5 Standard Sertifikasi Data Center

Owing to software-defined data center technologies, many of today's data center certifications require additional skills, including virtualization and cloud computing. Other trends affecting this space include big data, the Internet of Things, network virtualization and more. Here are some of the very best options for data center certifications for 2017.
Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockBecause of a significant trend toward virtualized data center networking and software-defined networks, the lines between data center and cloud certifications have blurred. Typically, data center networking skills require knowledge of virtualization and cloud technologies, and supporting data in the cloud usually means managing information housed in a data center and making it available securely.

However, there are still plenty of organizations that offer certifications specific to data center networking and infrastructure, which tend to focus mainly on traditional networking technologies. But as you dig into their details, you'll see virtualization and cloud management skills woven into those requirements as well.

This article explores the top five data center certifications for 2017, which come from Cisco (two different credentials), VMware, Juniper Networks and BICSI, and then introduces you to a few worthy competitors that belong in a more extended list.

Before you examine these certifications in detail, browse the results of our informal job board search for a birds-eye view of which certifications employers are seeking. (Results vary considerably on different job boards and in different geographies, so think of the numbers in the table as guidelines, not as hard and fast rules.) Regardless of which job board you use, there are a lot of employers looking for qualified people to join their data center teams! SimplyHired listed more than 114,000 data center jobs in the U.S., with more than 139,000 on Indeed, 37,000 on LinkedIn Jobs and 13,000 on TechCareers. With the right credential(s) in hand, one of these jobs is sure to be yours.

Job Board Search Results

CertificationSimplyHiredIndeedLinkedIn JobsTechCareersTotal
CCNA Data Center1,6441,8666101874,307
CCNP Data Center1,2871,4075231523,369
DCDC (BICSI)1431507731401
VCP Data Center409445176601,090
Juniper Networks Certified Professional Data Center (JNCIP-DC)19421114325573
Data center job roles start at the network technician level and advance through senior architect. Most of the certifications covered would result in an associate- or professional-level network engineer position. According to SimplyHired, the average salary for network engineer jobs is $91,700, with the lower end at $61,000 and the high at $137,800. Glassdoor reports a national average salary of $73,165, although their average for senior network engineers climbs to $104,260.
Let's take a closer look at the top five data center certifications for 2017.
Cisco certifications continue to be some of the most recognizable and respected credentials in the industry. The CCNA Data Center certification is a great introductory certification for networking professionals who want to specialize in data center operations and support, and who have one to three years of experience.
Candidates for the CCNA Data Center certification need to understand basic data center networking concepts, including addressing schemes, troubleshooting and configuring switches with VLANs and routers using Nexus-OS, network and server virtualization, storage and common network services such as load balancing.
The CCNA Data Center is valid for three years, after which credential holders must recertify. Recertification requires passing a current version of one of the following exams:
  • Associate-level exam except for ICND1 exam
  • 642-XXX Professional-level or 300-XXX Professional-level exam
  • 642-XXX Cisco Specialist exam (does not include Sales Specialist exams or MeetingPlace Specialist exams, Implementing Cisco TelePresence Installations (ITI) exams, Cisco Leading Virtual Classroom Instruction exams or any 650 online exams)
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) written exam
  • Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) written exam or current CCDE practical exam
Candidates can also sit through the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview and the CCAr board review to achieve recertification for CCNA Data Center.

CCNA Data Center Facts & Figures

Certification NameCisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Center
Prerequisites & Required CoursesNone required
Recommended training:
  • Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking (DCICN)
  • Introducing Cisco Data Center Technologies (DCICT)
Cisco offers classroom and virtual classroom courses; courses run for five days and cost $3,995 USD
Number of ExamsTwo exams:
Both exams are 90 minutes; 65-75 questions
Cost per Exam$250 per exam; $500 total (price may vary by region). Exams administered by Pearson VUE.
Self-Study MaterialsThe certification web page provides links to self-study materials, including the syllabus, study groups, videos, study guides, Learning Network resources, learning partner content and much more.

Networking professionals looking to validate their data center skills and achieve a competitive edge in the workplace can't go wrong with the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Data Center credential.

Geared toward technology architects, along with design and implementation engineers and solutions experts, the CCNP Data Center identifies individuals who can implement Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) blade and rack-mount servers, and install, configure and manage Cisco Nexus switches. The CCNP Data Center is designed for candidates with three to five years of experience working with Cisco technologies.

