How I passed the Cisco ACI Exam on The First Try

You probably read about the Cisco exam update launched recently. A lot of folks are consequently studying harder to reach the deadline of february 23rd. 2020, let alone those who are studying for one-of-its-kind-exam; the Cisco ACI exam.

As my CCNP status is also at stake I needed to pursue one exam to renew it. Since I did two trainings in ACI as part of work requirements and owned Cisco Press ACI books, it definitely makes sense to study for the CLDACI exam.

Goal: I pass CLDACI exam successfully by February 1st, 2020. Time to achieve: 5 Months.

Cisco CLDACI 300-475 Exam Blueprint

cisco-cldaci-exam-blueprint

My Collection of Cisco ACI Exam Study Material (Paid)

cisco-aci-exam-the-policy-driven-data-center-with-aci
cisco-aci-exam-cisco-aci-cookbook
cisco-aci-exam-deploying-aci-the-complete-guide-to-planning-configuring-and-managing-application-centric-infrastructure
  • Pluralsight, Fundamentals of Using Cisco ACI: there are two good introductory courses to ACI, and both are developed by Lauren Malhoit, a key figure in Cisco ACI Business Unit.
  • Global Knowledge Training material: I don’t recommend Global Knowledge at all! Although the trainer in my case was not bad, the content and structure of the ACI “configure” and “troubleshoot” courses are awful. Global Knowledge sales personnel that I interacted with at the beginning did not care about my requests, not even bother answering my repetitive emails; they are obviously there only to sell. I will never ever enroll in a GK course again!

Cisco ACI Video Trainings

  • Cisco ACI with Jason Lunde
  • INE Application Centric Infrastructure ACI, Part 1 and Part 2.

My Collection of Cisco ACI Exam Study Material (Free)

Within the blog posts themselves I would throw in the resources I used, such as Youtube videos or URL links.

My Cisco ACI Study notes

Cisco Web Documentation

  • Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Fundamentals, Releases 2.x and 3.x
  • Operating Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure
  • Cisco ACI Unified Plug-in for OpenStack: Architectural Overview
  • Cisco APIC Layer 4 to Layer 7 Services Deployment Guide, Release 3.2(1)

Cisco Live ACI-related sessions

  • Accelerating business transformation by simplifying the datacenter with Nexus, Open NXOS and ACI. – PSODCN-1106
  • ACI for Network Engineers, BRKACI-1002
  • Your first 7 Days of ACI, BRKACI-1001
  • Mastering ACI and OpenStack, BRKACI-3456
  • ACI Innovations – PSODCN-1118

Youtube ACI Videos

Other ACI-Related Documents

Update on my Cisco ACI Exam Day

on 20.02.2020 I passed the CLDACI exam! So I achieved my goal with 19 days of delay. Alhamdoulillah!!

It was an emotional roller coaster because:

  • I had no Cisco study guide. The official certification guide relates to the later-to-come DCACI exam, and sees the light at earliest on August 2020!
cisco-ccnp-data-center-aci-implementation
  • I got minuscule hands-on experience at work,
  • The price to buy a Cisco ACI kit is still “a bit” high:
sample-cost-aci-lab-kit
  • I was not disciplined to study for long periods of time. In fact, I was constantly distracted, either by the my surrounding (my study table is in the living room and the kid has the TV on all day long),
  • I lost all the weekends of the past 3 months doing network upgrades at work and thus not studying at all,
  • I relied on the books and videos I mentioned above as a sole source of study
  • there was no ACI study group on the Cisco Learning Network.

Conclusion

The conditions in which I studied and passed the Cisco ACI exam are a bit particular, giving the fact that Cisco abolished its CCNP Cloud track and that I started studying very late.

However, the new Cisco CCNP Data Center track integrates the ACI technology in a dedicated exam, “Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (DCACI)”. How do you think you are going to prepare for this exam?

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