cloud computing training

RightScale State of Cloud Insights: Training Improves Cloud ROI [Infographic]


We're continuing to look through the findings from the 2017 state of cloud report recently published by RightsScale The report illuminated some trends, and had findings that we feel validate both the need for, and value of cloud computing training. Simply put, training improves cloud value. This is true for training prior to, and after cloud adoption. We put the results in an infographic. Enjoy. 





CarverTC provides CloudMASTER cloud computing classes, and IT training and certification in Portland Oregon and throughout North America. 


RightScale 2017 State of Cloud Deep Dive: Costs of Multi-cloud


RightsScale recently released it's 2017 state of cloud report. At CarverTC , we've been going over the findings to see what trends, and insights we can find, and we've found quite a few.  We've found an interesting correlation between the rise of multi-cloud environments and sudden increase in concerns over cloud costs. Organizations' are running more workloads, in more cloud vendor environments. While we believe multi-cloud environments are a good thing, and are here to stay, adding and integrating cloud services is a complex task. It requires thoughtful vendor evaluation, planning, and implementation steps that include both direct and indirect integration with both on-premises services and other cloud services. Some of the rise in cloud costs may be a result a failure to properly evaluate vendors and plan implementation and integration. We'll lay it out for you in this article.  

Multi-cloud is the Defacto Standard

Whether you use public, private, or hybrid implementations to support the different workloads in your organization, the odds are you will use multiple cloud vendors to provide different services, and support those different workloads. From the RightScale Report:

"Cloud users were running applications in 4 clouds and experimenting with 4 more. Companies that use public cloud are already running applications in an average of 1.8 public clouds and experimenting with another 1.8 public clouds. While fewer companies are using private clouds, those that do use more, running applications in an average of 2.3 private clouds and experimenting with an additional 2.1 private clouds." Multi-cloud-1.png

Even more than that, those surveyed run the majority of their workloads in the cloud. From the report:

"Companies now run 79 percent of workloads in cloud, with 41 percent of workloads in public cloud and 38 percent in private cloud. It’s important to note that the workloads running in private cloud may include workloads running in existing virtualized environments or bare-metal environments that have been “cloudified.”

"Enterprises run 75 percent of workloads in cloud with more in private cloud (43 percent) vs. public cloud (32 percent). SMBs run 83 percent of workloads in cloud with more in public cloud (50 percent) vs. private cloud (33 percent)."

 Percent workloads in the cloud.png

It's clear that organizations like having a choice of vendors, and like choosing the solutions that best fit their needs, even as more workloads are moving to the cloud. This means the intricacy of evaluating cloud vendor solutions and integration options will rise as each organization's cloud footprint becomes more complex. Selecting the right solution, and developing a plan for integrating to achieve business goals, and keep costs down will be essential. 

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Managing Cloud Costs is Now a Significant Challenge. 

Security and the ability to find cloud expertise have been at the top of the list of cloud challenges year after year, but this year, cloud spend joined them at the top of the list. From the RightScale report:

"This year expertise, security, and spend were all tied for the top challenge with 25 percent of respondents citing each as a significant challenge."

Cloud Challenges1.png

In fact, as an organization matures, the top concerns shift from security for cloud beginners to cost management for organizations whose cloud presence is maturing. From the RightScale report:

 Cloud Challenges2.png

Business as Usual Won't Address Cost Concerns

Some of the more troubling information in the RightScale report indicate that, while organizations' are looking at costs, and are concerned about costs, they don't have a well-defined path to addressing the problem. From the RightScale report:

"Even as managing cloud costs becomes a top challenge, cloud users underestimate the amount of wasted cloud spend. Respondents estimate 30 percent waste, while RightScale has measured actual waste between 30 and 45 percent."


Along the same lines, Rightscale noted: 

"Despite an increased focus on cloud cost management, only a minority of companies are taking critical actions to optimize cloud costs, such as shutting down unused workloads or selecting lower-cost clouds or regions. This represents an opportunity for increased efficiency and increased savings."


