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Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA)

Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA)

OpenStack skills are in high demand as thousands of companies around the world adopt and productize OpenStack.

COA is the first professional certification offered by the OpenStack Foundation. It’s designed to help companies identify top talent in the industry, and help job seekers demonstrate their skills.

Learn about Student Pricing.

Purchase Exam

Get started with a new COA exam.

Redeem A Code

Redeem a code from a partner company and get started with your COA exam.

COA Portal Login

Login to retake the test or resume the process of scheduling an exam.

Hire A COA

Learn what COA means for talent teams or verify a candidate's COA credentials.

Virtual Exam

Take the COA exam at your convenience, from anywhere in the world using our virtual proctor system


Test your skills and problem solving in the command line and Horizon dashboard, based on the OpenStack Newton version

Dozens of Training Partners

Find help preparing for the exam from the large ecosystem of OpenStack training partners

Training Partners

The best path to certification is through one of the OpenStack Foundation training partners. Dozens of companies around the world offer OpenStack training, ranging from 101 to advanced skills. Many of these companies bundle the COA exam with their training courses. Find the best fit for you in the OpenStack Training Marketplace.

Want your OpenStack training company to be listed here? Contact [email protected].

How to Get Started

The Certified OpenStack Administrator exam is the only professional certification offered by the OpenStack Foundation. It was written for OpenStack professionals with at least six months of experience managing an OpenStack cloud environment. You can learn more details about the exam below, or visit our Training Marketplace to find companies that can help you prepare and often bundle the exam with their training courses. To get started with a new exam purchase or to redeem a code, you'll be prompted to log into the COA portal with an OpenStackID or equivalent.

Get Started

Exam Details

The Certified OpenStack Administrator is a professional typically with at least six months OpenStack experience, and has the skills required to provide day-to-day operation and management of an OpenStack cloud. The current exam is based on the OpenStack Pike version and covers the core compute, storage and networking services. Learn more about the knowledge requirements and domains covered in the exam and review some COA tips from the OpenStack Foundation.

OpenStack release being tested
What does the exam cost?



The COA is a performance-based exam and Candidates will need to perform tasks or solve problems using the command line interface and Horizon dashboard, based on OpenStack Pike. For exam security, Candidates are monitored virtually by a proctor during the exam session via streaming audio, video, and screensharing feeds. The screensharing feed allows proctors to view candidates' desktops (including all monitors). The audio, video and screensharing feeds will be stored for a limited period of time in the event that there is a subsequent need for review.

ID Requirements

Candidates are required to provide a means of photo identification before the Exam can be launched. Acceptable forms of photo ID include current, non-expired: passport, government-issued driver's license/permit, national ID card, state or province-issued ID card, or other form of government issued identification. If acceptable proof of identification is not provided to the exam proctor prior to the exam, entry to the exam will be refused. Candidates who are refused entry due to lack of sufficient ID will not be eligible for a refund or rescheduling.


One (1) free retake per Exam purchase will be granted in the event that a passing score is not achieved and Candidate has not otherwise been deemed ineligible for Certification or retake. The free retake must be taken within 6 months of the date of the original Exam purchase.

Certification Period

The certification is valid for 36 months after the passing date. After 36 months, test takers will need to resit the exam to remain certified.

How long do I have to schedule my exam?

Exam may be scheduled anytime within 6 months of purchase.

System Requirements

Candidates are required to provide their own front-end hardware (laptop or workstation) with Chrome or Chromium browser, reliable internet access, and a webcam and microphone in order to take exams. Candidates do not need to provide their own Linux installation or VM; they will be presented with a VM in their browser window using a terminal emulator. Candidates should use the compatibility check tool to verify that their system and testing environment meet the minimum requirements.


2.5 hours


Upon completion, exams are scored automatically and a score report will be made available within three (3) business days. If a passing score of 76 or higher is achieved and other applicable requirements for Certification have been fulfilled, a notification indicating the Candidate has been successfully Certified will follow the score report. Candidate will receive a certificate and logo for personal use.


The COA exam is currently offered in English.

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