Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brocade certifications, with spotlight on the BCNE and BCNP

If you are coming from the wild east, chances are you have problems with paying loads for certification exams: a CCNP can easily cost 3 times $150. And if your company doesn't pay for it, but instead it comes out of your lunch money, this can hurt. Been there, done that, wasn't funny.

Good news is, more networking vendors are starting on the "fast-track" course, providing you with short and cheap options to migrate your CCNA to their gear. Brocade is no exception, and they are still running the course, where you get BCNE training+exam for $100. I even blogged about this a while back.

Brocade has two levels of certifications: Accreditation and Certification.
Accreditation exams include the IP Specialis (BAIS), the Campus Networking Specialist (BACNS), WLAN Specialist and my new favorite, the Physical Security Specialist, which I consider a fresh, new and actually useful thing. These are basically web-based exams for $20. Fair enough.

Certification exams are the usual drill: proctored by Pearson VUE, multiple choice and they cost $150. Here comes the good part again: once you have a few of accreditations, you could join the various Brocade certification groups on LinkedIn; I assume you're already a member and all. Now this is where things happen: sometimes you can get deals on certification exams. So far I managed to get all 3 of my certs for free (with 4th possibly on the way), which I consider fairly cheap. Also, the guys are fairly helpful if you need help with your exams.

Training material: Brocade University runs some free web courses, and free assessment tests for the certification exams. Other goodies include "Nutshell" study guide PDFs and documents on the MyBrocade pages. Also recommended is the old Foundry mailing list, and possibly picking up an old FWS24 on eBay, as they are dirt cheap and decent boxes.

Disclaimer: yes, this has been a partially sponsored post, but it's good for you, so it's okay.


  1. Hi,
    I am Postgraduate student from Networking field and presently working in Java Technologies. i wanted to have BCNE exam. Does this adds value to my resume and Do I get chance to work with network Giants?

    1. Hi Madu,
      I think every certification adds value to you and your CV.
      The BCNE is not as popular as the CCNP for example, but I think it's a pretty solid IP/Ethernet cert. In my experience Brocade non-SAN gear is less prevalent in most of Europe (possibly with the exception of the UK), more so in the Americas and the APAC region.