Despite this, "optimizing cloud costs is the top initiative for 2017 across all cloud users (53 percent) and especially in mature cloud users (64 percent)."


The disconnect between assumed and actual wasted cloud spend, and the fact that so few organizations have put measures in place to manage costs, and mitigate cloud overspend begs the question of, "why?"

The answer to this question leads us to believe that business as usual won't address cloud cost concerns. If cloud administrators don't know how much cloud spend is wasted, they either aren't measuring or don't have the skills to. Quite probably both. It is also likely that organizations didn't do proper vendor evaluation when selecting new cloud services, and did not plan service implementation with an eye on both functionality and cost mitigation (as well as other essentials such as security and compliance). Depending on how some cloud solutions are implemented and managed alongside other cloud services, making radical changes to bring down overspend post implementation may be complex, time-consuming and costly.

Training Is an Essential Element in Cloud Cost Control 

It's simple. Anything that is properly evaluated, planned, and implemented from the start will be easier to manage and less costly in the long run. Too many organizations are realizing they need to implement cloud cost controls after they're in the cloud and their cloud footprint is growing. It's also apparent by the lack of action, despite the concerns, that staff may not have the skills required to bring cloud costs under control.

Training is essential to bring skills to IT staff to address this rising concern. The CloudMASTER cloud computing classes offered by CarverTC addresses key areas of concern illustrated by the RightScale report including:

  • Cloud vendor evaluation
  • Vendor cost comparison
  • Resource utilization measurement
  • Automated provisioning and deprovisioning (which can automate cost savings)
  • Management tools and services (yes, like Rightscale, as well as Chef, and Puppet). 

More than that, CloudMASTER Training is vendor neutral, providing hands-on experience with over 20 platforms and tools. This gives staff real experience, using the tools. They'll come back from CloudMASTER training better prepared to make thoughtful comparisons between solutions and to find the best solutions, that will meet your needs, and keep costs down. If this problem concerns you, check out our class schedule, or contact us to discuss the courses that will get your team the skills they need to get cloud costs under control.




CarverTC provides IT training and certification in Portland Oregon and throughout North America. 

Why We Added CloudMASTER Cloud Computing Classes to Our Class Schedule


We recently posted our first schedule of public training classes. While we've been creating and delivering technical training courses for years, this is the first time we've decided to offer public classes. As I've been reaching out to my contacts to let them know, I've gotten one question, "Why now?" The simple answer is, CloudMASTER cloud computing classes are a unique compelling offering that, we think, could change the cloud computing certification landscape for a lot of IT organizations and IT professionals. In this article, I'll explain why this certification and the training curriculum moved us to offer these courses to the public.

A Technical Company with a Communication Problem

We've often said that we're a technical company with a communication problem. We cut our teeth over 16 years learning, then explaining highly technical products and services. We were "techies that could talk." That has served us well over the years as we have grew a consultancy that served hi-tech businesses and helped them launch their products. Training was been a natural fit for us. After learning everything there was to know about a product or service, be it an operating system release, or piece of social media marketing software, delivering training on those topics was a natural follow-on. Mentoring was another big part of our digital marketing consultancy. Training our clients how to set up social media profiles, or how to a content creation process in place, or to manage their communities was essential. Eventually we formalized some curriculum and started delivering that training as well.

Private or Public Training?

We did all of that training privately.  At various points we advertised our curriculum, but we always did training in a responsive model, delivering training after clients requested it.  We didn't want the hassle of running a training center, and having to put "butts in seats." We also had some issues with the way most public training courses were run. But, we were doing more and more cloud computing consulting, so, when we got the opportunity to partner with the National Cloud Technologists Association to build some courses to support their CloudMASTER cloud computing certification credential, we were forced to rethink our reservations about offering public training.

