It’s been a while since I’ve posted any blog post and today I’ve decided to make some time to post at least one that is not technical. Writing a technical blog post is time consuming since you have to make sure that what you put out there is correct, so even though I think I know what to say it doesn’t mean it’s correct so research is very important. The research alone can take few hours to verify what I need to say is true. That said, I don’t really have much time to dedicate to write a new blog post as much as I want to. I’d also be lying if I don’t include that laziness trumps over the need or want to post a blog.
Anyway, enough with all that since the whole point of this blog post is about the certification. I found out about this certification on a technical forum. At first, I was like I don’t need to take that since I never really liked network management all that much. I find it very boring and not interesting to work on everyday. Heck, even in college when I had to take one class about network management, I didn’t really pay attention that much. Luckily, I passed that class! On all three employers that I’ve been a part of the network team, only one employer that required me to do something about network management. I was always the user of the network management tools so it wasn’t my responsibility to work on it. Those two employers have a team that manage the network management tools. My previous employer didn’t have that since it’s very small compared to my current and former employer.
If I found it boring and not interesting to work on everyday then why did I take the certification? Well, mostly, I was just curious what the exam would be like and it’s free (for now). I didn’t even prepare for this online exam. I just signed up one day and the next day I was given all the instructions on how to take the exam. Once I received all the necessary information to take the exam, I was already clicking through the website and filling out what needs to be filled out and started answering exams questions. Since this is an online exam, that can be taken anywhere with no camera or proctor looking at you, then it is technically an open book. I could’ve opened one tab and “google” every questions but what’s the fun of that if you’re trying to assess what you don’t know? To me, I was just really curious of the exam and what I still do not know about network management.
The exam contains between 70-80 questions, at least mine did, and you have 90 minutes (if my memory serves me right) to complete it. If you need more information about the certification then please click here. The site will contain links for the prep guide, videos that you can watch to prepare for the exam, types of questions that will appear in the exam, and other information about the certification and exam. This certification has been out for quite sometime now, I think. I think the beta started back in 2009 so it’s pretty old but not a very popular certification compared to Cisco, Microsoft, or VMware.
Network Management Fundamentals
A network engineer has been asked to monitor an ObjectIdentifier(OID) using a custom poller. The custom poller does not seem to be working, so the engineer takes a packet capture from the router in question. To best filter the capture data and determine if the router is sending information about that OID, what would the engineer filter on?
(A) destination IP address of the network management system (NMS) and port162
(B) destination IP address of the router and port 161
(C) destination IP address of the network management system (NMS) and port161
(D) destination IP address of the router and port162
Network Management Planning
A managed service provider(MSP)is planning to deploy a network management system (NMS)to monitor multiple customer networks. The MSP must choose between a centralized or distributed management architecture. What are the two most important factors to consider? (Choose two.)
(A) available bandwidth between the MSP and customers
(B) total number of devices to be managed
(C) choice of SNMP version for polling
(D) overlapping IP address space between customers
(E) choice of SSL versusVPN tunnel for communication
Network Management Operations
Which type of Syslog message indicates the lowest severity level?
Network Fault & Performance Troubleshooting
Your network management system (NMS) indicates that a device is down. As a troubleshooting step you attempt to telnet to the device, and you are able to successfully connect. However, pinging the device fails. What should you do next to troubleshoot this
(A) verify layer 2 connectivity to the device
(B) verify that the “down” device can ping the NMS
(C) verify that the ICMP service on the NMS is functioning
(D) verify the SNMP community string for the device
SolarWinds NPM Administration
You need to create an account that can see only a subset of the nodes being monitored by SolarWinds NPM. What would you add to the
account to make this possible?
(A) account views
(B) account limitations
(C) account permissions
(D) view permissions
So, what’s your score, you might ask. Well, I didn’t really do a good job but as one might say, a pass is a pass. A lot of people on the forum were getting 80+% score but I barely passed the exam on the first try – you have can have up to three attempts to pass the exam. I missed 23 questions which gave me a score of 70.1% and the passing is 70%. To give you some idea of what my background with SolarWinds, I deployed and used NCM, NPM, and IPAM at my previous employer. I’ve used all of them for less than a year and when I took the exam it has been almost a year since I’ve touched it so that also contributed to my bad score. I’ve never used SolarWinds ever before but to be honest it’s a pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it – the administration side that is. When I was deploying it, I had to use the Admin Guide a lot since I had no idea of how to even install and configure it. I’ve created weekly or monthly reports, custom views, and user accounts with different privileges, etc. I’ve never worked with NetFlow ever before and there were other NPM questions there that I’ve never really played with so those were also what contributed to my bad score. I am sure what I think I answered correctly were probably incorrect as well.
The exam itself is not that bad. According to Thwack members, it’s more challenging compared to the previous version of the exam. I’d take their word for it since I’ve never seen the previous version. If you know things about network management and especially SolarWinds NPM, then this should be a cake walk for you. For people who aren’t familiar with NPM and network management then I suggest you to read the prep guide and watch their videos. To be honest, I do not even know how long the videos are since I’ve never seen it. I didn’t really bother to read and/or watch the prep guide and videos.
The certification page does a good job in trying to convince you that it has real value in the IT world but it is yet to be proven. Since you can take the exam anywhere you want, then the value of the certification becomes questionable. If they change it to a proctor based type exam then it adds somewhat of a value to the certification. However, moving it to a proctor based type exam may mean that it won’t be free. If one needs to pay to take the exam then I am very skeptical that they’ll be able to attract more than 2000 people to take it. When I got my certification, my number is 2450. A month prior to that who took and passed the exam received 2405. Not bad of a number but I think the reason for the surge is because of the forum members taking the exam and of course it’s free so you have nothing to lose. Adding cost to the exam will definitely make this certification not very popular in the IT crowd who aren’t really interested in network management or do not work with SolarWinds products in a day to day basis.
NetworkJutsu.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.