Cisco Updates Storage Specialist Certs

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Cisco has announced the availability of updated Storage Networking Design Specialist and Storage Networking Support Specialist certifications. The changes, which focus mostly on software features and security functions, are designed to further align these programs to Cisco’s new SAN Operating System (OS) version 2.0, said Jim Lee, storage program manager at Cisco.


“The impetus of the course was to get the SAN OS 2.0 feature set that was being announced at that time out and available,” Lee said. “There weren’t a significant number of product changes as far as hardware was concerned. We added significant functionality to the product set, and we wanted to get that into the course material and start raising the bar on that skill level.”


The revisions also included the certifications’ exams, Lee said. “We were in the process of updating the course material, so it made sense to take the opportunity to update the exam to match the course so it was aligned as we moved forward. We wanted to take the opportunity to weed out some questions that haven’t been proven out, and refresh our pool of items. We kind of streamlined it so that the course structure supporting these exams was a little more logical. We eliminated some redundancies that weren’t needed.”


“We match the course materials to the exams for the obvious reason that if it’s what somebody needs to learn, it’s also a skill we want to validate in the certifications we offer,” added Don Field, Cisco’s director of certification.


Content for Cisco’s Specialist certifications generally changes at a faster rate than the Associate- and Professional-level credentials in its program, Field said. “We know that technologies change more quickly with some of our advanced technologies and specialized areas. We require recertification every two years on the Specialist certifications instead of every three years on Associate and Professional (levels) in recognition of the fact that the technologies change more quickly. To maintain their skills, a certified individual will need to move more quickly to update their skills as our product sets and solutions change. We purposefully set them up that way.”


Although the new Storage Specialist certifications are already available, the old versions won’t be retired until January of next year. The original Storage Design exam will run through Jan. 17, while the original Storage Support exam will be offered through Jan. 26.


For more information, see

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