Practice Questions For Terraform Associate Certification

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As update for this post: 250 practise questions can be found here.

Red Hat RHEL 8.1 released

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Yesterday, Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1. This update brings live Kernel patching to RHEL 8 (and RHEL 7.7). This will bring updates to a running system without needing to reboot it to load the new kernel. Red Hat will bring live patches to Kernels not older than one year.

Other enhancements can be found in Containers. It’s now possible to create custom SELinux rules for containers. A feature I’m very excited about is the option to run containers rootless. Containers running in user space are less vulnerable and need less privileges.

Other enhancements are:

  • Chrony is rebased to version 4.5
  • Tuned has been rebased to version 2.12
  • PHP 7.3, Ruby 2.6 Node.js 12 and Nginx 1.16 are available via AppStream
  • A command-line utility called healthcheck is available for IDM servers.

The complete release notes can be found here.

Certified Terraform Associate

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Last month, HashiCorp announced two certifications. One is for Terraform and the other for Vault. Let’s focus on Terraform, one of the fist and largest Infrastructure as Code (IaC) software providers out there. I am very excited about this method of validating my understanding and experience. For the Terraform exam, there are 9 objectives.

Both exams are Associate level, but since there is no equivalent exam for these products it’s basically the only way to ‘proof’ that you are familiar with the products HashiCorp is offering and many, many companies are using today. For a professional freelancer active in Linux infrastructure Solutions like myself it’s almost a must.

On the website adinermie.com all objectives can be found linking to the content you need to be familiar with. A good way to start learning. The HashiCorp exams will be taken proctored online. Price and availability yet to be announced.

Can’t update xcode after update to Catalina

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After updating my Macbook to the latest OSX version Catalina, the xcode package wasn’t able to update anymore. After spending some time, this solution worked for me:

  1. Remove the xcode package by dragging it from the Applications folder to Trash
  2. In the Terminal, paste these two commands:
    rm -rf ~/Library/Developer
    rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.dt.Xcode
  3. Reboot your machine
  4. Reinstall xcode from the App Store

Red Hat Learning Subscription

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This week I bought a Red Hat Learning Subscription. Training is a very important part for me as freelancer and you need to spend a minimum of 5% in time and budget on this every year. Since I have a long-term assignment, time is a bit of an issue. Yes. Learning needs to take place in the evenings and weekends. But since winter season is coming, it’s okay.

Both mu RHCSA and RHCE certifications are expired since a month or so. I was waiting for the RHEL8 exams to be ready but unfortunately I only had some days between release and expiry date. So I have to pass both again. RHCSA is easy. RHCE a bit more difficult for RHEL8, since Ansible is a big part of the exam. Since I’d already done EX407/Ansible in the past, RHCE shouldn’t be a big problem. But I do need to spend time in the lab in advanced. Red Hat exams are hands-on and setting up a Kerberised NFS share or iSCSI target isn’t daily routine (besides that: NetApp and 3PAR will take care of that).

So, RHCSA (easy), RHCE (more difficult) and EX407/Ansible need to be done again. With 4 more specialist exams I would achieve the Red Hat Certified Architect status. Unfortunately, getting the required training for – let’s say – Satellite or IPA is difficult. The products are licenced and the open source upstream isn’t always usable due to the integration with Red Hat products.

Getting training for a week will costs about 3.000 euro, but since I’m not able to work for that week, it will cost another 3.000 euro on income loss. So yes, a Red Hat learning subscription is expensive, but on the other hand really cheap. For the 7.000 euro you’d get access to all official training material and 5 exams of choice (and 2 retakes in total if needed).

For this year: RHCSA8, RHCE8 and EX407 (Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation). For next year I hope to do: EX403 (Red Hat Certified Specialist in Deployment and Systems Management), EX362 (Red Hat Certified Specialist in Identity Management), EX280 (Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Administration) and EX210 (Red Hat Certified System Administrator in Red Hat OpenStack).