The Dell DCA-ISM (Information Storage Associate) certification is intended for storage architects, managers, admins, project managers, or CIOs. This designation proves your skills in making decisions about storing, operating, and securing digital information in classic, virtualized and cloud environments. The potential candidates should be knowledgeable of the storage-related technologies used in the complex IT environment and have an in-depth understanding of storage technologies. This certification equips candidates with a solid understanding of storage technologies and prepares them for working with advanced technologies, concepts, and procedures. The exam one has to sit for to become a certified professional is DEA-1TT4.
Exam DEA-1TT4 is also known as the Associate-Information Storage and Management Version 4. It is focuses on performing operating skills used in data center and on your ability to deal with information storage. To be more precise, the exam checks your proficiency in dealing with software-defined storage, storage networking technologies, intelligent storage systems, and third platform technologies. In addition, you should possess skills in securing and managing a storage infrastructure. To know more, the DEA-1TT4 exam can be taken till April, 2022 as it will retire then, and its replacement will be available already in February, 2022. So, if you are preparing for this test, try to pass it in the nearest time.
Regarding its details, the certification exam will contain 60 questions which you are to complete within an hour and a half. Achieving the pass score of 60% guarantees your success in the exam.
As for the exam content, it comprises five topics, in which you should be proficient. The first section covers the modern data center infrastructure topic. Here, you should show your familiarity with the data classification, components of a data center, its main features and technologies that move digital transformation. Your ability to describe the cloud service models, cloud features, the core features of big data, IoT, AI, and machine learning will be assessed as well. In addition, you should describe the building blocks of a modern data center, be able to explain compute storage, system, connectivity in an app and a data center.
The second part aims at checking your knowledge of storage networking technologies. This implies that you are familiar with the FC architecture, FC topologies, SAN, zoning, and virtualization in FC SAN. This part tests your ability to describe the elements of FCoE and FCIP and their connectivities, iSCSI protocol, IP SAN, discovery domains, along with VLAN.
The third part proves your skills regarding the storage systems. In this domain, you should be able to describe the elements of an intelligent storage system, RAID, data access methods, and scale-up & -out architectures. Your capability in dealing with the storage tiering mechanisms, elements of block-based storage system, NAS elements and architecture, as well as 5-level virtualization and tiering will be assessed. Your knowledge of the object-based storage device elements along with software-defined storage features will be measured as well.
The fourth part deals with backup, archive, and replication. This section will check your skills in explaining the information availability measures, main fault tolerance techniques, back up targets and granularity, architecture, operations, and backup methods. You also should be capable of describing data archiving solutions architecture, data deduplication, along with migration and replication techniques.
The fifth topic will validate your skills in security and management. This means, that you should be able to explain the information security goals, terminologies, numerous security domains, threats to a storage infrastructure. You also should be able to secure the storage infrastructure, by explaining the core security controls. Your ability to describe the storage infrastructure management procedures and functions will also be evaluated.
Before sitting for the actual Dell certification exam, the vendor offers you to take free practice tests and check the topics tested, see the types of questions, find out the weak areas you need to strengthen. After gaining the DCA-ISM certification, you can opt for a range of specialist-level designations, such as DSC-CA, DCS-SA, DCS-TA, DCS-CE, DCS-PE, and DCS. These tracks are intended for Cloud Architect, Systems Administrator, Technology Architect, Implementation Engineer, Platform Engineer, and Security. Having obtained the DCA-ISM designation, you can earn up to $74,400 per annum as stated on the Ziprecuiter website.