Migration strategy 2.0: Plan a services-focused approach for greatest success

by Thomas Crowe (Red Hat)

As an experienced IT professional, chances are you’ve been involved with a migration of some sort. Whether it’s a simple migration, such as moving static data to another node or a highly complex migration across datacenters, all successful migrations have one thing in common – rock solid planning. Migrations that are attempted without the requisite planning can be fraught with peril, and end up with disastrous consequences

Ultimately, users, our customers, do not really care if a given server is up or down. They care whether they can access a specific application, such as email, a web site, or data. It is the service that users care about, and it is the service in which migration planning needs to be focused.

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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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Video Blog: An introduction to Red Hat Online Learning

by Pete Hnath (Red Hat)

Learning is a continuous process throughout a career. It can be a challenge to get away from the “day job” to attend a week of training. Traditional eLearning is fine for some things, but its not a good fit for IT professionals who expect a robust lab environment and don’t care for Flash animations. Ideally, a self-paced training program would deliver the quality of experience they get from a traditional class, but on their own schedule.

Red Hat Training has just launched a new self-paced training offering called Red Hat Online Learning (ROLE) that we believe does just that. Red Hat Online Learning features a true lab environment delivered via the Amazon cloud, enabling students to complete the same labs they would in a traditional classroom. The course content is based closely on our coursebooks which have been extended into a more narrative format appropriate for self-study. To deliver the insights a student would typically get from the instructor, each Red Hat Online Learning course includes dozens of recorded screencasts, produced by former senior Red Hat instructors. Together, the labs, course materials and screencasts provide a robust, multi-faceted learning experience that is as close to the classroom experience as we could get.

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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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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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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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Guest Post / Martin Elliott: From computer club to computer career

Our partners are typically closer to students than we at Red Hat headquarters are. As such, we like to regularly hear from both of them for insight into training, into the IT industry and into IT professionals. One such training partner, 1Staff Training, is certainly among those with a finger squarely on the pulse of what’s happening in IT education. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, 1Staff Training has been delivering technical training since 1996, educating over 28,000 students and rating consistently as a leader in IT education by the International Data Corporation. 1Staff Training recently spoke with one of its Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) students to get his thoughts about the course and his career, and how both are interrelated.

NOTE: The opinions, statements and other information included in this post are those solely of the interview subject and may not be representative of Red Hat.

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BPM: Utilizing JBoss technologies to increase business performance and agility

by Duncan Doyle

With the growing popularity of cloud environments and cloud-like architectures, the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) paradigm has become increasingly important. Having been the previous big buzzword in IT, the term SOA has often been used as a means to sell software products instead of a term to refer to architectural style. However, in order to benefit most from the new possibilities in virtualization, just-in-time provisioning and on-demand scalability it has become a must for businesses to partition their enterprise logic and functionality into individual components which can independently be deployed in heterogeneous environments.

One of the goals of an SOA is to provide the enterprise with a set of re-usable, readily available business services, and as such reduce cost and provide greater operational agility. The autonomous nature of well-defined services make these components the perfect candidate for deployment in cloud environments. These individual services can then be combined, or composed into business applications which provide the actual business value. The specific compositions of these services in fact defines the actual business process.

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