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Preparing for the Arista ACE-L3 Exam: Study Tips and Advice

Arista L3 Exam

In the ever-evolving world of information technology, staying up-to-date with the latest advancements and certifications is essential. The Arista ACE-L3 Exam, designed to test your knowledge of Arista networking technologies, is a valuable certification for IT professionals. 591Cert offers training courses and practice tests to help you prepare for the ACE-L3 Exam.

Our comprehensive program includes studies to cover all aspects of networking technology, from provisioning and troubleshooting devices to configuring advanced features like Virtual LANs (VLANs), Quality of Service (QoS) policies, and Access Control Lists (ACLs). We provide a blend of live and virtual instruction and comprehensive practice exams to ensure you are entirely prepared for the certification exam. With our program, you can earn the Arista ACE-L3 certification with confidence! Our team is committed to helping you reach your goals. In this article, we will provide comprehensive study tips and advice to help you prepare effectively for this exam.

What is the Arista ACE-L3 exam?

ACE stands for “Arista Cloud Engineer”. Arista Networks offers the Arista ACE program, a certification program that validates the knowledge and skills of network professionals in configuring, managing, and troubleshooting Arista networking solutions. This program targets network engineers and administrators using Arista products in their network infrastructure. Further, the program provides training and certification exams for various levels of expertise, from beginner to advanced. With the ACE program, professionals can validate their skills and demonstrate their ability to effectively design, deploy, operate, debug, and troubleshoot networks with Arista solutions. There are seven ACE levels:

And L1 to L5 are practical.

ACE-L3 exam focuses on Data Center solutions, mainly the following technologies:

  • CloudVision
  • Universal Cloud Networking – L3LS
  • VXLAN
  • EVPN
  • Other related features include MLAG, routing (mainly BGP and MP-BGP), security, and others.

The exam is a four-hour online, computer-based practical test. You can access the internet without seeking external help or discussing the exam. Since rules and formats can change, always check the official Arista exam page before scheduling your exam. Arista exams are called CORE exams. Core stands for Cloud Operational Readiness Evaluations.

Before taking the Arista ACE-L3 exam, you may need to complete an official course. Check the latest requirements beforehand. The ACE-L3 certification is an intermediate level, known as the “Cloud Journeyman” certificate, because it falls between beginner and expert levels.

Understanding the Arista ACE-L3 Exam

To succeed in the Arista ACE-L3 Exam, you need to have a deep understanding of Arista’s networking solutions. This includes Arista’s hardware, software, and unique approach to the data center and cloud networking. Here’s an overview of what the exam covers:

  1. Networking Concepts: A strong grasp of fundamental networking concepts is essential. This tests your expertise in subnetting, routing, and switching.
  2. Arista Products: Familiarize yourself with Arista’s product line, including switches and routers. Understanding the features and capabilities of these devices is crucial.
  3. Arista EOS (Extensible Operating System): The Arista EOS is a key component of Arista’s products. You will need to know how to configure, manage, and troubleshoot it.
  4. Data Center Networking: Arista is well-known for its data center networking solutions. You will be tested on data center design, virtualization, and cloud networking.
  5. Security: Security is a top priority in networking. Expect questions on network security best practices and Arista’s security features.
  6. Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting is a significant part of the exam. You will need to diagnose and resolve network issues efficiently.
  7. Best Practices: The exam tests your knowledge of industry best practices, with a focus on Arista’s approach.
  8. Practical Skills: Some exam parts may require hands-on skills, such as configuring devices or solving real-world network problems.

By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of what the Arista ACE-L3 Exam is all about. So, stay tuned for more in-depth articles on specific topics related to this certification.

Who Should Take the Arista ACE-L3 Exam?

The Arista ACE-L3 Exam is not for everyone. It’s designed for a specific audience, and knowing if you fall into that category is essential.

