Friday, 4 July 2014

Virtualization is virtually everywhere – it’s time to get certified

The world of IT is constantly changing. With the introduction of virtualization and cloud computing the Information Technology landscape has changed significantly over the last few years.

Virtualization plays a key role in taking your customers to public, private and hybrid clouds or helping them in the creation of other mobility platforms, such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Virtualized environments are also increasingly common in the fields of networking, systems administration and enterprise architecture. It’s safe to say that an advanced understanding of virtualization is useful for any IT professional.

But what is virtualization?

By definition virtualization is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, for example an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources. Virtualization pioneer VMware describes its benefits like this:

Virtualization is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility—not just for large enterprises, but for small and midsize businesses too. Virtualization allows you to:
  • Run multiple operating systems and applications on a single computer
  • Consolidate hardware to get vastly higher productivity from fewer servers
  • Save 50% or more on overall IT costs
  • Speed up and simplify IT management, maintenance, and the deployment of new applications

Skills Needed

According to a recent survey by IT management company, SolarWinds, cloud and virtualization are going to be the most in demand IT skill sets over the next three to five years. Over 50% of surveyed professionals agreed with this, raising the question: What other skills can complement the development of virtualization?

Survey results say that business analytics and app/device management are extremely useful skills to support virtualized environments. However, they are likely to require a significant investment to perfectly develop within any organisation.

Training is essential

Technologies are constantly evolving and with them comes the requirement for new skill sets. In order to stay on top of what’s going on in your field of expertise, you must be continuously learning regardless of whether it's self-learning or classroom-based training. 

Organisations should also chip in, be it directly providing training, or just facilitating engagement in training opportunities, it is an important aspect of keeping up with change.

Are you ready to take on the challenges of virtualization? These certifications will help you greatly:

VMware virtualization certifications

VMware is a leader in the field of virtualization, and currently offers six credentials at Associate, Professional, Advanced Professional, and Expert levels. Certifications are available in cloud computing, data centre virtualization, desktop virtualization and network virtualization as demonstrated on this road map:

If you want to learn how to configure a scalable virtual infrastructure and you already have a basic knowledge of cloud computing or virtualization the vSphere 5.5 (VCP5-DCV) course is for you. On this course you’ll acquire skills, including:
  • Configuring and controlling ESXi storage
  • Creating, configuring, migrating, managing and monitoring virtual machines and applications
  • Using vCenter Server to monitor resource usage
With VMware’s certifications organisations will be able to reduce operational costs by increasing energy efficiency, while enhancing business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities for your virtualized infrastructure. From an individual perspective, your VMware cert will increase your employability, demonstrate your commitment and expertise, and put you in a better position for earning a higher salary. 

Virtualization solutions from Citrix

Founded in 1989, Citrix is one of the longest standing virtualization technology providers in the market. After some recent changes to its certification program, Citrix currently offers the following virtualization certs:

  • CCE-V suits IT operators and admins managing, maintaining, monitoring and troubleshooting Citrix’s virtual desktop solution XenDesktop 7.
  • CCP-V is ideal for engineers and consultants installing, configuring and rolling out common XenDesktop 7 solutions. In order to get this credential, you must hold the CCA-V certification.
  • CCE-V validates the skills of experienced IT solution designers, such as engineers, architects and consultants designing and assessing XenDesktop 7 solutions. The prerequisite for this certification is the CCP-V credential. 
Do you already hold a CCIA or CCEE certification? These credentials are retiring in November 2014 and upgrades are already available, read this to learn more about them.

Whether you decide to go with VMware, Citrix or any other solution provider, you're making the right choice, because the demand for virtualization skills will only increase in the future.