NetApp, Inc. is an American hybrid cloud data services and management company headquartered in San Jose, California. As a persistent storage solution vendor, NetApp offers some certifications. NetApp certifications build on each other through entry-level associate certification, intermediate administrator level, and advanced-level engineer certification.
NetApp offers the following certifications:
Storage professionals working with NetApp technologies should consider one of NetApp’s Associate, Specialist, or Professional certifications in storage implementation, administration, support, installation, and converged infrastructure.
Associate (Entry Level)
- NetApp Certified Storage Associate (NCSA)
- Administrator (Intermediate Level)
- NetApp Certified Data Administrator (NCDA):
- Clustered Data ONTAP (NS0-157)
Engineer (Advanced Level):
- NetApp Certified Implementation Engineer (NCIE)
- Backup and restore
- Data protection
- NCIE SAN 7-mode
- NCIE SAN Clustered Data ONTAP (NS0-506)
- NCIE Sun E-Series
NetApp certification emphasizes data storage and management and is best known for its line of storage systems known as NetApp Filer. This naming reflects the storage model used by the company, which is file-based, instead of blocking storage systems from other vendors such as EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, and IBM. NetApp’s products primarily use NFS and SMB protocols for storage communication, while block storage systems use conventional SAN technology implemented using Fiber Channel. In 2004, NetApp certification added block storage to its capabilities.
Today, NetApp certification systems support block- and file-level storage using NFS, CIFS, and SMB on the file size and iSCI and Fiber Channel (including Fiber Channel over Ethernet, aka FCoE) on the block side. The company’s proprietary ONTAP supports the OS’s storage capabilities, while its On Command software manages, controls, and automates network data storage.
Here are the storage certification goals for NetApp products:
Storage networking requirements
Although the exam is vendor specific, all the basics of storage networking are covered in the first few modules. Understanding this is important if you want your skills to be relevant to current technology. Once qualified, you’ll be confident to contribute to any technical conversation about your company’s storage networking policy (or help them create one if they don’t have one yet).
Understand the importance
Any company recognizes the value of data storage, management, and security. Most depend on these factors for their existence. Add to this the legal implications of losing sensitive data, and you can begin to see the vast importance of data storage. Paradoxically, how many of their IT support staff understand this critical area? If you can go for storage networking, you may find yourself indispensable.
“The value of certifications is often debated in the IT industry. But our year-end survey found that the average salary for those with no certification rose from $94,754 to $121,750 for those with four certifications,” Storage Magazine said.
Growth and profit
No other technology area is experiencing storage networking growth, investment, and development. We still see results in security, voice, generic routing, and switching but nowhere near the scale of storage networking.
Check the job boards for “storage engineer” or “NetApp certification” and see for yourself. If you pass the exam, you have proven to customers that you are at the NetApp certified level to be able to support their products. Certification translates into a job.
We all like to study what we enjoy, but we also must pay the bills, right? Storage engineers are in high demand, yet there is a small pool of qualified engineers from which to draw—great news for you.“The average annual salary of 171 respondents was $98,028. The Pacific region had the highest average salary for storage professionals at $121,400, surpassing the New Englanders’ average salary of $112,529. The Southwest was third at $101,063, according to Storage Magazine.
I know freshman engineers wouldn’t start with this, but you can guarantee that every storage engineer who participated in the survey began with nothing and is certified to do their job. Add to that that you can translate qualifications into salary; it seems reasonable for any IT engineer to seriously consider storage networking as a career path.
Organizations must provide training and certification to create professionals within the enterprise. This helps them gain an edge over the competition and conserves resources. Prepare your team to be more data-driven to find solutions and increase their skills with NetApp’s best training and certifications.