A Growing Cloud Consultancy Changes the Question

Cloud consulting was growing as a competency as more and more of our development customers used Platform as a Service (PaaS) to build and deploy apps, and as more of our digital marketing customers used cloud based apps to perform marketing services. As we interacted in these engagements, we provided consulting services from comparisons and evaluations of cloud solutions, to planning, guidance, and implementation. As I was working with Logical Operations and the NCTA subject matter experts to design the courses, the three natural roles, of cloud technologist, cloud operations, and cloud architecture emerged. I designed the courses around those three roles. Taking our experiences mentoring and consulting for clients, and NCTA's deep expertise in large and complex cloud migrations,  we found that each class could play a role in our cloud computing and development consulting. So the question became, if we were going to teach it to our clients, why not put it on a public schedule? 

Making the Decision

We knew from our experience that people needed this training. We knew that these classes would replace the ad-hoc mentoring we were doing for clients. We felt it was going to be popular and valuable, on par with Microsoft MCP/MCSE training and certification, or A+ or Network+ training and certification.  So we sat down to address the concerns we had internally about offering public training. We developed a custom approach to delivering training both for cloud computing, and digital marketing topics. The more we worked through our approach, the more confident we became we could delivery high quality, experienced-based training, broadly. So we decided to post a public schedule. 


Simply put, the growth of cloud computing, the content in these courses, and their associated certification paths were too compelling. We would be supplying the training privately anyway. That coupled with broad applicability to IT organizations and IT professionals everywhere, made us address our concerns about offering public classes. Once we did that, there were no more barriers to offering these courses publicly, and we're very excited to do so.




CloudMASTER Certifications:  What They Are, and When You Need Them


Since we added the CloudMASTER certification training classes to our class schedule, we've been getting a lot of questions about the CloudMASTER certifications themselves. IT pros and IT managers want to know what the different certifications are, how the certifications map to different points in an IT career, and about the overall CloudMASTER certification track. So in this article I'll break it all down for you. Let's get started. 

There are three separate certifications in the Certified CloudMASTER track. I'll go into detail about each below:

Cloud Technologies:

What the certification covers:

  • This certification is about getting to the cloud. It tests general knowledge of cloud computing terms, technologies, and trends. It also tests on how to address common barriers to cloud computing adoption such as application migration issues, and cultural resistance. This certification also requires knowledge of common security, privacy, and technical concerns, such as vendor lock-in. Things that must be planned for prior to migrating to the cloud. To pass the certification you have to demonstrate that you can evaluate cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, and implement a number of free, and paid SaaS solutions for business including email, marketing, CRM, and others.  You also need to show detailed knowledge of how to migrate email from on-premises to the cloud, including solution evaluation, migration planning, and execution. You will also be tested on your ability to integrate cloud solutions from multiple vendors. Finally, this exam tests fundamental knowledge and use of Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions. 

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Who should consider it:

  • This certification is really for any system administrator or IT application support staff with six months to a years worth of experience.

Career and business impact:

  • If you're a system or application admin, this certification is a great step that can help you prove you know and understand the most fundamental issues around migrating to cloud solutions. The associated training class not only prepares you for the certification, but also gives you knowledge of cloud computing trends and issues, and prepares you to define selection criteria for cloud solutions, then evaluate and make selections based on those criteria, while addressing security, privacy, interoperation, and other concerns. That knowledge will help you bring thoughtful insights to any discussion of cloud service adoption. It will help you stand out planning and migration discussions, and point out common pitfalls and potential alternative solutions to the benefit of your organization. The certification will provide proof that you know these topic areas, and that you're on the path to becoming a certified CloudMASTER.  

Cloud Operations:

What the certification covers:

  • This certification is about administering, and orchestrating cloud services across multiple platforms once your organization is in the cloud. It tests skills for provisioning, deploying,  maintaining, and troubleshooting  Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions. This wide ranging exam tests your knowledge of how to implement and manage servers and virtual machines in the cloud. You will also have to show the ability to manage security and compliance in the cloud. The exam tests your knowledge of deploying websites and applications in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure®, Rackspace Cloud, DigitalOcean®, and Heroku®. You must also demonstrate management and orchestration of cloud services using Opscode Chef and Puppet. Finally, you have to show strong, detailed knowledge of how to plan, and executive a phased cloud migration. 

