3Tera starts certifying cloud computing skills

By Jennifer Kavur, ComputerWorld Canada |  On-demand Software, 3Tera

Two cloud computing certification programs recently announced by 3Tera Inc. may signify the beginning of a cloud computing certification trend.

The new Certified Cloud Operator and Certified Cloud Architect certifications are tailored to 3Tera's AppLogic cloud computing platform.

The three-day programs consist of instructor-led classes with hands-on labs that typically take place in rented hotel suites or meeting rooms for eight hours each day. Each program costs US$2,000 to enrol.

Classes are kept fairly small with 20 to 25 students and three instructors, said Bert Armijo, senior vice-president of marketing and product management at 3Tera.

The programs are intended to "take general IT professionals and give them the confidence in themselves and in the system to start moving traditional IT workloads into the clouds," he said.

Many of the concepts taught in the programs will be similar to other clouds, but the specifics focus on 3Tera's AppLogic cloud computing platform for service providers and enterprises, he pointed out.

This includes giving the "next generation of cloud users an understanding of exactly how the technology functions, what it can and can't do and how to maintain control of their applications no matter which of our service providers they are using," said Armijo.

3Tera launched AppLogic in 2006. There are now roughly 40 service providers worldwide and a few thousand end users on the AppLogic system, said Armijo. The company is now moving to the part of the market where people expect to get training, he said.

"We've had demand both from the service providers, who are trying to get their products to market quickly, and also from end users, who are trying to bring up their applications that want to make sure they are in fact following best practices," he said.

Cloud computing certifications are very new, according to Igor Abramovitch, director of technology services for Robert Half Technology, owned by Robert Half International Inc.

"As more and more vendors move to cloud computing products or SaaS products or platform-as-a-service, there will be more certifications coming out," he said.

Tier 1 hardware and software vendors with SaaS versions of their products likely include cloud computing training in their existing certification programs, he noted.

"They may not specifically have cloud computing in the name of the certification, but if they do offer those products, then I'm sure that their current certifications actually include that in the material," he said.

Vendors "don't specifically say that yet, but they will. It's just that 3Tera beat them to the punch," said Abramovitch.

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