Why you need VDI training and how to go about it

What are the options for VDI training, and who needs it?

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If your company is planning a transition to virtual desktop infrastructure, it's essential to provide proper VDI training to all IT staff in your organization who will design, deploy and maintain your environment.

If you are a systems administrator, start by educating upper management about the importance of proper VDI training for everyone involved. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) requires a number of back-end hardware and software components to provide end users with the performance and computing experiences they expect.

Vendors have offered VDI training for some time, but the majority of that training (and related certifications) remains vendor-specific.

Microsoft, for instance, offers a VDI certification for technical specialists called the Microsoft IT Professional (MSITP)-Virtualization Administrator. The underlying training courses for the MSITP–Virtualization Administrator certification include server virtualization, desktop virtualization and virtualization administrator. All three of these classes and certification exams could be helpful for fledgling VDI administrators who expect to support Microsoft VDI software.

Citrix offers a bundled 30-hour online training course and certification focusing on its Xen product line. Citrix VDI training courses and certifications include the Certified Citrix Administrator (CCA) for XenDesktop 5, CCA for XenServer 5, CCA for XenApp 6 and NetScaler training.

These are just two examples of VDI training and certifications available. Other vendors offer similar training and certification opportunities. There is no vendor-agnostic VDI certification available, however, and there may never be. That's because of the tight linkage between VDI environments and the underlying proprietary infrastructures and technologies they use, which are not only tied to specific hypervisors (such as Microsoft's Hyper-V, VMware's vSphere or Citrix XenServer) but also to equally specific management, monitoring, deployment and configuration tools.

This was first published in April 2013

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