Anyone attained a RHCA and would like to share their exp?

Discussion in 'Other Operating Systems' started by mwil7034, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. mwil7034

    mwil7034 Member

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    Hey Guys,

    Im thinking of attaining my Red Hat Certified Architect certification over the next 18 months.

    I currently hold a valid RHSA and RHCE for RHEL 6 and work with RHEL full time in the finance industry.

    Getting rather sick of the work I do currently and want to branch out a bit. The Cloud and Automation pieces are starting to drain my skillset :(

    Was wondering if anyone else has attained it and would like to share their experiences?
     
  2. wellonchompy

    wellonchompy Member

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    I've done the Directory Services and Virtualisation certs, and I've gone through the coursework for the remaining exams.

    It's been 12 months since I've looked at the material thanks to changing jobs, but I'll probably attempt the Network Services cert next, which should be pretty easy for an experienced sysadmin. After that, I'm aiming for Performance Tuning, which is rather difficult even for longstanding Red Hat employees.

    If I ever get through that, I'll give the Security cert a go, but it's 3 1/2 hour of selinux, and I've seen very skilled guys attempt that exam and fall to pieces.

    Anything in particular you'd like to know?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mwil7034

    mwil7034 Member

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    I was just trying to gauge in particular which exams were the hardest and in what order they should be attempted.

    I use Satellite and openLDAP every day so I was thinking of doing the Deployment and Systems Management before moving to the Directory Services and Authentication course. Thing is I am more interested in the Virtualization course but have little exposure to RHEV :(

    Beyond that I can see a world of pain ahead when it comes to study for the Security exam as I haven't used SELinux in anger to date. Wondering if there was any way to familiarize myself beyond simply running up a VM and doing the tutorials. I can secure basic Apache setups etc but are there any tasks in particular I should be concentrating on?
     
  4. wellonchompy

    wellonchompy Member

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    I'd start with what you know the best, then leave the hardest until last.

    The deployment exam should be pretty easy for anyone with solid experience in rebuilding broken Satellite servers, and configuring every last option available.

    Directory services is as much about LDAP as it is about RH Directory Server itself. Just knowing OpenLDAP isn't enough, you'd have to be comfortable with RHDS or at least 389 server, and the differences between those tools and the OpenLDAP provided ones.

    The virtualisation exam is all about RHEV; it would be rather difficult to have a technology-agnostic exam in the style that Red Hat run. It's also probably significantly changed since RHEV 3.0 came out. I was one of the first in the world to do the original exam on the first official RHEV release, so I'm probably not too qualified to talk about what it's like now.. The infrastructure behind RHEV has been completely replaced with JBOSS now, although configuration and installation is probably easier than it was with the stupid Windows management server. You'd definitely need to run a copy of either RHEV or OVirt to adequately understand the concepts tested in the exam. I hope you've got access to a few KVM-capable servers and a SAN (or at least a box with a big disk shared via iSCSI)!

    The SELinux exam is very hard. I'm reasonably good at troubleshooting SELinux problems, and I'm perfectly capable of creating and modifying policies, but given the complexities around a full system with multiple roles and complex policy requirements, I doubt I could pass the exam yet.

    Most of my SELinux experience has been with webservers, typically the most exposed type of server and therefore benefiting most from SELinux. A RHEL 6 box running the included Apache has a good enough policy straight from the install that a simple context change on the docroot is sufficient for 90% of SELinux users to be safe enough from most threats. Unless you're working on particularly sensitive projects, the skills gained from the SELinux exam are likely to be a little overkill :). Don't let that stop you from doing it, though, there's always a demand for skills like that.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    mwil7034

    mwil7034 Member

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    I'm in a similar position in that I can generally rectify issues with SELinux and get webservers etc secured however its the design and implementation of roles beyond the basics that has me worried as well. I did my CE on RHEL6 so I'm lucky in that I had to learn SELinux in order to just pass it.

    The RHEV stuff regarding a testing env I am sorting as we speak. I'm going to try and run up ovirt or similar over the weekend and start tinkering. I have only used RHEV once previously and didnt get very familiar with it.
     

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