[lug] RHCA certification advice

Ben Whaley bwhaley at gmail.com
Tue May 13 13:52:31 MDT 2008


For a long time I've been interested in the RHCA certification from Red Hat
(see https://www.redhat.com/certification/rhca/). This is an "advanced"
certification in that it requires completion of 5 hands-on exams spanning
all sorts of sysadmin disciplines - security, system management, clustering
and storage, etc. Unfortunately, I'm running in to a couple of serious

First, there are official Red Hat courses that accompany each exam, but I'm
not willing or able to take 5 weeks away from work to attend courses. I'd
like to study for each test independently, but that isn't working. Unlike
the lower-level RHCE exam, many of the technologies used are not widely
deployed to where one might have experienced them before. For example, I
haven't worked with any Red Hat Directory Server deployments in the past.
There is a dearth of reading material on many of the topics (not directory
server), and in some cases the only thing to go from is the course outline.

Secondly, a lot of the covered material is so slanted towards the enterprise
that it isn't financially feasible to recreate the environment independent
of a classroom. The Red Hat Satellite Server, for example, runs $13,000/yr,
plus $96/yr for each server that updates from it. I find this absurd in a
lot of ways, but what it really means for me is that I simply have no way of
studying for this exam.

I've approached a Red Hat sales person about obtaining study materials
outside of the courses, and about a student or developer version of some of
their more expensive software without getting anywhere. I'd like to ask the
list for thoughts. Does anyone have ideas on how to obtain the study
materials and software needed? Has anyone on the list taken any of the RHCA
exams? Has anyone used Red Hat Satellite server before?

Any advice is welcome. I'm about ready to ditch Red Hat on this issue since
they've been of absolutely no help to someone who's really interested in
learning and promoting their products.

- Ben
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