When pursuing the CCNP Data Center, Cisco lets you choose either a design or troubleshooting track. Related data center certifications include the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA Data Center), which requires one to three years of experience, and the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Data Center, aimed at professionals with seven or more years of experience.
The CCNP Data Center is valid for three years, after which credential holders must recertify. The recertification process requires candidates to pass a single exam to maintain the credential, or to sit for the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview and the CCAr board review. Credential holders should check the Cisco website for the current list of qualifying exams before attempting to recertify.

CCNP Data Center Facts & Figures

Certification NameCisco Certified Network Professional Data Center (CCNP Data Center)
Prerequisites & Required CoursesValid Cisco Certified Network Associate Data Center (CCNA Data Center) certification or any Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification
Training recommended but not required; classes are usually four to five days and start at $3,695
Number of ExamsFour exams:

642-999 DCUCI – Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Computing

642-997 DCUFI – Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric


642-998 DCUCD – Designing Cisco Data Center Unified Computing

642-996 DCUFD – Designing Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric


642-035 DCUCT – Troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Unified Computing

642-980 DCUFT – Troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric

All exams are 90 minutes; 65-75 questions 
Cost per Exam$250 per exam; $1,000 total (price may vary by region). Exams administered by Pearson VUE.
Self-Study MaterialsThe certification web page provides links to self-study materials, including the syllabus, study groups, webinars, Cisco Learning Network resources, learning partner content and much more.
4. VMware Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization 
The VMware VCP6-DCV is one of those credentials that sits firmly on the line between traditional data center networking and cloud management.
VMware offers an extensive certification program with a rigorous Data Center virtualization track, which includes the VCP6-DCV. Candidates must thoroughly understand Domain Name System (DNS), routing and database connectivity techniques, and know how to deploy, configure, manage and scale VMware vSphere environments and storage. VMware recommends that candidates have a minimum of six months of experience with VMware vSphere 6 before attempting the VCP6-DCV certification.
New candidates must take a VMware training course and pass two exams. Training courses start at $4,125; pricing is based on the specific course selected, delivery format and learning partner.
VMware requires credential holders to recertify every two years. Recertification is achieved by taking whatever exam is most current for the certification, earning a new VCP certification in a different solution track or advancing to the next-level VMware certification.

VCP6-DCV Facts & Figures

Certification NameVMWare Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)
Prerequisites & Required CoursesNew candidates:

1. New to VMware Data Center Virtualization technology: Six months' vSphere 6 experience plus one of the following training courses:
  • vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6]
  • vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6] On Demand
  • vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V6] On Demand
  • vSphere: Optimize & Scale [V6]
  • VMware vSphere: Bootcamp [V6]
  • VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V6]
  • VMware vSphere: Design and Deploy Fast Track [V6]
  • VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting [V6]
  • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure and Manage plus Optimize and Scale Fast Track [V6]
  • VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale plus Troubleshooting Fast Track [V6]
2. Candidates with vSphere 5x training who are not VCP certified: vSphere What's New [V5.5 to V6] training

Existing candidates:

1. Valid VCP5-DCV certification: No prerequisites

2. Valid VCP for any solution track that has not expired: No prerequisites

3. Expired VCP for any solution track: Complete one of the required training courses (see above)

Note: The cost of VMware courses start at $4,125 and increase to over $6,000 for Bootcamps and Fast Track courses.
Number of ExamsNew candidates and those with vSphere 5 training only (two exams):
Candidates with valid VCP5-DCV certification: one exam: VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Delta exam, 2V0-621D, 75 minutes, 65 questions

Candidates with valid VCP certification, any solution track: one exam, VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center

Exams administered by Pearson VUE.
Cost per ExamvSphere Foundations exam, $120

VMware Certified Professional 6- Data Center Virtualization exam, $225

VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Delta exam, $225
Self-Study MaterialsA link to a practice exam appears on each exam page (click the How to Prepare tab). VMware Learning Zone offers exam prep subscriptions.
Numerous VCP6-DCV study materials are available through Amazon.com. MeasureUp offers a VCP6-DCV practice test and a practice lab.

