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    Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time


      I failed 640-911 for the 3rd time today.  So far I have invested $750 in exam fees.  Just to give a point of reference, I have 15 years of IT experience.  I've been VMware certified since 2008.  VCP3, 4 and 5.   I have about 15 months of experience working with Cisco UCS.


      To prepare for the exam I read the entire 640-911 certification guide straight through.  I also watched the CBT Nuggets course for 640-911 several times.  I deployed the nexus 1000v in VMware workstation to get some command line experience.


      It appears that a great deal of the 640-911 exam content does not come from the 640-911 certification guide.


      I have just started reading the 640-916 certification guide.  It appears that most of the 640-911 exam content actually comes from the 640-916 book.  My recommendation to anyone struggling with this is to read both books before taking 640-911.


      My plan is to read the 640-916 book all the way through and watch the 640-916 CBT Nuggets course before taking the 640-911 exam again.


      For-Profit Education is Expensive!

        • 1. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

          Just my thoughts. I sat the 640-911 exam and failed once. I bought the 640-916 book and then past 2nd time around! So your thoughts are correct, I think it's so poor Cisco do this. I understand adding 1/2 questions in to challenge test takers above the course, but to included a lot of content not even in the test is poor.

          • 2. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

            Sorry to hear the bad news.  I failed the 640-911 exam too.  I scored 780.  I will definitely re-read the 640-911 OCG, 640-916 OCG thoroughly along with Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals book by Gustavo Santana.  I have a question...why not immediately after taking the exam, write down the topics or questions that puzzled you and then focus on studying the corresponding material?  At least next time around you will get those questions right for certain.  I have noticed that Cisco recycles their exam questions, so the chances are that you'll see the most of the same questions the 2nd time around.

            • 3. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

              davinci, that is a great idea.  I have been doing that myself actually.  After the exam I go back to my office, fire up a notepad session, and make a list of all the items that I am unfamiliar with.  The last 2 exams that I took were different.  I got a 707 and 708 on the last 2.  Both had material that definitely was not in the 640-911 official cert guide.  I have found some of the stuff covered in the 640-916 book.  There were other items that were not covered in either book.  I have been using google and the official cisco documentation to research the items that were not covered in the books.  I've been reading the Configuration Guides from Cisco.


              Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches - Configuration Guides - Cisco


              Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches - Configuration Guides - Cisco

              • 4. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                You're doing it wrong. 2 ways you can pass this test.


                1) Get your CCNA first. 99% of the 640-911 comes from the CCNA exam.


                And if you read the exam objects, you also just need to know


                • 1.2.b Describe and identify Nexus hardware specifications
                • 1.2.c Describe and identify Nexus licensing requirements


                So get your CCNA then do this. In fact, CCNA is the only exam you will need for your first networking career. Actually in fact, many people at my data center don't even have any Networking certifications like CCNA and they are working with Nexus 7k, 6509 switches, ISR Routers, 2960, 3750, 3945 devices all days from writing configs for them, troubleshooting issues switching/routing.


                If you ask me, the CCNA Data Center is not valuable as much as the CCNA. You know it's not when you search for CCNA Data Center in any job posting site, the returned result will be abysmal.


                Sorry for getting off track. Yes get your CCNA first, then everything else will make perfect sense.


                And the CBT CCNA Data Center nugget covers like ....you know I wouldn't even pay money for that video.


                2) Read this




                Yes it has horrible reviews but look at the Table of Content. In Chapter 7, he talks exclusively about all the new objectives of the exam


                • 1.2.b Describe and identify Nexus hardware specifications
                • 1.2.c Describe and identify Nexus licensing requirements

                For all other chapters, I think he talked too much about other topics that aren't required on the exam like WAN. But, this book is what you need.


                In fact, I think if you read this book, you'll be 100% ready for the CCNA exam. I went through all the table of contents and I can't believe how comprehensive this book. I mean if you look at the switching chapters, they are way more comprehensive than a typical CCNA book (except for his CCNA book he wrote, which is super comprehensive too). And also the routing chapter, very comprehensive on EIGRP and OSPF. Don't bother reading too much about RIP. And don't even read about IS-IS, BGP. Yes the nexus supports those but really, by itself BGP has its own 650 pages book and I haven't heard the word IS-IS at my data center at all !

                • 5. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                  The book you linked to is the Official Cert Guide for 640-911.  It's sometimes referred to as the Odom Book.  I read that book straight through.  I found it very useful from a learning perspective but it was inadequate for passing the 640-911 exam.  I have since started reading the 640-916 book.  The 640-916 book covers licensing as well as model specific specifications that are on the 640-911 exam.  Cisco press is aware of this.  They actually took chapter 2 from the 640-916 book and made it into an appendix update for the 640-911 book.  You can download the PDF of appendix B-2 and/or read chapter 2 from the 640-916 book.  They are identical.