Target Audience for the Arista ACE-L3 Exam

  1. Network Engineers: If you are a network engineer responsible for designing, implementing, and managing network solutions, this exam is highly relevant. It is especially beneficial for those working in data center environments.
  2. Arista Professionals: This exam can help professionals who work with Arista products or for organizations that rely solely on Arista’s networking solutions improve their careers.
  3. IT Professionals: This certification can be valuable for IT professionals involved in network operations, as it shows a comprehensive understanding of Arista technologies.
  4. Aspiring Network Architects: If you aim to become a network architect, the Arista ACE-L3 certification can be a stepping stone in your career journey.
  5. Data Center Administrators: Professionals responsible for data center administration, including virtualization and cloud networking, can benefit from this certification.
  6. Network Security Specialists: As security is a critical aspect of networking, those specializing in network security will find this certification advantageous.
  7. Cloud Professionals: Individuals working with cloud environments, where Arista’s networking solutions are frequently used, should consider taking this exam.

If you belong to any of these categories, the Arista ACE-L3 Exam certification can improve your career and prove your expertise in the field. Therefore, keep reading to learn more about its benefits.

Arista ACE-L3 exam environment?

Arista ACE-L3 is a practical exam, so it is not enough to study the material or understand the theory. You also need to practice. Besides, the exam is short to a 4-hour time frame, and the more you practice, the faster you can complete it. The exam is a replica of the Arista lab environment, and many of the questions are similar to the official lab environment for the ACE-L3 course and exercise.

The video below provides details about the lab environment.

 The diagram below shows a typical lab setup for the ACE-L3 exam.

Arista lab environment

Building Your Home Lab for the Arista ACE-L3 Exam

Building a lab environment for your ACE-L3 exam practice is crucial. The good news is that Arista provides free access to the vEOS and cEOS software on their website. To begin, follow these steps to download the latest releases:

  1. Register on the Arista Networks website.
  2. Accept the license agreement.
  3. Download the latest releases for both cEOS and vEOS.

The availability of additional folders and options may vary depending on your business relationship with Arista. Nevertheless, this setup will help you familiarize yourself the Arista environment, making sure you are fully ready for the practical exam.

Exploring cEOS and vEOS Directories

The following snapshot shows the two directories for cEOS and vEOS, which are available for free. You may see more folders and options based on your business relationship with Arista.

Downloading cEOS/vEOS from the Arista website

If you click on any of these folders, you will see a list of available versions for download. You can also access TOI about each version in a different tab on the same page. The 1st subfolder is for Aboot, the boot loader for Arista switches.

Arista CVP

Arista CVP is not available for free download. You may need to contact your Arista representative or local team to download Arista CVP image. 

You can still run Arista vEOS in GNS3 or EVE-NG environments. The following two links provide you with more details and instructions:

Few hints and configuration templates for Arista ACE-L3 exam

In the Arista ACE-L3 exam, you can access your local files (you need to verify the rules again before taking the exam). Time is of the essence during the exam, so having ready templates for each part of the exam is crucial. These templates should cover the main blocks of any ACE-L3 exam:

  • IP connectivity and links
  • EBGP or other routing (underlay)
  • VXLAN
  • MP-BGP
  • MLAG
  • EVPN
  • VRF
  • Symmetric or asymmetric routing

You better have separate templates for symmetric than the templates for asymmetric so you can use the suitable templates during the exam without much modification. You will need to modify interface numbers, IP addresses, AS numbers, VRF names, but at least you have the main structure of the configuration component.

The templates below are for asymmetric routing. Symmetric routing includes L3 VNI for the VRF under VXLAN configuration, something similar to the template below:

