A new ambitious Quest: Taking my Citrix certification to the next level

The last couple of years, I’ve been taken on new customer assignments that took placed me in new roles. No more administration of existing Citrix XenApp environments, but I was given the assignments to design new Citrix XenApp environments and be the one to decide how they would be implemented. After commenting on improvements I saw as an administrator, I was now in charge of making those design calls from the start. So I’ve spent the last years reading about a lot of features, new version improvements and design consequences for Citrix XenApp and XenServer environments.

And even though I’ve been complimented by customers on the quality of my design documents and seen my designs grow into production environments, I still miss some recognition as a Citrix Architect by my peers and some colleagues.

So it is time to take my CCA certifications to the next level and go for the CCEE and CCIA certifications and ensure my level of expertise is reflected by the right set of certificates.


Self study

Due to the financial crisis, the focus at work is still at making those billable hours (as will be the case for most consultancy companies, I presume), so I do not have the luxury of signing up for some boot camps to be quickly prepped to nail the required exams. I will have to invest private hours to study for the exams. And with my assignment in Eindhoven coming to an end (which keeps me at hotels for half the week) I should have even more hours available to read through all the materials and test cases in my training lab.


Training lab

Thanks to the many evaluation versions that Citrix has provided to partners, I am able to quickly setup the required test servers in my own training lab. With two whitebox servers available as XenServer hypervisors and even a new desktop with virtualBox installed, I should have enough resources to test different scenario’s and cases to prep for the exams. So everything is set up to support this new quest.


Study materials

With not alot of financial and training means available I will have to rely on the information that is available on the internet, which fortunately covers almost all steps of the way:



Luckily I already have a valid CCA status for Citrix XenApp and XenServer, so I only need these remaining exams to pass:

  • A08 Advanced Administration for Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Windows Server 2008 passed!
  • A19 Citrix XenDesktop 5 Administration passed!
  • A15 Engineering a Citrix Virtualization Solution passed!
  • !!! Mission Accomplished !!!


So if you have more tips & tricks to support my quest, please let me know!


This article was originally posted at Aug 14th, 2011 @ 18:34 *** Last update: passed A15 exam, mission accomplished, I’m a CCEE now. ***

Esther Barthel
Solutions Architect at cognition IT

Esther has been working in different roles and functions as an IT consultant ever since she finished her Masters degree in Computer Science in 1997. She has worked as a web developer, database administrator, and server administrator until she discovered how Server-Based Computing ( SBC ) combined servers, desktops, and user experience in one solution. Esther has been specializing in virtualization solutions such as SBC, VDI, application, and server virtualization for over eight years now and is currently working as a Senior Consultant at PepperByte, where she designs and implements Citrix® solutions for both small-business and large-enterprise infrastructures scaling from 100 to 15,000 users.
In january 2014 her first book Citrix XenApp 6.5 Expert Cookbook was published by Packt Publishing.

Esther is awarded as a Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) from 2015 - 2017.
Esther is awarded as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in 2017.

Esther is a Citrix Certified Expert – Virtualization (CCE-V), Citrix Certified Professional – Mobility (CCP-M), Citrix Certified Professional – Networking (CCP-N) and RES Software Certified Professional (RCP).

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