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October 26, 2010

IT Certification Update: October 2010


The world of IT certifications is constantly changing as current exams get updated, old exams get retired and new certification paths are announced. This monthly certification update will help you stay on top of what’s new, what’s changing and what will have an affect on your own IT certifications.

The October 2010 Certification Update includes: changes to the CompTIA A+ exam, information on the new CWNE wireless networking certification, updates to the Cisco DESGN exam, information on LPI’s new virtualization exam, as well as some Microsoft certification updates.

CompTIA A+ 2009 Exam Gets a Windows 7 Update

CompTIA A+ Certification UpdateThe first major update we’ll look at this month is an update to the popular CompTIA A+ Exam. CompTIA is planning to update the exam in January 2011 with content related to the Windows 7 operating system.

I also found out that Train Signal’s upcoming CompTIA A+ 2009 Training will cover these updates.

The new Windows 7 content will be included in the following sections of the two CompTIA exams:

  • CompTIA A+ Essentials (20-701): Objective Domains 3.0 (Operating Systems) and 4.0 (Software and Networking)
  • CompTIA A+ Practical Application (220-702): Objective Domains 2.0 (Operating Systems) and 4.0 (Security)

We also now know the extent of the changes as outlined on CertCities:

  • Domain 3.0 (Operating Systems and Software) will specifically add in all Windows 7 operating systems;
  • Windows 7 32-bit vs. 64-bit, Windows OS Upgrade Advisor and Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit will be added to objective 3.1;
  • Libraries in Windows 7 has been added to objective 3.2;
  • User data migration — User State Migration Tool (USMT) has been added as a sub-objective of objective 3.3;
  • and finally, IPv6 vs. IPv4 (addressing length differences and conventions) will be added to Domain 4.0 (Networking)

The new A+ exam content will be sent to exam providers starting in January as a rolling update; as such, it may not be immediately available at all exam locations. For more information on the Windows 7 updates in the A+ exam, see the official press release.

CWNE Certification Goes Through Major Changes

CWNE Certification UpdateAs Veronica Henry reported earlier this month, the CWNE (Certified Wireless Network Expert) certification has gone through some major changes, including different requirements and a change in the recertification policy for current and future CWNE certification holders.

Originally, the CWNE exam required that you pass the PW0-300 exam, in addition to a number of prerequisite exams. Exam PW0-300 is no longer required, in fact, the PW0-300 exam has been retired.

Instead, the new CWNE requires that you acquire four other CWNP certifications:

  • CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Associate Certification (Exam PW0-104)
  • CWSP: Certified Wireless Security Professional Certification (Exam PW0-204)
  • CWAP: Certified Wireless Analysis Professional Certification (Exam PW0-250)
  • CWDP: Certified Wireless Design Professional Certification (Exam PW0-270)

After passing the four exams above, you can then submit an application to become CWNE certified. There are a number of additional requirements, including references, documentation of experience and career achievements.

For more information on the new CWNE certification and process, check out Veronica’s article The New CWNE: Certified Wireless Network Expert Certification.

Cisco DESGN Exam Refresh

Cisco DESGN ExamA refresh of the Cisco DESGN (Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions) exam has been expected for some time, and while the changes seem minor, the subjects and expectations seem to be a bit vague. The 640-863 DESGN exam is required for the CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate) Certification.

For anyone scheduled to take the exam before November 8th, 2010 you can still expect to take the old 2.0 exam. Anyone taking the exam after November 8th however, should revisit the objectives and take a look at the new 2.1 expectations as listed below; the items that are highlighted in yellow are new or updated.

Describe the methodology used to design a network:

  • Describe developing business trends
  • Identify Network Requirements to Support the Organization
  • Describe the tools/process to characterize an existing network
  • Describe the top down approach to network design
  • Describe Network Management Protocols and Features

Describe network structure and modularity:

  • Describe the Network Hierarchy
  • Describe the Modular Approach in Network Design
  • Describe network architecture for the enterprise

Design basic enterprise campus networks:

  • Describe Campus Design considerations
  • Design the Enterprise Campus Network
  • Design the enterprise data center
  • Describe enterprise network virtualization tools

Design enterprise edge and remote network modules:

  • Describe the Enterprise Edge, branch, and Teleworker design characteristics
  • Describe physical and logical WAN connectivity
  • Design the branch office WAN solutions
  • Describe Access Network solutions for a remote worker
  • Design the WAN to support selected redundancy methodologies
  • Identify Design Considerations for a Remote Data Center

