Banks, law firms, government agencies and other institutions rely on the Solaris operating system for high-security, mission-critical systems. In 2009, database developer Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems and inherited Solaris along with Sun's other software and hardware products. The merger underscored the growing importance of Solaris in the enterprise, as Oracle would tweak its own core offerings to run even more efficiently on Sun's platform. As a result, demand for professionals with Solaris training has soared among companies who intend to follow Oracle into a future of integrated hardware and software design.
Levels of Solaris training
Because Solaris shares many of the same underlying principles of other Unix-derived operating systems like AIX and Linux, Solaris training may feel familiar to experienced IT professionals. Associate-level Solaris training prepares students for basic administrative, archival and maintenance functions. Professional-level training includes emergency maintenance and deployment skills, such as installing the operating system from scratch on a new server. Expert Solaris training helps students understand the platform's advanced networking and security features.
Jobs for IT pros with Solaris certification
According to ZDNet columnist Paul Murphy, companies either use Solaris because they inherited an installation from an earlier IT department, or because a focused CIO knows the OS is the "best tool for the job." Unlike other server operating systems including Windows and Linux, Solaris boasts features that make it especially appealing in high-security, high-risk environments. For example, server administrators can swap hardware elements like hard drives and network connections without rebooting a Solaris system. Self-healing infrastructure and a ZFS file system add even more value for companies that want to minimize server maintenance and data storage costs.
Meanwhile, Solaris certification is becoming increasingly important for database administrators who also manage their company's hardware. Before the Oracle-Sun merger, DBAs could select hardware from a variety of vendors. Today, Oracle steers many of its database clients toward its proprietary SPARC hardware, also gained in the Sun acquisition. IT professionals can make themselves even more attractive to employers by stacking certifications on hardware, software, and operating systems.
Earning Solaris certification
IT workers seeking Solaris certification for the first time can leverage their professional experience and classroom training to sit for proctored exams. Professionals with previous versions of Sun Solaris certification can complete abbreviated versions of the exams to get certified by Oracle. Oracle certifications include:
- Oracle Certified Associate, Oracle Solaris 10 Operating System
- Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Solaris 10 System Administrator
- Oracle Certified Expert, Oracle Solaris 10 Network Administrator
- Oracle Certified Expert, Oracle Solaris 10 Security Administrator
- Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.2 System Administrator
Murphy notes that companies using Solaris tend to be staffed with people who are "usually great to work with." Even experienced IT professionals have to earn their way into those organizations, however. Hiring managers and CIOs filter candidates based on their experience, their connections, and their commitment to maintaining current Oracle Solaris certification. Within this subset of the IT community, investing in Solaris training is seen as an essential part of enterprise system maintenance.