April 17, 2013 By PatrickM
Obtaining Citrix certification validates expertise in virtualization, and dramatically enhances career path and job advancement opportunities. Any IT professional should pursue certification, as it brings both personal gains (as far as career advancement and salary), and enterprise-wide gains (as far as a secure and seamless virtual environment that supports all employees). With so many levels of certification, which is right for you? Use the following article as a guide through the Citrix certification learning paths.
The phase of implementation determines the role and subsequent skills required of IT staff. Citrix implementation is typically a four phase project: Assessment, Design, Deployment, and Maintenance.
Phase One: Assessment
An organization beginning to assess Citrix needs Solutions Architects. Solutions Architects design the virtual infrastructure that delivers desktops and applications throughout an enterprise. They can blueprint the design consideration needed for such an infrastructure, and integrate Citrix products with third party solutions. Solutions Architects are CCIA for Virtualization certified.
Phase Two: Design
The next phase of Citrix implementation is Design. Citrix Infrastructure design is carried out by a team of Systems Engineers. Systems Engineers build the virtual infrastructure for the delivery of desktops and applications throughout the enterprise. They also build the farm that delivers servers and desktops. Systems Engineers are tasked with integrating XenApp and XenDesktop solutions with Access Gateway, and integrating XenServer with third party storage solutions. Systems Engineers are CCEE for Virtualization certified.
Phase Three: Deployment
Citrix deployment is sometimes the shortest but most crucial phase of Citrix implementation. Deployment is executed by Systems Administrators. Systems Administrators create, manage, and deliver the virtual desktops that will be used by employees across the organization. They centralize and manage applications in the data center, which will be deployed across the organization. Systems Administrators also install and configure storage and provisioning services. System Admins are responsible for the set-up and deployment of a fully functional Citrix environment. Systems Administrators hold a variety of certifications: CCA for XenDesktop 5, CCA for XenDesktop 6, CCA for XenServer 6, and CCAA for XenApp 6.
Phase Four: Maintenance
Once Citrix deployment is completed, the organization rolls into phase four: maintenance. Citrix systems are maintained by Systems Analysts. Systems Analysts monitor, maintain, optimize, and troubleshoot the virtualized environment. They are tasked with keeping Citrix running optimally for all employees. Systems Analysts hold the same certifications as Systems Administrators. These Citrix certifications are CCA for XenDesktop 5, CCA for XenDesktop 6, CCA for XenServer 6, and CCAA for XenApp 6.
Citrix certification validates expertise in Citrix assessment, design, deployment, and maintenance. Certification rewards both the employee and their employer, empowering the certified expert to effect change throughout their organization through the Citrix platform.
Explore Citrix certification by Unitek Education today, to realize the value for yourself. Speak with a Unitek Education representative about Citrix certification at 888-825-6273 or request more information here.
About Unitek Education
Unitek IT Education is the premier Authorized Citrix training center in the United States and has trained enterprise clients nationwide on Citrix installation, administration and security. Unitek Education’s cutting-edge training solutions have received accolades from many enterprise companies. Unitek Education has been honored with multiple Learning Partner of the Year and Learning Partner of the Quarter awards by Citrix Systems.
April 12, 2013 By IT Guru
Though the label of “job hopper” is one you generally want to avoid, employees who spend their entire careers with one company are becoming increasingly rare. This is especially true in the ever-changing tech world, where, for skilled workers, opportunities abound. Then consider the numerous downsizing efforts by companies looking to get leaner in uncertain economic times and there is going to be a lot of shuffling between tech professionals.
So how to avoid the appearance of being a paycheck-chasing gun-for-hire? Here is some advice based on feedback from industry experts:
Tell Your Story
There may be plenty of good reasons why you had a short stint at an IT job. Often times you will be a full-time employee on the books, but you may have been brought in to complete a 18-month project, and afterward the job was no longer the right fit for you or your employer. Or, you were on board with one of the thousands of start-up companies that didn’t make it. These types of situations happen frequently and it is your job to tell your story beyond how it appears on paper.
If you’re qualified for a position, a work history punctuated by brief stints will not preclude you from gaining an interview, but expect to be asked why you left previous positions after a short time. Better yet, preempt the question — give your answer before the interviewer has a chance to pose the question.
