CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ domain 4: Virtualization and cloud computing — What you need to know for the exam

Greg Belding
June 26, 2022 by
Greg Belding

Virtualization and cloud computing represent the future for help desk and desktop support. It makes sense that virtualization and cloud computing have their own domain of knowledge on the A+ Core 1 certification exam. 

This article will detail domain 4 of the CompTIA A+ Core1 certification exam — virtualization and cloud computing. It will explore the subdomains this domain covers, summarize cloud-computing concepts and summarize aspects of client-side virtualization. This article will also explore what is new with this domain that is changing as much as this side of computing is growing.

Earn your A+ certification, guaranteed!

Earn your A+ certification, guaranteed!

Enroll in a CompTIA A+ Boot Camp and earn one of the most popular entry-level certifications — guaranteed.

Domain 4: virtualization and cloud computing

Domain 4 of the A+ Core1 certification exam covers virtualization and cloud computing. A+ certification candidates must pass a Core 1 and Core 2 certification exam to earn the A+ certification. This is the shortest of all A+ domains of knowledge, accounting for only 11% of the material covered by this certification exam. Below are the domains of knowledge covered by the CompTIA A+ Core 1 certification exam.

  • 1.0 Mobile Devices
  • 2.0 Networking
  • 3.0 Hardware
  • 4.0  Virtualization and Cloud Computing
  • 5.0 Hardware and Network Troubleshooting

What’s new in virtualization and cloud computing domain 4?

While the number of subdomains has not changed from the last A+ exam update to the current version, 220-1101, the content covered by the subdomains has changed. The easiest way to get an idea of what has changed is to look at a side-by-side comparison of the two exams. This will also shed some light on where the focus of this material is moving going forward.

(220-1001) Domain 4

(220-1101) Domain 4

4.1 Compare and contrast cloud computing concepts 4.1 Summarize cloud-computing concepts

4.1.1 Common cloud models 4.1.1 Common cloud models

4.1.2 Shared resources 4.1.2 Cloud characteristics

4.1.3 Rapid elasticity 4.1.3 Desktop virtualization

4.1.4 On-demand

4.1.5 Resource pooling 4.2 Summarize aspects of client-side virtualization

4.1.6 Measured service 4.2.1 Purpose of virtual machines

4.1.7 Metered 4.2.2 Resource requirements

4.1.8 Off-site email applications 4.2.3 Security requirements

4.1.9 Cloud file storage services

4.1.10 Virtual application streaming/cloud-based applications

4.1.11 Virtual desktop

4.2 Given a scenario, set up and configure client-side virtualization

4.2.1 Purpose of virtual machines

4.2.2 Resource requirements

4.2.3 Emulator requirements

4.2.4 Security requirements

4.2.5 Network requirements

4.2.6 Hypervisor

As you can see above, the general trend is toward simplifying and consolidating the material and concepts covered by domain 4 – virtualization and cloud computing. This is because virtualization and cloud computing are becoming more user-friendly as they are adopted more and more worldwide.

Domain 4: Virtualization and cloud computing exam outline

Below is the domain 4: virtualization and cloud computing exam outline. Usually, there is not enough room to present all objectives covered by all subdomains, but this particular domain is so short that the entire outline can be included.

4.1 Summarize cloud-computing concepts

This subdomain explores three concepts. The first, common cloud models, covers private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, community cloud, as well as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). The second concept, cloud characteristics, details shared resources, metered utilization, rapid elasticity, high availability and file synchronization. The last concept, desktop virtualization, takes you through virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) on-premises and VDI in the cloud. 

While 4.1 seems to be a simplified and shortened version of 4.1 from the previous exam update, this perception is deceiving. Desktop virtualization, possibly the most common type of virtualization for the large number of workers who had to work from home due to the Covid19 pandemic, has been expanded significantly and will take more of your focus in this A+ certification exam update.

4.2 Summarize aspects of client-side virtualization

Since the last exam update, subdomain 4.2 has changed even more than 4.1. It has shifted from the configuration of client-side virtualization to an understanding of the various aspects of client-side virtualization.

Three concepts of information are covered by this subdomain. The first, purpose of virtual machines, explores sandbox, test development, and application virtualization (such as legacy software/OS and cross-platform virtualization). 

4.2 also covers resource requirements and security requirements for client-side virtualization. This overall simplification of subdomain 4.2 is moving away from specific client-side configuration and customization because the cloud, and virtualization in general, are becoming more of a one-size-fits-all solution.

Earn your A+ certification, guaranteed!

Earn your A+ certification, guaranteed!

Enroll in a CompTIA A+ Boot Camp and earn one of the most popular entry-level certifications — guaranteed.


Anyone who has worked in helpdesk support, desktop support, or IT, in general, knows the importance of virtualization and cloud computing in the professional world. This technology has taken over a lot of the proverbial heavy lifting for business and will only grow in importance as time goes on. The good thing is that this information is also being simplified, making it more user-friendly to understand and ultimately use. 

Are you interested in learning more about domain 4 of the A+ Core 1 certification exam or the other domains the exam covers? Learn more about all of this material and A+ careers on Infosec’s CompTIA+ hub


Greg Belding
Greg Belding

Greg is a Veteran IT Professional working in the Healthcare field. He enjoys Information Security, creating Information Defensive Strategy, and writing – both as a Cybersecurity Blogger as well as for fun.