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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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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How to convert a JBoss Developer Studio web project to a Maven project (JB225)

by Jim Rigsbee (Red Hat)

In this article, we will convert a web project generated by the JBoss Developer Studio CDI Web Project wizard to a Maven project. Doing so will give you the power of the Maven build system with its dependency management, build life cycles, and automated JEE packaging abilities. Follow these steps:

a. Right click on the project name in the Project Explorer tree and select Configure → Convert to Maven Project… In the wizard steps be sure to select WAR packaging.

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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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Cloud Sniff Test: Cutting through the jargon

by David Kang (Red Hat)

Cloud is not software, cloud is not hardware, cloud is not virtualization, and cloud is certainly not a panacea for broken IT. Cloud is an architecture: a set of fundamental tenets that have different implications at different levels of IT, from network, to hardware, to applications, and to the IT process itself. To say you have a cloud is to say that you have a cohesive architecture, technology set, and most importantly processes, that work towards a defined goal under a set of well-understood principals. Building your cloud is as much about defining your goals and governing principals as it is about investing in technology.

Building your cloud and consuming cloud services
Step one is defining your governing principals. This is a crucial step before embarking on your cloud journey as the policies and principals you define will help you navigate your journey through the rapidly expanding cloud ecosystem. This is also an opportunity to ask tough questions and examine what your principals and processes are, and why you have them. Process is ultimately about managing risk, so consider what risks are acceptable under your governance policies and weigh them against the potential benefits cloud can offer. Both Facebook and Google have adopted “deploy to production” models that seem to fly in the face of process conventions such as ITIL or RUP, yet somehow they seem to survive. The penalty for not doing this exercise is ballooning adoption costs, or failed rollouts all together.

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Using Activation keys in CloudForms System Engine

by Forrest Taylor (Red Hat)

Corresponding Curriculum: Content is extracted from the all-new Deploying Systems in Cloud Environments (CL260) course

Activation keys automate client repo subscriptions when registering to Red Hat CloudForms System Engine. Activation keys can define subscriptions and the default environment for a system. To manage activation keys, log in to System Engine and hover over the “Systems” tab, and choose the “Activation Key” sub-tab. Click the “+ New Key” link and enter the name and environment, then click the “Save” button.

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Updates to the Red Hat Enterprise Clustering and Storage Management course

by Wander Boessenkool (Red Hat)

With the release of the updated Red Hat Enterprise Clustering and Storage Management Course (RH436) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 a couple of new subjects have been introduced, while others have been updated to reflect the changes in the Red Hat High-Availability Add-On moving from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

One of the most noticeable new subjects in this updated course is the inclusion of an introduction to highly available, distributed, scalable storage using Red Hat Storage Server. Other updates include the use of multipathed storage throughout the course, as well as coverage of the XFS® file system.

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