IT pros involved with planning cloud projects for this year or next have a new training resource. Earlier this week, Microsoft launched a new virtual training portal aimed at IT professionals who want to learn new skills and enhance existing ones for cloud computing environments.

We went live at the Microsoft Management Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, and so far the response has been great, with over 4,000 IT pros signing on in under a week.  The Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers at-no-cost training for IT professionals that will take you right to the heart of the latest advances in Microsoft cloud computing, offering guidance through real-life deployment scenarios and the latest technologies and tools. The academy will provide a series of content tracks and progress tracking using a points-and-rewards system. 

As well as a variety of training courses based around Microsoft cloud technologies including Windows Azure and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, IT professionals who subscribe to MVA can select from whitepapers, webcasts, training videos, forums and access to community experts. I was personally involved with the Private Cloud track, so be sure to check that out and give feedback.

You'll also get regular statistics on your performance and professional progress, and as active members you'll also eligible for certification voucher discounts, coupons for training centers, as well as preferred access to Microsoft events and other benefits. And be sure to check back often as we'll be adding new courses, new tracks and updating existing tracks on a regular basis in the near future.

Oliver Rist

Microsoft Server & Cloud Marketing