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Disclosure first - El Reg is a media partner of the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). And that means it's time for some, umm, media-ing.

With the battle for mindshare in the cloud market reaching fever pitch, Microsoft aims to cement its position by training you to be a master of these new Cloud-arts™.

Unsurprisingly, the focus is on product lines at the heart of Microsoft cloud offerings. This includes training on the full range of virtualisation software and the over-arching beast that is System Center. Windows Azure naturally plays a major role in there too. And you can go a little broader by knuckling down to Clustering studies or Security.

The courses live at Microsoft's ‘Virtual Academy,’ so there’s no room for throwing things at the teacher, or leaving apples if you’re that way inclined. It’s all online and features a range of self certification modules that – having just completed one myself in record breaking time – should be relatively straight forward for most of you.

To date, 21,000 IT pros have registered for the training. Microsoft reckons it will have more than a million IT pros signed up to MVA this year, so the forums could get quite busy. If you want to play, take a shufti over here. There's the usual mix of whitepapers, webcasts, training vids and access to experts. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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