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CompTIA Server+ or CompTIA Cloud+? How to Choose

Monday, March 15, 2021| By Eileen Ristau Tauchman

Two of CompTIA’s infrastructure certifications are getting an update in 2021. CompTIA Server+ and CompTIA Cloud+ make up important parts of the CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway, and they validate the skills needed to support and manage core components of IT infrastructure.

If you’re an IT pro looking to level up your knowledge of IT infrastructure, one of these IT certifications could be the next best one to earn. Learn more about what’s new for each certification and how they’re different so you can figure out which certification is right for you.

The New CompTIA Server+

CompTIA Server+ (SK0-005) is the only certification that ensures IT pros who install, manage and troubleshoot servers can perform their job in any environment, including in on-premises and hybrid environments.

As with all CompTIA certifications, CompTIA Server+ is vendor neutral, making it the only server certification not restricted to a single platform. And CompTIA Server+ (SK0-005) is good for life (GFL), which means once you earn it, you don’t need to renew it. (Although we always recommend keeping your skills sharp with additional training and certifications!)

Technical Areas Covered in CompTIA Server+ (SK0-005)

This new version of CompTIA Server+ validates the hands-on skills of IT pros working on servers in data centers, such as systems administrators, data center technicians and server administrators.

The new exam covers four major domains:

  • Server hardware installation and management (18%)

  • Security and disaster recovery (24%)

  • Troubleshooting (28%)

  • Server administration (30%)

What’s New on CompTIA Server+ (SK0-005)?

CompTIA Server+ continues to validate the skills needed to remotely manage physical and virtualized servers, while reflecting industry adoption of cloud-based solutions.

CompTIA Server+ (SK0-005) now covers the following:

  • The physical components of server administration at a foundational level

  • The installation, configuration and maintenance of operating systems

  • Virtualization, scripting basics, asset management and licensing

  • Identity and access management, hardening methods, disaster recovery and other essential topics

  • More data security topics, including risk and mitigation strategies

  • Important disaster recovery concepts, including how server administrators can use the cloud for DR

The New CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA Cloud+ (CV0-003) validates the skills needed to implement cloud solutions, maintain and optimize cloud environments and troubleshoot issues encountered when working in the cloud. CompTIA Cloud+ certification holders help ensure the high availability of business systems and data.

Technical Areas Covered in CompTIA Cloud+ (CV0-003)

The new CompTIA Cloud+ covers in greater depth the skills and abilities needed to operate in the cloud, validating that candidates have the technical experience needed to deploy, secure and automate environments regardless of the vendor solution.

The new exam covers five major domains:

  • Cloud architecture and design (13%)

  • Security (20%)

  • Operations and support (22%)

  • Troubleshooting (22%)

  • Deployment (23%)

What’s New on CompTIA Cloud+ (CV0-003)?

While still covering the foundational aspects of cloud technology emphasized in CompTIA Cloud+ (CV0-002), the refreshed offering expands on three important areas – security, cloud architecture and high-availability.

CompTIA Cloud+ (CV0-003) now covers the following:

  • High-availability is now its own objective and highlighted as an important factor for disaster recovery and security measures

  • Automation and virtualization, including continuous integrations and deployment, ensuring candidates have the skills to optimize the cloud to meet business needs

  • Cloud architecture as its own domain, demonstrating the importance of understanding the foundational technologies and concepts of the cloud

Who Should Get These IT Certifications?

While these certifications are related, they offer IT pros at different career levels a great choice to advance their careers. Neither is considered an entry-level certification. IT pros should have at least two years of hands-on experience plus other certifications before pursuing CompTIA Server+, and should have the equivalent networking experience for CompTIA Cloud+.

The CompTIA Server+ Candidate

Primary Job Roles

  • Systems Administrator: Ensures an organization’s technology – including but not limited to servers – is working as intended

  • Data Center Technician: Supports data center managers and other advanced IT pros working in a data center

  • Server Administrator: Ensures that all servers are running properly by performing maintenance and updates


  • 2 years of hands-on experience working in a server environment

  • CompTIA A+ certified or equivalent knowledge

The CompTIA Cloud+ Candidate

Primary Job Roles

  • Sr. Systems Administrator: Manages the operations of the SysAdmin team

  • Systems Engineer: Monitors and manages hardware and software and guides their team to success

  • Cloud Engineer: Helps implement and maintain cloud systems at their organizations


  • 2-3 years of experience in systems administration or networking

  • Knowledge of cloud service models and IT service management

  • Familiarity with major hypervisor technology for server virtualization

  • Hands-on experience with at least one private or public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform

  • CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Server+ or equivalent knowledge

How to Study for CompTIA Server+ and CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA will be offering the entire suite of training materials for the first time for both of these certification exams. There are options for every type of learner based on preferences like self-studying or hands-on labs.

CompTIA CertMaster

The CompTIA CertMaster eLearning suite includes CertMaster Learn, CompTIA Labs and CertMaster Practice. This three-pronged approach helps you master the concepts and hands-on skills as you prepare for your exam, identifying what you already know well and what you need to spend more time studying.

IT pros who purchase a bundle that includes both CertMaster Learn and CompTIA Labs will have a fully-integrated experience, where they can learn the concepts and then practice those same skills in a real-world virtual environment.

Official CompTIA Study Guides

If you prefer a good, old-fashioned book (or eBook), the Official CompTIA Study Guides covers all the exam objectives and is designed to help you learn and master the material you’ll see on your certification exam.

CompTIA Server+ will be available in May 2021 and CompTIA Cloud+ in June 2021. To prepare for their arrival, check out the exam objectives. You can download them for free on our website.

Ready to start studying? Writing out your plan will set you up for success. Download our free training plan worksheet to help get organized and make your dream a reality.

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