Design IP addressing and routing protocols:

  • Describe IPv4 Addressing
  • Describe IPv6 Addressing
  • Identify Routing Protocol Considerations in an Enterprise Network
  • Design a Routing Protocol Deployment

Design network services:

  • Describe the security lifecycle
  • Identify Cisco technologies to mitigate security vulnerabilities
  • Select appropriate Cisco security solutions and deployment placement
  • Describe high level voice and video architectures
  • Identify the design considerations for voice/video services
  • Describe Cisco Unified Wireless Network Architectures and Features
  • Design wireless network using controllers

For more information check out the original Cisco blueprint and discussion regarding the (640-863)DESGN Exam Topics.

LPI’s New Virtualization Exam

LPI's New Virtualization ExamLPI (Linux Professionals Institute) has recently released the objectives for the new virtualization exam: LPI 304: Virtualization and High Availability (topics 330 – 333). LPI 304 is an elective exam for Senior Level Linux Professional (LPIC-3) certification holders who can achieve the specialty designation: LPI 304: Virtualization and High Availability by passing the LPI 304 exam.

The new exam focuses on virtualization, cloud computing, load balancing, cluster management, and cluster storage and is available now at Prometric and VUE testing centers. A complete exam overview, along with key knowledge areas and lists of files, terms, and utilities used, can be found on the LPI website: LPI 304 exam objectives.

Here is a quick summary of how the LPI 304 exam is split up into sub-topics and what the key areas of focus are, as identified by the weight to measure importance:

Topic 330: Virtualization:

  • Virtualization Concepts and Theory (Weight: 10)
  • Xen (Weight: 10)
  • KVM (Weight: 7)
  • Other Virtualization Solutions (Alternatives to Xen and KVM, Weight: 3)

Topic 331: Load Balancing:

  • Linux Virtual Server (Weight: 5)
  • HAProxy (Weight: 3)
  • LinuxPMI (Wight: 1)

Topic 332: Cluster Management:

  • Pacemaker (Weight: 5)
  • Advanced Pacemaker (Weight: 3)
  • Red Hat Cluster Suite (Weight: 3)
  • Advanced Red Hat Cluster Suite (Weight: 3)

Topic 333: Cluster Storage:

  • DRBD (Weight: 3)
  • Global File System and OCFS2 (Weight: 3)
  • Other Clustered File Systems (Weight: 1)

Microsoft Exam Updates

Microsoft Exam UpdatesMicrosoft is planning to retire several exams from their certification lineup, including two Technology Specialist exams on October 31st, 2010 and another six exams on March 31st, 2011, including three Technology Specialist exams.

It’s important to note that if you have already completed one of the exams being retired, the certification will still be valid; however, if a retired exam is required for a certification track and you have yet to complete it, you will not be able to complete the certification track.

The following exams will be retired, as reported on the MSDN forums:

Microsoft exams retiring on October 31, 2010:

  • 70-624 Exam TS: Deploying and Maintaining Vista and Client Office Systems
  • 70-350 Exam PRO: Implementing Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration in (ISA) Server 2004
  • 70-089 Exam: Planning, Deploying, and Managing Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003
  • 70-262 Exam TS: MS Office Live Communication Server 2005 – Implementation, Management, and Troubleshooting
  • 70-281 Exam: Planning, Deploying, and Managing an Enterprise Project Management Solution

Microsoft exams retiring on March 31, 2011:

  • 70-285 Exam: Designing a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Organization
  • 70-284 Exam: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
  • 70-351 Exam: MS Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2006, Configuring
  • 70-500 Exam TS: MS Windows Mobile 5.0 Designing, Implementing, and Managing
  • 70-557 Exam TS: Microsoft Forefront Client and Server, Configuring
  • 70-631 Exam TS: Microsoft SharePoint Services 3.0, Configuring

October Certification Update Recap

Check back next month for more certification updates. If you’d like more information or clarification on any of the topics above, please feel free to leave a comment below or visit the following links for more information:

About the Author

is a computer technician with over 8 years of experience in the IT field. He has completed training in CompTIA A+, Network+, Computer Business Applications (Microsoft Specialist), Web Page Design and Graphic Design, and is working on completing his CompTIA A+ and CCNA certifications. Mike has experience working as a computer technician for two local school districts, as well as freelance computer repair work with, which Mike owns. Music is another one of Mike's callings. Using his technical experience, Mike promotes local musicians in Salinas California through his website where local musicians and businesses can gain promotion to a worldwide audience.

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