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What OpenStack Certification Should You Get?

Terry Cox
Terry Cox

So you’ve realized you might want to get certified in OpenStack, but you’re not sure what the benefits might be or even which one you should take. Looking at the Linux Academy website, you know there are several certification courses you can choose from, but how do you know which one is right for you?Each exam makes several different assumptions whether it’s job role within the company, how much experience you have, or even what operating system you work with. So let’s break it down:

Job Role


If you’re not in a technical role, you may not want to jump into a hands-on exam, in which case Mirantis offers the OCM50, which is a multiple choice exam based around the most commonly used services.


Here is where you have the most options for OpenStack certifications from the OpenStack Foundation itself, Mirantis, and Red Hat. These include entry-level exams as well as more advanced ones, in the case of Red Hat.From here, we can further break down our options:


The Certified OpenStack Administrator exam, as well as the Mirantis OCM100 and Red Hat EX210 certifications, assume about 6 months experience in OpenStack and general administrative OpenStack knowledge. Red Hat also offers a more advances EX310 certification, which covers more advanced networking as well as the Ceph storage solution.

Operating System

The Mirantis exam is offered only on Ubuntu, and the Red Hat exams are only offered on Red Hat. The OpenStack Foundation’s exam is offered on both Ubuntu and, with the new Newton release of the exam, SUSE, as well.

So how do you choose which exam to take?

Well, if you’re in a non-technical role that choice is fairly straightforward: The OCM50 certifcation. But for technical roles, you will need to take the other factors into consideration. Of the exams, the COA offered by the OpenStack Foundation is both the lowest cost and most vendor neutral, and has the Foundation behind it. The Mirantis exam is more expensive but has been around for some time and covers the same objectives as the COA. The Red Hat exams are more specialized in regards to their operating system, but they offer a more advanced certifcation to follow and are known for their training.When you choose which exam to take, take all the factors into consideration and just remember: Whichever one you choose, they are all valued in the OpenStack community.


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