Posts tagged Red Hat

Red Hat Learning Subscription


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).

Red Hat renames certificates


Effective since december 1, 2017, Red Hat will rename all Certificate of Expertise certifications to Red Hat Certified Specialist. Some titles will be renamed to. For instance: Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Platform-as-a-Service will be Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Administration and ed Hat Certificate of Expertise in Hybrid Cloud Storage will become Red Hat Certified Specialist in Gluster Storage Administration. Red Hat announce it will come with a seperate certification for CEPH soon.

More information can be read on the Red Hat website.

Red Hat Certificate of Expertise training towards RHCA


If you want to pass one of the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise exams without thousands of dollars on the official Red Hat training (and not able to work for a week which will cost you another thousand dollars) then let me introduce the Linux Academy. They provide online courses for these Red Hat CoE exams, were 5 are needed to achieve Red Hat’s highest level of certification: Red Hat Certified Architect.

  • Certificate of Expertise in Ansible Automation
  • Certificate of Expertise in Server Hardening
  • Certificate of Expertise in Containerized Application Development
  • Certificate of Expertise in Platform-as-a-Service (soon)
  • Certificate of Expertise in Configuration Management (soon)
  • Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator in OpenStack
  • Red Hat Certified Systems Engineer in OpenStack

Pricing is around $230 yearly which is very reasonable. You can get a 7-days trial directly but I hate ‘trials’ where it’s mandatory to provide payment details. However: you can get a free 60-day access voucher at Microsoft Visual Studio Dev Essentials. And as a bonus you’ll get a discount when subscribing afterwards. You don’t have access to the provided cloud servers and Hands on Labs in the trial but if gives you access to the training material and video’s so you’ll see the $199/year is absolutely worth it!

And if you want to thank Microsoft, consider becoming MCSA in Linux. Yes. It does exist. Microsoft loves Linux.

Fedora 26 released


The Fedora Project, sponsored by Red Hat, releases version 26 of their operating system. In the past I was an active desktop user. The OS offers latest-and-greatest with 6-months release cycle and 18 months life-cycle. More important: Fedora releases are the base of Red Hat Enterprise LInux releases, which are the base of CentOS releases. And that’s why I mention this Fedora release in particular. Since Red Hat is busy releasing v7.4 of her Enterprise Linux, I guess engineers are also looking at the horizon to work on RHEL 8.0. I’m not the only one with this view. Fedora 26 could be the foundation of this OS. So let’s compare RHEL 7 with Fedora 26.

So what’s new in Fedora 26 compared to RHEL7:

  • Yum is gone. Welcome DNF. In Fedora 26, DNF is rebased to v2.x;
  • Anaconda had a new partitioner tool, including support for this provisioned LVM;
  • Python is v3.6 by default. So all scripts are rebased from v2.x to v3.x;
  • The old GCC6 compiler is gone. Welcome GCC7;
  • Better (local) caching of users and groups using SSSD. A must for enterprises;
  • OpenSSL 1.1.0. Which is required to support HTTP/2 (ALPN support);

So yes. I’m definitely going to test-drive Fedora 26 and gain hands-on experience with some features like DNF and HTTP/2 which is much, much faster for SSL-secured websites, which is more common these days due to the Let’s Encrypt initiative.

If Fedora 26 will be the base for RHEL 8… I’m not sure. One of the open issues for a new Enterprise-graded Linux is Long Term Support. And the file-system is changing every RHEL-version. Was it ext3 in RHEL5, it became ext4 in RHEL6, which became xfs in RHEL7. Many out there hope that ZFS will come to Linux but licensing does not allow binaries to be distributed. Btrfs is a good alternative candidate, in particular the checksumming function which is missing in XFS but Red Hat is deprecating btrfs in RHEL7.4. A good candidate would be bcachefs. Tools for this storage type will be made available in Fedora 28, released mid 2018.

RHEL 7.3 released


Last week, Red Hat released version 7.3 of her Enterprise Linux. CentOS builds will follow soon. There are a number of features introduced as Technology Preview. The complete release notes can be found on the Red Hat website.


  • The SELinux userspace has been rebased and provides various enhancements and performance improvements. Notably, the new SELinux module store supports priorities, and the SELinux Common Intermediate Language (CIL) has been introduced.
  • OpenSCAP workbench now provides a new SCAP Security Guide integration dialog and enables modification of SCAP policies using a graphical tool.
  • The OpenSCAP suite now includes support for scanning containers using the atomic scan command.
  • Upgraded firewalld starts and restarts significantly faster due to a new transaction model. It also provides improved management of connections, interfaces, and sources, a new default logging option, and ipset support.
  • The audit daemon introduces a new flush technique, which significantly improves performance. Audit policy, configuration, and logging have been enhanced and now support a number of new options.
  • Media Access Control Security (MACsec) encryption over Ethernet is now supported.


Getting ready for RHCSA and RHCE


rhce_logoI’m busy with the training and certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Many things changed in the new release of Red Hat Linux. IPtables is replaced by Firewalld, UPstart is replaced by systemd and the ext4 file-system by xfs. The problem: good documentation isn’t available in books. However, online there are tons of documentation. One of my favorites:

This website doesn’t only include documentation but also daily lab-exercises that are mandatory to pass the RHCSA or RHCE exams since these are hands on instead of multiple choice questions. Sorry braindump fellows out there. These will not help you. Hands on experience is mandatory in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. Without this, you won’t pass the exams.

My RHCSA exam is planned for August. RHCE will follow later. There were no options to take the exam earlier in the Netherlands due to the holiday season.

Update: another website to help you:
Update: Passed RHCSA on 12/aug/2016. Next: RHCE (but time…).

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