Teaching the NetApp Certified Storage Associate Certification (NCSA): Lessons, Labs and Tips to Build Storage and Data Management into Your IT Programs

Track Room Location: Heritage Hall, room 137


With the explosion in data volumes and variety that organizations are dealing with worldwide, storage and data management skills are key, in-demand assets for any IT professional. This track will prepare you to deliver the NCSA certification curriculum to your students as part of a dedicated storage course or as a 30-hr track of study that you can build into existing courses on networking and virtualization. You will review/take several foundational web-based courses, work on two, virtual, self-paced labs, gain in-depth experience with NetApp’s Data ONTAP storage management software (the #1 storage OS installed worldwide), set-up a Data ONTAP VSIM, review/develop exercises to demonstrate storage concepts to your students – and even take a practice certification exam. You will leave with the expertise to deploy the NCSA at your institution, and to offer your students the opportunity to gain an exciting industry credential. The goal for the week is prepare you to add value to the NCSA curriculum and arm you with ideas and exercises to use with your students in the classroom to reinforce the learning they will be gaining on-line. You will also be enrolled in and eligible to complete the NCSA yourself – and all participants will be offered a Pearson test voucher to take the NCSA exam at no charge.


Experience teaching IT courses or experience working with programs such as the Cisco and VMware academies, including a basic understanding of networking and a familiarity with virtualization. Interest in data center and cloud service infrastructures a plus.


Patrick Hughes - NetApp University
Patrick Hughes is Senior Technical Instructor at NetApp University. He joined NetApp in 1999, and has taught nearly all technical courses produced by the company. He enjoys traveling around the world teaching NetApp courses in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

A native of Silicon Valley, Patrick has worked for several high tech companies in his career, including NetApp, Sun Microsystems, Applied Materials, and others. He has an extensive background in technical management and education.

Patrick has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Management from the University of San Francisco, and an MBA from Regis University in Denver Colorado. He currently lives in Longmont, Colorado.

Mark Conway - Academic Alliances at NetApp
Mark is the Sr. Program Lead for Academic Alliances at NetApp. In this role, he works with faculty to enrich their IT/IS-related programs, curricula, and student learning opportunities with teaching resources on storage, data management and emerging topics such as virtualization, cloud computing and data center architectures. Mark has developed and led innovative industry-academic partnership programs for several leading technology firms, including DEC, PeopleSoft, Hyperion, Oracle, and NetApp. He has an extensive track record of successfully collaborating with faculty worldwide, to enhance their teaching by infusing new technologies and industry best practices content into their courses. Mark is also the program lead for NetApp’s participation in the Joining Forces IT Training and Certification Program that is sponsored by the DoD to assist returning veterans with NetApp training and certification.

Mark has a Masters in Technology, Strategy and Policy from Boston University, a Masters in Education from Northeastern University and a BA in Psychology from Merrimack College.

Three Objectives

1. Introduce attendees to the fundamentals of today’s storage and data management solutions and storage industry trends & directions to enable them to infuse data management content and concepts into various IT programs and courses.
2. Provide participants with an in-depth, hands-on, interactive, train-the-trainer experience based on the NetApp Certified Storage Associates certification curriculum and labs.
3. Review/demonstrate the NCSA Instructor Resources to prepare participants to teach and deliver all of the content in the NCSA certification to their students – and provide them a framework to add storage courses and certification to their networking & virtualization courses and related-IT programs.


Day 1:
  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Overview of the week, the NetApp Academic Alliances Program and the NCSA Certification
  • Lecture/presentation on Storage Industry Trends
  • Set-up and Log-in to NetApp Faculty Learning Accounts
  • Review of the NCSA’s 5 Foundational web-based courses ( WBTs)
  • Complete the Storage Fundamentals WBT
  • Review of the Network Fundamentals WBT

Day 2:
  • Complete the Clustered Data ONTAP WBT
  • Complete the Basic NetApp Configuration and Administration (BNCA) lab – Part 1

Day 3:
  • Review of the NCSA Instructors Guide
  • Complete the Storage Area Network (SAN) Fundamentals WBT
  • Complete the Basic NetApp Configuration and Administration (BNCA) lab – Part 2

Day 4:
  • White Board exercises
  • Review of materials covered to date
  • Install and Set-up of Clustered Data ONTAP VSIM
  • Group work on VSIM exercises

Day 5:
  • Review of NCSA Study Guide
  • NCSA Practice Exam
  • Q&A
  • Wrap-up Discussion


Instructor Links

NetApp Academic Alliances Case Studies

The NCSA certification data sheet

NetworkWorld interview with Tom Georgens, NetApp CEO: http://goo.gl/lexWf0

Please note that content is subject to change or modification based on the unique needs of the track participants in attendance.
Patrick Hughes is Senior Technical Instructor at NetApp University.