Cloud computing is growing now more than ever. More organizations both in the public and private sector are adopting cloud computing and storage as their datacenter design of choice. Cloud hosting giants such as Google, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft now have their own cloud certification tracks which are evolving each year. With so many choices in cloud hosting, organizations need to rely on their technical staff to drive adoption of the right technology for their cloud needs. The market is full of amazing cloud certifications right now that will help you become an expert on the vendor’s solution. Here are the best cloud certifications on the market right now.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
Amazon has positioned itself as the market leader in cloud solutions with their Amazon Web Services suite of cloud products. For compute needs, AWS offers Amazon EC2. EC2 allows you to provision virtual servers in the cloud. With over 22 regions in the world and 69 availability zones, Amazon’s EC2 offering has your virtual compute needs covered and provides seven times fewer downtime hours than the next largest cloud provider.
One of Amazon’s best bets for certification on their cloud platform is the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional. For this certification, you should have a minimum of six months of working with AWS cloud products and understand the architecture fairly well. Understanding how cloud architecture works from all angles also helps, as the exam will cover networking, storage and compute within the framework of AWS cloud offerings. This is hands down one of the best cloud certifications you can get today.
CompTIA’s cloud certification offering, the Cloud+ is much more suited to newcomers to cloud technologies. While this isn’t by any means an entry level type of certification, it will still require significant experience with networking, storage and compute as well as virtualization to pass the exam, it is much easier to pass than the AWS cert. Cloud+ covers many different aspects of cloud computing, here is a excerpt from CompTIA’s website on what you can expect:
- Cloud+ covers the increased diversity of knowledge, skills and abilities required of system administrators to validate what is necessary to perform effectively in data center jobs.
- CompTIA Cloud+ views cloud-based infrastructure services as an increasingly important piece of an organization’s IT systems.
- It is the only vendor-neutral, performance-based certification covering more than a specific vendor or a single function — such as security or networking — to help you better realize the return on investment of cloud infrastructure services.
CompTIA offers training on Cloud+ that will better prepare you for success on the exam. If you find that you are not ready for the more advanced cloud certifications, Cloud+ could be a great fit for you, and could prove to be a launchpad to other advanced certs in the future.
Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert
Microsoft has done an amazing job of improving their cloud platform to the point where it has become an industry leader and widely adopted. There are many Azure certifications and it can be hard to decide which one is best suited for you. As evidenced by the title, the Architect Expert certification is a much more advanced Azure certification. There are other Azure certifications that are not as advanced such as the Azure Administrator Associate which focuses more on implementing, monitoring and maintaining Azure solutions based on compute, storage, networking and security.
The Architect Expert certification cements your status as a key expert in Azure solutions from a design and architecture role. This certification demonstrates your expertise in the following areas with Azure:
- Deploy and configure infrastructure
- Implement workloads and security
- Create and deploy apps
- Implement authentication and secure data
- Develop for the cloud and for Azure storage
- Determine workload requirements
- Design for identity and security
- Design a data platform solution
- Design a business continuity strategy
- Design for deployment, migration, and integration
- Design an infrastructure strategy
Being able to cover all of these areas as well as mastering the areas of compute, storage, networking and security is key to passing this exam. This is a very advanced certification and requires years of experience in Azure technologies, however, it can be done. All you have to do is have the experience, and then the work ethic to get it done.
Google Cloud Certified – Professional Cloud Architect
Google’s cloud offering has gained much market share over the past 5 years. What started out as more of a niche market for Google, and with Amazon being the elephant in the room, Google has carved out a place for their product right along side the market leaders. Google’s certification growth has grown along with their market growth. The Professional Cloud Architect certification is one of the more advanced Google Cloud certifications. Google recommends having 3 years of industry experience with at least 1 year of experience on Google Cloud. The Professional Cloud Architect exam will assess your ability to do the following:
- Design and plan a cloud solution architecture
- Manage and provision the cloud solution infrastructure
- Design for security and compliance
- Analyze and optimize technical and business processes
- Manage implementations of cloud architecture
- Ensure solution and operations reliability
That seems like a lot… and it is! However, much like the other advanced certifications in this article, it is achievable with the right work ethic and determination.
If you conquer any of these certifications, literally anything could be next. It is quite an accomplishment to obtain any of these certifications and each track has advanced tracks you can follow. Find the certification that is right for you, depending on your experience and work ethic. Some certifications are harder than others, figure out what your work-life balance is and then find a study plan that fits in. Good luck!