Virtualization has been around since the 1960s, but it wasn't so much popular until VMware was launched as an enterprise technology. It has now become a standard feature in every enterprise IT strategy. From the desktop to apps to the cloud, virtualization is everywhere. If you are a systems or network administrator, then virtualization skills will come in handy throughout your career.
Of course, nothing says that being skilled is better than being certified. So, if virtualization is an essential part of your career, then let's explore the certifications based on virtualization that you should consider
Virtualization is Everywhere
Every major network and data center vendor offers virtualization products. There is VMware vSphere, NSX Data Center, Microsoft Hyper-V, Cisco Network Virtualization, Oracle VM, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly XenApp and XenDesktop), and Red Hat Virtualization. This, for example, a few.
Also, many public cloud vendors have their own virtualization engines - and they also support VMware and Hyper-V virtual workloads. Microsoft Azure's hypervisor is based on Hyper-V (duh!), while Google and AWS both base their hypervisors on the open-source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM).
And to round out the circle, we recently heard that Google customers can now run Google, AWS, and Azure cloud stacks in their on-premises datacenters!
All the virtualization deployment products, permutations and technologies have increased the worth of virtualization skills and certificates. And there is no better way to build your knowledge and validate your new skills than by getting some virtualization certifications.
Let's take a look at some of the leading virtualization certifications that you should consider. Keep in mind that you need to look after at certain factors. For example, what virtualization technology does the company use? If you are new to virtualization, take a look at the job postings based on virtualization in your area? What skills or certifications are employers looking for?
1. VMware Certified Professional - Data Center Virtualization 2021 (VCP-DCV 2021)
VMware is the leader in virtualization and VMware data center virtualization certifications are probably the most valuable.
In a November 2020 analysis of hypervisors used by 758 of its customers, ControlUp — a monitoring software company — reported that 68% of those organizations used VMware, 11% used Microsoft Hyper-V, and 18% used Citrix XenServer. There is no doubt that VMware is the most used technology in this space and that there is plenty of demand for VMware certified professionals.
VCP-DCV certification is compatible with vSphere versions VCP5 DCV, VCP6 DCV and VCP6.5 DCV. With the release of vSphere 7.0, VMware changed gears and named its next certificate VCP-DCV 2021. It will take time for a critical mass of clients to convert to 7, so your best bet for certification in the short term is to use VCP-DCV 2021.
VCP-DCV 2021 certification is intended for experienced System, NetAdmins, and Storage administrators. Only those people should go for this certification that are involved in setting up, deploying, and managing VMware-based server and storage clusters. The certification is relevant for on-site data centers, as well as for public cloud deployments on AWS, Google, or Azure.
According to PayScale, the cloud compensation company, the average annual salary for professionals with a VCP certification is $88,000, with salaries above $100,000 for senior positions.
Your Way to VCP-DCV 2021
If you do not have current VCP certifications, you must pass the vSphere Foundation exam, before taking the VCP-DCV 2021 exam. Each test is a test of 105 minutes and 70 questions. The total test cost is $375, $125 for the Foundation Test, plus $250 for the DCV Core Test.
Study4Exam’s VMware vSphere 7.x (VCP-DCV 2021) practice exams with realistic questions prepares you for your certification. You should also use VMware's Preparation Guide before taking the test.
2. Citrix Certified Associate (CCA) – Virtualization (CCA-V)
Citrix has quietly created a virtual niche for itself. Its Xen-based solution is affordable and works well in the vast Microsoft world, including Azure cloud!
Citrix Certified Associate (CCA) - The virtualization certification is intended for desktop and systems administrators working with Citrix virtual desktop application and application products. PayScale reports an average CCA salary of $86,000. Citrix also offers plenty of room for career advancement. From certification at the associate level, you can move on to certifications at the professional and expert level.
Your Way to CCA-V
The 90-minute CCA-V certification exam costs $200 and is administered by Pearson VUE. Prepare your exam with the Citrix CCA-V practice tests with realistic questions offered by Study4Exam.
3. Oracle VM 3.0 for x86 Certified Implementation Specialist
Oracle VM is a Xen-based server virtualization product that runs on x86 and SPARC boxes. It is not the solution for everyone. It has a small market share, and it would take a confident CIO to stick to its implementation. Perhaps for this reason, Oracle's VM certification approach is to build expertise within their channel partners. But you don't have to work for a channel partner to become an Oracle VM Certified Implementation Professional. You can work in a customer organization.
Your Way to Oracle VM Certified Implementation Professional
First, you will need to pass the Oracle VM 3.0 for x86 Essentials 1Z0-590 exam with a score of 61% or greater. This two-hour test costs $245 and is monitored by Pearson VUE. A complete set of 1Z0-590 practice tests is available at Study4Exam for the preparation purpose and help you clear out your exam in the first attempt.
4. Red Hat Certified Specialist in Virtualization
Our ultimate "best of all" virtualization certification is Red Hat Certified Specialist in Virtualization (RHCS). This certificate is intended for SysAdmins who implement and manage virtual infrastructures running on Red Hat Linux. Red Hat Virtualization is based on the same KVM hypervisor that is used by both AWS and Google in their cloud services.
Although there are no formal prerequisites, it is best if you are proficient in managing Linux. Ideally, you will be a Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA). At a minimum, you should know the materials covered by the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator Training.
Your Way to Red Hat Certified Specialist in Virtualization
The RHCS Virtualization Exam (EX318) is a three-hour in-class exam that costs USD $400. We expect salary levels for our Virtualization certification to be consistent with those of Red Hat Certified Engineers (RHCE). PayScale reports average salaries of $98,000 for reproductive health sources, with top salaries exceeding $120,000.
You Can't Go Wrong with Virtualization
Virtualization is a complex area, and it's not getting any simpler. Premise-based technologies from companies like VMware, Microsoft, and Cisco are combining with cloud-based solutions from AWS, Azure and Google. One of the results is the demand for IT professionals with validated virtualization skills is not slowing down anytime soon.
Earning virtualization certification gives you skills to leverage in-demand technologies. It also gives you a way to carve out a rewarding career niche that will afford you job security. What are you waiting for? Start working toward one of these four virtualization certifications today.