Entering the league of USPEED Performance Gurus

VNX USPEED logoFinally! I’ve just passed the USPEED Performance Guru exam! I first got aware of the SPEED programs during a Celerra Performance Workshop a couple of years ago. Initially it was an EMC Internal program, so I couldn’t get in without switching employers. In the beginning of 2013 this changed and EMC Partners could also enroll. Too bad I ran out of time with a mountain of projects and other training material… up until now! So what does it mean when someone is USPEED certified?

What are the SPEED programs?

SPEED is part of the Performance Material Access Program or PMAP for short. There’s USPEED for the VNX Unified family and SPEED for the Symmetrix family.  The program pretty much sums up what the added benefit is: membership gives you access to additional performance material such as performance reports, tools, etc.

So how do you enter? Pretty easy: be an EMC employee or work for an EMC Velocity partner. Make sure you’re certified on your respective products: for VNX Unified that’s a minimum of an EMCTA or EMCIE certification on specialist level. Next up, sign the NDA that you won’t share all these delicious performance goodies with the people that may not have the skills to properly interpret them and inadvertently start raising hell. Email a few people and you’re allowed into the PMAP folder which is stuffed with VNX performance guides, best practices, presentations and tools. Good luck and start studying!

Upon learning all of the performance bibles by heart, you are then sent an exam which you need to pass. Don’t be afraid, the USPEED passing score is only 100% so that should be easy… 😉 This exam serves as a validation that you know what you’re talking about: performance results and tools are of no use to you if you don’t know what latency or a write penalty is. So take your time to study and learn about the art of storage performance; it will pay off in the long run!

I’ve passed the USPEED exam, now what?

More reading! Seriously: I’ve just received access to all the USPEED goodies and surprise surprise: it’s a mountain of tools, PDFs and PowerPoint presentations. There’s VNX OE code release notes, presentations on the internal workings of EFDs and wear leveling, performance scaling reports on the VNX, advice on how to benchmark a system properly, spreadsheets to quickly size a system… the list goes on and on. So any spare time will be dedicated to dig through all that information. No doubt there will be a couple of gems of knowledge in there that will make future and even current performance troubleshooting easier, faster and with less disruption to the customer.