2015 Certification Goals

Half way through 2015 I found myself wondering what were some of the certifications that I wanted to achieve before the end of the year. At work I mainly do automation work with Puppet but still have a love and passion for all things virtualization and cloud.

RHCSA - OpenStack OpenStack is one of the hottest technologies in IT and is notoriously complex and difficult to configure. This certification is actually one that I need to get for work but is something I'm really looking forward to given my background in virtualization. At the rate the things are going OpenStack adaptation is only going to ramp up even more and a certification in OpenStack could prove to be very useful.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate AWS is the largest public cloud platform and is widely used as the platform for migrating on-premises application into the cloud. Another major use case is running a hybrid cloud to take advantage of the benefits of public cloud while leveraging those of the private cloud. The value of this certification is that it provides validation of a fundamental understanding of the most popular public cloud platform.

VMware Certified Professional 6 - Cloud and Management Automation (VCP6-CMA) The VCP6-CMA is one of VMware's newer certifications with the release of the 6.0 platform. The exam covers multiples products centered around vRealize Automation such as vRealize Orchestrator, NSX, vCloud, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Application Services, and vRealize Business. I'm definitely intrigued by this certification based upon my current role as an Automation Engineer in a primarily VMware Environment. The certification delivers value by validating an understanding of the entire stack for delivering a cloud based self-service platform.

CCNA DataCenter The CCNA DataCenter certification is composed of two exams. The first exam is basically a routing and switching primer and was pretty easy for me as I already hold a CCNA R&S certification. The second exam focuses on Cisco Data Center technologies like Nexus Switches, UCS, and MDS. While it is a vendor specific exam it does provide general knowledge about compute, network, and storage which are the basic elements of the Data Center. All in all the certification will be used to ensure that my other CCNA certifications don't expire but to also gain a greater understanding of the Data Center.

Comptia Security+ (Renew) The Comptia Security+ won't be a new certification for me but simply going through and renewing my existing certification. The major value of this certification for me is that it's a certification required by most IT contractors that do work with the Federal government.

While acquiring certifications can be expensive and at times a daunting process, I truly enjoy the process of defining a goal, learning new technology and ultimately accomplishing my goal. With only six months remaining in the year, trying to achieve five certifications may seem like a herculean task but that's part of the fun.

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