Why It's Never Too Late for Vendor-Neutral Cloud Training
July 12, 2016 by Bill Rosenthal

On this blog lately, I have been trying to make the case for vendor-neutral cloud training. Vendor-neutral cloud training, of course, can help your organization embrace the best practices in cloud computing in a way that vendor-specific training probably can’t. Vendor-neutral training can also help you build the expertise your organization needs to evaluate cloud providers and ultimately avoid vendor lock-in. 

If you are persuaded that vendor-neutral cloud training is the way to go, then the question is, how do you manage its adoption? It’s easy to answer if you haven’t yet moved to the cloud. In that case, it make sense to engage vendor-neutral training first. That way, your employees can learn best practices and understand the comparative qualities of the different technologies before you make your move to the cloud. The National Cloud Technologists Association (NCTA) CloudMASTER® certificate program covers technologies such as Microsoft Windows and Azure, Amazon Web Services, VMware, Linux, Google Docs, Drupal, Wordpress, OpenStack, Rackspace, Digital Ocean, Chef, and Chef Solo. A comparative approach to these various technologies will not only help you evaluate them, it will show your employees cloud computing best practices in the most striking way possible.

Full CloudMASTER® certification requires completing NCTA courses in Cloud Technologies, Cloud Operations, and Cloud Architecture. Each includes multiple points of view, hands-on experience, and study of the industry-leading technologies. Students spend the majority of class time focused on self-driven use cases rather than lectures on theory. The end result is a graduate with a full portfolio of cloud skills, and not just prerequisite knowledge of cloud concepts.

Once your organization has a cadre of CloudMASTER®s, they can then pick up vendor-specific training, if needed, as a way of making sure they are getting the most effective use of your vendor’s technology when you in due course make your move to the cloud. You will be building on a foundation of cloud computing as a discipline and deep familiarity with best cloud computing practices.

But what happens if you are already into cloud computing and have been using vendor-specific training? You probably don’t want to discard something that’s working for you. How do you incorporate vendor-neutral training then? Fortunately, it’s not an all-or-nothing choice. You can mix vendor-neutral and vendor-specific training in whatever proportions make sense for your organization. Even if you have an effective vendor-specific training program, it’s not too late to add vendor-neutral training. Building on a foundation of a thorough understanding of the particular technology you have chosen, your practicing cloud professionals can use the comparative approach of CloudMASTER® training to understand both the strengths and limitations of the platform you’re using. That allows them to build on the strengths and compensate for the limitations.

There’s a difference between learning the principles of cloud computing and learning some particular vendor’s technology. Ideally, you would want to learn the principles first, but it’s often the case that working with a particular platform for a while enables you to understand and value the principles when you do learn them. 

Logical Operations is the exclusive training content provider for the NCTA. We offer the CloudMASTER® training and certification program through the CHOICE® digital learning platform. To review the course outlines for CloudMASTER® training, call 1.800.889.8350 or email insidesales@logicaloperations.com.