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The IT industry never slows down and IT pros are constantly assessing what’s next and what’s best – not only for their business, but also for their careers.

The virtualization world is going through a big inflection point, and this is leading to a lot of noise and conflicting information in the marketplace. Over the last several years, VMware experts have seen a big benefit to their careers from the widespread adoption of virtualization, but everyone is also looking ahead to what’s next.

Over the last few years, Hyper-V has been going from strength to strength, leading to more and more organizations adopting this platform. As demand for Hyper-V grows, there are substantial career benefits for virtualization professionals who are “bilingual” – i.e. those that are comfortable with both Microsoft and VMware platforms.

With this in mind, I am happy to announce two brand new resources from Microsoft that help bring more IT professionals along on the journey: A new Microsoft Virtualization certification, as well as a brand new website, Virtualization2.

The new certification has been designed around Microsoft Server Virtualization with Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, and it is geared toward the skills of VMware VCPs. Virtualization2 also has some great, free resources that Microsoft has developed to help IT pros who are VMware experts build their expertise in Microsoft virtualization.

This new certification comes with a new way to prepare for your certification exam. To get certified you can train with Microsoft LPs (like with any of our other certifications), or you can take the free online training with Microsoft technical experts via Microsoft Virtual Academy.

You can sign up for this free training (which will be live and interactive on November 19 & 20) by hosts Symon Perriman and Telmo Sampaio by clicking here.

As a bonus, you’ll receive a voucher to take the new certification exam for free (regular cost is $150 US). 

As you check out the site and this certification, I want you to keep in mind that this is not just about virtualization. The virtualization aspect of this is only the tip of a very large iceberg. I believe, looking 2-3 steps ahead, that getting acquainted with Hyper-V is going to future-proof your career and provide you with the broadest possible skill set.

This is a big opportunity for you, your organization, and your career – and we’re excited to help you make the most of it.