Microsoft has announced it is offering a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) qualification for IT professionals working with Linux on its Azure cloud platform, representing a further broadening of the firm's new-found enthusiasm for open source solutions.
Microsoft said the Linux on Azure MCSA certification has been created in conjunction with the Linux Foundation. It is aimed at enabling IT professionals to attest that they have the relevant skills to design, implement and maintain complex cloud-enabled Linux solutions that take advantage of Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.
Available now, the certification will be issued by Microsoft and will be awarded to IT professionals that pass both the Microsoft Exam 70-533 (Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions) and the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam.
"The Linux Foundation is the leading organisation representing stakeholder interests in the open source ecosystem. That, combined with its proven commitment to professional, distribution-flexible and performance-based certifications, makes it a natural choice for our partner for Linux on Azure certifications," said Microsoft chief evangelist Steven Guggenheimer.
Microsoft said that organisations are increasingly looking for certified professionals who are domain experts in Linux system administration as well as having expertise in cloud-native application environments. In other words, Linux professionals who have gained valuable experience of developing and operating application stacks in the cloud.
"A Microsoft-issued certification that includes the Linux Foundation Certified SysAdmin exam will most definitely allow professionals to stand apart from their peers and allow them the opportunity to work on the most interesting technologies of our time," said Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin.
Microsoft's change of heart regarding open source and especially Linux seems to reflect a growing realisation that customers are operating in a multi-platform environment, and that Linux is widely used for many solutions.
The firm's new embrace of Linux includes a recent extended partnership with Red Hat that will see the latter's products supported on the Azure cloud platform. Earlier this year, Microsoft even revealed that it had developed a custom Cloud Switch platform based on Linux for the data centres that host its Azure cloud services.
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