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CompTIA Adds Server Certification to the Mix

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted Feb 27, 2001


The Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has added servers to its certification options. Server+ tests participants' server knowledge in such areas as installation, configuration, upgrading, and disaster recovery.

The driving force behind the Server+ certification program was to reduce the training costs large OEMs incur when training staffers on generic topics, Jim Vanne, Server+ Program Certification Manager, told ServerWatch. Certification implies a level of competence that does not require additional training, and thus frees up the costs and time associated with training employees in things they could learn elsewhere. And it enables the OEM to cut right to its vendor-specific details.

The Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has added servers to its certification options. Server+ tests participants' server knowledge in such areas as installation, configuration, upgrading, and disaster recovery.

Compaq, Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft were the first to champion the server certification concept when they approached the nonprofit industry association last February. Other companies involved in Server+'s development and currently providing support, direction and financial assistance, include 3Com, Course Technology, EDS Innovations Canada, Heathkit, StorageTEK, and Sybex.

The exam is aimed at server professional with 18 to 24 months of experience working with servers. Eighty multiple-choice questions comprise the exam. The vendor-neutral exam tests only PC hardware knowledge such as RAID, SCSI, and multiple CPUs on Intel or AMD systems. Future topics Vanne said CompTIA is considering adding to the ever-evolving exam are SANs and Infiniband. Proprietary hardware (e.g., Sun Microsystems, Motorola-based systems) are outside the scope of the certification.

Server+ has been live since Feb. 14. The first morning, 35 people took the test, Vanne said; 400 server professionals participated in the beta test. Server+ is priced from $98 to $190, depending on membership status in CompTIA and the number of vouchers to take the exam that are requested.

CompTIA offers two delivery options to take the test: NCS/VU and Prometric. Individuals interested in taking the exam should contact either of the testing companies directly.

Approximately 375,000 CompTIA exams are taken each year. The organization is second only to Microsoft in the number of professionals it certifies, Vanne said. In addition to the Server+ certification, it offers A+, CDIA, i-Net+, and Network+ certification. The A+ exam is the most popular of CompTIA's programs. It certifies that an individual has the basic skill set required of an entry-level computer service technician.

CompTIA was founded in 1982. It currently has 8,000 enterprises throughout the world as members and offices worldwide. In addition to the certification exams it develops, CompTIA is involved in setting e-commerce standards, lobbying for public policy, and workforce development


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