While you may have your story ready, the resume is still the first impression. When writing it, focus on your accomplishments. If the job was really more of a project-based contract, emphasize how you delivered on all the goals and how you left the company in a better position than when you got there. If the company was acquired and you were let go, make sure that is apparent. Where it may not be appropriate to go into detail in your resume, use LinkedIn in or Google+ to fill in the details – employers will check your social media profiles.
March 18, 2013 By PatrickM
Top 5 reasons to Virtualize using Cisco Data Center
Virtualization is one of the most common IT buzzwords for 2013, and it is for a good reason. Virtualizing your servers is one of the best ways to cut costs, and become greener. Running, maintaining, and cooling servers can become quite costly for large and small businesses alike, and Server Virtualization is quickly becoming a very attractive option. Unitek Education’s Cisco Data Center training courses help build the basic skills on virtulization as well as Advanced Data Center skills through its Cisco Data Center Courses.
- High Efficiencies – A company will often have the need for many, low resource dependent applications. This creates a need for many physical servers, each with a lot of wasted potential processing power. With Virtualization software, it is possible to consolidate many applications to run virtually on the same server instead of many physical servers.
- Move Upgrade Maintain in a Snap – Server downtime can be disastrous to any business, which understandably makes server maintenance and upgrading extremely inconvenient. A Virtualized Server environment solves this issue. If you ever need to take a server down for an extended period of time, Virtual Servers allow you to easily move applications between physical units. This means maintenance can be done at your own convenience, and upgrading to newer servers is a snap.
- Easy Implementation – If there is any need to run, or even just test, a new application, buying a new server is no longer necessary. You can simply create a new virtual server on an existing physical unit. Since Virtual Servers run independently of each other, it is easy to run a new application on a whim, without affecting your current server apps.
- Create Redundancy – You can’t always prevent a server crash, but with Server Virtualization, you can sure prepare yourself for one. Using a Virtual Server, a company can create redundant applications in multiple physical servers. In case one physical server crashes, you can have another physical server running the same application. When a random server crash can mean a serious loss in revenue, it pays to create safety nets for your business.
- Spend Less for More– Cooling and maintenance costs of large data centers are a thing of the past, as server virtualization allows you to minimize the number of running physical servers, and maximize your efficiency. Simplifying your data center means less overhead.
Almost every major company has adopted some sort of server virtualization, and it is catching on for small and mid-sized business as well. The advantages it provides are too large to ignore. You only stand to gain money, time and resources by upgrading to the dynamic, efficient and safer format.
To learn what training options you have to acquire Cisco Data Center skills, click here.
February 21, 2013 By IT Guru
It’s a good time to be in information technology.
According to a survey by the tech recruiting website Dice, average tech salaries rose more than five percent in 2012, the biggest one year jump in the past ten years. Likewise, 64 percent of tech professionals felt “confident they could find a favorable new position” this year.
“Employers are recognizing and adjusting to the reality of a tight market,” said Scot Melland, Chairman, President and CEO of Dice. “The fact is you either pay to recruit or pay to retain and these days, at least for technology teams, companies are doing both.”
Of the more than 15,000 technology professionals surveyed, the average salary was calculated at $85,619, a 5.3 percent increase from $81,327 in 2012. In 2003, the average tech salary was $69,400, increasing 23.4 percent over ten years.
As the economy recovers, budgets are becoming more flexible and IT is an area where companies are investing in talent. For
professionals with 15 years of experience, the average salary was $103,012 – the first time that figure has reached six digits.
“In the early stages of the recovery, companies were staying flexible by using performance pay to reward their top performers,” Melland said, “Now, companies are writing the checks that will stick.”
Still, the market is a major factor in determining tech salaries. The average salary for a Silicon Valley tech professional was more than $100,000, making it the highest paying regional market. Major cities including Boston, Atlanta and Los Angeles saw significant increases in 2012. And many of the non-traditional markets, including Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis, Cleveland
and Phoenix, saw salaries increase by more than 10 percent in 2012.
As the national economy stabilizes, IT employees are starting to see the benefits before other professions. With an unemployment rate in the field of just 3.8 percent, it’s a great time to be a tech professional indeed.
