As a IT pro, there is no escaping that virtualization skills will take you a long way. Virtualization uses server consolidation to reduce capital costs — an essential requirement for today’s enterprises.
A certification in virtualization can help data storage pros stay ahead in the workforce.
However, before making a decision about which is the best virtualization certification, pros should consider factors such as the virtualization technology offered in the training, prerequisites, and availability.
See below to learn all about the top certifications in the virtualization field:
1. VMware Certified Professional, Data Center Virtualization
VMware offers more than 21 virtualization certifications and several digital badges. ControlUp’s analysis reported VMware’s use in virtualization by 68% of organizations. The certifications of a company occupying such a gorilla market share have the potential to land developers a better-paying job.
Skills Acquired: VMware Certified Professional—Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV) prepares individuals to set up, deploy, and manage VMware server and storage clusters. As such, the certification is ideal for network and storage admins who want to get hands-on experience with Google, AWS, or other cloud deployments.
Requirements: To sit for the VCP-DCV exam, pros must either have the latest VCP certifications or first pass the vSphere foundation exam.
Duration: Each test lasts for about 105 minutes and contains 70 questions.
Cost: The VCP-DCV exam costs $375, with an extra $125 for the Foundation test. The pro-level DCV Core test costs around $250.
2. Citrix Certified Associate, Virtualization (CCA-V)
Citrix’s Xen-based offering already works well with Azure and is ideal for system admins looking to specialize in virtual applications and desktop products. Citrix also offers professional certifications across verticals from associate to intermediate and master levels.
Skills Acquired: The Citrix Certified Associate—Virtualization (CCA-V) certification provides systems and desktop administrators the skills to install, configure, and manage Virtual Apps, Cloud Connectors, StoreFront, and other Citrix application products.
Requirements: To acquire a CCA-V certification, you must pass the 1Y0-204 exam.
Duration: The Citrix Certified Associate—Virtualization exam is 90 minutes long.
Cost: The exam costs $200.
3. Oracle VM 3.0 for x86 Certified Implementation Specialist
Oracle VM’s virtualization products target a specific niche of Oracle Partner members rather than offering general virtualization certificates applicable across systems. The program is ideal for professionals looking to either sell or execute the Oracle VM solution across the virtualization space.
Skills Acquired: With the Oracle VM 3.0 for x86 Certified Implementation Specialist certification, professionals can get hands-on experience with installing and discovering OVM servers, configuring storage and network repository, managing guest VMs and templates, etc.
Requirements: The certification is suited for intermediate-category pros; thus, having field experience and some pre-certification training are highly recommended. Also, to receive this certification, individuals must pass the Oracle VM 3.0 for x86 Essentials 1Z0-590 exam with a 61% score.
Duration: The exam lasts two hours.
Cost: The total cost of this certification exam is $245.
4. Red Hat Certified Specialist in Virtualization
Red Hat’s Certified Specialist (RHCS) in Virtualization exam is suited for NetOps administrators working specifically on the Red Hat Linux virtual infrastructure.
Skills Acquired: Skills validated by this certification include installing the Red Hat virtualization manager and Red Hat virtualization hypervisor, managing storage, working with virtual machines, and creating networking objects and cluster policies.
Requirements: Red Hat doesn’t have any formal prerequisite to complete the certification. However, native proficiency in Linux will be handy to understand basic concepts and clear the test with ease. At the very least, developers should be well-versed with the information covered by the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator Training.
Duration: The RHCS Virtualization Exam (EX318) is three hours long.
Cost: This certification costs around $400.
5. EMC Cloud Architect (EMCCA) Virtualized Infrastructure Certification
Dell’s parent company EMC has released three certifications on virtualization over the years, one of the most recent being the EMC Cloud Architect for virtualized infrastructure. The test includes 60 multiple choice questions from GRC, management, and design.
Skills Acquired: For this certification, candidates will gain basic knowledge about virtualized servers, network storage, implementing cloud strategies, and updating data centers on virtual machines and cloud extensions.
Requirements: EMCCA is a beginner-level course with no prerequisites. However, clearing the certificate can open higher-level certification avenues for developers.
Duration: The exam lasts two hours, with an extension for non-English native speakers.
Cost: The EMC Cloud Architect certification costs $200.
6. Microsoft Virtualization Certifications
Microsoft offers several virtualization certificates to network administrators, including MCSA: Windows Server 2012 for Windows Server virtualization, which is made up of three exams, and MCSE: Cloud Platform for Azure Virtualization. Moreover, Microsoft allows professionals to customize their certificates by combining exam schedules across courses.
Skills Acquired: Candidates will get hands-on experience with Azure and Window frameworks as well as an understanding of networking features, and executing nested virtualization.
Requirements: A professional sitting for this exam must have six months of experience working with Azure and sound knowledge of Azure’s core services.
Duration: The exam lasts three hours.
Cost: The Microsoft Azure certification costs around $165.
7. Cisco Professional Certifications
Cisco’s professional-level certifications consist of two main programs: the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and the Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP). CCNP is the first step of the ladder and is a prerequisite for other Cisco-powered virtualization certifications.
Skills Acquired: The CCNP certification helps professionals plan, deploy, and troubleshoot local and wide area networks. And the CCDP recognizes candidates who are proficient in designing and deploying scalable and multilayer-switched networks.
Requirements: To obtain the CCDP certification, an individual must successfully complete three entry-level exams along with CCDA and CCNA certifications.
Duration: Each exam lasts approximately 75–120 minutes
Cost: Cisco’s professional certification exams cost somewhere between $900 to $1,200.
8. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator, Associate
AWS and VMware recently concluded a joint agreement that has the potential to open up new jobs for administrators having a firsthand experience with both virtualization systems.
Skills Acquired: The SysOps Administrator—Associate certification helps administrators manage, deploy, and operate tolerant AWS machines and better network administration.
Requirements: A candidate must pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect—Associate (SAA-C02) test before taking the certification course. Moreover, previous experience with deploying virtual machines via AWS is a plus, but it is not required.
Duration: The certification training lasts 25 hours in online mode.
Cost: The SysOps Administrator—Associate certification costs $150.
9. IBM PowerVM Certifications
IBM’s PowerVM certifications are immediate-category training courses ideal for developers looking to get hands-on experience with Logical Rationing in Power Systems.
Skills Acquired: Candidates will gain skills in PowerVM configuration; implementing logical partitions; partial processors; reallocating memory; VLAN; GUI (graphical user interface); Host Ethernet Adapters (HEA); and working experience with Hardware Management Console (HMC), NPIV configuration, and Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT).
Requirements: Working knowledge of Power Systems, IBM i (OL52G) and HMCs are a plus but not mandatory.
Duration: The certification training lasts three days in the classroom and virtual formats.
Cost: IBM;s PowerVM certifications cost around $200 depending on the candidate’s location.
10. Nutanix Certified Professional, Multi Cloud Infrastructure
As per GlobalKnowledge, the Nutanix Certified Professional—Multi Cloud Infrastructure (NCP-MCI) certification is already in the top 15 high-paying certification categories. The course helps professionals deploy the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform and configure several customized NutanixVM products in an organization. The exam has a standard multiple-choice question format, where questions are randomly drawn from the given sample.
Skills Acquired: Candidates will gain an understanding in deploying Nutanix AOS nodes, clusters, and blocks; configuring Prism Element; VM management; troubleshooting AHV hosts; data protection; and virtual machines.
Requirements: Previous working knowledge of Nutanix cloud platform is required.
Language Supported: English, Mandarin, and Japanese
Duration: The certification exam lasts 120 minutes.
Cost: The exam is part of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Administration package and cannot be added separately.