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Virtualization Certification Roundup

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Virtualization has grown in recent years from something only few administrators dabbled with to a technology implemented today in almost every large company. As virtualization has permeated the workplace, the need to authenticate skills with it has also developed. There are a number of virtualization certifications available, and this article examines the most popular among them.
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Virtualization has grown in recent years from something only few administrators dabbled with to a technology implemented today in almost every large company. As virtualization has permeated the workplace, the need to authenticate skills with it has also developed. There are a number of virtualization certifications available, and the following examines the most popular among them.

Citrix

Citrix stakes a claim in the certification market by claiming to offer the first end-to-end virtualization certifications. The company offers two levels of certification: Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE) and Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA). The CCEE is designed to verify knowledge of planning, integrating, and executing virtual infrastructures using Citrix products. While the certification may be considered Citrix’s entry-level offering, requirements for its attainment are still extensive.

Because of the emphasis placed on being competent with all of Citrix’s virtualization technologies, CCEE candidates must first achieve Administrator-level certification for XenApp, XenServer, and XenDesktop. Each of these three certifications requires the passing of a single exam that tests knowledge of installation, configuration, and maintenance of its respective technologies. While it is recommended that candidates receive certification on the most recent version of each technology in order to be most adequately prepared for CCEE exams, previous versions of certification are still considered valid prerequisites for the CCEE. Each of the three exams costs $150.

After being awarded Administrator-level certification on XenApp, XenServer, and XenDesktop, candidates move on to the Advanced Administration for XenApp 5.0 exam (Exam A08). This 180-minute exam contains 51 questions that expand on the skills needed to manage a server environment running XenApp. The exam places heaviest emphasis on troubleshooting (42% of total points) and tests candidates on resolving problems with connectivity, licensing, application streaming, printing, and more. The rest of the exam’s points are divided between sections dealing with the monitoring, maintenance, optimization, and scaling of the virtual environment. Exam A08 costs $150.

The final step for achieving CCEE certification is passing Exam A15, Engineering a Citrix Virtualization Solution. The exam is made up of 61 questions, seven of which are presented in a simulation format. These items give exam participants a simulated interface within which to complete specified configuration steps for the virtual environment. Exam A15 costs $300 and upon its successful completion, candidates are awarded CCEE certification.

After being awarded CCEE status, candidates may move to Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA). All CCIA candidates are advised to acquire extensive architect-level experience using Citrix technologies for virtualization. While this experience is highly recommended, Citrix does not require the submission of any documentation to prove field experience.

Candidates must pass Exam A16, Architecting a Citrix Virtualization Solution, to complete CCIA certification. The exam consists of two parts: the first contains 20 multiple-choice questions about assessing and analyzing the current virtual environment, and the second uses both multiple choice and decision tree questions to confirm one’s ability to design an integrated virtual solution through Citrix technologies. Each decision tree item consists of three multiple-choice questions, with the second and third question of each group being based on the candidate’s selection on the previous question. The exam costs $300 and lasts 165 minutes.

For more information on virtualization certification provided by Citrix, as well as full requirements and objectives of the certification exams, visit http://citrixtraining.com/content/index.cfm?content_id=196&chapter_id=1&eid=2010_EDUbanner

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