As I have previously completed HP Master ASE – Network Infrastructure, I only had to pass one exam to complete this certification. I’m at HP Discover in Las Vegas this week, and since you get a few free exams included, I decided to give this one a go.
First up, the administrative details:
- Questions: 60
- Time: 115 minutes (why not just 2 hours?)
- Cost: Included with HP Discover entrance fee. Would normally be $245NZD.
- Passing score: 70%.
- Can move backwards within questions: Yes
- Question style: Multi-choice, drag & drop, select from drop-down. No simulators
The exam preparation guide tells you these are the topics covered:
- 8% – Networking architecture and technologies
- 13% – Networking solutions and technologies
- 19% – Server and storage technologies and products
- 10% – Traffic volumes, topologies, paths and applications
- 8% – Customer policies and requirements
- 12% – Customer business and technical requirements
- 30% – HP Networking solutions planning and design
As with other HP exams I’ve taken, this is spot-on – no surprises, they ask you questions about exactly what they say they’re going to.
The questions were generally of good quality, with only one diagram that I couldn’t quite understand. That might be my fault though, not the exam writer’s. It was a wide range of topics covered, going from OSPF design to storage arrays to product selection. This can be a bit jarring when you’re rapidly switching focus! But you’ll have no problems with understanding what they’re asking, as long as you know the technologies.
I didn’t do any significant preparation for this exam. I ran out of time with all the other things going on around HP Discover. All I did was read the exam preparation guide, and some VirtualConnect overview information. That doesn’t mean I was completely unprepared though – it’s not long since I finished HP MASE, and I’ve had at least some exposure to many of the technologies. There are some questions about things like organisational structure, and change windows – you don’t need any specific study here, you just need to have worked in the Real World for a while.
You need to be familiar with HP’s technologies – e.g. IRF, VirtualConnect, Wireless, etc. You don’t need to know deep specifics of them, but you should understand what they do, and what a network design using those technologies would look like. I don’t have a huge amount of knowledge about all the options around MSM wireless design, and that caused me some troubles. If you’ve deployed those, you’ll be fine though.
If you’ve got a few years experience in networking, and you’ve had exposure to HP Networking solutions, it should be easy enough to pass. But is it worth doing? I’m not sure. You’ll need to be the judge of that. It depends where you’re at with your career, and what experience you have. For me personally, I probably wouldn’t have bothered, if it wasn’t for the free exam. If you’re regularly consulting on HP Networking products, it might be worth it for you, to help establish credibility. I would complete “HP MASE – Network Infrastructure” first though. I would not take this exam without real-world exposure to HP systems.