The program also includes a focus on security and privacy challenges. There are currently two online certification programs, Certified Cloud Architect and Certified Cloud Professional, and one open assessment available.
Organisation: Cloud Institute
How to prepare: Cloud institute advises certification candidates to use the publications offered by the NIST as a basis for study, and to use the free open exam to identify areas where more work is needed. The Institute also recommends candidates have working experience in enterprise cloud technology, SOA design or development, cloud-related services and application- and/or storage-centric services.
According to Rackspace, CloudU is a vendor-neutral curriculum designed for IT professionals and business leaders that covers and certifies knowledge of the fundamentals of cloud computing.
CloudU content is available to any professional at any time, but if you want a formal recognition of your knowledge about cloud computing, you should complete the courses and requirements for a certificate.
How to prepare: Study each CloudU lesson whitepaper, and then successfully complete each of 10 CloudU lesson quizzes based on the whitepaper’s content. Successfully complete a 50-question final exam drawn from materials covered in the 10 CloudU lessons.
CompTIA Cloud Essentials
According to CompTIA, the Cloud Essentials certification covers the basic fundamentals of cloud computing and shows that individuals understand cloud computing from both a business and a technical perspective. In addition, the certification covers migration to the cloud and governance of cloud computing environments.
Organisation: Comp TIA
How to prepare: CompTIA offers study and training materials, and while it’s not required, CompTIA recommends that individuals taking the exam have at least six months experience working in an IT services environment.
Exin Cloud Computing Foundation
Exin offers two certification levels, Cloud Computing Foundation and Cloud Technologies Advanced. The programs cover the main cloud computing concepts as well as what's involved in planning, procurement and management.
The certification is geared toward devops professionals responsible for making the business case for cloud solutions, evaluating vendors and systems and then integrating them with legacy technologies.
How to prepare: Exin offers exam preparation guides and sample exams as well as ebooks covering these concepts. These materials are available on Exin’s website.
Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification is for professionals seeking to demonstrated that they can design, develop, and manage solutions using Google Cloud.
The exam must be taken in person at one of Google’s testing centers. Real-world, hands-on experience is the best preparation, according to Google.
How to prepare: Google recommends gaining practical experience through use of Google Cloud. It also offers a Cloud Architect exam guide and training courses.
IBM Certified Cloud Solution Architect v2
IBM offers a number of cloud-specific certifications, including the IBM Certified Solution Architect v2. Solutions architects will demonstrate the design, plan, architecture, and management capabilities for IBMs cloud computing infrastructure once they’ve completed the certification requirements.
According to IBM, the mission of the solution architect certification is to “Provide a reliable, valid and fair method of assessing skills and knowledge; provide IBM a method of building and validating the skills of individuals and organisations; and to develop a loyal community of highly skilled certified professionals who recommend, sell, service, support and/or use IBM products and solutions.”
How to prepare: You should have a working knowledge of key cloud computing fundamentals, as well as basic knowledge of IBM cloud computing essentials, and will be required to confirm that knowledge by passing a certification exam.
Microsoft Cloud Certifications
Microsoft has a number of cloud certifications. These include: the MCSA: Cloud Platform Certified Solutions Associate, which provides the foundation for a position as a cloud architect or administrator; the MCSA: Linux on Azure certification, which demonstrates your ability to design, architect, implement, and maintain complex cloud-enabled Linux solutions that leverage Microsoft Azure’s open source capabilities and Linux system administration skills.
Also, the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, which validates the skills needed in a modern data centre, including cloud technologies, identity management, systems management, virtualisation, storage and networking.
How to prepare: You should possess a working knowledge of key cloud computing fundamentals, as well as basic knowledge of Microsoft cloud computing and Azure essentials. Review the Microsoft certification guides overview to determine what prerequisites are needed and to access study guides and course preparation materials.
Red Hat Certified Architect: Cloud
A Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) with a cloud concentration is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) who has achieved the highest level of certification and proven they can create, configure, and manage private clouds using the Red Hat OpenStack Platform; manage virtual, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures with Red Hat CloudForms; create, configure, and manage a cloud application platform with OpenShift Enterprise by Red Hat; implement flexible storage solutions for on-premises and hybrid clouds; and manage multiple systems using Red Hat Satellite Server.
Organisation: Red Hat
How to prepare: Candidates must be an RHCE, and must choose any five exams from Red Hat’s list of cloud-related courses.
Salesforce has a number of certification tracks, including ones for Administrators, Developers, and Architects.
The Certified Technical Architect credential is considered the pinnacle cert for those designing solutions for the Salesforce platform, and it builds on specialisations, such as the Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer certification, as well as domain architect credentials.
How to prepare: According to Salesforce.com, the certification tests real-world knowledge as much as book learning, and each certification track offers a variety of ways to prepare for the exams. There are individualised programs available aimed at every level of Salesforce professional.
VMware Certified Professional
VMware offers cloud-specific certifications, ranging from those targeted at associate level to expert. These tracks certify knowledge and expertise in a variety of cloud technologies and methodologies, including cloud management and automation, hybrid cloud, and advanced tracks for architects and admins and engineers.
How to prepare: Study and preparation materials are available through VMware, and real-world experience with cloud and virtualisation are also highly recommended.
(Reporting by Sharon Florentine, CIO)