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Channel Forecast: Vista and Longhorn training and certification in 2007

The advantages of upgrading to Vista and Longhorn, including improved security, will drive the need for channel professionals to acquire training and certification in the new Microsoft OS and server in 2007.

With Windows Vista and Longhorn Server coming to an enterprise near you in 2007, IT professionals and consultants need to be ready. As much as we preach for the planning of a new OS rollout, users and

Training and certification advice for the security channel
Donald Donzal, editor-in-chief, Certified Security Professional Online Magazine, is available to answer your questions about Vista security training and certification.

 customers have a way of pushing project schedules at a faster pace. Vista not only promises better security but also a plethora of new deployment tools to make the transition more efficient and painless. There's plenty of time for Longhorn planning, but Vista is the here and now. Are you prepared? If not, then you are already behind the curve and channel competitors will be all too happy to gobble up your eager customers. Here are just a few resources to get you up to speed in 2007.

Quick intro

For only $29, CBT Nuggets: Windows Vista First Look will allow you to do more than just dip your toe in the water. This set of 11 nugget-sized videos will take you quickly through the new interface, security features such as BitLocker and NAP, as well as the management, diagnosis and recovery of Vista.

Free training

Microsoft has done a great job of providing a huge number of free resources. From the Learning Portal for IT Professional, to live, online Vista practice labs, to Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007, the best-practice guidance on large-scale Vista deployment, there's no excuse not to be fully versed on all requests your customers may throw at you. Add in TechNet Magazine's full technical coverage of Vista (again free), and you're on your way to becoming a pro even before Vista is widely available Jan. 30, 2007 -- and with no cost to your organization.

You'll also find free resources from TechTarget's IT Channel family of Web sites, such as SearchSystemsChannel's Vista Project Guide. And watch for SearchSecurityChannel's Vista Security Project Guide in early spring.

Get certified

With the arrival of the 2005 versions of SQL Server and Visual Studio, Microsoft unveiled a new certification platform and continues the transition with Vista. The first Vista exam, 70-620 TS: Configuring Microsoft Windows Vista Client, is already out of beta and will be readily available in 2007. Being only a client exam, it will not make your MCSE and its seven-exam requirement (six of which are server exams) obsolete. As for XP desktop support technicians with MCDST, making the jump to MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician on Vista only requires one upgrade exam. So whether it be for configuring Vista or supporting Vista after the fact, being an early adopter of the new client certifications can make your proposal stand out from the rest while making your prospects feel confident that they are hiring the most qualified professionals. For more info, visit Microsoft's Vista Learning Portal.

Longhorn Server should be ready before 2007 is out, marking the transition away from MCSE and into MCITP. Training for the next generation of Microsoft certifications should be in full swing by 2008. Early adopters will clearly have the edge, so 2007 will be the time to get your educational foundation solidified. It will literally pay off in the end.

About the author
Don is Editor-in-Chief of The Ethical Hacker Network and CSP Mag, two online magazines for security professionals. He had his first 'real' job as Systems Admin for a hospital and later formed a successful consulting business continuing his work in the medical field while expanding into the SMB and media markets. An entrepreneur at heart, he became CTO and partner of Telco Billing Solutions Inc. After the tech bubble burst, he accepted a position in his hometown as Director of IT for the Dept. of Medicine at the Univ of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), home to the largest medical school in the country. Taking his experience from a wide range of industries and the security concepts intertwined in each, he co-founded The Digital Construction Company in 2004. Don continues to preach the wonders of technology through a combination of writing, speaking, studying and, of course, working in IT.


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