Producing a Red Hat Training Course – Part 1

by Wander Boessenkool (Red Hat)

Producing a Red Hat Training course takes a lot of hard, but also thankful, work. In this series of posts I will explore the workflow that goes into producing a single course.

To satisfy our technical readers we still start this series with a post about the tools we use to produce our output documents, from the slide-decks used by our instructors, through the PDF files sent to our printers to produce the printed version of our Instructor Guides and Student Workbooks, to the HTML content and stylesheets used for our Red Hat Online Learning offering.

Single Source Publishing

All of our course materials are authored in DocBook, an XML dialect designed for producing texts, ranging from a one page article all the way up to a set of multiple books. Using DocBook we can then easily convert a single set of source files describing a book into a wide range of output formats using XSL transforms.

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Migration planning using JBoss Cake

by Emily Brand (Red Hat)

Starting research on how to migrate your applications to JBoss can be an overwhelming process. Taking the migration in small steps will help manage expectations and increase the success of the effort. The major steps for planning include creating a project management office, completing a current state analysis, and creating a diagram specifying how applications interface with each other throughout your organization. With that information in hand you are ready to create a project plan and begin the migration.

Create a Project Management Office (PMO)
Decide which project managers will be the overall leads of the project. If you are missing resources that are capable of project managing, Red Hat Consulting can help augment your PMO and train your project managers for migrations.

The PMO will handle scheduling by creating a project plan. The project plan should originally be a high level document specifying the list of applications and the project start and end date. Managing and mitigating risks is the number one goal of the project manager. The PMO will also be in charge of holding individuals accountable for sticking to the project plan after achieving buy-in as well as coordinating communication throughout all of the necessary parties including infrastructure, database, and application teams.

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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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Taste of Training Preview: EAP6 clustering over TCP

by Will Dinyes (Red Hat)

With the recent release of JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 6, Red Hat is ensuring that developers and administrators alike are getting more for less. More performance, for less memory. More services, with less configuration. And more management tools, with less hassles. In conjunction, the Red Hat Training team has been hard at work integrating more into our JBoss courses. First, we updated our popular JBoss Application Administration I course (JB248). Now we are set to release our updated course JBoss Application Adminisration II (JB348). Available in December, JBoss Application Administration II will bring all of the advanced topics we covered in our similar course for EAP 5, such as clustering, performance tuning, and JBoss Operations Network, and will add even more content specific to EAP 6, covering CLI scripting, messaging providers, and an introduction to OpenShift.

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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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Guest post: My journey to RHCA

The following post was authored by Pete Durst, instructor and director of technology at ExitCertified, a Red Hat Training partner with locations throughout the United States and Canada. Delivering training since 1991, Pete was named Red Hat FY12 architect-level instructor of the year for North America, and recently became a Red Hat Certified Architect, the highest level of certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are Pete’s.

Many years ago, when I first became aware of the different Red Hat certifications, I thought nothing of what it meant to be an RHCT or RHCE. These appeared to be similar to other vendor’s certifications, like Sun’s SCSA and SCNA, and had similar value to me. Upon further investigation, it became apparent that while those certifications were gained through online testing methods that used multiple-choice questions and fill-in-the-blank essays, Red Hat used hands on, practical testing. It’s one thing to say that you know how to do something and it’s another to prove that you know how to use it, by actually setting up a server and making it perform as expected.

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Tips & Tricks: JB348 Application Administration II

by Bruce Wolfe (Red Hat)

Furtureproof Installation

When planning your installation of JBoss EAP 6, you have three choices; ZIP, JAR or RPM. The JAR based installer is, arguably, the best and most flexible option because it will generate an answer file that can be used for silent, repeatable installs; great if you have to install JBoss on multiple servers (e.g. clustering). Using the answer file, repeat the install with:

$ java -jar jboss-eap-installer-<version>.jar <answer_file>.xml

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Keep Calm and Innersource On

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

“Open source is scary!”

“How can something ‘open’ be secure?”

“Won’t using open source in my products mean I have to give away my IP?”

These are all examples from real-world conversations with both external and internal stakeholders during my career as a developer and consultant.  There are many more such examples, which I previously built into a blog titled Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source.  The good news is that with the emergence of Linux, Apache, JBoss and other important open source technologies, we don’t hear these kinds of things as often.  The bad news is, there are still quite a few industries and companies where these fears are the norm.

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