Juniper Networks, based in California and incorporated in 1997, develops and sells network infrastructure equipment and software aimed at corporations, network service providers, government agencies and educational institutions. The company has a large certification and training program designed to support its solutions, which includes data center, Junos security, enterprise routing and switching, service provider routing and switching, design, firewall and VPN, and QFabric.
The Data Center track recognizes networking professionals who deploy, manage and troubleshoot Juniper Networks Junos software and data center equipment. The single exam (JN0-680) covers implementation and maintenance of multi-chassis link aggregation group (LAG), virtual chassis and Internet Protocol (IP) fabric, and virtual extensible LANs (VXLANs), as well as signaling and data center interconnections.
To renew a JNCIP certification, candidates must pass the current JNCIP-DC exam or pass the current Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert (JNCIE) lab exam in the same track (currently under development for data center topics).

JNCIP-DC Facts & Figures

Certification NameJuniper Networks Certified Professional Data Center (JNCIP-DC)
Prerequisites & Required CoursesRequired: Juniper Networks Certified Specialist Enterprise Routing and Switching (JNCIS-ENT) certification

Recommended training:
  • Data Center Switching (DCX)
  • Advanced Data Center Switching (ADCX)
  • Troubleshooting Data Center Switching (TDCX)
Juniper offers classroom, virtual and online training. DC and ADCX training courses run for two days and cost $1,595 to $1,700. TDCX training is offered as a one-day course and costs $700 to $795.
Number of ExamsOne exam; exam JN0-680 (65 multiple-choice questions, 120 minutes)
Cost per Exam$300 each. Exams administered by Pearson VUE.
Self-Study MaterialsCandidates can browse the complete set of Junos OS 15.1 technical publications, the Juniper Networks Day One library of collateral and Juniper Learning Bytes. Juniper recommends reading RFC 7348RFC 4760 and RFC 7432, as well as these white papers: Improve Data Center Interconnect, L2 Services with Juniper's EVPN and Clos IP Fabrics with QFX5100 Switches. Several O'Reilly books are also available that focus on Junos and Juniper Networks products. A free practice test is listed on the certification page but no link is available.
BICSI is a membership association that offers several engineering-oriented IT communications credentials aimed at networking professionals who design and implement optical fiber-, copper-based and wireless infrastructures.
BICSI is perhaps best known for its Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and cabling certifications. It also offers the Registered Telecommunications Project Manager (RTPM) credential, along with other certifications for outside plant design and cabling. The RTPM certification launched in October 2015 and replaced the Registered Information Technology Professional (RITP).
The Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC) is designed for IT professionals with at least two years of experience in designing, planning and implementing data centers. This vendor-neutral certification is ideal for data center engineers, architects, designers and consultants.
The DCDC credential is valid for three years. To renew, credential holders are required to obtain a minimum of 24 hours of BICSI continuing education credits (CEC) to maintain the credential.

BICSI DCDC Facts & Figures

Certification NameBICSI Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC)
Prerequisites & Required CoursesMinimum of two years approved and verifiable experience in design and/or construction of data centers; experience must be current within past six years

Recommended training:
A minimum of 125 hours of study on ANSI/BICSI 002-2014, Data Center Design and Implementation Best Practices

Completion of the DCDC application
Number of ExamsOne exam (100 questions, two hours to complete)
Cost per ExamApplication fee: Members $255, nonmembers $370

Exam fee (and retake fee): Members $195, nonmembers $285

BICSI exam administered by Pearson VUE.
Self-Study MaterialsBICSI provides two exam prep resources for the DCDC: DCDC Duty/Task Statementand BICSI CDCD Content Outline/Blueprint and Job Task Analysis

Additional BICSI resources are available from the BICSI bookstore:
  • ANSI/BICSI 002-2014, Data Center Design and Implementation Best Practices, 1st Edition; $395 members/$495 non-members
  • Information Transport Systems Design Standard for K-12 Educational Institutions, $95 members/$115 non-members

While not featured in the top five this year, Schneider Electric's vendor-neutral Data Center Certified Associate (DCCA) is a terrific entry-level certification for individuals who design, build and manage data centers as part of a data center-centric IT team.
CNet's Certified Data Centre Management Professional (CDCMP) is also worthy of honorable mention. Based in the UK, it doesn't appear in a lot of U.S. job board postings but still receives solid attention on a general Google search.
IT professionals who are serious about advancing their data center careers would do well to check out complementary certifications from our featured vendors. For example, Cisco also offers a number of certifications in data center design and support, including application services, networking infrastructure, storage networking and unified computing. VMware also offers additional data center virtualization certifications worth exploring, including the VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX6-DCV) and the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX6-DCV).
Because of the proliferation of data center virtualization and cloud computing, you can expect the data center networking job market to continue to remain strong in the near future. Achieving a certification can be a real feather in your cap, and open the door to new and better work opportunities.
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