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You can tell that cloud computing is huge by the number of certifications and training programmes and user groups setting out their stalls.

We have spotted two this week, a vendor training initiative, and a strong-arm grouping for IT security practitioners.

Say hello to the Microsoft Virtual Academy, a free training facility for IT pros.

The curriculum includes sundry cloud-centric "training tracks" on the company's software, including windows Azure and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. There's the usual mix of whitepapers, webcasts, training vids and access to experts. Microsoft reckons it will have more than a million IT pros signed up to MVA this year, so the forums could get quite busy.

Now, something for the security guys.

The UK and Ireland chapter of the Cloud Security Alliance opens for business on 24 March. Unfortunately, it's too late to register to attend the inaugural meeting hosted by KPMG in Canary Wharf, because of "security requirements', appropriately enough.

Membership is free and there will be six chapter meetings a year across UK and Ireland. You can check them out at Infosecurity in April. ®

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