Network certifications such as Novell’s CNE (Certified Novell Engineer) are supposed to prove your proficiency with technology. Unfortunately, networking technology changes on a daily basis. Things that you learned just a year ago can become outdated today. To make sure that people who carry CNE certifications don’t misrepresent certifications for older products, such as NetWare 3, as being valid for NetWare 5, Novell has implemented the Continuing Certification Requirement (CCR).

CCR? Wasn’t that a band in the 60’s?
Although it may seem like it, Novell didn’t implement the CCR to soak you for more certification money. Novell’s CCR ensures that CNEs are up-to-date with current technology. CCRs aren’t new to Novell. Since the inception of the CNE program in 1989, Novell has instituted several CCR programs for its CNEs. The last CCR was in April 1995, when Novell introduced NetWare 4.

You can choose not to take the CCR tests, but you’ll lose your certification. On an upside, however, taking the tests will upgrade your CNE status from its current level to NetWare CNE 5.

If you’ve already taken the tests as part of the process for getting your CNE 5, you don’t have to worry about the CCR tests. CNAs (Certified NetWare Administrators) aren’t affected by the CCR, either. If you’re a Master CNE, however, then you are covered. If you don’t fulfill the CCR, you’ll lose both your Master CNE and your CNE status.

To maintain their certifications, CNEs must pass one of two tests by Aug. 31, 2000. These tests are 529 NetWare 4.11 to NetWare 5 Update (50-638) and 570 NetWare 5 Advanced Administration (50-640).

As the name implies, Course 529 NetWare 4.11 to NetWare 5 Update teaches you the procedures you should follow to update your NetWare 4.x servers to NetWare 5. Novell assumes that you have some NetWare 4.x experience or have taken the NetWare 3.x to 4.11 Update course prior to taking this one. In addition to just performing upgrades, basic topics covered in the course include:

  • ·        Understanding and implementing NDPS (Novell Distributed Print Services)
  • ·        Using DNS/DHCP services
  • ·        Using NetWare 5’s new Java Console
  • ·        Using workstations with ZENworks

Again, you can probably guess what Course 570 teaches from its title. This course teaches you how to administer NetWare 5 Advanced Administration. For this course, Novell assumes that you’re familiar with some MS-DOS and Windows 9x commands and that you’ve administered NetWare 4.x servers. If you don’t know how to use NetWare Administrator, you’ll be lost. Basic topics covered in the course include:

  • ·        Configuring remote access
  • ·        Backing up and restoring NDS and file system information
  • ·        Understanding NDS security
  • ·        Optimizing the server through server statistics and utilities
  • ·        Upgrading queue-based printing to NDPS
  • ·        Using Java-based utilities

What do I do next?
You can prepare for, and take, the CCR tests just like you did for your regular CNE tests. You can obtain training from a Novell Authorized Education Center (NAEC) or a Novell Education Academic Partner (NEAP). You can also use a self-study kit.

Just like your regular CNE tests, you can take CCR tests at any Novell authorized testing provider. To register online or to find the testing center nearest you, visit the Novell Education Web site . Novell exams currently cost $95 each. You’ll have to pay, regardless of whether you pass the test.

CNE certification provides proof that you know what you’re doing in a NetWare environment. It’s important to keep current with the latest technological advances, and Novell wants to ensure the value of the CNE certification program. You can find out more about Novell’s certification programs by going to the Novell Education Web site .

John Sheesley has been supporting networks since 1986, when he got his hands on NetWare 2.2. Since then, he’s worked with the Jefferson County Police Department in Louisville, KY and the Genlyte-Thomas Group. John’s been a technical writer for several leading publishers, including TechRepublic, The Cobb Group, and ZDJournals. If you’d like to contact John, sendhim an e-mail .