!
interface Vxlan1
   vxlan source-interface Loopback0
   vxlan udp-port 4789
   vxlan vlan 101 vni 10101
   vxlan vlan 201 vni 20202
   vxlan vrf tenant-202 vni 2222  L3 VNI for symmetric routing 
! 
router bgp 65004
   maximum-paths 4 ecmp 4
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY peer group
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY remote-as 65100
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY update-source Loopback0
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY ebgp-multihop
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY send-community
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY maximum-routes 0
   neighbor spines peer group
   neighbor spines remote-as 65100
   neighbor spines maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor 10.10.1.13 peer group spines
   neighbor 10.10.2.13 peer group spines
   neighbor 10.10.3.13 peer group spines
   neighbor 10.21.21.21 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 10.22.22.22 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 10.23.23.23 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   redistribute connected route-map redist-SVI
   !
   vlan-aware-bundle leafvlans
      rd 10.12.12.12:1
      route-target both 1:1
      redistribute learned
      vlan 101,201
   !
   address-family evpn
      bgp next-hop-unchanged
      neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY activate
   !
   address-family ipv4
      no neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY activate
   !
   vrf tenant-202
      rd 10.14.14.14:2222
      route-target import evpn 202:2222
      route-target export evpn 202:2222
      redistribute connected
      redistribute static

Sample Configuration and Templates for Asymmetric Routing

1. Spine1 configuration Sample

service routing protocols model multi-agent
!
interface Ethernet2
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.1/30
!
interface Ethernet3
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.5/30
!
interface Ethernet4
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.9/30
!
interface Ethernet5
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.13/30
!
interface Ethernet6
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.17/30
!
interface Ethernet7
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.21/30
!
ip routing
!
router bgp 65000
   maximum-paths 4 ecmp 4
   neighbor leaf12 peer group
   neighbor leaf12 remote-as 65001
   neighbor leaf12 maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor leaf34 peer group
   neighbor leaf34 remote-as 65002
   neighbor leaf34 maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor leaf12 send-community
   neighbor leaf34 send-community
   neighbor borderleaf peer group
   neighbor borderleaf maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor borderleaf remote-as 65500
   neighbor 172.16.254.18 peer group borderleaf
   neighbor 172.16.254.22 peer group borderleaf
   neighbor 172.16.254.2 peer group leaf12
   neighbor 172.16.254.6 peer group leaf12
   neighbor 172.16.254.10 peer group leaf34
   neighbor 172.16.254.14 peer group leaf34
   neighbor 172.16.0.70 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.70 remote-as 65001
   neighbor 172.16.0.71 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.71 remote-as 65001
   neighbor 172.16.0.72 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.72 remote-as 65002
   neighbor 172.16.0.73 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.73 remote-as 65002
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY send-community
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY ebgp-multihop
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY next-hop-unchanged
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY update-source loopback 0
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY maximum-routes 0
   redistribute connected
   !
   address-family evpn
      neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY activate

   !
   address-family ipv4
      network 172.16.0.101/32
      network 0.0.0.0/0
      no neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY activate

2. Spine2 Configuration Sample

service routing protocols model multi-agent
!
interface Ethernet2
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.25/30
!
interface Ethernet3
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.29/30
!
interface Ethernet4
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.33/30
!
interface Ethernet5
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.37/30
!
interface Ethernet6
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.41/30
!
interface Ethernet7
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.45/30
!
ip routing
!
router bgp 65000
   maximum-paths 4 ecmp 4
   neighbor leaf12 peer group
   neighbor leaf12 remote-as 65001
   neighbor leaf12 maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor leaf34 peer group
   neighbor leaf34 remote-as 65002
   neighbor leaf34 maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor leaf12 send-community
   neighbor leaf34 send-community
   neighbor borderleaf peer group
   neighbor borderleaf maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor borderleaf remote-as 65500
   neighbor 172.16.254.42 peer group borderleaf
   neighbor 172.16.254.46 peer group borderleaf
   neighbor 172.16.254.26 peer group leaf12
   neighbor 172.16.254.30 peer group leaf12
   neighbor 172.16.254.34 peer group leaf34
   neighbor 172.16.254.38 peer group leaf34
   neighbor 172.16.0.70 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.70 remote-as 65001
   neighbor 172.16.0.71 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.71 remote-as 65001
   neighbor 172.16.0.72 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.72 remote-as 65002
   neighbor 172.16.0.73 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.73 remote-as 65002
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY send-community
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY ebgp-multihop
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY next-hop-unchanged
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY update-source loopback 0
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY maximum-routes 0
   redistribute connected
   !
   address-family evpn
      neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY activate

   !
   address-family ipv4
      network 172.16.0.102/32
      network 0.0.0.0/0
      no neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY activate 
!   

