Grab some salt to go with those practice cert tests

Its 10:37pm and I’m at the Sheraton in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the Arrow “May Days” event this week, and there will be ample opportunity to attend tech sessions (big focus will be IBM, the main event sponsor), meet vendors, and take cert tests.

Before I get to the point of this post, does anybody know why there is not a CVS or Walgreens within 400 miles of downtown Fort Worth? Not even a McDonalds. Im a simple blue collar guy (well, I think of myself that way) and after a miserable plane ride here today all i wanted was a 1.49 McDonalds crispy chicken snack wrap to hold me til dinner. All I can find are pinky-up burger joints, bistros, theme restaurants… perhaps town planners were going for a particular look. I can respect that. But this IS the United States, and as a citizen I EXPECT my McDonalds. For heavens sake, at least put out some hotdog carts. I enjoy fine dining as much as anyone, but I was tired.. I had studying to do.. and not to be anti-social I didnt want to sit in a restaurant and order and wait for food. And about that Walgreens – for the past year, since going to Germany when I was with EMC, I have been a sparkling water junkie. You would think that downtown Fort Worth, in its attempt to be a convention hub (international hub I hope), they would appeal to the popular demand of sparkling water. But no sir, and that alone is a big strike I have with this town.

Well, now that we have established how biased the author gets when he cant get his sparkling water, let me state a recent observation. Be very, very careful when studying for techncial certification exams using on-line questions and answers. Some of the questions are clearly answered wrong. Not sure if this was intentionally leaked by the test authors, or maybe the individuals who stole the questions simply didnt know the material that well.

A great example is as follows, from IBM 000-118:

Which of the following IBM storage products allows for 960 TB (raw) in one standard IBM rack?

  • A – XIV system
  • B – DS5300
  • C – DS8800
  • D – Storwize V7000

The source of this questions says the answer is “A”. Well, until this week, my knowledge of XIV was very limited. But never trusting these things, I did my research and learned that the XIV (as of today – May 2011) can handle no more than 360 TB, and that is raw. After system overhead, and mirroring, realistically you cant get more than 170 TB.

Meanwhile, the V7000 can handle up to 9 expansion enclosures per controller enclosure. Each controller enclosure can be 2U and have up to 24 internal drives. The expansion enclosures (also 2U) can also have 24 drives each. That yields 10 enclosures, 24 drives each = 240 drives in 20U. With 2TB drives, that yields 480TB of raw storage with a V7000 in only 20U. In a 42U rack, you can then have two of these configurations and have a total of 960TB, with a couple of U to spare for your PDUs.

Knowing that the correct answer is “D” for the Storwize V7000, we now have to make a guess. Is the exam itself wrong? If I answer “D”, would I get the wrong answer? Should I answer “A” just to get it right?   OR – was the individual who stole this question and published it on the net careless or perhaps just not strong with IBM?

I respect cert tests, the effort that goes into them, and believe they provide the best current solution to a complicated problem (proving abilities). Just dont go out there and memorize the questions and answers. Study them, and make your time worthwhile. And please be careful, as the suggested correct answers may not be right.

One thought on “Grab some salt to go with those practice cert tests

  1. there is 300+ walgreens and cvs within 400 miles of fort worth, including a walgreens in downtown fort worth. should have just asked the conceirge

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