IT Career JumpStart

Sep 28 2011   1:59PM GMT

Brocade Cert Programs Offer Rich Mix of Credentials

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

It’s always gratifying to hear from readers of this and other blogs, doubly so when what I hear comes from other players in the industry. That’s why I was very gratified and interested to hear from Joe Cannata last month: he’s a Senior Manager for Business Development at Brocade (more formally, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.) a company best known for its high-end networking solutions. Although Joe’s title doesn’t mention “certification” anywhere, he’s the guy who runs the company’s many and varied certification programs.

Last Monday (9/26/2011) it was my pleasure to speak with Joe to discuss Brocade’s past, present, and future certification plans. I was very interested to learn that nearly 12,000 individuals hold some form of Brocade accreditation (not all of their credentials are formally identified as “certifications”) and that nearly 20,000 such credentials have been granted since their program kicked off nearly 10 years ago. Here’s a screen cap from the company’s certification overview brochure (PDF):

3 Tracks, and 3 Levels for Brocade Certification

3 Tracks, and 3 Levels for Brocade Certification

I had to reduce this image significantly to get it to fit the blog window width, but you can grab the afore-linked PDF and consult page 4 to see the full-size original. The important things to notice are three tracks and three levels for a 9-cell matrix, which I’ll reproduce in a table:

Brocade Certification Program Overview
Level Certified Professional FICON Track 2010 Brocade Certified Professional Data Center Track 2012 Brocade Certified Professional Internetworking Track 2010
Elite Level (Advanced) Brocade Certified Architect for FICON
Brocade Certified Fabric Professional
Brocade Certified Fabric Designer Brocade Certified Network Professional
Brocade Certified Layer 4-7 Professional
Premiere Level (Intermediate) Brocade Certified Fabric Administrator Brocade Certified SAN Manager
Brocade Certified Fabric Professional
Brocade Certified Fabric Administrator
Brocade Certified Network Engineer
Brocade Certified Layer 4-7 Engineer
Select Level (Beginner) Brocade Accredited FICON Specialist
Brocade Accredited Data Center Specialist
Brocade Accredited Data Center Specialist
Brocade Accredited Server Connectivity Specialist
Brocade Accredited Internetworking Specialist

As you can see, actual certifications don’t kick in until you get to the Intermediate level and into administrator, professional, manager, and engineer job roles. All the entry-level items are designated as “accredited specialist” credentials instead. Brocade’s technology focus areas include SAN and high speed networking with an emphasis on both IP and Fibre Channel based storage networking technologies. This is very interesting stuff, and I’ll keep digging into it monthly for the foreseeable future. Please stay tuned for additional posts on the program and its contents, or visit the main Brocade certification page for more information.

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