Aruba Certified Switching Expert (ACSX) certification verifies whether you have expert-level skills or not. The skill should reflect implementation and optimization of enterprise-level Aruba wired switching solutions. If you achieve this certification, you will be able to position yourself as a switching expert who can implement complex network architectures and customer requirements to monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize multi-vendor network solutions.
To achieve ACSX, you need to pass HPE6-A69 ACSX written exam first and then HPE4-A31 ACSX Practical exam. Though there are no prerequisites to apply for ACSX written exam, it is highly recommended to have more than 5 years of advanced networking experience focused on implementing, troubleshooting, and optimizing complex network architectures and customer requirements related to multi-vendor switching networks.
Following key areas need to be mastered, before you attempt either ACSX written exam or practical exam:
- You have to be familiar with typical enterprise-level switching architecture which involves an access layer, a core layer, and top-of-rack switches for server farm connectivity. Understand the stacking methods in access layer switches such as Aruba 6200, 6300 series using Virtual Switching Framework (VSF). Learn about Virtual Switching Extension (VSX) on Aruba 6400, 8320,8325 series as they are typically used in the core layer and top-of-rack switches for server farm connectivity. Be familiar with VSX LAG and the configuration procedure associated with it. Follow the configuration guidelines given in Aruba AOS-CX switch configuration guides so that you will learn how to configure AOS-CX switches step by step as per the industry best practices.
- Analytical skills are very important in network troubleshooting. One should be thorough in show commands and debug commands to find the desired information required to perform troubleshooting towards the resolution of the problem. Also need to be familiar with the routing protocols such as OSPF and BGP and should have in-depth knowledge in the analysis of their operation.
- You need to learn and understand the protocols and technologies which are Aruba proprietary (eg: VSF, VSX, NAE) and how to use them inter-working with multi-vendor switching networks. You may try some lab setup with AOS-CX switches with VSX connecting to non-Aruba switches and observe the behavior by connecting multiple links in between them with link aggregation using LACP. Similarly, you may configure Layer 2 technologies such as STP, MSTP in such lab setup and improve your knowledge on the interoperability and limitations if any.
Once the written exam is passed, you will only have 18 months to pass the ACSX Practical Exam. If you do not pass the ACSX Practical Exam within 18 months then you will have to retake the current ACSX Written Exam. ACSX practical exam (HPE4-A31) is a six-hour exam that tests skills in resolving issues related to implementation and support on enterprise-level ArubaOS-CX campus LAN solutions, by analyzing the communication between multiple devices using packet traces and performing protocol level analysis.