Google, Apple, Amazon….

Microsoft definitely has its share of rivals, competing in everything from cloud computing to operating systems.

Yet, when it comes to server administration, none of these technology giants poses a threat except Linux.

Linux and Microsoft have long vied for the top spot among IT professionals for preferred server administration tools.

But it seems the two are putting aside their differences for the greater good of the industry. 

Displaying an “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude, Microsoft recently announced a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) Linux on Azure certification.

As the two companies find their products becoming increasingly interwoven, they’ve realized they can no longer ignore each other. "It's obvious, if we don't support Linux, we'll be Windows only and that's not practical." Microsoft Azure’s CTO Mark Russinovich told ZDNet.

And IT professionals are nothing if not practical.

In addition, the Linux Foundation’s executive director Jim Zemlin had this to say: “The Linux Foundation and Microsoft share a common, strategic approach to technology development: balance internal [research and development] with external R&D to create the most important technologies of our time."

It seems that both sides are playing nice and administrators everywhere have a reason to celebrate.

Those that pursue this certification must pass two exams, but will find themselves doubly skilled.  Following the success of the Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam and Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator exam, Microsoft will distribute the certification.

The Linux on Azure certification gives you the knowledge to utilize cloud-based Linux solutions and take advantage of Azure’s open source capabilities.

"Today's IT environments demand more from professionals than ever before, and the ones equipped to manage this new landscape look to professional certifications to rise above the rest," said Zemlin, recognizing the industry’s need for this certification.

As highly-skilled IT workers become more in demand, the arrival of the Linux on Azure certification is fortunate for those looking to move up in this field.

Update (as of September 2017): The Linux on Azure course is no longer available. However, do check out the Azure and Linux courses we have on offer in the related products section.