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Data center certifications—which ones are right for you?

November 16, 2020

Data center certifications—which ones are right for you?
The data center world is complex and constantly evolving. New, better hardware solutions and more robust software offerings are developed every year. And before you can understand your data center customers and what they need, you must first understand the latest solutions available, including implementation, management and troubleshooting. Thankfully, many providers offer training certifications, which—upon completion—can signal to your customers that you’re more than qualified to help them with their data center needs. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most sought after data center certifications available.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Center
The CCNA is perfect for those new to the data center industry (1-3 years of experience) and looking for instant credibility, because it provides a solid introductory knowledge base of data center ops, networking and support. The certification is valid for three years, and after that recertification is required. Those interested in the CCNA should already be familiar with addressing schemes, troubleshooting and configuring switches with VLANs or routers via Nexus OS and other fundamental data center networking principles.
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Data Center
For the more experienced data center professional (3-5 years experience in Cisco solutions), the CCNP credential is also valid for 3 years before recertification is required. Technology architects and implementation engineers will benefit the most from the CCNP which focuses on configuring Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) rack-mount servers, the installation of and management of Cisco Nexus switches as well as deploying automation for Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).
Jupiter Networks Certified Data Center Professional Data Center (JNCIP-DC)
For professionals desiring to work in corporate, network service provider, education or government sectors, the JNCIP-DC should be of interest as that’s what Jupiter Networks’ network infrastructure hardware and software are designed for. This data center certification focuses on deployment, troubleshooting and management of Jupiter’s Junos software and data center hardware. The JNCIP-DC certification is also good for three years before renewal is required.
The exam focuses on deployment and maintenance of data center infrastructure, including multi-chassis link aggregation group (LAG), virtual chassis and IP fabric and virtual extensible LANs (VXLANs).
VCE Converged Infrastructure Administration Engineer (VCE-CIAE)
Virtual Computing Environment (VCE)–now owned by Dell—manufactures an array of converged infrastructure solutions and supports them with certifications. These certifications are under the Dell EMC Proven Professional line-up, including the VCE-CIAE certification, which anyone can apply for, and is sought after in the current data center job market. Vblock system support and management is the focus of this pro-level credential, and the certification exam covers security, troubleshooting, resource management and administration. Credential holders must recertify after two years.
The right data center certifications can be key as you look to bolster your expertise and add to the solutions you offer your customers. For more information on which data center certifications are right for you, contact the experts at Ingram Micro.


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