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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A new way to take Red Hat exams

At Red Hat, we are continually seeking new ways to provide customers and developers who are interested in becoming Red Hat certified with new, more flexible ways to take exams. To that end, Red Hat Training is proud to announce an innovative new exam delivery method that provides candidates with greater convenience. Individual Exam Sessions, alternatives to the traditional classroom environment, are now available through personal testing stations and allow customers more choice in taking and scheduling many of Red Hat’s most popular exams. Watch the video to learn more, or visit www.redhat.com/individualexam

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Tip/Trick of the Month: Using Highly Available Clusters with Red Hat Messaging

by Bruce Wolfe (Red Hat)

Red Hat Messaging (RHM) is built on top of the AMQP wire-level protocol, and is designed to be inherently reliable. However, if you have the resources, you can make your messaging application more robust with the addition of High Availability (HA) Clustering.

To set up a simple cluster you will need to edit three files, and populate the same values across each RHM broker and/or RHEL host instance:

/etc/corosync/corosync.conf

In the totem section add the network bind address (bindnetaddr), multicast address (mcastaddr), and multicast port (mcastport). For example, respectively: 192.168.10.0, 224.0.0.10, 5430

/etc/corosync/uidgid.d/qpidd

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An interview with Red Hat Training’s partner of the quarter

Based outside of Washington, DC, Spectrum Training Brokers is a centralized agent offering a single channel for purchasing computer and business skills training from hundreds of vendors nationwide. As an authorized training supplier of Red Hat, Spectrum has been offering Red Hat Training for over 6 years. Named Red Hat’s Training Partner of the Quarter for Red Hat’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2012 (December 2011 through February 2012), Spectrum had the highest sales and training bookings of any other North American Ready training partner. We recently chatted with Spectrum’s Nat Emery to get his thoughts about today’s training landscape today and where it may be headed tomorrow.

NOTE: The opinions, statements and other information included in this interview/blog are those of the author, and she/he is solely responsible for its content.

Who is getting trained these days?

The majority of my (personal) sector is government related. With the government mandating certifications for a lot of their contractors, that sector – federal contractors, federal government – is really making the investment and spending money on training. That’s not to say private industry is not doing it. To me, the federal sector are the ones driving the need where professionals must have to maintain those levels of certifications to stay in those contracts, and are putting a lot more emphasis on training.

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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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Tip/Trick of the Month: Monitoring Drift Compliance with JON

by Rich Raposa (Red Hat)

Drift is the unplanned or unintended changes that occur on a resource’s configuration. System administrators need the ability to track drift in their data centers to improve availability and reliability of their platforms, servers and applications.

Drift monitoring is a new feature in the latest version of the JBoss Operations Network 3.0 (JON). You can define a drift detection definition on the Drift page of a resource. Click the New button, assign your drift definition a name, a base directory, then select the files and/or folders to be monitored for drift. Wait a few minutes and JON will take the initial snapshot (snapshot 0) of your monitored files. Each time drift is detected, JON takes a new snapshot of the monitored files. Each snapshot has a number, and snapshots can be viewed in an intuitive, new view known as the snapshot carousel by double-clicking on the drift definition from the Drift page of the resource.

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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.

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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.

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