comptia-logoCompTIA, the vendor-neutral peer association for the IT channel, has announced a collaboration with "competence development" specialists ITpreneurs to create a new cloud computing certification. Once it becomes available in December 2011, service providers will have the opportunity to take this CompTIA Cloud Essentials exam and prove they have both the business and technical chops to make the move into the cloud market.

The exam material, according to the press release, is based on insights obtained via consultation with experts from companies that should know a thing or two about a thing or two, including Amazon, Cisco Systems, Citrix, EMC, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Rackspace and VMware.

Sukhbir Jasuja, chief executive officer of ITpreneurs, laid out exactly the skills his company is looking for in test-takers in a prepared statement:
“A principal understanding of cloud computing, and its related skill set, is essential for a well-managed implementation of any cloud project. This credential demonstrates IT professionals’ understanding of the key concepts, themes and issues around cloud computing, including definitions, organizational readiness, operating in the cloud and governance and security of the cloud model. It is also driving agreements around definitions of key concepts across major vendors, and encouraging the whole industry to cooperate with each other through the Cloud Credential Council as the preferred forum.”

That's kind of a mouthful. But it sounds like ITpreneurs wants to make sure the service providers it graces with its stamp of approval understand and have expertise in cloud computing holistically, not just any one vendor's solutions or services. At least ideally, it's a competency test in the truest sense.

It's not required, but CompTIA suggests exam-takers have at least six months of real-world experience in an IT organization, whether it's in an internal department or external service provider. In other words, this is aimed at those IT pros who've actually worked in the field, not those fresh out of school.

CompTIA has been making a lot of waves around cloud adoption, pushing service providers to get into the market. And now it seems that the association is ready to put its name behind the cloud services channel. Of course, it's worth noting that MSPAlliance started offering its own cloud certification way back in March 2011. But better late than never, I suppose.