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Monday, August 25, 2014

Best Data Center Certifications for 2014

Certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP)

In 1996, CNet Training began as an IT training company in the UK but has since grown into a global training organization with data center and network infrastructure courses offered on nearly every continent.
One of the most popular certifications in the CNet cert program is the Certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP). Candidates must take CNet Training courses (a core unit and a professional unit) to earn this credential. The required training includes core topics such as basic design principles, physical infrastructure, project management and data center management. The professional unit covers management topics (people, processes, facilities and services), business and IT strategies, audits, regulations and asset management.
In addition to the CDDMP, CNet Training offers numerous other data center-related certifications, such as the Certified Data Center Design Professional (CDCDP), Certified Data Center Energy Professional (CDCEP), Certified Data Center Audit Professional (CDCAP) and the Certified Data Center Technician Professional (CDCTP). The company also offers a credential for telecommunications project management and two data center energy practitioner-level certs. This is a fairly mature and comprehensive data center certification program, all in all.
Table 1: CNet Training CDCMP Facts & Figures
Certification nameCertified Data Centre Management Professional (CDCMP)
Prerequisites/
Required courses
Experience working in a data center environment
Completion of CDCMP 7-day full program course
  • Candidates may obtain the Certified Data Center Management (CDCM) credential and then complete the professional unit 4-day course to obtain the CDCMP
Recertification required every 3 years; $295 USD, approximately 28 hours of study
Number of examsIncluded with course; upon completion of course, candidates gain the CDCMP credential and the Level 5 BETC Advanced Professional Award in Data Center Management qualification
Cost per examFull program course:  $5,750 USD
URLwww.cnet-training.com/data-centre-courses/certified-data-centre-management-professional-cdcmp/
Self-study materialsNone at this time.

Cisco Certified Network Professional Data Center (CCNP Data Center)

Networking professionals looking to validate their data center skills and achieve a competitive edge in the work place can't go wrong with the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Data Center credential.
Cisco certifications continue to be some of the most recognizable and respected credentials in the industry. Geared toward technology architects, along with design and implementation engineers and solutions experts, the CCNP Data Center identifies individuals who can implement Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) blade and rack-mount servers, and install, configure, manage Cisco Nexus switches. The CCNP Data Center is designed for candidates with 3 to 5 years of experience working with Cisco technologies. 
When pursuing the CCNP Data Center, Cisco lets you choose either a design or troubleshooting track.
Related data center certifications include the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA Data Center), which requires 1 to 3 years of experience, and the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Data Center, aimed at professionals with 7 or more years of experience.
Table 2: Cisco CCNP Data Center Facts & Figures
Certification nameCisco Certified Network Professional Data Center (CCNP Data Center)
Prerequisites/
Required courses
Valid Cisco Certified Network Associate Data Center (CCNA Data Center) certification or any Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification
Training is recommended but not required
Number of exams
4 exams:
   642-999 DCUCI and 642-997 DCUFI
   plus
   Design track courses: 642-998 DCUCD and 642-996 DCUFD
   or
   Troubleshooting courses: 642-035 DCUCT and 642-980 DCUFT
Cost per exam
$200 USD per exam; $800 total (price may vary by region)
 Exams administered by Pearson VUE
URLwww.cisco.com/web/learning/certifications/professional/ccnp_datacenter/index.html
Self-study materials
Instructor-led, fee-based training is recommended
Preparation materials including self-study materials, Cisco Learning Network resources, and available Learning Partner Content:www.cisco.com/web/learning/certifications/professional/ccnp_datacenter/index.html

