Checking in with Quint Van Deman, 2011 RHCP of the Year

It has been a little over a year since Quint Van Deman was named 2011’s worldwide Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year. Out of 600 submissions, Van Deman, an RHCA and director of open source consulting at Emergent, stood out with his experience helping clients move from last-generation, proprietary IT infrastructures to next-generation architecture that embraces the synergy of open source, open standards and cloud-based solutions. With the next winner set to be awarded on June 28 at Red Hat Summit in Boston, we wanted to catch up with Quint to hear the story that won the title, what he’s working on now and how his past year has been.

So, what story did you submit to win the award?

What I really wrote about was my journey to becoming an RHCA and how that really benefitted my professional endeavors. The journey to becoming an RHCA really exposes one to the breadth of solutions that are out there in the Red Hat stack, and how those solve organizational challenges. I was very clearly able to take some of those direct lessons and apply them out into my work. Also, how the RHCA really provides what I call the ‘instant badge of credibility’ when I walk in somewhere. A lot of time when you go into an organization as a consultant, there’s a lot of what I call ‘technical chest-bumping,’ where there will be someone in the room whose only objective of the meeting is to prove that they are smarter than you. Having that RHCA up there really defers a lot of that, especially with folks in the room that may have taken a Red Hat exam.

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Transforming Organizational DNA

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Transforming Organizational DNA – sounds like a lofty goal brought down from the ivory towers of an MBA or marketing program, doesn’t it?

While it is a lofty goal, the way companies utilize technology is fundamentally shifting, and savvy organizations realize this transformation is now well under way.  In a recent keynote at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst gave a talk that highlights this trend. He touched on the explosion of computing power, plummeting costs, and the near ubiquity of technology that was simply not available even a few years ago.

In 2012, most IT executives have already seen aspects of what Jim was talking about. There’s no longer any question that Linux and open source provide real enterprise options — these are not only robust and secure, but are viable alternatives to proprietary solutions. Despite this recognition, a recent Sonatype survey found that over half the respondents didn’t have a corporate open source strategy/policy.  Even this far into the ‘Age of Open Source,’ policies to help corporations effectively and strategically consume open source are not the norm.

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Prepare the ground for the cloud

by Malcolm Herbert (Red Hat)

This post originally appeared here on May 30, 2012, in the Guardian.

To make sure your organisation benefits from cloud computing, lay a solid foundation before making grand plans

Cloud computing is ubiquitous in technology conversations. It’s not just a buzzword, but a catalyst to a new wave of thinking. Cloud is still yet to show its full capabilities as the demands on the world’s datacentres continue to rise – open source and virtualisation are spear-heading this movement.

There are many opportunities for organisations to benefit from cloud computing and slot it into their overall IT strategy. However, instead of getting overwhelmed and “eating too many elephants” it’s important to prepare the groundwork for cloud and pace the business by laying a solid foundation.

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Big Data. Big Noise.

by Justin Hayes (Red Hat)

There is a lot of buzz these days around Big Data, and rightfully so. The volume of data produced and the number of sources producing it are growing faster and faster. Similarly, the potential for organizations large and small to harness these data cannot be understated, and should not be overlooked.

There is also a lot of noise when you look closer at the Big Data question, or to get right to the point, when you decide what your organization’s Big Data strategy should be. Here are some things to think about as you navigate the Big Data waters.

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Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Open Source is not only a business model for Red Hat; it’s ingrained into the DNA of the company. Because of this, Red Hatters can generally count on their co-workers understanding both the fundamentals of open source, as well as the ethos and methodologies that go with it. However, within Red Hat Services, the consulting teams often get customer questions around these topics, or hear from employees of our customers who relay things they’ve heard regarding adoption of open source within their enterprise.

So, with apologies to David Letterman, I’d like to share the Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source. While this is meant to be a somewhat humorous look at the topic, I also think it’s an informative way to talk about improving an enterprise’s effective use of open source technologies and methodologies. I’ll break down the list not by rank order, but by three areas that customers typically encounter when dealing with open source: Consumption, Collaboration, and Creation. I’ll also put in a few thoughts about how to address each of these from an improvement perspective.

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What’s new with Red Hat Training courses

by Pete Hnath (Red Hat)

Innovate or die. It’s the essence of what successful companies do, especially in the tech space. At Red Hat, there is ongoing innovation in every dimension of the business, with new products like CloudForms, new infrastructure like the Customer Portal and new metrics like Net Promoter.

The Curriculum team is similarly pushing to innovate with our course offerings and course delivery. In the last year we’ve completely changed the way Red Hat courses are taught to ensure the most hands-on experience possible. Gone are hour long, death-by-slide lectures. Students are actively engaged through multiple teaching approaches and near-continuous labs focused on solving problems rather than tools and technologies. Instructors are now armed with comprehensive guides with best practices on how to teach topics, resulting in across-the-board consistency and a more optimal student learning environment.

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Understanding where you are today: Assessing the current state of your datacenter

by Sean Thompson (Red Hat)

As technology consultants, we’re typically brought in by a customer to help them get somewhere specific they can’t reach on their own because of resources, skills, time or a host of other reasons. One of the things I’m most surprised by during these engagements, however, is how many IT organizations know where they want to go, but they don’t necessarily know where they are, or swear they are somewhere else. The knowledge they have about their infrastructure and what’s going on in their datacenter right now is extremely limited, or at best stale due to a lack of realtime data.

The value of understanding where you are today is immense, and is an important first step in realizing your IT goals and to help you move towards your ideal datacenter. Knowing where you stand and having a clear map of your current environment shines a light on opportunities to become leaner, to improve performance and automation, and to drive efficiency. The benchmarks you’ll create will help you conduct TCO/ROI calculations that actually mean something, so it will be clear how to become more agile, and become more responsive to the business.

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Welcome to Services Speak

by Mike Randall (Red Hat)

When you start a blog there are some questions that must be answered: Who is the blog for? What are we going to write about? Will they care about what we have to say? Does this content exist elsewhere?

Before we share those answers, let’s provide a little context.

Services Speak is a blog on behalf of Red Hat Services, an organization dedicated to developing and implementing Red Hat’s consulting and training initiatives. Combining these two subjects makes it inclusive of quite a few audiences and encompassing countless topics, but in the world of IT, these two groups are tied together by one thing: a common desire for improvement. Just think about it for a second. A professional takes a course or works toward a certification because they want to build their skills and advance their career, or they bring in consultants to optimize the technologies and processes they use.

Improvement increases the chances of success.

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