At VMworld 2014 US, there was a lot of speculation about the integrity and future of the VCDX program with Mark Brunstad and John Arrasjid moving to greener pastures. With Chris Colotti taking over as Principal Architect and VCDX Evangelist, I think the VCDX Program is in good hands. This will be further reinforced once the new VCDX Program Manager is announced.
The VCDX program has evolved into multiple tracks (Data Center, Cloud, Desktop & Network) and is rumoured to be adding the “Storage & Availability” and “Management” tracks in the future. The VCAP certifications (Data Center, Cloud, Desktop) will also be transmuted to the VCIX certification (CCIE equivalent) alongside the Network Virtualisation track. The addition of the VCDX Fast Track and John Arrasjid‘s upcoming publication “Art of Infrastructure Design, A Practical Guide for IT Architects” will continue to cement VMware’s position in this space.
With Mark Brunstad moving to Nutanix and a plethora of VCDX holders currently working there, I predict the next generation of elite design certification will come from Nutanix, which will complement and possibly supercede the programs of Cisco and VMware.
Why am I saying this? Nutanix is a platform vendor, but they are distinguishing themselves with the quality of people they are hiring and the services they provide. So far they have an “End-to-End Application to Hardware” level 3 support service and a “VDI Design Guarantee” program, so it is a no-brainer to predict something special in elite design certification.
The other secret to their success is the “start-up” mentality, they can move quite quickly on implementing a strategy since it is “all hands on deck” when work needs to be done. I know Nutanix is not a start-up anymore, but they still think and act like a “start-up” and that makes a difference.
The caveats to my prediction are:
- Develop a vendor agnostic exam blueprint that allows any type of enterprise design that meets the design qualities (AMPRS) and remain hardware, hypervisor and software independent.
- It would be a mistake to force the use of Nutanix technology in each design submission.
- Maintain a single Enterprise track where the minimally qualified score for each silo ensures the candidate is an expert in each area of the blueprint.
- Retain a core of design experts who will oversee the program and ensure it maintains integrity over the long-term.
- Continue the practice of live panel defences.
- Also use non-Nutanix experts as panelists.
- Continue with the Zachman Framework for architecture design methodology.
- Use the VCDX and CCAr programs to jump-start the design submission requirements, ie. current VCDX, CCAr, CCDE holders should be eligible to submit without taking any additional professional or advanced exams.