Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) is a vendor-agnostic exam designed by the OpenStack Foundation in conjunction with a number of international partners to test an administrator's abilities in cloud management and day-to-day operations.
Announced at the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo in 2015, COA is one of the OpenStack Foundation's latest efforts to expand the global OpenStack community. The OpenStack Foundation has partnered with companies from around the world, including Cisco, Mirantis and Rackspace, to create the curriculum for the COA exam as well as its supplementary training materials. The OpenStack Foundation has also partnered with the Linux Foundation to develop a virtual testing platform so that the COA can be administered globally.
The COA exam is performance-based and requires a working knowledge of OpenStack components and architecture. For example, candidates must handle common tasks or resolve issues using the command line interface and Horizon dashboard, all currently based on OpenStack Liberty. Those interested in taking the exam are expected to have at least six months-worth of OpenStack experience running a cloud based on OpenStack. The COA exam covers 10 specific content areas or domains:
- Getting to know OpenStack
- Identity management
- Dashboard (Horizon)
- Compute (Nova)
- Object storage (Swift)
- Block storage (Cinder)
- Networking (Neutron)
- Orchestration (Heat)
- Image management (Glance)
Each domain is weighted in accordance to its overall significance. For example, Networking accounts for 16% of the overall score, while Dashboard only accounts for 3%.
The current testing fee for COA is $300 US and requires about 2.5 hours to complete. The COA exam will be updated with each new release of OpenStack. Candidates that require additional training prior to taking the COA can engage numerous training vendors as-needed at an additional cost.