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Adapting IT Operations with CompTIA Cloud+

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In this document:
- Adapting IT Operations with CompTIA Cloud+
- Measuring CompTIA Cloud+ Difficulty
- Why Hybrid Testing Approaches Work Best
- Mapping the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework

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Adapting IT Operations with CompTIA Cloud+

  1. 1. • Security: Following best practices in data center security and implementing appropriate system-hardening techniques. • Virtualization: Managing virtualized resources and understanding virtualization as a key technology powering cloud systems. • Migration: Evaluating different cloud deployment models and assessing the impact of migrating workloads from existing infrastructure to the cloud. • Systems Management: Supporting IT infrastructure and provisioning appropriate compute, storage and network configurations. The benefits of cloud computing are well-documented: faster access to infrastructure, greater scalability, higher availability, increased efficiency and a reduction in needed capital expenditures, among other advantages. So why haven’t more organizations shifted additional workloads and processes to the cloud? Businesses report that the top challenge to realizing more benefits from cloud-based technologies is a lack of expertise.1 Cloud+ was designed to close that gap. Recognizing the large numbers of storage, network and server administrators engaged in managing data centers and networks, CompTIA built a certification that would help organizations develop and nurture the system administration skills needed to leverage the many benefits of cloud technologies. Cloud+ certification addresses the increased diversity of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) required of today’s systems administrators and systems engineers and validates what is currently necessary to perform effectively on the job. The current version of the certification includes: 1 Cloud Computing Trends: 2016 State of the Cloud Survey, RightScale Adapting IT Operations with CompTIA Cloud+ In this document: • Adapting IT Architectures with CompTIA Cloud+ • Measuring CompTIA Cloud+ Difficulty • Why Hybrid Testing Approaches Work Best • Mapping the NICE Cybersecurity Work- force Framework of the exam objectives require application or analysis of domain knowledge 62% Measuring Cloud+ Difficulty Using Bloom’s Taxonomy as an organizing principle to discuss the difficulty level of the exam illustrates the emphasis on the application of KSAs, rather than the simple recall of information. Looking at the exam objectives, 62 percent require candidates to demonstrate their knowledge at Bloom’s Level 3 (apply) and above. The Cloud+ exam is at a higher taxonomy level because we carefully track job roles and skills in the IT industry. We strive to make sure that the exams directly reflect industry standards and best practices. The following table summarizes the percentage of certification exam objectives that fall into each of Bloom’s levels. 1
  2. 2. Bloom’s Level and Description Total Cloud+ Objectives Security Virtualization Level 1: Remembering/Recalling Information The candidate is able to recall, restate and remember learned information. 0% 0% 0% Level 2: Understanding/Explaining Ideas or Concepts The learner grasps the meaning of information by interpreting and translating what has been learned. 38% 43% 29% Level 3: Applying Knowledge and Skills The learner makes use of information in a new situation from the one in which it was learned. 34% 14% 57% Level 4: Analyzing The learner breaks learned information into parts to best understand that information in an attempt to identify evidence for a conclusion. 22% 43% 14% Level 5: Evaluating The learner makes decisions based on in depth reflection, criticism and assessment. 6% 0% 0% Level 6: Creating The learner creates new ideas and information using what has been previously learned. 0% 0% 0% Cloud+ Executive Summary Why Hybrid Testing Approaches Work Best Over the past several years, cybersecurity practitioners and educators have debated as to which of the following is more important to validate: 1. An individual’s conceptual knowledge, as validated by “linear” multiple choice items, or 2. Performance associated with a particular job or responsibility, as validated by performance-based items. Advocates for each of these two aspects of validation often hold one of the approaches as superior over the other, with most individuals favoring only performance-based items. CompTIA regards this rift in opinion as a false dilemma. Both domain knowledge expertise and practical skills are absolutely vital and should be a part of any serious competency training and validation process. Both knowledge- and performance-based aspects are necessary for training, and nothing can substitute for hands-on learning. The same principle applies to assessment. This is why CompTIA adopted performance-based items into its certification exams starting in 2011. The following CompTIA exams contain roughly 10 percent performance-based items: On average, it takes a test taker roughly one-third of the examination time to complete these performance- based items. Performance-based items include simulations of technology solutions and story-based items that require advanced cognitive thinking on the part of the successful test taker. A+ | Network+ | Security+ | Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+) | CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) 2
  3. 3. System Administrator (OM-SA-001) CompTIA Cloud+ Description Installs, configures, troubleshoots and maintains hardware and software, and administers system accounts. Cloud+ focuses on validating the skills needed for those in a defined family of job roles – those related to IT infrastructure and operations. The certification validates a candidate’s ability to implement, maintain and deliver cloud technologies and infrastructures. Sample KSA Comparisons K0053 Knowledge of measures or indicators of system performance and availability. Domain 4-Resource Management 4.1— Given a scenario, implement and use proper resource monitoring techniques 4.2 — Given a scenario, appropriately allocate physical (host) resources using best practices 4.3 — Given a scenario, appropriately allocate virtual (guest) resources using best practices Domain 6-Systems Management 6.2 — Given a scenario, diagnose, remediate and optimize physical host performance 6.3 — Explain common performance concepts as they relate to the host and the guest 6.4 — Implement appropriate testing techniques when deploying cloud services Domain 7-Business Continuity in the Cloud 7.2 — Deploy solutions to meet availability requirements S0073 Skill in using virtual machines. K0130 Knowledge of virtualization technologies and virtual machine development and maintenance. Domain 2-Virtualization 2.1 — Explain the differences between hypervisor types 2.2 — Install, configure and manage virtual machines and devices 2.3 — Given a scenario, perform virtual resource migration 2.4 — Explain the benefits of virtualization in a cloud environment 2.5 — Compare and contrast virtual components used to construct a cloud environment Domain 3-Infrastructure 3.8 — Explain common hardware resources and features used to enable virtual environments Mapping the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework CompTIA Cloud+ certification aligns with the System Administrator work role (OM-SA-001) as described in the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF), draft NIST special publication 800-181. Both the work role and the certification share a focus on systems installation, maintenance and troubleshooting, with Cloud+ specifically addressing the impact of cloud technologies on the system administrator and engineer roles. Cloud+ Executive Summary LEARN MORE For government inquiries contact: GovernmentSales@CompTIA.org. For corporate inquiries contact: Jennifer Herroon at jherroon@CompTIA.org 3
  4. 4. Cloud+ Executive Summary © 2017 CompTIA Properties, LLC, used under license by CompTIA Certifications, LLC. All rights reserved. All certification programs and education related to such programs are operated exclusively by CompTIA Certifications, LLC. CompTIA is a registered trademark of CompTIA Properties, LLC in the U.S. and internationally. Other brands and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks or service marks of CompTIA Properties, LLC or of their respective owners. Reproduction or dissemination prohibited without written consent of CompTIA Properties, LLC. Printed in the U.S. 03724-Apr2017 4

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