Novell To Pay Certification Bill

Linux certification

The new certification is an updated version of Novell's Suse Linux Certified Professional certification, which the Waltham, Mass.-based software vendor eventually plans to phase out, said Starla Cox, director of North America channel marketing at Novell.

Novell's goal is to have 500 partners signed up for training by March 15, but the offer will be extended to Novell Gold partners if all 500 openings aren't filled by Platinum partners, Cox said.

Novell hopes to sign 500 VAR partners as Novell Certified Linux Professionals.

"The free training offer is meant to jump-start our Linux training for our top partners," she said.

Novell partners who currently hold Suse Linux Certified Professional certifications must be recertified as a Novell Certified Linux Professional. However, Cox said Novell partners nearing completion of the Suse Linux Certified Professional requirements will likely be transitioned into the new certification.

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The first training course is set to begin Nov. 8. Participants must complete a five-day certification course, which normally costs about $6,000, Cox said. Novell is also offering a self-led training curriculum that ends with a free Novell Certified Linux Professional certification test. The free training represents an investment of almost $3 million by Novell, she said.

Paul Hillman, president of C/D/H Consulting Services, a Novell partner in Grand Rapids, Mich., said that although he isn't excited about sending as many as six of his Certified Linux Professionals and Certified Linux Engineers to class for a week, having the latest Novell certification will pay off.

"We are transitioning out of old NetWare right now and onto Linux. And while we are comfortable with the service layer Novell provides, now we have to get comfortable with the new underpinnings of the operating system," Hillman said.

Unlike its predecessor, which tests basic knowledge of Novell services running on Linux-based hardware, the Novell Certified Linux Professional certification focuses on core Linux distributions and requires a hands-on exam. "This tests real-world Linux skills," Cox said. "It's no paper cert."