Everything covered in the exam, is covered the NCTA Cloud Operations course, which provides hands on, active learning, with the platforms and tools tested in the certification!

Who should consider it:

  • This certification is for system administrators who are, or will be managing servers and applications in a cloud computing, or hybrid environment. 

Career and business impact:

This certification proves you've worked with a variety of cloud vendor platforms and services, and are familiar with performing common cloud system and service administration tasks, as well as application deployments on a number of cloud services. Beyond that it shows that you know how to select and use cloud orchestration tools to automate administrative tasks for efficiency and administrative scalability. This certification and class is an excellent fit for any cloud system administrator who wishes to get a broader view and more experience with a broader range of cloud service providers. Passing this certification proves that you've been there, and done that on the platforms, and with the services listed above. That knowledge and experience will help you compare and contrast cloud solutions, and provide valuable input on cloud service provider, and tool selection, as well as post deployment orchestration, and maintenance topics. 

Cloud Architecture:

What the certification covers:

This certification is about designing a cloud architecture to meet business needs, from discovery to design, to presenting the plan to executives or clients. This certification builds off of the previous two, bringing in everything you've learned, and adding the fundamental steps of discovery and analysis to determine technical requirements, barriers, and concerns for moving to the cloud. The certification tests your ability to assemble a team to perform the migration including setting roles, and objectives. The exam tests your ability to assemble the right cloud components to meet those technical requirements and design a scalable solution. In addition, it tests your ability to evaluate service level agreement, determine licensing requirements, and perform cost comparisons. The exam also covers design solutions that provide secure access to information, and that secure data both in transit and at rest, while ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery. The exam also tests your ability to estimate total cost of ownership, and return on investment for cloud solutions. Finally, the exam covers how to prepare a project plan, and how to present it effectively to get sign off from upper management or clients. 

Everything covered in the exam, is covered the NCTA Cloud Architecture course, which provides hands on, active learning, with the platforms and tools tested in the certification!

Who should consider it:

  • This certification is for system administrators who wish to plan, design, and secure cloud computing solutions to meet a variety of application, and organizational requirements. 

Career and business impact:

This certification takes it to the next level,  and proves you can operate independently to evaluate application and organizational IT needs, and design cloud computing solutions to meet those needs. It demonstrates that you have the skills to address security, privacy, business continuity, disaster recover, and vendor lock-in issues in your design and implementation plans. It also proves that you can create a team to facilitate a cloud migration, and distribute tasks to maximize efficiency. Finally, it demonstrates your ability to document, and present cloud solutions to executives which is an invaluable skill for interfacing with "C-suite" personnel in any organization. Either to get cloud solutions approved, or to sell cloud consulting services to clients. The knowledge and skills gained in the training, will help you speak to core elements of the design processes including component comparison, and selection, creating costs comparisons, developing total cost of ownership and return on investment projections. Those skills will help you lead cloud migration teams, and provide consulting support for any organization transitioning to cloud services. 

CloudMASTER certification:

This one's easy. If you pass all three exams you're a certified CloudMASTER!

Want to move fast? Think you're ready to do this now? Aren't afraid of hard work? Consider our NCTA Cloud Bootcamp course. We cover all three courses in two weeks and help you prepare for you certification exams. 


If you want to get started, check out our class schedule to see the full course description, and run dates for all three of the cloudmaster cloud computing classes. If you are unsure about which course you or your team should take, reach out. Depending experience, roles, and responsibilities, different team members make require different classes, or your organization may benefit from a custom class. 

Have Questions? Reach out:

Take a look at the courses linked, and contact us. We'll tell you which course or courses can best meet your organization, and personal needs, and answer any questions you might have. 




CarverTC provides CloudMASTER cloud computing classes and certification preparation in the Portland Oregon area and across North America.