Cloud Computing

Cisco, EMC Join Forces to Offer Cloud, Virtualization Training

With demand for IT professionals with virtualization and cloud computing skills booming, Cisco and EMC announced this morning that they've partnered to develop and offer educational programs and certifications centered around "cloud architecture, virtualization, storage, data center networking and data science."

In a prepared statement announcing the news, Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, general manager of [email protected], stressed that cloud computing and virtualization are driving fundamental change in the data center that is resulting in increased demand for new IT skills. "Today's data center is composed of heterogeneous technologies, with the cloud blurring the lines between technology silos," Beliveau-Dunn said. "IT organizations must cultivate new cloud architecture skills, understand how to use big data and maintain deep domain expertise with a renewed understanding of virtualization and technology convergence."

Training materials from VMware will also be included in a the program, a move that strengthens the already formidable partnership between Cisco, EMC, and VMware. The three companies joined forces in 2009 to create the Virtual Environment Computing Environment Company (VCE), a firm that configures and sells a  pre-configured "Vblock" infrastructure platform that includes hardware/networking components, storage, and virtualization software from Cisco, EMC, and VMware, respectively.

The increasingly close partnership between the three companies has made competitors like HP, IBM, and Dell look to build their own partnerships and coalitions, and that trend will likely continue. For some additional perspective on VCE, read The Var Guy's take on how well VCE is doing in the IT market.

Here are some key facts about the training products and services:


  • The courseware and training regimen will focus around creating solutions for existing (and emerging) IT career disciplines. The news release describes these as "Cloud Architect, Systems Administrator, Storage, Backup and Recovery, Data Center Networking, Data Center Network Design, Systems Management, and Data Scientist."
  • Each program will leverage training materials from Cisco, EMC, and VMware to create what the vendors describe as "learning paths," which are essentially lists of courseware required to get proficient (and possibly certified) in given subject areas. In a provided example, the System Administrator learning path would include Cloud Infrastructure and Services, VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage, and Cisco Data Center Unified Computing Implementation (DCUCI).
  • Training products and services will be offered by learning path, but the companies promise that courses will also be "...offered individually for those who prefer an a la carte option."
  • Cisco, EMC,and VMware will deliver the training as instructor-led training in most cases, but the release mentions that "...some EMC courseware is offered through EMC's convenient video instructor-led (VILT) training."

All of these training programs come at a good time for IT professionals hoping to adapt to the changes that big data, cloud computing, and virtualization are making throughout the enterprise. I blogged a few weeks ago about the wisdom of enrolling in some training and coursework from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), and this latest batch of training products should be welcome news for IT pros looking to update existing skills or acquire new ones.

"Enterprises are transforming from siloed data center operations to cloud computing and converged infrastructures to improve efficiency and agility. IT pros likewise need to adapt their skills to support such modern architectures," said David Vellante, CEO and chief analyst of The Wikibon Project, in a statement that was circulated with the training news. "That means new ecosystem-focused training and educational programs...are needed to help IT pros stay relevant and valuable to their organizations."

Are you considering brushing up on some existing IT skills or getting some new training on cloud computing or virtualization? Share some of your favorite resources by adding a comment to this blog post or contribute to a discussion about free security tools on Twitter.

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