I recently had the pleasure of attending a NetApp Data ONTAP 8.0 7-Mode Administration class in Columbia Maryland, March 07-11, 2011. We purchased the training from Fastlane, one of NetApp’s authorized training partners. The class was hosted by System Source in Maryland. If you get a chance to go to one of these, do it! NetApp says:
Learn about Data ONTAP® 8.0, the next generation data storage operating system from NetApp® that combines the stability of Data ONTAP 7G with the cutting-edge scalable clustering of Data ONTAP GX. Explore basic administration of a storage system running Data ONTAP 8.0 7-mode, the successor of Data ONTAP 7G. By diving deeper into administrative techniques, you will acquire the knowledge to become a successful storage administrator.
Michelle Richardson at Fastlane helped me with arranging my training. Originally I intended to buy the administration bundle, which combines the ONTAP 8.0 7-Mode Administration instructor lead training with 3 extra online advanced classes, NetApp V-Series: Fundamentals, SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure Overview and Installation, and SnapManager for Hyper-V:Overview and Installation. The bundle is a new offering, and I was one of the first students to ask for it. When Michelle tried to register me for it, it turned out that NetApp didn’t have a way to actually provide it (yet). (They say they’ll happily sell you a bundle now – March 2011).
I flew US Airways through Phoenix, on time all the way. I love going through Phoenix. LAX sux.
The Fastlane instructor for my class was Debbie Sellars. She has a *LOT* of experience in this field (how many people do you know with NetApp filers at home…) She’s been teaching this class (and many others) for a long time and she does a great job. Both she and her husband, Stephen Sellars, teach this administration class, NCDA boot camps, and lots of other classes like VMware vSphere on NetApp (VVNA)
The class uses three NetApp three course books, Data ONTAP 8.0 7-Mode Administration, Student Guide: Volume 1, Student Guide: Volume 2, and Exercise Guide. Each student gets a nicely bound set. (The course materials are *NOT* available online.) Volume 1 has the first 10 chapters covering basics, physical and logical storage concepts, networking, NFS, CIFS, SAN and more, a couple of hundred pages. The second volume (chapters 11-19) covers most of the advanced features like snapshot, high availability, backup and recovery solutions, and an introduction to WAFL, the Write Anywhere File Layout. The Exercise Guide has all of the hands on labs.
Training like this leads to NetApp certifications, like NetApp Certified Data Management Administrator (NCDA). With the old ONTAP 7.3 , the NCDA certification consisted of 2 tests, NS0 153 Storage Networking and NS0 163 Data Protection Solutions. In its ONTAP 7.3 incarnation, this class covered the topics in NS0 153.
After the release of ONTAP 8.0 in 2009, the NCDA certification was updated and collapsed into one test for ONTAP 8.0, NS0 154 – Data ONTAP 8.0 7-Mode Administrator. This test still covers the topics that used to be on the two 7.3 tests, now combined into one exam. So to properly prepare for 8.0 NCDA with instructor led training, you need to take Data ONTAP 8.0 7-Mode Administration (DOT87M) (this class) as well the Accelerated NCDA Boot Camp Data ONTAP 8.0 7-Mode (ANCDABC87) or the equivalent.
They have good hands on labs. Each student is provided their own workstation. They connect to their own “pod” of virtualized systems through https://labs.lablogin.com. Each student gets access to two ONTAP 8.0 simulator virtual machines, a Windows Server 2008 virtual machine, and a CentOS Linux vm, in a small network complete with a Windows domain, DNS, and other common tools. With this environment, it is straightforward to do all common lab tasks covered in the Exercise Guide. The labs were recently revised from ONTAP 7 to ONTAP 8 and moved from physical (actual) filers to ONTAP 8.0 sims. There’s a few minor hiccups along the way, but in general they are fine.
Debbie says the best crab cakes in Maryland are at G&M Restaurant in Linthicum Heights. I was there after 8 PM on a Wednesday, the place was packed and they were awesome!
After class on Friday, I took 29 South to Silver Spring, and parked by the Metro Station. I rode the Red Line into DC to Union Station. I then got a ticket for Gray Line’s “DC After Dark” bus tour. (I’ve taken Gray Line tours before, notably in New York City, and I’ve always had a good experience.)
“Eric with a ‘C’ ” was our driver and guide for the 3 hour tour. He took us through most of the memorials on the Mall, with three stops along the way. He had lots of anecdotes and stories and really knew his way around!
Probably the memorial the affected me most was the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial. This is a group of life size soldiers on patrol. At night, it’s a bit creepy.