Citrix Training Options That Make Sense
OK, so you’ve now read Val King’s blog article on the value of Citrix training, so let’s talk about the options that are available and their PROs and CONs.
Citrix has always had extensive training options available for many years through Citrix Authorized Learning Centers (CALCs). These are various third party organizations that go through the qualification process to become authorized to teach Citrix certified classes. This is not an easy process, so most CALCs offer pretty good training, but it has always come with several issues.
For years, Citrix was very strict with regard to how this training was offered. The CALC had to have a certain level of workstation available for the student to do their labs on, and the classes needed to be taken on-site at the training facility. Five or six years ago, when virtual instruction started to get popular, and the technology allowed it to work effectively, Citrix eased their on-site requirement and many CALCs started to offer their classes to virtual attendees as well. This saved the travel costs for many students, but has proved to be tedious for the student to watch their workstation all day with a headset on.
The other problem with Citrix structured classes is that they are expensive and time consuming. The published prices for Citrix training is $1000 per day per student, and most Citrix classes are 5 days in length. For most companies, doing without what may be their only key Citrix expert for an entire week, is very difficult. Add to this the fact that to become a Citrix Certified Professional requires two 5-day classes, and achieving Expert status requires three, and the problem is compounded. And this doesn’t even take into account any NetScaler training, which most customers also have in their environment. The various levels of Citrix customer certification are described below.
For more details, see the URL http://training.citrix.com/cms/index.php/certification/apps-and-desktops/
If you already have Citrix certification (CCA/CCAA, CCEE or CCIA), you may update your certifications by passing the EXMA for the Associate, Professional or Expert certifications.
Val mentioned in his Blog on Citrix Training, that it is very important to get an instructor that has regular and frequent field experience. We think this is essential, as we have all been exposed to “paper” instructors that have never actually done any field installations, and know that they can’t speak to what actually works in the real world. We think that this is the most important part!
OK, so this is good, and very complete training, but the cost and time constraint issues keep many of you from pursuing it, and this leads to a generally under-educated consuming public. As we all know, Citrix touches darn near everything in your environment (Hypervisor, SAN, AD, network, etc., etc.), and if one of those touch points is out of whack, there is a problem, and then according to your user base, “Citrix is slow again!!”. By the way, we have found that Citrix is to blame less than 20% of the time in those cases, but that’s another conversation. So how do you get good, affordable Citrix training that does not take a career to complete? I think we have a good idea for that.
Whitehat has put together a hybrid training plan that we think addresses all of these common issues. It involves having our Citrix-certified instructor come on-site for 1 day to do a mini-review of your Citrix environment and the training needs of your staff. Then we craft a list of mini topics that you wish to be trained on, and remain on-site for another day or two to complete the training. Common topics include printing best practices, SSL certificate installation, profile issues and resolutions, etc. By doing training in this manner, the customer gets affordable training, on-site, taught by a field-experienced Certified Instructor that teaches exactly the subjects they are interested in, at a price that is reasonable. We think this is the wave of the future in Citrix Training.
This hybrid training is not Citrix certified, but it is focused on what customers want. Whitehat also offers Citrix Certified classes at very good prices, and if you can commit to 4 students, we will house the class on-site.
Training is key to the success of any Citrix implementation. Perhaps now there is a way to effectively get you the training you need without any of the roadblocks that have always been present.