Interested in VMWare related work, should I other certs?

DmaulDmaul Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all,

What a great forum this is, glad I found it.

Background - I have a 4 year degree in Information Systems from a university and 7 years of experience in systems administration, mainly Windows 2000/XP, hardware and networking. Some security, database and web development experience too.

My goal is to get a VMWare cert and work as a systems admin with an emphasis on virutalization. I would then see where that takes me, maybe get Citrix certs or see what else is out there, but I am very interested in virutalization in general.

My question is, since my degree is from 2003, should I get some basic certs? I have none. I was thinking of getting an A+, should I get a Network+ too? MSCE? Or should I go the CCNA route? Anyone working or going into virtualization care to comment? Should I get these b4 the VMWare cert?

Thanks in advance.


  • ssampierssampier Member Posts: 224
    I am interested in virtualization, too, but my main focus is on security.

    Both A+ and Network+ are pretty basic and I wouldn't bother with them myself.

    Underneath each virtualized OS is an OS, so getting some Windows certs makes sense.

    You can choose either MCSE or MCITP:EA. If you work mostly with Windows 2003, choose the former; otherwise choose the latter.

    I think any server person can benefit from VLAN, WAN, and networking knowledge. I think the Cisco CCNA is beneficial here. Cisco has the Nexus switch that integrates directly with VMware. I saw a demo at a Cisco Tech Day in May; killer stuff - not cheap, I'd imagine.

    Another consideration. All good virtualized networks need shared storage - how about certifying in some type of SAN storage?

    Finally, play with both VMware and Citrix XenServer in a lab. See which works best for you and certify (and specialize) in that. Of course, know the relative strengths and weaknesses of both.
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall

    More security exams and then the world.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298
    I would turn the uestin back on you. What is your plan to break into the field? Virtualization Admin is more of a specialization, IMO. I would argue you need to form a plan on how you are going to work your way up to that sort of position. Having other certs might be a way to do that.

    I would argue that the best bet for you would be a job in a smaller shop that wants to use or is using VMware now. This will get you some hands on experience. To do this you would certainly be helped by having other certs.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I have virtual servers (VMware) on my list also for the security side of it. Since its pretty much the norm for a lot of places I am looking at it from the auditing side of things and vulnerability aspects.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    I am not sure what the need is for specialists in VMWARE. Everywhere I look I see admins that are required to know most of VMWARE as a general tenant of systems administration. Unless you want to do implementations for Dell or HP, I would think that an MCITP:EA or SA plus the basic VM cert would probably carry you a long way.

    I think most of the time VM 'specialists' become that way when they are hired on as an admin, and take that project under their wing.
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    After I read what I wrote I felt it was poorly worded. So I'm editing it. Anyway...

    To me a VMware specialist is someone with requisite knowledge from various aspects of the data center. We all know how Cisco, NetApp, EMC, et al are looking for ways to unify the data center and that continues to grow pretty rapidly. VMware is just a small piece of that technology puzzle. Without the various guest OS, Storage, Networking and virtualization technologies knowledge, one will not go far with just VMware alone unless you're really lucky.
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