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23 May 2023

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Young Student Completes Data Center Training to Start Industry Career Path

Data centers form the foundation of Digital Infrastructure worldwide. Employment by data centers is projected to continue to grow dramatically, driven by the continuous growth of data by 25% annually (with the amount of data created doubling every three years). Thus, training in all aspects of their functionality and operations has proven valuable to many thousands of professionals over the years. Essential data center training is not limited to highly experienced professionals, but is available to professionals at all stages of their careers. A recent case in point is offered by International Data Center Authority (IDCA) Education and a young student, Edward Hamner, who is just starting out in the data center industry.

Finishing Studies While Starting Training
While finishing up business studies at a university in Southern California, Hamner recently completed the two-module IDCA DCIS (Data Center Information Specialist) and DCOS (Data Center Operating Specialist) certifications, which go well beyond a simple introduction and cover all the particulars a data center professionals encounter in their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. “As a starter in the industry, I want to get ahead professionally,” he says. “So the IDCA training was the answer and proved highly beneficial to me. It was more insightful than I could have imagined.”

He mentions the “hands-on aspect” of data center operations and all the different factors that go into it. Over the five days of his training, the courses covered end-to-end of the data center, diverse data center types, development steps, site architecture, spaces and floor loading, data center efficiency and sustainability, data center security, data center power systems, water supply and cooling systems, data center safety and fire protection, structure cabling, infrastructure, NOC, and telecom, he says.

Students in his classes – which also included many seasoned and experienced data center professionals – were also instructed in the areas of app hosting models, power capacities and costs, how to analyze and achieve specific efficiencies, how workloads affect operations, and the necessity and types of parallel and series redundancy and conduct hands-on availability engineering, according to Hamner.

The courses also covered the IDCA Infinity Paradigm and the application ecosystem as well as all industry standards such as ISO, NIST, ASHRAE, BICSI, TIA, grades, ratings, and tiers that data centers address. During his university studies, he's also learned about data sovereignty issues and other legal aspects of data storage and transmission, the undersea cable systems that send data flows throughout the world, and how investors view the data center sector and make their funding decisions.

Providing A Consistent Path
IDCA Education students begin with the Data Center Infrastructure Specialist (DCIS) certification, which serves as a prerequisite for other IDCA Education courses. The DCIS certification is a two-day course that covers all data center infrastructure. All participants thus receive the same foundational training, enabling them to converse and work with one another with the same holistic knowledge background.

People working in the data centers themselves then proceed to one of two courses: the Data Center Engineering Specialist (DCES) or the Data Center Operations Specialist (DCOS) certifications. The courses take participants through the end-to-end engineering or operations path, covering planning, operations, detailed training on systems and how they're related, disaster/risk prevention, and maintenance.

Participants who receive the DCIS and DCES certifications automatically receive the additional Data Center Infrastructure Expert (DCIE) certification. Participants who receive the DCIS and DCOS also automatically receive a Data Center Operations Manager (DCOM) certification.

Edward Hamner is thus now certified as a DCIS, DCOS, and DCIE. Combining this education with the data center training means he has “a new, genuine understanding of data center systems at both component and architecture levels, their operations, and how specific terms like N+1, 2N, etc. for example, are implemented in real-world operations while optimizing efficiency, security, and capacity.”

Additional Coursework
IDCA also offers additional, advanced courses for experienced professionals who have already earned either the DCIE or DCOM certifications. There are three additional steps involved, with an option for the second step. Participants who complete all three of the advanced steps earn the Data Center Authority (DCA) certification, the highest credential provided by IDCA.

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