Grow Your Career: Citrix Certified Administrator
If you've worked with Microsoft Terminal Server or have had experience working directly with Citrix, you should consider adding the Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) title to your arsenal. And if you are looking for ways to embellish your MCSE status, your job security, or your resume, here's an excellent opportunity to do so.
Citrix, in case you aren't familiar with the product, is a technology that allows multiple users to run multiple applications off of a central server. What happens with each application is that the processing is all done on the server; and only the keystrokes, mouse input, and screen updates travel over the network from each client. If you're thinking this is Terminal Server, you're basically right. Microsoft licensed Multiwin from Citrix to release good old Terminal Server.
Citrix offers several certifications on their thin-client product, starting with the Citrix Certified Administrator title and working toward the Citrix Certified Enterprise Administrator title, in most cases. There is also a Citrix Sales Professional certification and the Citrix Certified Instructor title. I'll discuss those certifications in upcoming articles. For now, let's take a look at the first layer of certification, the CCA.
There are four exams available today to earn your CCA. Don't worry, you only have to pass one, not all four. The exams are as follows:
Exam #220 Metaframe XP 1.0
Exam #218 Metaframe 1.8
Exam #310 Metaframe for UNIX
Exam #118 Winframe 1.8
Citrix Metaframe XP 1.0 Exam #220
The most recent exam offering from Citrix is Exam #220 Metaframe XP 1.0. This exam has 40 questions to be answered within one hour. You have to score at least a 72 on the exam, or—for the English majors—that's 29 correctly answered questions.
The exam objectives are direct and not ambiguous. You will need to know Metaframe more than Windows 2000 with Terminal Services installed to pass this exam. You will need experience with installing Metaframe XP—including the software and hardware requirements to do so.
The exam will also challenge you on the theory of Metaframe XP. For example, you'll be tested on the benefits of SpeedScreen technology, features of Independent Management Architecture, and components of the Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) packet.
The bulk of the exam will focus on your ability to configure, manage, and secure Metaframe. You'll need experience in the Citrix Management Console, the Shadow Taskbar, and configuring SpeedScreen Latency.
This exam includes objectives on installing and configuring applications for users. You'll need to know how to install and configure the client software in addition to the server software. The objective on Web connectivity includes working with Citrix Web components and using Nfuse.
Nfuse is a fascinating technology in itself. It allows an application to run through a Web browser. There are three parts to the technology: the server portion, the Web server portion, and the client portion. Pretty neat, huh?
Because Citrix is a server-side application, you'll need to know how printing works. You will need to know how to configure printers that are server-based, network, or local. Hands-on experience will guarantee a pass on this portion of the exam.
The final objective for this exam is a bit of a wildcard: monitoring and troubleshooting Metaframe XP Servers. You'll need to know how to track down problems through Event Viewer and System Information. In addition, experience in managing resources, Citrix Network Manager, and troubleshooting Network Monitor is required.