The CompTIA Server+, or simply ‘Server+,’ is an IT industry certification from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). It’s one of many certs they offer, but it is specifically for IT professionals who work with servers and server-related technologies such as cloud environments and virtualization. The exam covers server installation, configuration, troubleshooting, maintenance, security issues, disaster recovery, and risk management.
This certification exam is global, and organizations often use it to measure the ability and monitor the skills of their IT staff.
In this blog post, we will answer the questions of what the CompTIA Server+ is and how you can use it to advance your IT career.
What is CompTIA?
CompTIA stands for the Computing Technology Industry Association. It is a non-profit trade association representing the IT business in America and offers certifications to technicians who work with hardware or software technologies.
CompTIA has many different exams for various types of certification, and they’re all grouped in several categories.
- Core certifications include the ITF+ (IT Fundamentals), A+, Network+, and Security+.
- Infrastructure certifications are the Linux+, Cloud+, and the subject of this post – the Server+.
- The Cybersecurity group consists of the CySA+ (Cybersecurity Analyst), PenTest+ (Penetration Tester), and CASP+ (Advanced Security Practitioner).
- Additional Professional certifications include the Project+, Cloud Essentials+, and CTT+.
CompTIA training and exams are recognized in over 180 countries, and they’re an industry-leading organization.
Before applying for the CompTIA Server+ exam, you need to acquire the critical skill set to succeed.
This certification is not entry-level, meaning that some experience is necessary.
The A+ certification and networking experience are both recommended. You need to have a general understanding of how servers work on an operating system level – which includes tasks such as displaying and modifying the operating system’s hardware settings, starting computer services, configuring load order for different programs and tasks to run automatically when the machine boots up.
These are the technical skills you will learn while preparing for the Server+:
- Server hardware installation and management of different server types.
- Guest operating system installation and management.
- Server configuration, managing the Server+ OS environment (configuring networking and external data access), troubleshooting issues with physical servers or virtual servers.
- Managing server security by controlling network traffic to the machine as well as setting up user authentication programs for remote logins; keeping virus protection up to date.
- Server maintenance and troubleshooting mean keeping an eye on server resources, backing up data, updating software and firmware for the physical or virtual hardware. This includes monitoring resource usage (CPU load), checking hard disk space, and looking for errors in operating system logs.
- Managing risk is a very important part of IT infrastructure management. You need to be able to identify potential risks and understand how they might affect the organization. This includes understanding security threats, disaster recovery procedures, vulnerabilities in software or hardware, natural disasters (storms for example), power outages, cyberattacks.
Like all other CompTIA exams, the Server+ is also vendor-neutral. This means that it tests your knowledge of general IT infrastructure concepts and not any brand of servers in particular.
This is different from vendor-specific certifications that are offered by companies like Microsoft, Cisco, or Oracle. You can take the Server+ exam even if you don’t work for a company that deals with server technology, so it’s an excellent way to add the Server+ certification to your skillset.
The CompTIA Server+ is excellent for IT professionals looking for a career change or who want to go into business for themselves as they’re not tied down by brand loyalty and can use any server configuration that’s necessary.
Server+ Exam Details
This CompTIA exam lasts for 90 minutes, during which a certification candidate has to answer a maximum of 100 questions. (90 questions for the latest release of the Server+, the SK0-005.)
Basic question types you will run into include multiple-choice questions and performance-based questions.
Multiple-choice questions are reading comprehension type questions, where you’ll be shown an excerpt of a technical document and then asked to answer a question about it. Performance-based tasks are for those who want to see how they would perform in the job environment – these could include hands-on simulations or configuring PC hardware.
The passing score for the Server+ is 750 on a score scale of 100 to 900. The SK0-004 can be taken in English, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese, while the SK0-005 will be available only in English at launch.
Before you decide to pass this exam, you need at least two years of IT experience in a hardware or software support role. Server roles are preferred. You should also have the A+ certification and basic networking skills.
How current is the Server+ certification?
The previous version of the Server+, the SK0-004, was released in 2015. It is considered a bit outdated since many of the technologies it covers are being phased out. Additionally, new technologies are being introduced that weren’t covered in the old certification.
The newest release, SK0-005, is a much more relevant and up-to-date CompTIA certification that includes coverage for areas like virtualization (VMware), cloud computing (AWS/Azure), and data center management. It is a better choice for those looking to get certified because it covers more up-to-date topics and has been updated with feedback from people who took the exam previously and worked in IT environments.
You can take either the SK0-004 or the SK0-005 until December 2021, when the SK0-004 will no longer be available to take.
We recommend that you focus on the SK0-005 if you can because it is the most relevant to those looking for a new certification training.
The CompTIA Server+ exam covers hardware and software in an IT infrastructure environment.
It focuses on general topics that are not tied down to any one type of server technology. This vendor-neutral certification is open to anyone and doesn’t require any brand loyalty – so it can be an excellent way for IT professionals to add a new certification to their skill set.
If you are at the start of your career – but not a complete beginner! – the Server+ is an excellent certification to pursue. You should also have the A+ and at least some networking knowledge before taking this exam.
Contact MyComputerCareer for more information on CompTIA Server+ and to find out how you can pass this highly sought-after certification examination.