Storage Data Center Management Training & Certifications

Data Center Management Training & Certifications

For System Administrators looking for ways to bolster their skills or to get ahead of the competition when job hunting, data center management training and certifications could be the answer. Experienced and educated data center designers, managers and facilities personnel have a lot of opportunities to advance by earning certifications.

How are Data Center Management Certifications Categorized?

Certifications are broken up into multiple categories to reflect the specific duties that fall under that certification and what products it is tailored for. Here are 8 data center certifications to help you learn and earn like a professional.

CCNA Data Center

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Center certification is a great introductory certification that all networking professionals should receive at the beginning of their career. Earning this certification requires a basic knowledge of data center practices, such as addressing schemes, troubleshooting and configuring switches, network and server virtualization and storage and load balancing. 

The certification consists of two modules: Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking (DCICN) and Introducing Cisco Data Center Technologies (DCICT). 

  • Provider/product: Cisco
  • Prerequisites and required courses: No prerequisites required
  • Number of exams: Two exams 
    • 200-150 DCICN 
    • 200-155 DCICT
  • Cost: $300 per exam

CCNP Data Center

Another popular certification from the same vendor is Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Data Center. The CCNP certification is geared toward architects but lets you choose between either a design or troubleshooting track. 

This certification demonstrates that the individual is capable of implementing Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) rack-mount servers; installing, configuring and managing Cisco Nexus switches; and implementing and deploying automation of Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). The CCNP is best suited for those with three to five years of experience.

  • Provider/product: Cisco
  • Prerequisites and required courses: Previous Cisco Certified Network Associate Data Center (CCNA Data Center) certification or any Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification. 
  • Number of exams: Four exams
    • 300-175 DCUCI
    • 300-165 DCII
    • 300-170 DCVAI
    • 300-160 DCID or 300-180 DCIT
  • Cost: $300 per exam

VCP6-DCV

The VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) certification is one of VMware’s most popular certifications. This is an increasingly valuable certification to have as cloud computing and virtualization technology become more widely adopted. VCP6-DCV is specifically geared toward the VMware vSphere product.

The certification requires a thorough understanding of the Domain Name System (DNS), routing and database connectivity techniques and how to deploy, configure, manage and scale VMware vSphere environments and storage. The company recommends having at least six months of experience working with vSphere 6. 

  • Provider/product: VMware
  • Prerequisites and required courses: one of the following training courses:
    • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6 or V6.5]
    • VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V6 or V6.5]
    • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage plus Virtual SAN Fast Track [V6]
    • VMware vSphere: Optimize & Scale [V6 or V6.5]
    • VMware vSphere: Bootcamp [V6]
    • VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V6 or V6.5]
    • VMware vSphere: Design and Deploy Fast Track [V6]
    • VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting [V6[
    • VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting Workshop [V6.5]
    • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure and Manage plus Optimize and Scale Fast Track [V6 or V6.5]
    • VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale plus Troubleshooting Fast Track [V6]
  • Number of exams: Two exams
  • Cost: $125 to $250

Data Center Certified Associates (DCCA)

Schneider Electric’s Data Center Certified Associates (DCCA) is a vendor-neutral certification. It’s a great entry-level certification for team members who design, build and manage data centers. 

The course covers many of the basic concepts of data center operations, including Data Center Tier Levels, cabling, cooling, security, fire suppression system, electrical supply and more. This certification is a great way to get a leg up when searching for entry-level data center positions.

  • Provider/product: Schneider Electric
  • Prerequisites and required courses: No prerequisite or experience required
  • Number of exams: one exam
  • Cost: $250

Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC)

The BICSI Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC) is another vendor-neutral certification but is meant for more experienced engineers, architects and designers with at least two years of experience designing, planning and implementing data centers.

The course is primarily centered around data center design and physical infrastructure. At least two years of experience in data center design and construction is required to obtain this certification, and the experience must be current within the past six years.

  • Provider/product: BICSI
  • Prerequisites and required courses: Two years of experience within the past six years
  • Number of exams: Members $150 USD, nonmembers $275 USD
  • Cost: Members $150 for members, $275 for nonmembers

Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD)

The Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) from BICSI is specific to telecommunications and data communications technology. It’s meant to show competence in the design, implementation, integration and project management of communications-related infrastructure. 

This certification requires a minimum of two years of experience in telecommunications and data communications. You can also add a specialty to this certification that requires you to pass another exam.

  • Provider/product: BICSI
  • Prerequisites and required courses: Two years of experience
  • Number of exams: One exam (more to add a specialty)
  • Cost: $495

Certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP)

CNet is based in the UK, so their Certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP) certification isn’t as common on job postings in the U.S. as others on this list, but it’s still a great learning opportunity. It’s best for data center managers, operations managers, facilities managers and IT and network managers.

This certification will professionals manage, control, and improve the operational effectiveness of the data center infrastructure. CNet recommends at least two years of experience in a technical IT or operations role. The company also requires a pre-class study program, which is supported by a dedicated online Tutor.

  • Provider/product: CNet
  • Prerequisites and required courses: Two years of experience
  • Number of exams: No exam, just completion of the course
  • Cost: $5,750 USD

Data Center Architect & System Administrator

In EMC’s courses, you learn about storage, virtualization and architecture all based on EMC’s technologies. No surprise there. It might surprise you to know, however, that every data center in the world uses EMC’s products. 

They might use VMware, a SAN, EMC’s other software and hardware solutions or a combination. But as an EMC Proven Professional, you’ll walk into any data center with the right knowledge to manage those systems from day one. EMC offers certifications for all levels from System Administrator to Architect.

  • Provider/product: EMC
  • Prerequisites and required courses: You must hold an EMC Information Storage and Management (EMCISA) certification and pass the Specialist level exam
  • Number of exams: one exam
  • Cost: $200

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