Cisco Overhauls Data Center Certifications
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) has refocused its data center training and certification portfolio on job roles, adding two new designations along with a plan to align partner specializations to the new certifications.
Last March, Cisco rolled out the CCIE Data Center certification which went live in September, and now the vendor has fleshed out its associated portfolio with the CCNA Data Center and CCNP Data Center certifications, backing both with a lineup of training courses.
A key aspect of the data center certification offering is addressing job roles of design, implementation and troubleshooting for Cisco Unified Computing and Cisco Unified Fabric, two pillars of the vendor’s Unified Data Center Architecture.
CCNA Data Center certification serves as the foundation for job roles such as data center networking administrators, requiring competence in network and server virtualization and storage and IP networking convergence. Candidates must pass two exams to qualify and the certification is valid for three years. To recertify, certified individuals must pass one of six exams.
The CCNP Data Center certification maps to job roles of Data Center Network Designers and professional-level Data Center networking practitioners. The certification validates an individual’s capabilities, including troubleshooting a virtualized computing environment based on the Cisco UCS platform focusing on storage and network connectivity, installation, memory, adapter connectivity and booting issues, drivers, BIOS and deploying a virtualized environment.
Cisco said that the explosive growth of data and newly emerging technologies for IT systems and infrastructures prompted its data center certification rethinking.
Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, Learning@Cisco vice president and general manager, said the vendor is responding to job roles changing more quickly in the data center than any other area in IT. “I will tell you that in all of the career tracks that we’re watching, security and data center continue to be the top two trends that our customers are asking for across the board,” she said in a video post. “Every CIO is looking for great talent in this area and is going to be for the next 10 years.”
Cisco plans to closely align partner certifications to the new certifications in the near future, Beliveau-Dunn added.