3. Spine3 Configuration Sample

!
service routing protocols model multi-agent
!
interface Ethernet1
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.49/30
!
interface Ethernet2
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.53/30
!
interface Ethernet3
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.57/30
!
interface Ethernet4
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.61/30
!
interface Ethernet5
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.65/30
!
interface Ethernet6
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.69/30
!
ip routing
!
router bgp 65000
   maximum-paths 4 ecmp 4
   neighbor leaf12 peer group
   neighbor leaf12 remote-as 65001
   neighbor leaf12 maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor leaf34 peer group
   neighbor leaf34 remote-as 65002
   neighbor leaf34 maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor leaf12 send-community
   neighbor leaf34 send-community
   neighbor borderleaf peer group
   neighbor borderleaf maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor borderleaf remote-as 65500
   neighbor 172.16.254.66 peer group borderleaf
   neighbor 172.16.254.70 peer group borderleaf
   neighbor 172.16.254.50 peer group leaf12
   neighbor 172.16.254.54 peer group leaf12
   neighbor 172.16.254.58 peer group leaf34
   neighbor 172.16.254.62 peer group leaf34
   neighbor 172.16.0.70 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.70 remote-as 65001
   neighbor 172.16.0.71 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.71 remote-as 65001
   neighbor 172.16.0.72 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.72 remote-as 65002
   neighbor 172.16.0.73 peer group EVPN-OVERLAY
   neighbor 172.16.0.73 remote-as 65002
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY send-community
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY ebgp-multihop
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY next-hop-unchanged
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY update-source loopback 0
   neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY maximum-routes 0
   redistribute connected
   !
   address-family evpn
      neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY activate

   !
   address-family ipv4
      network 172.16.0.103/32
      network 0.0.0.0/0
      no neighbor EVPN-OVERLAY activate
!

4. Leaf MLAG Configuration Sample

!
vlan 4094
   trunk group mlag
!
no spanning-tree vlan-id 4094
!
interface port-channel 1
description MLAG – HOST1
switchport mode access
switchport access vlan 100
mlag 1
!
interface Port-Channel10
   description mlag peer link - LEAF2
   switchport mode trunk
   switchport trunk group mlag
!
interface ethernet 1
description MLAG PEER LINK – LEAF2
channel-group 10 mode active
!
interface ethernet 2
description MLAG PEER LINK – LEAF2
channel-group 10 mode active
!
interface ethernet 6
description Link to HOST1
channel-group 1 mode active
!
interface ethernet 7
description Link to HOST1
channel-group 1 mode active
!
interface Vlan 4094
   no autostate
   ip address 172.16.255.1/30
!
mlag configuration
   domain-id leaf12-mlag
   local-interface Vlan4094
   peer-address 172.16.255.2
   peer-link Port-Channel10
!

5. Leaf VXLAN Configuration Sample

!
int vxlan 1
vxlan source-interface loopback 1
vxlan vlan 100 vni 1010
exit
!
int vlan 100
ip add 172.16.100.2/24
ip virtual-router address 172.16.100.1
ip virtual-router mac-address 001c.7300.00ff
!

6. Leaf BGP-EVPN Configuration Sample

service routing protocols model multi-agent
!
interface Ethernet3
   description uplink-03
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.2/30
!
interface Ethernet4
   description uplink-04
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.26/30
!
interface Ethernet5
   description uplink-05
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.50/30
!
ip routing
!
ip prefix-list local-SVI
   seq 10 permit 172.16.100.0/24
   seq 20 permit 172.16.200.0/24
!
route-map redist-SVI permit 10
   match ip address prefix-list local-SVI
!
router bgp 65001
router-id 172.16.0.70
   maximum-paths 4 ecmp 4
   neighbor spines peer group
   neighbor spines remote-as 65000
   neighbor spines maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor 172.16.254.1 peer group spines
   neighbor 172.16.254.25 peer group spines
   neighbor 172.16.254.49 peer group spines
   network 172.16.0.70/32
   network 172.16.1.70/32
   redistribute connected route-map redist-SVI
neighbor 172.16.0.101 peer group EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY
neighbor 172.16.0.102 peer group EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY
neighbor 172.16.0.103 peer group EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY
neighbor EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY send-community
neighbor EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY ebgp-multihop
neighbor EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY remote-as 65000
neighbor EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY update-source loopback 0
neighbor EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY maximum-routes 0