VMWare Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization

The VMware VCP5-DCV is one of those credentials that sits firmly on the line between traditional data center networking and cloud management.
VMware offers an extensive certification program with a rigorous Data Center virtualization track, which includes the VCP5-DCV. Candidates must thoroughly understand Domain Name System (DNS), routing and database connectivity techniques, and know how to install, deploy, manage and scale VMware vSphere environments. VMware recommends that candidates have a minimum of 6 months of experience with VMware infrastructure technologies before sitting for the VCP5-DCV exam. 
Table 3: VMware VCP5-DCV Facts & Figures
Certification nameVMWare Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization
Prerequisites/
Required courses
1. Holders of any valid VCP level certification:  
    Course: 2 day course on VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.x] (cost: $1,645 USD); classroom or live online 
2. Not VCP4-DCV certified but have completed qualifying course: Same requirements as for those holding any valid VCP level certification
3. Non-VCP credential holders:
    Course: One of the following VMware vSphere courses: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.x], Fast Track [V5.x], Optimize and Scale [V5.x], Troubleshooting Workshop [V5.x], or VMWare vSphere with Operations Management Fast Track [V5.1] (cost $3,845 USD); classroom, live online and on site; 5 day course
Number of exams
1 exam
Candidates must pass either the VCP510 (based on vSphere 5.0/5.1) or VCP550 (based on vSphere v5.5) exam
Exam administered by Pearson VUE
Cost per exam$225 USD
URLmylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=12457&ui=www_cert
Self-study materials
Practice exams:
Free practice exam from VMware: mylearn.vmware.com
Fee-based practice exam from MeasureUp starting at $89 USD:www.measureup.com
Study guide:The Official VCP5 Certification Guide, Bill Ferguson, VMware Press, 2012; $39.99 USD from Pearson: www.pearsonitcertification.com/store/official-vcp5-certification-guide-9780789749314
Video training: VCP5-DCV Official Cert Training, Bill Ferguson, VMware Press, 2014; Downloadable training video for exam VCP550, $159 USD from Pearson:www.pearsonitcertification.com/store/vcp5-dcv-official-cert-training-video-training-downloadable-9780789753373

Schneider Electric Data Center Certified Associate (DCCA)


The Schneider Electric vendor-neutral DCCA is a terrific entry-level certification for individuals who design, build and manage data centers as part of a data center-centric IT team.
The DCCA certification focuses on proficiency working with physical data center infrastructures, such as power and cooling, racks, cabling, management and security. Schneider Electric offers free training courses through its Energy University, and the DCCA courses can be completed in about 15 hours. The exam itself costs only $250 USD, making the DCCA one of the least expensive data center certifications available. It’s idea for those who design, build, or maintain the physical infrastructure for data centers.
Schneider Electric offers one other cert, the Professional Energy Manager (PEM), which is geared toward folks who perform energy audits/ assessments and recommend measures for making facilities more energy efficient.
Table 4: Schneider Electric DCCA Facts & Figures
Certification nameSchneider Electric Data Center Certified Associate (DCCA)
Prerequisites/
Required courses
16 required learning units, including Exam Overview and Study Guide
Learning modules are free 
Number of exams1 exam
Cost per exam$250 USD
URLwww2.schneider-electric.com/sites/corporate/en/products-services/training/energy-university/data-center-certificate-program.page
Self-study materialsAll course materials are self-study

BICSI Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC)

BICSI is a membership association that offers several engineering-oriented IT communications credentials aimed at networking professionals who design and implement optical fiber-, copper-based and wireless infrastructures.
BICSI is perhaps best known for its Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and cabling certifications, but it also offers the Registered Information Technology Professional (RITP) and several other certs for telecommunications project management, electronic safety and security design and outside plant design.
A relatively new certification in the BICSI program is the Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC), which is designed for IT professionals with at least 2 years of experience in planning and implementing data centers. This vendor-neutral certification is ideal for data center engineers, architects, designers and consultants.
Table 5: BICSI DCDC Facts & Figures
Certification nameBICSI Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC)
Prerequisites/
Required courses
Minimum of 2 years approved and verifiable experience in design and/or construction of data centers; experience must be current within past 6 years
Credential is valid for 3 years; credential holders must earn 24 BICSI continuing education credits (CEC) to recertify  
Number of exams1 exam
Cost per exam
Application fee: Members $245 , nonmembers $370
Exam fee: Members $150 , nonmembers $275
Exam retake fee (if applicable): Members $150 , nonmembers $275
Exam administered by Pearson VUE
URLwww.bicsi.org/double.aspx?l=5194&r=5620
Self-study materials
Multiple BICSI resources are available from the BICSI bookstore atwww.bicsi.org/bookstore.aspx, including:  
BICSI 002-2011, Data Center Design and Implementation Best Practices and the Network Systems and Commissioning (NSC) reference1st edition $360 members/$450 non-members
Information Transport Systems Design Standard for K-12 Educational Institutions, $85 members/$105 non-members

A few more data center certs to be aware of come from EMC and Extreme Networks. The EMC Data Center Architect (EMCDCA) Specialist recognizes individuals who plan, architect and deploy storage networking (SAN) solutions, including SANs within a virtualized environment. Extreme Networks offers a Specialist-Data Center Certification (ENS-DC) credential for folks who configure and manage switches and other Extreme Networks data center equipment.
Because of the proliferation of data center virtualization and cloud computing, you can expect the data center networking job market to remain strong in the near future. Achieving a certification can be a real feather in your cap, and open the door to new and better work opportunities.

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