By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated April 02, 2012.
Cisco and EMC have long pushed the advantages of the cloud. Now, the tech giants are tag-teaming to offer IT professionals the technical skills they need in the realm of cloud architecture, virtualization, storage, data center networking and data science.
Cisco and EMC are rolling out joint education solutions that aim to provide the advanced training and certifications to help organizations realize the promise of Big Data and data science. The educational solutions are available now.
"Today's data center is composed of heterogeneous technologies, with the cloud blurring the lines between technology silos," said Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager of Learning@Cisco. "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."
Tackling Converged Infrastructures
The timing seems right for this high-tech tag team educational effort. Explosive data growth and cloud computing, converged infrastructure, unified networking and Big Data are making an IT impact. Beyond IT systems and infrastructures, tech staff that design, install, operate and manage the systems also need new skill sets in the face of the IT evolution.
The latest curricula from Cisco, EMC and VMware are part of the package. The idea is to offer a logically organized framework to address disciplines such as cloud architect, systems administrator, storage, backup and recovery, data center networking, data center network design, systems management, and data scientist.
"Enterprises are transforming from siloed data-center operations to cloud computing and converged infrastructures to improve efficiency and agility," said David Vellante, CEO and chief analyst at The Wikibon Project. "IT pros likewise need to adapt their skills to support such modern architectures. That means new ecosystem-focused training and educational programs -- such as the new offering from Cisco, EMC and VMware -- are needed to help IT pros stay relevant and valuable to their organizations."
More than Networking
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, called the new certification and training program "interesting." He has never seen Cisco work with a partner on the certification front.
"Cisco has made a good living off certifications," Kerravala said. "Cisco's certification program -- the CCEI -- is probably the most widely regarded certification in the networking industry. In fact, many people will only work with Cisco gear because they look at Cisco as a career path."
As Kerravala sees it, Cisco's partnership with EMC is an indication that the networking giant understands that cloud isn't a Cisco-only issue. Cisco, he said, has a history of teaching IT admins the "Cisco way."
"Working with EMC, which has a storage play and a big cloud platform, is something that may be more meaningful to people looking for certifications because it's not just a Cisco issue," Kerravala said. "There's more involved than networking."