CloseUp: Citrix Certified Administrator
Citrix Systems is a company best known for its remote-access server products that also offers centralized application servers (Citrix Presentation Server for Windows or UNIX) and secure, Web-based remote access (Citrix MetaFrame Secure Access Manager). The company’s MetaFrame Access Suite includes all of these components, plus password management and other access-management tools.
The entry-level certification for Citrix certification programs is the Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) credential. It’s designed to identify individuals who have a strong working knowledge of Citrix platforms and products and is a prerequisite for other, more advanced Citrix certifications. Although the company does not regularly disclose numbers for the total population of CCAs, based on a report of the total Citrix certified population of 45,000 from the company in December 2003 and another report from the company in 2002 that they’d certified 33,000 CCAs, it’s clear that the total number of CCAs was more than 33,000 but less than 45,000 as of December 2003. That’s a sizable certified population and attests to enduring interest and participation in that program.
As with many entry-level certifications, only a single exam is required to qualify for the CCA credential. Candidates can choose the operating system on which they use Citrix to decide between the two options available:
- Exam #222: Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server, Feature Release 3: Administration (Windows-based). See www.citrix.com/site/SS/training/test.asp?testID=11105.
- Exam #310: Citrix MetaFrame 1.0 for UNIX. See www.citrix.com/site/SS/training/test.asp?testID=6244.
Alternate exams that Citrix accepts for this credential include #218, #220 or #221, but with #222 as the most current exam and earlier exams scheduled to become obsolete on May 1, 2004, the company recommends that new CCA candidates take and pass #222 to keep their credential current as long as possible.
In addition to the single exam, CCA candidates must also complete one of two e-learning courses available from Citrix online to qualify for that credential:
- Course #CTX-1300AW: Citrix MetaFrame Secure Access Manager: Introduction. See www.citrix.com/site/SS/training/course.asp?courseCat=P&courseID=8267.
- Course #CTX-1320AW: Citrix MetaFrame Password Manager: Introduction. See www.citrix.com/site/SS/training/course.asp?courseCat=P&courseID=11904.
The Citrix exams and e-learning offerings each cost $100. Sign up for Citrix exams either at VUE or Prometric, and for Citrix e-learning courses through the Citrix Web site, at https://citrix.learning.accenture.com/citrix/lang-en/management/LMS_LearnerHome.asp. (Registration is required to access this data, though no charges are incurred until e-learning sign-up and purchase is complete.)
As you prepare for this exam, be sure to spend some time working with whichever version of MetaFrame you’ll be tested on—hands-on skills and experience are essential to doing well on the test. Successful exam takers report that Citrix courses are generally worthwhile and that the information available online through the Citrix Developer Network includes manuals, software and whitepapers that can help test-takers get ready for their exams. You’ll also find the CCA Cramsession (www.cramsession.com/certifications/citrix/cca.asp) and the Server Based Computing Hardcore User (www.xs4all.nl/%7Esoundtcr/index.html) pages to be worthwhile CCA exam prep resources as well. CitrixXperience (www.citrixxperience.com) is a great source for CCA (#222) and other Citrix practice exams. As I write this, no preparation books for exam #222 are in print just yet, but I’d expect to see multiple titles available (or available soon) by the time you read this. (Check CCA on Amazon to see what pops up, and be sure to check the exam number to which books in print relate.)
Ed Tittel is president of LANwrights Inc. and is technology editor for Certification Magazine. E-mail Ed with your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.