A. I've already outlined Citrix's virtualization-related certifications in a FAQ in November. Those certifications were for the Citrix products XenServer and XenDesktop.

Like many technology companies, Citrix advertises a wide array of certifications that prove an administrator's experience with different products. To the uninitiated, their long list of certifications can be somewhat difficult to decipher. Which ones should you look at first? Which ones are then useful down the road, to prove an even greater level of experience?

Citrix's entry-level certification for XenApp 6 is named the Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA). Sharing the same three-letter acronym as its other products, the CCA for XenApp 6 requires passing a very different exam. That exam is marked with the designation 1y0-a18 and is named Basic Administration for Citrix XenApp 6.

The CCA has 64 questions, a 67 percent passing score, and a time limit of 90 minutes. It's introductory in the topics it tests against. The exam prep guide, which is available for download, suggests that test questions are generally scoped around core XenApp functionality. You won't find many (if any) questions on XenApp Platinum Edition's add-on technologies such as EdgeSight, Password Manager, or other non-XenApp products. Based on the topics the exam prep guide outlines, this exam tests whether you understand the very basics of XenApp administration all by itself.

That exam prep guide is a useful study aid. It documents a level of detail about the exam that isn't often found in vendor certification programs. In it, you'll find a percentage breakdown of each tested topic (useful for guiding your study), along with the specific activities that are related to each topic. If you know how to do what's listed in the objective column, you'll be well-prepared for this exam.