Citrix Certification: Following the Project Life Cycle
To complement the recent release of Citrix Access Suite 4.0, Citrix Education has introduced new training and product certifications to provide more flexibility, convenience and savings. The Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) certification program was improved by segmenting programs by individual product. These new programs deliver more targeted training to IT professionals and help justify the training and certification costs to managing executives. The new certifications include CCA for Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 and CCA for Citrix Password Manager 4.0. These new product-specific certifications reflect input from training and certification candidates who want to take the CCA certification, but currently administer one specific Citrix product.
Citrix Education Project Life Cycle
The Citrix Project Life Cycle provides a consistent, standardized structure for repeatable success with Citrix implementations, and is comprised of the Analysis, Design, Build/Test, Rollout and Support phases. Citrix Education conducted a detailed study to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities that should be required of a candidate upon completing a CCA, Citrix Certified Enterprise Administrator (CCEA) and Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA) certifications. The skills and knowledge required for each certification align to specific phases in the Citrix Product Life Cycle. (See Figure 1.)
The primary update is the placement of the CCA certification, which previously fell in the Build/Test phase. The CCA is more accurately defined in the Support phase, because the Support phase includes additional basic administrative tasks needed to support a single Citrix Access Suite product implementation in a production environment.
Certain tasks are associated with each phase:
- Analysis: CCIA-level tasks that focus on analyzing an environment to determine its readiness for a Citrix Access Suite implementation.
- Design: CCIA-level tasks that focus on making design decisions for all areas of an environment that are affected by a Citrix Access Suite implementation.
- Build/Test/Rollout: CCEA-level and CCIA-level tasks that focus on the skills and knowledge needed to build, test and roll out an environment in which multiple products in the Citrix Access Suite are or will be deployed.
- Support: CCA-level tasks that are performed in a single server installation or an existing environment with only one Citrix product; and CCEA-level tasks that are performed in an enterprise environment or when implementing a new Citrix Access Suite environment.
Citrix takes a blended approach in its detailed curriculum to prepare candidates for the CCA certifications. Each certification has both e-learning and instructor-led training (ILT) components to prepare candidates for the required assessments and exams. To prepare for the CCA certifications, candidates can take the following courses:
- CCA for Citrix Presentation Server 4.0: To prepare for the 1455AW assessment and #1Y0-256 exam, candidates can take CTX-1455AW Citrix Access Suite 4.0: Common Management Platform Administration (e-learning); CTX-1255AW Citrix Presentation Server 4.0: Architectural Overview (e-learning); and CTX-1256AI Citrix Presentation Server 4.0: Administration (ILT).
- CCA for Citrix Password Manager 4.0: To prepare for the 1455AW assessment and #1Y0-326 exam, candidates can take CTX-1455AW Citrix Access Suite 4.0: Common Management Platform Administration (e-learning); CTX-1325AW Citrix Password Manager 4.0: Architectural Overview (e-learning); and CTX-1326AI Citrix Password Manager 4.0: Administration (ILT).
Preparatory tracks were developed for each CCA certification, heightening flexibility for candidates and better preparing them for the ILT. Candidates who fail to take the prerequisite e-learning courses might find themselves unable to keep up with the intensity of the ILT course. A significant technical understanding of the products is necessary to be successful in the classroom and then on the job. Preparatory classes provide an overview of product features and benefits, and product verbiage and functionality will be referred to by instructors from the first lesson. Because ILT is intensive and does not permit review of these terms, students who opt to not take the e-learning preparatory components may find the ILT hard to comprehend and could distract those who have prepared prior to the course.
The preparatory tracks are comprised of two types of courses: the Architectural Overview and the Common Management Platform Administration. The architectural overview course for each product is designed to introduce candidates to the components, functionality and architecture of the products. The common management platform administration course is a foundation course designed as a general introduction for Citrix administrators and IT professionals to common features of the management platform for Citrix Access Suite products. The assessment given at the end of the course (CTX-1455AW Citrix Access Suite 4.0: Common Management Platform Administration) also is required for any of the CCA certifications.
Figure 2 illustrates the e-learning and ILT for the exams associated with the Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 and Citrix Password Manager 4.0 CCA certifications.
To prepare for the CCA for each product, an instructor-led course serves as the significant knowledge base for education, practice and successful assessment:
- CTX-1256AI Citrix Presentation Server 4.0: Administration is the instructor-led course that provides the necessary foundation to deploy and administer Citrix Presentation Server 4.0. This course covers installation and administration of Presentation Server and its components, including Web Interface, Secure Gateway, Installation Manager and Load Manager. Learners receive in-depth training using the Citrix Presentation Server Console to configure server-farm and individual server settings and the Citrix Access Suite Console to manage multiple farms. In addition, this course provides training for managing, implementing and deploying the Citrix Presentation Server Clients. The four-day course prepares learners to take exam #1Y0-256 Citrix Presentation Server 4.0: Administration, a requirement for the CCA for Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 certification.
- CTX-1326AI Citrix Password Manager 4.0: Administration prepares learners to install, administer and support Citrix Password Manager 4.0. Candidates learn how to choose a central store, configure settings in the Citrix Access Suite Console, and configure and deploy agents. A two-day, interactive instructor-led course with hands-on labs and exercises guides learners through administrator tasks, preparing them to manage Citrix Password Manager 4.0 deployments. This course prepares candidates to take exam #1Y0-326 Citrix Password Manager 4.0: Administration, a requirement for the CCA for Citrix Password Manager 4.0 certification.
ILT courses are designed to give in-depth training and experiential knowledge from instructors who are highly skilled and educated on Citrix products. ILT provides an interactive classroom environment with hands-on labs to simulate real-life field implementations and management. Citrix upholds these standards to ensure the CCA certifications are obtained and achieved only after this essential training sequence.
Citrix Certification Resources
See www.citrix.com/edu to obtain additional information regarding Citrix certifications and to locate a Ci