Case Study: Inside Rackspace’s ‘Fanatical Support’

by Gordon Tillmore (Red Hat)

Often times we are excited to see our certifications ranked highly by analysts or in salary surveys. While this is certainly nice validation, nothing is more exciting than hearing positive feedback directly from our customers. Especially when a customer is running tens of thousands of Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers, and relies on thousands of Red Hat Certified Professionals to both optimize their own environment while also ensuring that their customers maximize their success.

Rackspace, a leading provider of enterprise-class IT hosting, is the perfect example. With more than 150,000 customers—large and small—and nearly 4,000 Linux professionals, Rackspace prides itself on providing “Fanatical Support” to its customer base. And from the start, Rackspace recognized that a business model built upon unparalleled support needed the skills and accreditation to back their “fanatical” claims.

Continue reading “Case Study: Inside Rackspace’s ‘Fanatical Support’”

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.

Continue reading “Understanding where you are today: Assessing the current state of your datacenter”

Tuning Your System With Tuned

by Wander Boessenkool (Red Hat)

Tuning systems can be a time consuming art. Not only does it involve extensive profiling of your systems, as well as continuous monitoring, but keeping tuning setting applied continuously can be quite a chore as well. Especially if the tuning needs of your systems change throughout the day.

Imagine a database system that is used to process orders from customers. In this specific system orders come in in bulk between 08:00 and 18:00, but the other 14 hours in a day and during the weekends the machine is mostly idling. We could tune this system for power efficiency, so as not to waste to much energy during the 118 hours a week it is doing almost nothing, or we could tune it for peak performance during the 50 hours a week the system is heavily utilized.

With a traditional setup switching between those two extremes would be either very cumbersome, with an administrator having to make those changes by hand, or it would require extensive scripting and testing to automate.

Continue reading “Tuning Your System With Tuned”

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.

Continue reading “Welcome to Services Speak”