Top 10 Data Storage Certifications

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For many data storage professionals looking to take advantage of IT job demands, one way they can set themselves up for success is with data storage certifications.

Data storage careers are also set to produce 18,200 jobs by 2028, according to Zippia.

With a job requiring specific skills such as a basic understanding of data storage, hardware, architecture, performance issues, capacity planning, and other skills, an expert must educate themselves for a company’s needs.

With certification to push these skills further, a professional can be even stronger in their craft. Individuals with certificates voted 73% that their work was more effective, 23% had a raise in pay, and 86% of hiring managers said it was a high-value tool. 

Here are the 10 top certifications a data storage expert should consider to advance their career in data storage:

See more: The Backup Storage Market

1. Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Data Center

Skills Acquired: Network (25%), computer (25%), storage network (20%), automation (15%), and security (15%) 

Requirements: Applicants should have five to seven years of experience in the design, deployment, operation, and optimization of data center solutions (optional)

Duration: five-day training course and three days of self-paced learning material and time for hands-on practice

Location: Online

Cost: $400 qualifying exam fee; $1,900 lab exam fee; $1,500 Cisco e-learning training course

2. Hitachi Vantara Qualified Professional Storage Administration

Skills Acquired: Command Suite fundamentals, use of Hitachi Device Manager, advanced storage management operations, multi-pathing and load balancing, troubleshooting, HCS 8.5.x and SVOS 7.x

Requirements: Experience with Hitachi storage systems (recommended)

Duration: Training platforms vary

Location: Online

Cost: $100 exam, training classes vary.

3. Microsoft Azure Data Engineering Associate (DP-203) Professional Certificate

Skills Acquired: Design and implement data storage (40—45%); design and develop data processing (25—30%); design and implement data security (10—15%); monitor and optimize data storage and data processing (10—15%)

Requirements: Knowledge of data processing languages, such as SQL, Python, or Scala, and understanding of parallel processing and data architecture patterns

Duration: Estimated 13 months

Location: Online

Cost: exam $165; class on Coursera $59/month

4. Pure Storage Certifications – Certified Data Storage Associate

Skills Acquired: Block storage, cloud, cloud deployment, containers, data protection, disaster recovery, ECMP, encryption, Ethernet, Fibre Channel, FSPF, hosts, iSCSI, networking, Pure Storage, ransomware mitigation, ransomware prevention, replication technology, servers, storage, and virtualization.

Requirements: Demonstrate six or more months of industry experience, Have six or more months of experience with Pure Storage, either on its own or with other vendor solutions, and complete the recommended training (optional)

Duration: six months

Location: online

Cost: Exam $129, class and training class costs vary

5. VMware Certified Professional, Data Center Virtualization

Skills Acquired: implement, manage, and troubleshoot a vSphere infrastructure, using practices to provide a secure foundation for business agility that can accelerate the transformation to cloud computing.

Requirements: System administration experience on Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems

Duration: 32 hours

Location: Options of a classroom, live online, vFlex-ILT, and onsite learning environment

Cost: exam $125, class prices vary.

See more: How Storage Software is Used by the BP, Whole Foods, Thai Airways, Micro Strategies, DoJ, Fortune, and UConn: Case Studies

6. HPE ASE – Storage Solutions V4

Skills Acquired: Differentiate and apply enterprise storage architectures and technologies; identify enterprise storage and backup opportunities; plan, design, and size the right HPE Storage Solution; design, identify, and recommend HPE Storage Enterprise and Backup Solutions.

Requirements: IT professional with at least one to three years of experience in storage technology

Duration: Option of a five-day intensive training course or online study materials, two-hour exam

Location: Option of virtual or in-person

Cost: classes from $4,000 – $8,000, study guide $60,  exam cost

7. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

Skills Acquired: Design for organizational complexity (12.5%); design for new solutions (31%); migration planning (15%); cost control (12.5%); continuous improvement (29%)

Requirements: At least two years of experience with AWS cloud architecture deployment

Duration: Three-day virtual or in-person training course, 180-minute exam

Location: Online

Cost: $300 exam fee. Training costs vary

8. NetApp Certified Data Administrator (NCDA)

Skills Acquired: Storage platforms; Core ONTAP; logical storage; networking; SAN solutions and connectivity; network attached storage (NAS) solutions; data protection; security and performance.

Requirements: recommended six months to a year of practical experience in implementing and managing NetApp data storage solutions (optional)

Duration: E-learning and self-paced study materials vary on time; 90-minute exam

Location: Online

Cost: $150 exam fee additional training costs vary

9. Dell EMC-Associate–Information Storage and Management Version 5.0  (DCA-ISM)

Skills Acquired: Modern data center infrastructure (18%); storage systems (23%); storage networking technologies (19%); backup, archive, and replication (24%); security and management (16%)

Requirements: Must pass the following Associate level exam DEA-1TT5 Associate – Information Storage and Management Exam

Duration: Dependent on study time; 90-minute exam

Location: On-demand, classroom, and virtual classes available; exam online 

Cost: Class prices vary; exam $230

10. IBM Certified Solution Advisor – Spectrum Storage V7

Skills Acquired: Be able to know Spectrum Control, Spectrum Virtualize, Spectrum Protect, Spectrum Archive, Spectrum Scale, Cloud Object Storage, Spectrum Protect Plus, Spectrum Discover, Cloud Paks, Copy Data Management, Storage Insights, and high-level storage solutions that are integrated with existing systems and aligned with business needs, and communicate high-level design scenarios to the customer.

Requirements:  Must pass Exam C1000-117: IBM Spectrum Storage Solution Advisor V7; have experience with IT organization structures; know IT storage standards; have knowledge of storage offerings and capabilities, cloud, network, storage fundamentals, IBM Spectrum Storage products, and IBM Systems Storage solutions

Duration: Class times and training vary; 90-minute exam

Location: Options of in-person classes or virtual; exam online

Cost: $200 exam fee; training price varies.

See more: Data Storage Q&A with Dan Kogan at Pure Storage

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