices from online web based training to Classroom training.
Right now EMC Education has a great deal on a Starter Kit which includes the Video Instructor Led Training module for ISM as well as a discount cupon for the book and a voucher for your first exam. Now is a great time to get in as well. Gina (one of the Moderators here) is studying for the ISM exam and is sharing her experiences and study techniques through this forum as well.
Also there is a new Advocate program for existing EMC Proven Professionals to help promote certification among others. If you want to get started I would happy to be your Advocate and get you on the right track.
What it all really boils down to is that it doesn't matter where you are starting from (e.g. Unix Admin, backup specialist, Windows programmer, etc.) ISM is the best place to start to give you an overview of everything you need to know to see the bigger picture in the Storage world. After that you may even have a better idea what areas you want to focus on next and drill down deeper. But the high level is going to be important no matter which direction you go. And before I forget to mention... This curriculum may have been put together, promoted, tested on, and certified by EMC, but it is as Open as anything can be that comes from a single vendor. The only time it really dives down into EMC specifics is when examples are required to reinforce concepts. Other than that, the entire curriculum is based on themes, process, technologies, and concepts that are common across the entire Storage industry.
Before you ask, no I am not an EMC employee or partner 😉 I'm just a customer who is passionate about getting as much Storage knowledge out there as possible. The more people know the easier my job is day to day!
I can't believe Allen beat me either! I was in training for the past couple of days, that is my excuse.
However, Allen did an excellent job explaining about the Proven Professional Starter Kit. My background is as a unix sysadmin too (Solaris + Linux) too. Since you have been a Solaris admin for 7 months, the best place to start is the EMCISA. What's nice about the EMCISA is that it covers all of the basics of storage, from covering how disks work, to RAID, to explaining DAS, SAN, NAS, iSCSI, etc. It also gets into topics like security and management. If you are doing FS and backup monitoring, understanding these fundamentals will help you be a better sysadmin.
Does that help answer your question? I'd also take Allen up on his offer to be your advocate!!
On a different note, how close is the live test to the practice test on-line at emc's web site?
I'm passing the practice test on a regular basis even thought the question don't change (only re-sequenced).
Also, I could use an advocate. Any volunteers?
Jeff, I'd be happy to be your advocate. I can give you some insight into your question on the practice exam as well.
I've been involved in a few Exam Development Workshops now. Without giving away too much of the underlying process I think I can safely say that some questions on the actual exam may be similar (testing for the same knowledge but worded differently) to the practice exam and some will be very different. The balance of "easy" vs. "hard" questions should be quite similar, and the type of questions and breakdown of categories they are testing for should be very similar.
I would strongly recommend that if you don't already have a copy of Information Storage & Management, you get a copy and use it as a final study guide leading up to writing the actual exam. You will find it a valuable resource to go back to even after you have passed the exam.
I wish I could be more specific in my answers about the content, but I'm not sure how much of the exam creation process is covered under NDA some I'm going to err on the side of caution. But if you are doing very well (not just passing) the practice exam that is generally a good indicator. If you are just passing I would say that you should invest some more time in preparation before investing in the exam.
That's just my opinion though 🙂
Thanks for the info and the offer to be my advocate.
Yes, I have the book and have been studying it. It does contain a wealth of
I'm getting in the 80s on the test.
Could study some more to bring this up.
How does the advocacy program work?
On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 8:13 PM, Allen Ward
Well, I think technically the only requirement for an advocate is that they try to talk other folks into getting their certification. In reality I see it as that, but also providing a more personal point of contact for people looking at getting certified. In this case that personal contact/Advocate would be an experienced Proven Professional who would help you with questions you have along the way and/or help guide you to additional resources for questions outside their area of expertise.
If/when you obtain your Starter kit and register it you will have an opportunity to identify if you have an Advocate or not. If you do identify an Advocate and then pass your exam within six months of registering then your Advocate gets credit for "guiding you along the way".