I have been using NetApps for a very long time but strictly using CIFS/NFS on entry level FAS270/2020 filers. I now need to get up to speed on SAN (FC, iSCSI), Vmware ESX best practices, clustering and software products on medium range storage servers like FAS3040/3200.
The 7-Mode Administration course seems pretty basic to me, but it is listed as a requirement for Accelerated NCDA Bootcamp class and others. Is it an absolute requirement? I looked at the course topics and ANCDA class seems more along the lines of my expert level and starts to cover what I need to know.
I'd look over the course blueprint and if you're comfortable performing all those tasks fairly easily, then I would skip it. It's really a requirement for those with minimal experience. It's not an absolute requirement.
However, if Clustering is a requirement for you (as listed above) and you're looking at the long-term, then Data ONTAP Cluster-Mode Administration is what you should take.There is even a practice test for Cluster-Mode. Check out the learning path on the NetApp site here: http://www.netapp.com/us/support/university/certifications/ncda.html
Other courses I'm going to suggest can be found on the Customer Learning Map here:
The hardware revision isnt that relevant, basically what you can do on a FAS270 commandset wise you can do on a FAS6280. I started off working on F740's and now work on FAS6280/3240's the concepts in hardware are still effectively the same, just bigger
The Data ONTAP x.x Block Access Management Guides and a sim are a good place to start, as are the various TR's for VMware.