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How I prepared for my Isilon Solution certification

EMC provides Isilon Solutions Specialist Certification for Implementation Engineers who installs, deploys and configures infrastructure solutions of EMC information. I learned to gain trusted resource position with the clients, implement EMC solutions, and ensure administrative requirements. This certification exam focuses on the implementation and support of Isilon clusters, installation and feature configuration of Isilon NAS cluster and NAS service devices. It also teaches about the integration of cluster into networks, HTTP and FTP client access, iSCSI attaches, HDFS implementation, data protection, deduplication, auditing, analysis and monitoring.

To attain this certification, the candidate need to pass both Associate level exam and Specialist level exam. The Associate level certification is attained by passing Information Storage and Management (ISM) v2 exam. The duration of the exam is 90 minutes with 65 queries. It deals with the security and management of data storage in cloud and virtual environment. The topics covered for this exam are Storage systems and its technologies in networking, backup and replication for non-stop protection, cloud computing, security and management of data storage. On passing this Associate level exam, I gained EMCISA certification which is the basis for all other certifications.

The Specialist level certification is gained by passing Isilon Solutions Specialist exam. EMC offers an update for Isilon solutions Specialist Exam which will be effective from April, 2014. The main contents to be covered for this exam includes the following:

  • Installation: This topic includes the installation description and documentation of the project scope, performance of initial power-up, initial configuration, testing and verification of clusters.
  • Implementation fundamentals of Isilon Cluster: This topic covers the description of node and cluster architecture, command structure of isi, config console, license management of cluster software, identifying the levels of cluster data protection, auditing, password protection policy.
  • Connection to Enterprise Environment: This includes the configuration and verification of network access in clusters, connection of cluster to external IP network, configuration of name resolution, SmartConnect Services, difference between old and new SmartConnect features, integration of cluster with directory services.
  • Accessing files on the Cluster: This includes the topics such as Configuration of NFS exports and SMB shares, Client behaviour and settings, data access using HTTP and FTP, Configuration of HDFS, and difference between windows and share permissions.
  • File System Management: This topic includes the implementation and configuration of SmartPools, difference between nodes, tiers and deltas, usage and creation of file pool policy, configuration and management of quotas, iSCSI access to windows and Linux.
  • Data protection: This topic includes the Implementation of Isilon snapshots, creating and scheduling snapshots, identifying SnapshotIQ configuration, creation of SyncIQ replication and performance enhancements, identifying Isilon backup and configuring with Backup accelerator, implementing antivirus protection, and data encryption at rest.
  • Analytics and Reporting: The working of InsightIQ, difference between InsightIQ and FSA, installation, configuration and troubleshooting of InsightIQ, SNMP configuration, SupportIQ, and connection to EMC remote support.
  • Virtualization and clusters of Isilon: This topics includes the description of virtualization components, Isilon installation for vCenter, management of virtual machines, implementation of VASA, SRA and VAAI.

The Isilon product knowledge is necessary before taking this exam. I took the recommended trainings offered for this certification course like Isilon fundamentals, installation and configuration of Isilon, and Isilon implementation. They provided me with e-learning course and Instructor-led training for the recommended training programs. After completing the course study I took practice test to test my knowledge. The materials provided in the training course and the in-depth knowledge in Isilon products helped me to complete Isilon Solutions Certification successfully.

Timothy Bowden, Director, BKS-One Inc.

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