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HP Starts New Certification Programs For Multi-Vendor Environments

HP said Wednesday that it's revamping its certification programs to reflect the reality that most data centers are heterogeneous environments with multiple brands of equipment in them. It also plans to create a converged infrastructure certification program to train people how to operate the overall data center, not just siloed training in servers, storage, software or networking.

HP said Wednesday that it's revamping its certification programs to reflect the reality that most data centers are heterogeneous environments with multiple brands of equipment in them. It also plans to create a converged infrastructure certification program to train people how to operate the overall data center, not just siloed training in servers, storage, software or networking.

At Interop New York 2010, HP introduced HP ExpertONE, a re-branding of its certification programs taught at more than 150 training centers and academic institutions globally. The training is provided to HP employees, partners and customers. More than just a re-branding, though, ExpertONE intends to close three important gaps in current certification programs, said Lyle Speirs, director of sales and marketing for Global Certification and Learning at HP.

Current programs suffer a "content gap," Speirs explained, in which training is often product-specific and doesn't recognize that data centers are built with multiple brands of equipment. Programs suffer a "relevancy gap" in that they don't take into account the knowledge a student may already have from on-the-job experience. They also suffer a "delivery model gap," in that they are too often delivered in a traditional classroom setting when they could also be delivered online, through social media or through self-directed learning.

HP is also going to offer a Master ASE (accredited systems engineer) Converged Infrastructure Architect Certification. This certification requires that students not just know all about planning, deploying and maintaining a converged IT infrastructure, but that they also demonstrate business acumen, he said, so that they can deliver a return on investment (ROI) to the business. In addition, to avoid redundant training, applicants who have many years of on-the-job experience can go right to taking a board exam to earn the certification.

"Converged Infrastructure" is a term HP has used recently to identify its business strategy for looking at the data center as a whole and designing and building it to deliver application services to an enterprise by bringing together servers, storage and networks all operated through one common management platform.

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