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Virtualization Certifications in 2013

Virtualization Certifications in 2013

Server virtualization is now a mature technology that many companies utilize to keep their IT hardware costs in check. Server virtualization was the first virtualization technology to emerge over a decade ago and it took several years for the promise of cheaper server deployments to match the reality offered by early server virtualization software. Server virtualization has now been almost totally absorbed by cloud architectures that combine server virtualization technologies with dynamic provisioning for computing capacity, storage and networking.

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Desktop virtualization got a later start than did server virtualization, but virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is now a hot topic for many companies looking to control desktop software licensing costs while also tightening data security in an ever-more-mobile world. The decision to support a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) corporate policy can be justification enough for companies to consider VDI as a way to control access to corporate data via mobile devices.

Virtual network and storage technologies represent the latest wave of virtualization to sweep through an IT world looking to save money, do more work with fewer IT staff and still provide excellent support for the business and its end-users. Network and storage virtualization are the natural offspring of cloud architectures, the drive to lower network and storage costs through initiatives such as OpenStack, and an ever-increasing need for automated provisioning and management of virtual resources.

Virtualization Certification Survey

As we examine the availability of virtualization certifications, you will notice a correlation between the maturity of the underlying technology and the number of certifications offered for that virtualization subspecialty.

For instance, you will notice that server virtualization is the most prevalent virtualization certification available, followed by VDI, storage and networking virtualization. You will also notice that the term "cloud" has supplanted the term "virtualization" in most certification parlance.

For example, VMware, the granddaddy of server virtualization software, now offers only a handful of certifications that still include the word "virtualization" in the cert title. Most certifications from VMware and other major certification organizations now use the term "cloud" instead of virtualization. That's not all bad, as virtualization of servers, networks and storage is a subset and foundational building block of all cloud architectures.

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Refer to the table on the next page for specific information on virtualization -- and relevant cloud -- certifications that are available to help you gain the knowledge and expertise to succeed in the modern, virtualized IT world.


Ed Tittel is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who’s worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written and blogged for numerous publications, including Tom's Hardware, and is the author of over 140 computing books with a special emphasis on information security, Web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems. Check out Ed's Tom's IT Pro blog Making it in IT - Certification & Training.

See here for all of Ed's Tom's IT Pro articles.

Earl Follis is a long-time IT professional who has worked as a technical trainer, a technical evangelist, a network administrator, and in other IT positions for a variety of companies that include Thomas-Conrad, Tivoli/IBM, Nimsoft and Dell. He’s also contributed to numerous books, including ‘For Dummies’ titles on Windows Server and NetWare, and written for many print and Web publications. His primary areas of technical interest include networking, operating systems, cloud computing and unified monitoring.

See here for all of Earl's Tom's IT Pro articles.

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