NetApp Learning Services Discussions



Hello everyone


I am currently studying towards exam NS0-155 (NCDA 7-Mode)


This is the first NetApp exam / study I have done so far in my IT career.

In contrast, I have done over 20 Microsoft exams and they supply exam 'blue prints' for their exams showing which topics the

exam focuses and and what areas to study - does NetApp provide a similar exam blue print? Do I need to focus much on the

SAN Administration side of things and also Networking?


Here’s my strategy for the exam prep:


  • Complete all the free web based training on the NetApp Learning portal
  • Do the lab excerices in the NCDA boot camp PDF
  • Play around with the NetApp Simulator for ONTAP 8.2 7-Mode
  • Try and remember key commands for daily admin - like creating Aggregates, Volumes, LUNs, Qtrees etc


Read the following PDF guides:

  • Data_ONTAP_82_System_Administration_Guide
  • Data_ONTAP_82_File_Access_and_Protocols
  • Data_ONTAP__82_Network_Management_Guide_for_7Mode
  • Data_ONTAP_82_SAN_Administration_Guide_for_7Mode
  • Data_ONTAP_82_SAN_Configuration_Guide_for_7Mode

Will doing the above be enough to pass this exam?

I should also mention I have 12 months real world experience in a commercial IT evironment using Data ONTAP 8.1 / OnCommand 3.0

I am due to take the exam end of October 2014.

Any further advice would be helpful – thank you.




There is an FAQ section that provides details on how to prepare for the exam:

You'll also want to take advantage of the practice exam:


Ivel Burton

Program Manager- Customer Enablement

NetApp University

NetApp Inc.



from my experience NCDA is the easiest exam. Completed it twice in the last 5 years. (once when i missed the date to upgrade mine NCIE and had to take both exams again thanks NetApp they gave me a voucher for NCDA) 

What is really important is having hands on experience.  If do not have NetApp environment in the office, simulator is ok, but still real hardware is real hardware. I would built a lab on FAS 270 or 2020/50. 

PS Why do not you start with cMODE,  7 mode is fading away?


We still use 7 Mode for our smaller environment.  I believe its situational on what is appropriate.  You may be spot on in general situations however, in my case it would be more pointless for me to learn cluster mode when Im using 7 mode at work. Im glad both options are available to get certified on.  Like I was telling a buddy of mine.  Its pretty cool to work on a certification that I have to do at work every day anyways.  Just kind of adds a layer or 7 of understanding.  *no pun intended*


Thanks gents

@vims - Yep thought about Cluster mode but I'll do 7-Mode then Cluster straight away afterwards. I've had 12 months office experience with a FAS 3170 and a FAS 2240-2 - (one is FC and the other is iSCSI). I'm VMware VCP too - so have a very good understanding of SANs / LUNs provisioning in general etc.

@ivelb - I've seen the FAQ on the NetApp site but its a little vauge to be honest. I'd like to see NetApp produce a topic breakdown of all the relevant points to study for. I ended up getting the 'course breakdown' structure from a training vendor and I am using that as my areas of what to study on.

If anyone has any links to there own study material / notes I'd love to see them. Thanks