Cisco, EMC and VMware team up for big data training

The data centre alliance between Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp. and VMware Inc. is moving beyond just data centre technology to provide training for ready customers and partners for the changing skillsets required as big data, cloud computing and virtualization remake the data centre.

“Our focus is on the next generation data centre,” said Anthony Bryant, director of learning services at Cisco. Traditional data centre job roles have been siloed, but he said that’s beginning to change.  

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“Explosive data growth” has created a need for new, blended job roles, the companies argue. “Those new roles need a next generation skill set,” Bryant said.

Cisco and EMC, which owns the majority of VMware, have had a history of collaboration, but this is the first time the vendors have teamed up for training solutions. “If you look at this entire approach of collaboration, it’s pretty unique,” said Alok Shrivastava, director of education services at EMC.

The co-branded training will focus on roles such as cloud architect, systems administrator, and data scientist, as well as expertise areas such as storage, backup and recovery, data centre networking, data centre network design and systems management. “(Our) goal is to provide a comprehensive and yet simplistic approach,” Bryant said.

The training is packaged into bundles with pricing tiers starting at about $10,000 and course material from each vendor. The packages are set up in different skills-specific learning paths with different courses in each. The system administrator course, for example, includes courses on cloud infrastructure and services and VMware vSphere, among others. The courses are also offered individually.

The training can be delivered through on-site instructor at the customer’s location, and some are available via video. Users can order the packages through either Cisco or EMC’s Web sites.

“So many times, education lags behind technology,” Bryant said. Since data centre technologies are so intermixed now, focusing on one element wouldn’t give IT people the full skill set they need. “We want to make sure we help organizations build that skill set.”

The companies are targeting the entire IT department with this training, but the courses also apply to channel partners. Pricing will be consistent for both end users and partners.

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Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh
Harmeet reports on channel partner programs, new technologies and products and other issues relevant to Canada's channel community. She also contributes as a video journalist, providing content for the site's original streaming video. Harmeet is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism.

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