Prior to its acquisition by Dell in May, 2012, SonicWALL already had the beginnings of a certification program for its Unified Threat Management (UTM) platforms underway in partnership with Global Knowledge (a well-known purveyor of IT education and certification preparation training). On July 10, Global Knowledge announced the release of a new second class in its SonicWALL related offerings entitled SonicWALL Network Security Advanced Administration. This 2-day class comes with a list price of $2,000 and culminates in an exam which, if passed, confers the Certified SonicWALL Security Professional (CSSP) credential.
This comes in addition to the Network Security Basic Administration class from Global Knowledge, another 2-day, $2,000 SonicWALL-focused class from Global Knowledge that includes an exam and can confer the Certified SonicWALL System Administrator (CSSA) credential. The CSSA is a pre-requisite for the CSSP, in fact, so it looks like SonicWALL has established the beginning of a true certification ladder here.
Over the years, I’ve been involved in preparing training and testing materials for other Dell certifications related to some of their switches as well. Those programs were more in-house focused with training, testing, and certification managed purely within Dell. It’s nice to see them partnering up with a training company to expand the reach and delivery of their curriculum and certification testing. I guess what I’d like to see next is an overarching curriculum and set of certifications to include their remote access and KVM products, switches and routers, deployment and management appliances, and storage offerings, as well as their security infrastructure elements. Then, too, it would also be nice if they established a relationship with VUE or Prometric to handle testing independent of training delivery. To my way of thinking, that’s the best way to guarantee objective and verifiable results for their training and certification efforts.
However, it looks like things at Dell, certification-wise, are taking some interesting steps forward. If you use SonicWALL products, you might want to check out the Global Knowledge training and certification offerings.