GCI Indian guy does DCM on laptop Over the past two decades, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. Many new and useful technologies have evolved, such as Voice over IP, cloud computing, service provider networking, and a host of others. One of the latest tech developments that seems to be sprouting up everywhere is the data center.

The search engine juggernaut Google refers to data centers as the place “Where the Internet Lives.”  These centers are impressively large facilities that house computer systems and components. They also use as much electricity as a small town in order to keep their operations running smoothly. Centers are filled with redundant power supplies, data communications connections, precision environmental controls that maintain a set temperature and environmental conditions while guarding against fires and other disasters.

Data centers are important because they store incredibly vast amounts of data. And of course there is an associated need for individuals who can manage these crucial and sophisticated centers. These people are called data center managers, and their job is challenging.

So what is Data center management (DCM)? It primarily deals with the administration and management of IT assets, as well as of the center itself. DCM covers a multitude of tasks such as energy management, tracking of the servers and other IT devices, cabling management, building management and ensuring safety measures, server monitoring and virtualization, ensuring proper cooling, data entries, and documentation.

Just a few years ago, DCM was a fairly straightforward job. It has since evolved into a very complex and challenging one. Much of this change can be attributed to the evolution of cloud computing and server virtualization. In the old days, space and power management were a DCM’s primary concerns.

With the advent of cloud computing and virtualization DCM now includes analytical and strategic roles. The primary reason behind this is the evolution of new virtual servers in the market. These servers have the ability to host a group of virtual machines or servers and still occupy the space of a single server.

Unfortunately, this creates a single point of failure — if the hardware goes down, it can take down a whole group of servers. And one of the key roles of a DCM is to continually monitor the health of the servers, as well as provision for redundancy options. The actual physical layers, or the servers managed in data centers, are the building blocks of any IP network. And that makes the DCM role a significant one.

Data center technology is selling like hotcakes in India. The major IT companies like IBM, Sify, Tata Communications, and Reliance Communications have established data centers in various locations around the country.

Presently, in India, there is a shortage of certified DCMs to oversee the efficient operation of these centers. DCM is thus one of the highest-paid IT jobs in India, and demand is expected to continue increasing as more multinational IT businesses continue establishing research and production centers and especially data centers in India.

Many IT certification vendors, including the ones who used to leverage the remote servers for the proctored lab certifications, have since established data centers in India in an effort to improve the quality of their certification. This was done to meet the needs of exam applicants who were faced with latency issues due to servers deployed in remote data centers, thereby making it difficult to complete lab exams on time.

There are some good reasons for companies to establish their data centers in India. We generate a lot of business and remote servers in overseas data centers can be at a risk. Another reason is competency and convenience for when a problem arises. It is vital to have the right guy on the job, who has the proper training and skills, as well as a proactive and vigilant approach.

The need for DCMs is great and the salaries are excellent. So how does one become a DCM? The easiest and most methodological approach is to go for an appropriate data center certification and its associated training. Having an associate-level certification is a good start, but to be honest, I believe having a professional-level certification is a must.

DCM certification will increase the likelihood of your resume getting shortlisted for a data center job.  Additionally, appropriate training not only helps build a knowledge base, but is essential for candidates who want to excel in their job. A curriculum that offers a lot of hands-on training is always a better choice.

A Data Center Management certification can help you jump into a red-hot career field.There are three DCM certifications that can really help boost your career in this domain.

CCNP Data Center — Cisco, now a big player in the data center technology and proprietary of the unified computing servers (UCS), offers a number of certifications ranging from associate to expert level in this domain. However, the professional level certification is much in demand for Cisco data center management roles, as it covers topics on Cisco unified computing and cisco unified fabric.

In order to achieve the CCNP Data Center certification, one has to take 4 different exams which target different aspects of Cisco Data Center products and its management.

VCP 6 Data Center Virtualization — This is offered by VMware, an organization that specializes in virtualization. The VMware Certified Professional certification covers deployment, management and administration of vSphere storage devices and data centers. VMware offers vSphere boot camps and they are a great way to when seeking this certification. There is just one exam to be cleared to get this certification.

CDMP — The Certified Data Management Professional certification is offered by the Data Management Association International. It covers the industry standard best practices for data center operations management as well as few key aspects of ITIL management process.

Many in the industry believe, that this a certification that one should take even if they have a vendor specific certification such as CCNP data center. The training program comes with a seven-day curriculum and offers detailed learning.

IT has created a revolution not only in India but across the globe. There is so much innovation happening everywhere that is constantly leading to new and advanced technologies. The data center is a crucial element in this revolution. It will continue to grow in importance especially with new developments like software-defined networking. A certification in data center management is a great way to get started in this exciting field.