Palo Alto ACE exam

I thought that after having used Palo Alto’s for a few months, that I would give the Palo Alto ACE exam a go. Here is why, how and what happened.

The ACE stands for Accredited Configuration Engineer, and, to quote Palo Alto:

Passing the ACE exam indicates that you possess the basic knowledge to successfully configure Palo Alto Networks firewalls using PAN-OS. The exam also serves as a study aid to prepare for PCNSE certification.

Well, I figured I had some basic knowledge and, as the exam is free and I had some time, I would give it a go.

The Palo Alto ACE exam

It’s free, which is nice. You do need an account registered with Palo Alto, it’s delivered online, and there are only 40-50 questions. You can register for the ACE exam here.

So how did I do? Well, not great. I scored 47%. You do get to review your incorrect answers and retake at any time you want, which is good, but I would not advise trying to brute-force your way through by taking the exam over and over again.

The pass mark is 80%, so I have a little work ahead of me.

Thankfully, there are lot’s of free stuff from Palo Alto to help with this. So now I can put the graft in and study for it (alongside all the AWS stuff I am doing at the moment). The place to start is here: https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/content/dam/pan/en_US/assets/pdf/datasheets/education/edu-210-8x-datasheet.pdf and it lists all the modules covered in the ACE exam:

Module 1: Next-Generation Security Platform and Architecture
Module 2: Virtual and Cloud Deployment
Module 3: Initial Configuration
Module 4: Interface Configuration
Module 5: Security and NAT Policies
Module 6: App-ID™
Module 7: Content-ID™
Module 8: URL Filtering
Module 9: Decryption
Module 10: WildFire®
Module 11: User-ID™
Module 12: GlobalProtect™
Module 13: Site-to-Site VPNs
Module 14: Monitoring and Reporting
Module 15: Active/Passive High Availability
Module 16 Next-Generation Security Practice

So now I can study and pass the ACE exam properly. There is very little in the way of other material, i.e. Kindle books for Palo Alto, but most of the stuff is covered by the 8.1 admin guide.

I shall be making my own notes and adding them to this blog, updating the modules (above) with the links as I go.

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