neighbor 172.16.255.2 peer group iBGP-VTEP-peer-Underlay
neighbor iBGP-VTEP-peer-Underlay peer group
neighbor iBGP-VTEP-peer-Underlay send-community
neighbor iBGP-VTEP-peer-Underlay maximum-routes 12000
neighbor iBGP-VTEP-peer-Underlay next-hop-self
neighbor iBGP-VTEP-peer-Underlay remote-as 65001

!
address-family ipv4
no neighbor EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY activate
!
address-family evpn
neighbor EVPN-SPINE-OVERLAY activate
bgp next-hop-unchanged
!
vlan 100
rd 172.16.0.70:100
route-target both 100:1010
redistribute learned
exit
!
vlan 200
rd 172.16.0.70:200
route-target both 200:1020
redistribute learned
exit
!

7. Leaf EVPN L3 Configuration Sample

vrf instance tenant-100
!
interface vlan100
   vrf tenant-100
   ip address 172.16.100.2/24
   ip virtual-router address 172.16.100.1
!
ip routing vrf tenant-100
!
interface Vxlan1
   vxlan vrf tenant-100 vni 1111
!
router bgp 65001
   !
   vrf tenant-100
      rd 172.16.0.70:1111
      route-target import evpn 100:1111
      route-target export evpn 100:1111
      redistribute connected
      redistribute static

8. Border Leaf Configuration Sample

service routing protocols model multi-agent
!
interface Ethernet3
   description uplink-03
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.18/30
!
interface Ethernet4
   description uplink-04
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.42/30
!
interface Ethernet5
   description uplink-05
   no switchport
   ip address 172.16.254.66/30
!
ip routing
!
ip prefix-list local-LOOP
   seq 10 permit 172.10.1.0/24 ge 32
!
route-map prepend permit 10
   set as-path prepend 10 10 10
!
route-map redist-LOOP permit 10
   match ip address prefix-list local-LOOP
!
router bgp 65500
   maximum-paths 4 ecmp 4
   neighbor spines peer group
   neighbor spines remote-as 65000
   neighbor spines maximum-routes 12000
   neighbor 172.16.254.17 peer group spines
   neighbor 172.16.254.41 peer group spines
   neighbor 172.16.254.65 peer group spines
   network 172.16.0.201/32
   aggregate-address 172.10.1.0/24 attribute-map prepend summary-only
   redistribute connected route-map redist-LOOP

9. Host Configuration Sample

!
interface Port-Channel1
description MLAG – Leaf12
no switchport
ip address 172.16.100.10/24
!
interface Ethernet1
channel-group 1 mode active
interface Ethernet2
channel-group 1 mode active
interface Ethernet3
channel-group 1 mode active
interface Ethernet4
channel-group 1 mode active
!
ip routing
!
ip route 172.16.200.0/24 172.16.100.1
!

Remember that these are just templates to get you started. It’s essential to customize them according to the specific requirements of your ACE-L3 exam.

Final Thoughts on the Arista ACE-L3 Exam

Passing the Arista ACE-L3 exam requires a comprehensive understanding of its structure, the exam environment, and essential configurations. Building a robust home lab provides hands-on experience crucial for success. Exploring cEOS and vEOS directories offers insights into the exam environment, while sample configurations and templates provide practical guidance for solving challenges, particularly in asymmetric routing scenarios. By familiarizing themselves with these elements, candidates can confidently approach the Arista ACE-L3 exam and navigate its complexities with proficiency.

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