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Virtualization Certification Options
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A good argument can be made that industry certifications play an important role in helping students get that first job or advance their careers into higher paying salaries as shown below.




While most colleges do not make certification training their major goal, I believe the above salaries illustrate why laying a foundation that allows students to successfully take a certification training course or boot camp is a valuable objective. The goal of our Hands-on Virtual Computing materials is to help you lay that foundation in the field of Virtualization and Hyperconvergence. We do this by allowing students to learn essential concepts through doing realistic projects with popular products. Understanding these basic concepts, along with product experience, lays the foundation students can build on throughout their careers. Earning specific certifications then is one way students can continue their education and demonstrate job skills in specific technologies and fields of study.


As the leader in virtualization software, VMware offers the most virtualization certification options. The following diagram shows the current VMware certification tracks and corresponding requirements.


As you can see from this diagram, VMware offers a rather complex array of certification options.  The following figure that shows a brief description of each track from VMware’s certification page -


As you can see from the diagrams, the latest certifications are moving more toward the Cloud and Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). In 2015, VMware retired their original VCA-DCV (VMware Certified Associate – Data Center Virtualization) exam and replaced it with their new VCA-DBT (Digital Business Transformation) exam. The older VCA-DCV exam was focused on using vSphere in the data center, whereas the new VCA-DBT exam is oriented toward knowledge of the Cloud as well as SDDC products that support hyperconvergence of data center resources including Compute, Network, and Storage.


Because VCA-DBT certification is the recommended basis for all VMware’s certification tracks, I believe it is beneficial if our curriculums provide students with a background that supports them in obtaining this certification. Our Hands-on Virtual Computing material lays the basic background needed to successfully complete a VCA-DBT training bootcamp and ultimately pass the VCA certification. The following table maps objectives of the VCA-DBT exam to our Hands-on Virtual Computing modules.


VCA-DBT Exam Objective

Hands-on Virtual Computing Module

Define and describe the VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture

Module 10 – Introduction to Cloud Computing

Define and Describe vSphere Solutions

Module 7 – Working with VMware vSphere

Define and Describe VSAN solutions

Module 4 – Data Center Virtualization

Define and Describe NSX solutions

Module 1 – Introduction to Virtual Computing

Module 4 – Data Center Virtualization

Define and describe vRealize Suite solutions

Module 10 – Introduction to Cloud Computing

Define and Describe Horizon Suite solutions

Module 9 – Implementing a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure


Microsoft also provides certifications focused on virtualization and cloud-based computing objectives. Just as with VMware, Microsoft has been moving their certifications toward Cloud computing, Hyperconvergence, and the SDDC. For example, since the release of Server 2016, Microsoft has retired the virtualization certification exams shown below and replaced them with Exam 70-745 - Implementing a Software Defined Data Center. Many of the essential virtualization concepts covered in the retired exams has now been placed in the 70-743 Windows Server 2016 exam.


Retired Microsoft Virtualization Exams


Exam 74-409

Server Virtualization with Hyper-V and System Center

Exam 70-693

Virtualization Administration

Exam 70-659

Virtualization Configuration

Exam 70-669

Desktop Virtualization


A list of objectives for the 70-745 exam along with how they map to our Hands-on Virtual Computing book is shown in the following table.


70-745 Exam Objective

Hands-on Virtual Computing Module

Plan and Implement System Center Virtual Machine Manager Core Infrastructure

Module 5 – Working with Microsoft Hyper-V

Module 6 – Working with Virtual Machine Manager

Implement Software Defined Networking (SDN)

Module 1 – Introduction to Virtual Computing

Module 4 – Data Center Virtualization and Cloud Computing

Module 5 – Working with Microsoft Hyper-V

Implement Datacenter Compute Solutions with VMM

Module 6Working with Virtual Machine Manager

Secure your Software-Defined Datacenter

Module 4 – Data Center Virtualization and Cloud Computing

Monitor and Maintain the Software-Defined Datacenter

Module 6 – Working with Virtual Machine Manager

Module 9 – Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure


While all the details needed to pass the specific certification exam questions are not included in our textbook modules, our modules do provide the concepts students need to take more advanced training or certification bootcamps such as provided by VMware and Microsoft.

All the change in VMware and Microsoft certifications makes it important that our materials and courses teach the concepts and skills that provide students with the basis to grow along with their area of specialization. To help you keep your materials current, I will be providing regular blog postings which provide information and links describing new certification requirements.


In my next posting we will look at how you can use Cengage Unlimited to include virtualization training modules in your existing curriculum.



1 Comment

I often see "Should I get a degree or a certification?" asked in some of the online study groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.  I always advise the students that it is not a matter of certs vs degrees, but a matter of timing and career progression.  There are valid reasons for each, and each in its own time.  Typically, to get a good IT career started, the CompTIA trifecta is the starting point, but to keep a career moving into supervision and management means a degree is typically needed--or at least preferred.


When I meet--online or in person--a college student who is already in a Computer Science program, I highly encourage him or her to seek certifications while still in student status.  Not only do they get discounted exam vouchers but they open up the opportunity to get higher paying part-time jobs, or even to start freelancing, while still in school.  If they graduate with a combination of a degree, some certs, and practical work experience, they have very powerful résumé fodder that makes them quite marketable.


In San Antonio, part-time freelance work often pays around $100-150 per day, which is not bad for a few hours work.  Typical short-time (one- or two-week gigs) often pay around $20 per hour.  In either case, it beats waiting tables for $2.13 per hour and praying for good tips.