February 8, 2013 By IT Guru
NetApp recently received two major awards with one theme: NetApp is a great place to work. FORTUNE Magazine ranked NetApp sixth on their “100 Best Companies to Work For” list of American companies for 2013. This comes on the heels of another major recognition – the Great Places to Work® Institute recently named NetApp the 3rd best workplace in the world.
“This recognition from FORTUNE magazine is all about our employees, who bring a passion and an energy to work that creates an environment where innovation thrives,” said Tom Georgens, president and CEO of NetApp. “Building the best team in the industry and creating a culture that inspires employees is a key component of NetApp’s business strategy. It directly contributes to driving growth and success for us, and for our customers and partners.”
The award marks the fifth straight year that NetApp has ranked in the top ten. The list is created from a survey of more than 259 companies with responses from more than 277,000 employees and is “the most extensive corporate survey in the country,” according to FORTUNE Magazine. The survey considered several factors, including, management credibility, camaraderie, job satisfaction and corporate culture.
“There is a ton of emphasis placed on leadership, trust, integrity, teamwork, synergy and giving back,” explained Sandy Wallace, a NetApp sales representative, “We lead with our hearts but also with an urgency to get things done. We are accountable and respectful all at the same time. I love it here.”
The Great Places to Work institute (who partnered with FORTUNE Magazine on the survey) believes that investing in an excellent workplace does more than keep employees happy, it leads to better innovation, higher productivity, more loyal customers and, ultimately, greater profits. When you listen to praise from employees like Sandy Wallace, it’s easy to see why.
February 8, 2013 By IT Guru
From 2009 to 2011, NetApp was the leading vendor of information storage solutions for the federal government, according to a study by GovWin Consulting. In the fiscal year 2011 NetApp held 41.2 percent of the market share, beating competitors by a 12 percent margin.
“NetApp has been committed to its customers in the federal market for 20 years,” said Mark Weber, president of NetApp’s U.S. Public Sector unit. “Both defense and civilian agencies are seeing a substantial increase in the volume of storage they need. When you add big data, cloud computing, mobility, and virtualization into the networking mix, the demand for capacity is only going to continue to grow.”
As the federal market has grown, so has NetApp’s market share. Again, looking at 2011 statistics, GovWin estimated that federal entities (that report spending data) spent approximately $1 billion on data storage services. NetApp’s share of the market saw an annual growth rate of 33.6 percent during the time of the study, their nearest competitor, EMC, grew at 19 percent.
According to Pierre Bernasconi of GovWin Consulting, the ever-shifting federal market provides unique challenges: On the one hand, there are restrictions on federal budgets these days, on the other hand, efforts like a cloud computing mandate and the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative are providing opportunities for companies like NetApp.
“We have strong relationships with all of our federal customers, rooted in NetApp’s game-changing and innovative products and services that will enable them to unleash the power of their data,” Weber explained. If history is anything to go by, NetApp should continue to be a leading provider of data solutions for the U.S. Government in the years to come.
February 8, 2013 By IT Guru
If you think hosting a Superbowl party is a lot of work, imagine hosting all of the game-day data needs – from camera crews and satellite uplinks to game statistics and player information – for the most watched television event of the year. This year, that job was in the hands of NetApp.
“We are excited to team with NetApp to enhance our technology platform at the Super Bowl and beyond to help deliver the best experience for our fans, our broadcast partners, and the media,” said Michelle McKenna, NFL senior vice president and chief information officer.
Delivering that experience to football fans and Beyonce enthusiasts alike required seamlessly coordinating the Super Bowl XLVII Media Center (game statistics, player information, multimedia, etc.), the NFL Headquarters Hotel (source of data replication for centers in Los Angeles and New York City) and the NFL Broadcast Compound (camera crews, technical equipment, satellite uplinks, etc.). Not to mention, they made sure all of that data was delivered safely and securely every step of the way.
NetApp’s partnership with the NFL will continue beyond this year’s Super Bowl. They will also provide data solutions for upcoming Super Bowls and for all 32 NFL teams throughout the season.
“Our relationship with the NFL demonstrates the importance of data storage to key brands that can ill afford to take risks with their mission-critical operations,” said Amy Love, vice president of brand and communications at NetApp. “The NFL has to manage challenges similar to those of many enterprise businesses—reliability, data protection, agility, and efficiency. NetApp brings capabilities to the NFL that will help accelerate its business operations and drive success, because we do it every day for our customers.”