                  I have also started reading the the Lammle Book.  CCNA Data Center - Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking Study Guide: Exam 640-911.  I noticed from reading a lot of posts on this site that many people who passed the 640-911 exam said they read the Lammle Book.  So far I have made it through the introduction and into the first chapter by reading straight through.  I also started reading ahead a little bit too.  I found that Lammle covers topics like Cisco Twinax that are never mentioned in the Odom Book.  Cisco Twinax is covered on the exam.  I've taken it enough times to know :-)  I'm hoping as I get further into the Lammle book I will find more topics like that.


                  I'm coming at this certification from the perspective of a Virtualization Engineer.  I have 15 years of IT experience but almost all of it is in Server Infrastructure (Think VMware, Windows Server, and Red Hat).  I've been working with VMware for 10 years.  The VCP is the one certification that I've kept up to date over the years.  I passed the VCP5-DCV Delta earlier this year so I'm good for another 2 years.  I also took the VCP6-DCV Beta exam. 


                  A lot of companies are adopting Cisco UCS as their platform for VMware.  I worked on the Virtualization Team at a large company.  That team was responsible for VMware, Cisco UCS Hardware, Fabric Interconnects, and FEXs.  I've updated firmware on FIs, B series and C series.  I've called in hundreds of TAC cases for UCS gear.  I even replaced a FEX when TAC determined that port was bad.  On that team there was a guy who had CCIE Data Center.  He was really good.  He knew how to do everything and he was really fast at getting things done.  I myself don't have any aspirations of CCIE any time soon.  Maybe 10 years from now.  For now I just want to get the CCNA Data Center.  I may never log in to a N7K in my current job role, but It's helpful to understand the platform and what is upstream from you.


                  I may eventually go for the CCNA R&S as well.  I have a 2960-X switch in my lab environment.  If nothing else, I'd like to go for the CCNA R&S to get a better understanding of Catalyst Switches and IOS in general.

                  • 6. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                    I was gonna buy the 640-911 book now I'm just buying the 640-916 book only. Thanks.

                    In your case, I say get the CCNA and just keep the CCNA Data Center book for reference. If you never log into a Nexus then it doesn't justify getting it. The CCNA yeah, you can do anything with it.

                    • 7. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                      Hi Bret,

                      Did you end up doing the test again since you included studying the 640-916 book as well?

                      I am just starting to look at this exam now.

                      Thanks for you input so far it is looking very useful.



                      • 8. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                        On my last attempt I got a 790.  I was probably only a couple questions away from passing.  I've read up through chapter 2 in the 640-916 book.  There is at least one question that is straight out of that chapter.  The licensing information is also critical.  I created a spreadsheet for myself with the licensing information that was in the tables in the book.  For me, it was helpful to have all that licensing info consolidated into one spreadsheet.  The licensed features vary by model.  For example, there is no license for Native Fibre Channel on the 7000 because the 7000 does not do Native Fibre Channel.  Can the Nexus 7000 Series do Native Fibre Channel without a license?


                        I've learned to get really good an navigating the support section on cisco.com.  Click Support>Switches>Click the Nexus Model you are interested in>  Then drill down into the various support documents for each mode.


                        I found this document really useful for troubleshooting boot issues.  Cisco Nexus 7000 Series NX-OS Troubleshooting Guide -- Troubleshooting Installs, Upgrades, and Reboots - DocWiki


                        I'm planning to retake the exam very soon.

                        • 9. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                          Thank you Bret, the feedback is appreciated.

                          Good luck on your exam and keep us posted!

                          • 10. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                            I gave up on the CCNA Data Center exam now. I read some of the 640-916 book and I felt like this certification is more like for a Pre-Sale Engineer because there are way too many details on what hardware features the nexus has. I feel like taking other certs is way more efficient like the CCNA Security and CCNP

                            • 11. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                              got an 808 on my most recent attempt.  small progress. baby steps.

                              • 12. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                                dont give up diamond mine image.jpg

                                • 13. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time

                                  LOL, what most people would have done. Good score on the last one really close their Bret. Keep it up you will get it now.

                                  • 14. Re: Failed 640-911 for the 3rd time
                                    Matt Saunders - Community Manager

                                    love that image, you're so close! Hang in there! Do you have any particular topics that are challenging for you, Bret?



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