Why Linux users should care about Microsoft’s new certification
Historically, the world of server administration is largely split into two opposing camps. Windows versus Linux, each group passionately arguing the benefits of their chosen operating system, whilst simultaneously highlighting the flaws in the other.
Over time, the server ecosystem has evolved with both groups discovering their paths intertwining more frequently. Microsoft’s behaviour shift towards embracing Linux and the open source community – to support their Azure platform – being the largest driving force behind this.
Still, the camps remain differentiated. So why should Linux users care about Microsoft’s new MCSA certification? Here’s why…
Linux on Azure
It’s no secret that Azure is increasingly powered by Linux. What seems to be lesser known is that uptake of the Linux Server OS seems to be outpacing the native Windows Server OS.
In Autumn 2014, Microsoft released a stat highlighting 20 percent of activity on Azure was now driven by Linux. By August 2015, Microsoft Azure CTO, Mark Russinovich confirmed Linux had grown to power more than 25 percent.
This rapid uptake from enterprises is fuelling demand for Linux skills on the Azure platform. Microsoft recognise this fact, releasing the new MCSA: Linux on Azure credential to train and certify this growing workforce demand. So, let’s take a closer look at the new credential that forms part of Microsoft’s MCSA certification portfolio.
An MCSA like no other…
The MCSA: Linux on Azure cert is like no other Microsoft certification released to date. It’s a hybrid! A collaboration between the Linux Foundation and Microsoft requiring you to pass two separate exams from the individual vendors:
Step 1: Take and pass exam 70-533 – Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
Step 2: Take and pass exam LFCS – Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator
Upon passing both exams, you’ll need to inform the Microsoft North American Regional Service Center of your success. Outside of North America, you’ll need to email MCPHelp@microsoft.com. After becoming MCSA: Linux on Azure certified, you’ll also walk away as a certified Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator and Specialist: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions certified professional.
Theses certifications demonstrate you have the skills to design, architect, implement, and maintain complex cloud-enabled Linux solutions. Thus leveraging the Azure open source capabilities to the fullest. It also proves you hold the necessary skills in Linux system administration required in today’s cloud-centric enterprise ecosystem.
A demand set to grow
Secure these skills now, and you’ll be future proofing your career in a sector that will consistently grow over the next 10-15 years.
The worldwide cloud computing workforce was an estimated 18,239,258 in 2015, according to Wanted Analytics. Availability of Cloud jobs can only grow, especially in the Azure sector, following Satya Nadella’s announcement at Future Decoded of an additional 90,000+ registrations per month for the Azure public-cloud platform.
With 25% (or more) of this demand set to be Linux focussed, that’s a steady growing demand for server administrators with Linux skills to work in the cloud. This will likely be fuelled further by Azure’s growing portfolio of supported Linux systems which now stands at 8. These include: Ubuntu, openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CoreOS, CentOS by OpenLogic and Debian by Credativ.
With all that in mind, as a Linux pro, you would be well placed to add the MCSA: Linux on Azure certification to your wanted list for 2016. A credential carrying the combined recognition of Microsoft and the Linux Foundation will go a long way to helping you stand out amongst your peers.
Providing commentary on training, certification and technology trends affecting the IT industry, Edward Jones works for Firebrand Training. With 5 years’ experience in the IT training and certification industry, Edward has experience working with Microsoft technologies including Windows Server, SharePoint and Windows Desktop.