Although NetApp couldn’t help you tell the Harbaugh brothers apart or improve your rendition of “Crazy in Love,” for Super Bowl XLVII they took care of just about everything else.
June 20, 2012 By admin
June 21, 2012 (San Francisco, CA) – Leading IT training organization, Unitek Education, has released its upcoming schedule of Citrix XenServer 6.0 Administration training classes. The training course focuses on building the required knowledge and skill sets to install, configure, administer and troubleshoot XenServer 6.0 and Provisioning Services 6.0. During this training program, students are able to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom through extensive time spent in Unitek Education’s state of the art labs.
Xen technology is known for being the fastest, most secure virtualization software in the industry. The demand for Citrix XenServer 6.0 training is on the rise as organizations are integrating the virtualization platform into their IT infrastructure.
The XenServer 6.0 class is designed for all IT professionals, Architects, Systems Engineers and Citrix Partner Network members. It is highly recommended that students posses a basic knowledge of virtualization technology and a basic understanding of computing architecture before enrolling in the course.
Some of the key skills covered in this Citrix XenServer 6.0 training include:
- Installing and Implementing XenServer
- Creating and Managing Virtual Machines
- Configuring the Network
- Configuring Storage
- Creating, Configuring, and Managing Resource Pools
- Configuring the Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS)
The course is available as a 5-day training class or as a self-paced online module. Students completing the course will be prepared to sit for the A26 Citrix XenServer 6.0 Administration Exam, a requirement for the CCA for Citrix XenServer 6.
About Unitek Education
Unitek IT Education is the premier Authorized Citrix training center in the United States and has trained enterprise clients nationwide on Citrix installation, administration and security. Unitek Education’s cutting-edge training solutions have received accolades from many enterprise companies, including Citrix itself. Unitek Education has been honored with multiple Learning Partner of the Year and Learning Partner of the Quarter awards by Citrix Systems.
May 17, 2012 By IT Guru
1-Day training event coming up on May 31st- Register NOW!
Our IT team is super excited to launch the absolutely new and fabulous First Look: Windows Server 8 training for our IT student community. In this course, students learn about the new ways to implement, manage and administer Windows Server 8 in an existing or new network environment with and without cloud-integration. The focus of the course is about the main changes from Windows Server 2008 / R2 to Window Server 8.
Speak with your Unitek Education Account Manager at 888-825-6273 now to get your free enrollment.
See you soon at this Microsoft Training event .
March 5, 2012 By admin
A student recently was worried about the number of servers that they had allocated for their virtualization farm. There are a few tools out there that can do a pretty in depth analysis of your physical environment and usage and give you an estimate as to what resources you would need to virtualize all of your physical systems. VMware’s Capacity Planner tool is the most notable of these types of systems. But it costs and can take quite a while to gather enough information – usually at least 30 days.
For small companies this might not be feasible so you can get a rough, very rough estimate of the number of servers that you need by using this formula.
Number of VMs X amount of RAM needed by each VM = Total RAM
Total RAM / 4 = Total number of Cores
You can then use this number to figure out how many physical machines you need based upon the number of cores available. Then give it enough Physical RAM to support the Virtual Machines, allowing 10% of RAM for Service Console and VMKernel, etc.
So for 30 VMs that need 2 GB of RAM each you need at least 60 GB of RAM for the ESXi Server. You then calculate the number of Cores by dividing 60 by 4, which gives you 15 cores. If say you have 2 Way Quad Core machines with 32 GB RAM, you have 8 cores per machine. Thus each host can only support 16 VMs at most. But on the safe side you need to factor in 10% of the RAM will be used by the service console, VMKernel and other agents running on the host. Ten percent of 32 is 3.2, rounding up we get 4 GB of RAM thus we only really have 28 GB of RAM available and can only really support 14 VMs per host. Thus to support at least 30 VMs we need 3 hosts and if we want to failover support we will need an extra host. So to safely support at least 30 VMs we need 4 hosts.
Blog Author: Alicia T, brings to her classroom two decades of teaching experience and the expertise that comes from a prior career as an IT consultant. Specializing in teaching Microsoft, NetApp, and VMWare training software and programs, Alicia understands and emphasizes the connections between various tools and platforms in order to maximize student proficiency.