ACE Expert Certification Program
Arista’s view of what defines an Expert is a forward thinking approach, moving away from the current focus, which is too much on CLI configuration tasks, and moving to a model which matches what our customers and the industry expects in the near future. The ACE Expert program gives employers security in knowing they are hiring lead engineers who not only have sound knowledge but can effortlessly assess problems and implement creative design and architecture solutions. Arista boldly deviates from the market standard which simply offers exams designed to make engineers focus their studies around mastering tricky and obscure requirements that are, in reality, unwanted in a production environment.
Engineers begin their Expert journey with ACE:L6. This is a practical design and review board. There are no prerequisites to take the L6 exam, however we encourage engineers coming from other vendor expert programs to carefully review the course details in ACE:L3-L5 to ensure they understand the differences in our approaches on best practice with core Data Center, Campus, Service Provider and Automation concepts.
The engineer will be given a scenario shaped in the form of an RFP request from a customer; they will then assume the lead architect position in answering the RFP.
The ACE:L6 Design and Architecture exam covers all architectures taught in ACE:L1-L5; including Leaf-Spine, Data Center, Campus, Service Provider connectivity, automation, and management.
After registration, your personal concierge will contact you and schedule your Expert Review Panel video conference. This is integral and will determine and initiate your program timeline. Upon confirmation, you will receive a written scenario and have 14 days to submit questions; additional information will be provided based on the questions submitted. You will then have a further two weeks before final solutions must be submitted for analysis. Arista Training will review your submission for completeness and initial grading. If your submission satisfies the exam requirements, you will be required to present your solutions and answer any clarifying questions during your video conference.
This exam does not require a lab configuration.
Program Timeline and Response
Two Response Components:
- Follow-up questions to the RFP. The RFP purposely excludes important information necessary to design a solution for the customer. As a candidate you are expected to request this additional information.
- Your final design (details follow).
Keep in mind that your goal is to completely satisfy the RFP’s requirements whilst simultaneously demonstrating your mastery of the included technologies. We strongly encourage you to compare solutions to the proposed requirements in your submission. You are only required to submit diagrams for the chosen solution.
Your Final Design Submission Must Include:
- A brief overview of your response indicating an understanding of the key requirements (a basic Cover Letter is sufficient).
- An “RFP Response”detailing the high-level design and product selections, including an explanation for why these choices were made.
- Supporting diagrams showing the customer how to connect the equipment. It is recommended to use at least one diagram for each solution: for example, Data Center, Campus, WAN, etc.
- Sample device configurations as requested in the document.
- Requested procedure documents showing processes such as upgrades, expansion of solutions, or telemetry gathering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1.Is there a budget component to my response? How much money does the customer have to spend?
This is not a budgetary exam. You are encouraged to select the best Arista product for each requirement while keeping in mind product capabilities and cost. Do not over-engineer the solution. Overengineering a solution is nearly as wrong as not meeting the customer’s requirements.
Q2.Which Arista products are in scope? Which are not?
Any currently orderable Arista product is eligible to be included in your response.
Q3.Do I need the typical “RFP fluff?”
No. You can skip the portion of the RFP response where you introduce yourself, your company, and your credentials.
Q4.Which format should I deliver my response?
Please save your response as a single-file PDF, formatted for printing.
Q5.What tool should I use to create diagrams?
Use whatever you are comfortable with, but please have them formatted for printing purposes. Either landscape or portrait orientation is fine for diagrams. If you do not use Arista-standard icons, please provide a reference identifying each icon’s purpose (switch, router, access-point, etc.).
Q6.How are you graded?
Grading is based on three main criteria:
- Initial questions to clarify and augment the RFP information
- RFP response
- Review board presentation
ACE Level 7
ACE:L7 requires ACE:L6 completion to be eligible for the exam.
ACE:L7 focuses on configuration, automation, troubleshooting and optimization. All technologies covered in ACE:L1-L5 are testable.
The ACE:L7 exam is a 10 hour practical exam. During the exam you will be allowed to take the exam virtually from any location (home, office, etc.) on your own personal laptop/PC. You will be given a Zoom link and start time. Once the exam begins you will be given a scenario. The scenario has three main parts: DC, Campus and Multi-datacenter, and SP connectivity. The exam will have components that you may configure in any way you wish (CLI, CloudVision, or through automation). There are other areas where you will not be allowed to use CLI and will need to be comfortable using CloudVision/Ansible/Python to complete the tasks.
There are no restrictions on using any resources available to complete your tasks. Any available resources may be used to complete your tasks; it is essentially an open book exam. There are no scenarios designed to trick you or tasks that are not used in typical production networks; you are graded on completion and functionality.
"Great course which did an amazing task to introduce us to 'The Arista Way' in a manner which was easily graspable and fun”
"It's refreshing that a tech company is still teaching/stressing networking basics ; a solid foundation is key for any capable architect or engineer.”
"Really nice course. It is great and many important topics are touched e.g. VXLAN, Routing, CloudVision”
"The course helped me to have an overview of network areas that I didn't have contact with and to understand the field application of the ones I had. ”
"Great course that goes into detail for each topic listed. Learned many concepts that will help me in the future with my network assignments.”
"The in depth explanation of the topics, especially the inner working of EVPN and VXLAN was excellent. Deconstructing the packets and operational flow is very valuable to understand exactly how these technologies work. The instructor did a great job of explaining this and his depth of knowledge was obvious.”
"The course does a good job of covering all the aspects of automation and how they apply to Arista products. The lab content is very structured and I really like the large and comprehensive lab environment. Much better than other vendor classes I've participated in.”
"The course was what I was looking for - introduction to automation. The difficulty level was perfect, it was challenging enough and I felt like I learnt a lot. I especially liked the labs.”
"I liked the fact the course was designed for both people knew how to code as well as people familiar with it. I learned a lot, and it made me more comfortable realizing that automation is not actually out of my grasp.”
"The instructor was fantastic, had a clear understanding on the materials that were being presented and was able to backup his presentations with his knowledge.”
"The instructor was very knowledgable and able to explain the concepts very clearly, using his own diagrams that he drew during class specifically to explain certain topics. I felt he was also very approachable and helpful when answering any questions I had.”
"Fantastic course. The layout was great and the labs were great also. Not a single complaint or even constructive criticism. You can see the amount of hard work that went into building this class.”