How Does the CloudU Certification Stack Up?

I recently obtained my CloudU certification. CloudU is an introductory cloud computing certification provided by Rackspace (a leading IaaS provider) and curated by NZ’s own Ben Kepes. The material and certification are described as “vendor neutral” and it does live up to that label. It is billed as being an introduction to the technical and business aspects of cloud computing and it also lives up to that.

Overall CloudU is a good introduction to cloud computing. It covers the full range of cloud computing (with a focus on IaaS) and looks at issues from both a technical and a business perspective. As you would expect of an introductory course, it doesn’t cover any areas in any depth. This is a good thing: the strength of the CloudU certification is exactly that there aren’t any other certifications that demonstrate that the person has a broad, basic understanding of the subject matter and issues of cloud computing.

The other certifications that exist are either:

So, in this respect, the CloudU certification does stand out positively, in being general, vendor neutral and free.

In general the material is solid, though I do have some specific quibbles about some of it. The security material is the weakest. In particular the advice is not broad enough (it only looks at a narrow range of security issues and controls) and somewhat out-of-date (the password advice is horribly antiquated). Another area that seemed weak was the discussion of standards. The role that standards may play, and the kinds of standards that are out there was generally not discussed. Another minor point was that a few of the discussions have a somewhat idiosyncratic flavour and would perhaps have benefitted from being informed by comparison with wider industry terminology and approaches.  None of these points detract from the value of the certification.

Overall, the certification is worthwhile one to have and a valuable contribution to the industry. Just don’t expect that anyone who has it is a cloud computing expert. I’m looking forward to watching its evolution.

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