Guest Post: My time as Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year

by Sean Millichamp

Sean Millichamp was crowned worldwide Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year in June 2012 at Red Hat Summit. With Rafael Guimaraes officially set to be the next recipient of the award at next week’s Summit event in Boston, Sean offers us a look back at his past 12 months since winning the esteemed title.

It’s been a little over a year now since Red Hat selected me as the 2012 Worldwide Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year and what a year it has been! The whole experience was (and continues to be) amazing.

Initially, I didn’t tell too many people when Red Hat notified me that I had won. As with any contest there is some requisite legal paperwork (permission to use your name, etc.) that has to be cleared and so I only told my family, my boss, and a couple of other co-workers who knew I had submitted an entry, but that didn’t last long. The news passed quickly from my boss, to the company VP, to the CEO and then to the entire executive and sales teams. I still had not announced it to my surrounding coworkers but when a fairly continuous stream of people began walking up to me to shake my hand I found myself repeatedly explaining to those around me why I was being congratulated and what the award was – all the while caught somewhere between my more typically modest self and extreme bubbling pride.

In fact, I think my employer, Secure-24, was every bit as excited about this award as I was. If this seems unusual you need only to understand our business. We are a managed hosting company: IT is our business. The majority of our employees are either technical or work to directly support technical resources. So, when a senior engineer on one of their main product platforms wins a top award with a key partner – it was a sales/marketing dream come true. Our marketing team even issued a press release about it!

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My thoughts on open source

by Bruno Lima

Long an acquaintance and ally of government institutions, open source is no longer considered rocket science by the enterprise.

Companies find open source attractive because they’re not tied to one vendor, can make improvements in the system at any time and realize cost savings, all helping boost market penetration. And, of course, there’s the benefit of communities continuously improving the products.

In the outside world, governments are strong sponsors of this type of initiative, especially in Brazil, where the use of free and open source software is encouraged to make the market more democratic. And, of course, the market has become increasingly more open to open source. While there were once concerns about the reliability, security, and functionality, those fears are all gone. Red Hat has made it possible to combine the benefits of these technologies with the necessary support for mission-critical environments, developing platforms and the specific demands organizations face.

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Building the intelligent enterprise: easy and inexpensive?

by Alan Hale (Red Hat)

The following article originally appeared here in the UK and here in Germany.

Who could have predicted the impact on mainstream businesses of data coming in via social media and mobile technology, the escalating importance of trends such as ‘big data’ or the move towards cloud computing that is now gathering momentum?

The sources of data coming into the enterprise IT infrastructure are proliferating, with new channels and touch-points constantly emerging at an unprecedented rate. Clearly, in an uncertain world, flexibility is a critical component of any business IT strategy.

With today’s customers choosing to interact through multiple channels, businesses are wasting time and budget ‘hand-carrying’ information from application to application, frequently without adding value at best and introducing human error at worst.

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Introducing the Red Hat Innovation Center

by Justin Hayes (Red Hat)

Like many organizations, Red Hat Consulting constantly seeks ways to eliminate organizational inefficiencies in our business operations. These inefficiencies typically deal with how our consultants are trained on cutting edge technologies, how our sales force demonstrates product capabilities to our customers and prospects, and how our technical groups request operational environments (virtual machines, platforms, etc.)

To attack this problem, a team of architects and consultants set out to design, implement, and operationalize a system that will reduce these inefficiencies. This system is called the Red Hat Innovation Center (RHIC). Its vision is twofold:

1. To demonstrate Red Hat products’ features and capabilities through a solutions-oriented approach based on real world use cases.
2. To enable our consultants to quickly and efficiently learn our technologies by lowering the barriers to entry to internal training.

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Getting Your Company In Open Source Shape

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

The holiday decorations are now (hopefully) put away, and fond memories of merriment from the past month or so are behind us.  All that remains now is the time-honored tradition of the New Year’s Resolution. This should not surprise most of you, but the perennial favorite is usually a combination of ‘lose weight, eat healthier, get in better shape.’  Pondering my own resolutions to continue on a healthier path got me thinking about what it means to get your company in ‘Open Source Shape.’

There are many parallels to successfully getting yourself in better physical shape and getting your company started on the right foot to more successful and productive use of open source.  Let’s take a look at a few of these examples below,  pulling some lessons from the exercise world that you can apply in your enterprise.

Running shoes

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Five top tips for the journey to cloud

by Malcolm Herbert (Red Hat)

The post below originally appeared here on November 22, 2012.

A comparison between enterprise IT and public cloud computing dramatically highlights the benefits of moving to cloud.

Application deployment times can shrink from weeks in the traditional data centre to minutes in a cloud data centre; new application development time accelerates from years to weeks (or months at most); cost per virtual machine plummets from dollars to cents; server administrator ratios can explode from 20:1 to 300:1; while efficiency increases, with resource utilisation soaring from 20% to 75%.

With measurable benefits like these, it’s no wonder that IDC expects that by 2015 the majority of the enterprise market will require integrated hybrid cloud management capabilities (Source: IDC Cloud Management Study, 2011 Survey).

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Business value of open source software

by Satish Irrinki (Red Hat)

It’s a truism that adopting open source software (OSS) reduces costs, but that’s not all. Let’s make a deeper dive into the business value of adopting OSS and uncover how the adoption provides immense value at multiple levels of an organization. The value proposition for OSS can be attributed to three groups within an organization – Technical Buyers, Business Buyers, and Economic Buyers.

Technical Buyers
Technical buyers can be best described as the line managers who are operating under stringent budgets to do more with fewer resources. As a result they aim to reduce costs and increase efficiencies within their operating units. In a bid to increase their resources utilizations, the technical buyers seek to increase reliability and flexibility in their operations. To achieve these goals they use systems that are reliable, adhere to standard specifications, and low in cost.

The high level of collaboration and contribution within the OSS development model accelerates the number of features that typical open source software provides. Availability of source code allows the adopters to make custom changes and tailor the software for specific needs. The ability to reuse software components across the organization (develop once and use within multiple systems) reduces the unit cost of development. These virtues of OSS mesh well with the goals of technical buyers and make OSS a viable option when making technology decisions.

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The evolution of operational efficiency

by Larry Spangler (Red Hat)

Lately, I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of buzz about “operational efficiency.” As some see it, Operational Efficiency is basically the idea of doing more with less–if you can define and follow processes you can achieve repeatable outcomes with reduced error. Automate that, and you have a means to extend the reach of the individual IT operator while decreasing the effort and time required to build systems. It’s a straightforward value proposition that Red Hat has been touting and delivering for years with standardized operating environments (SOEs) and management tools like Red Hat Network Satellite and JBoss Operations Network.

But there’s evolution afoot here from the classic “operational” sense to one that is more expansive and higher purposed. The basics of SOE and management tools are now being used not only to define and develop repeatable infrastructure, they’re being leveraged with other tools like virtualization, IaaS, and PaaS to deliver on-demand capabilities. The key being that the focus is shifting from how to get the most out of your resource investment, to how to effectively and efficiently instantiate, use, and release systems for true on-demand capabilities.

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