Red Hat Announces New Red Hat Certified Architect Concentrations

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced it is enhancing its Red Hat Certification program with the addition of three new Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) concentrations. The concentrations are focused on the company’s datacenter, cloud, and application platforms and are designed to help personnel on their journey to becoming a RHCA – the highest level of certification offered by Red Hat.

Today, enterprise architecture includes traditional datacenters, hybrid clouds, and other solutions. The new RHCA concentrations are tracks, recommended by Red Hat, that are designed to prove and verify technical professionals’ skills and knowledge on Red Hat solutions for each of these solutions.

To earn the title of RHCA, one must attain Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) status and acquire at least five of the eligible certifications, each of which cover different product and solution areas. Participants select the concentration they wish to focus on.

The Datacenter concentration includes:

  • Securing Red Hat systems against unauthorized access
  • Enhancing logging, auditing, and identity management capabilities
  • Deploying and managing virtualization infrastructure, hosts, and guests
  • Implementing high availability services on Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Using the on-premise capabilities of Red Hat Storage Server
  • Deploying applications using Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP)
  • Managing multiple systems using Red Hat Satellite

The Cloud concentration includes:

  • Creating, configuring, and managing private clouds using Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
  • Managing virtual, private, and hybrid cloud infrastructures with Red Hat CloudForms
  • Creating, configuring, and managing a cloud application platform with OpenShift Enterprise by Red Hat
  • Implementing flexible storage solutions for on-premise and hybrid clouds
  • Managing multiple systems using Red Hat Satellite

The Application platform concentration includes:

  • Installing, configuring, and managing Red Hat JBoss EAP and the applications running on it
  • Creating, configuring, and managing a cloud application platform with OpenShift Enterprise
  • Federating data from multiple source using Red Hat JBoss Data Virtualization
  • Managing applications in hybrid cloud environments

The Red Hat certification program also offers a portal that provides online verification, the ability to search for certified individuals, and other services. Prospective employers and clients can use the portal to verify an individual’s credentials and find qualified professionals who can help them get the most out of their IT infrastructure. Only certifications and certificates that are considered current are reported, verified, or found through a search. Red Hat Certified Professionals must agree to Terms and Conditions and map their certification IDs to have their information displayed.

A Red Hat certification provides validation of knowledge and expertise that is beneficial to both individuals and their employers. The certification program gives employers and managers ways to find and develop qualified professionals. It also helps individuals prove their skills with Red Hat’s solutions.

Certifications Server Virtualization

Free Training: VMware vSphere 5.1: What’s New Course

This training course explores new features in VMware vCenter Server™ 5.1 and VMware ESXi™ 5.1.

By the end of the course, you should gain an understanding and should be able to implement the following new functions and features of VMware vSphere® 5.1:

  • Compute and Storage
    • Support for hardware version 9, the latest CPU performance counters and virtual shared graphics acceleration designed for enhanced performance.
    • For better space efficiency vSphere supports storage space reclamation for VDI.
  • Network
    • Support for VXLAN
    • Enhanced vSphere Distributed Switch™ that supports:
    • Network health check
    • Backup and restore
    • Rollback and recovery
    • Link Aggregation Control Protocol support
    • Single-root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV)
  • Availability
    • VMware vSphere vMotion® without the need for shared storage configurations.
    • VMware vSphere Data Protection for simple and cost effective backup and recovery,
    • vSphere Replication enables efficient array-agnostic replication of virtual machine data over the LAN or WAN.
  • Security: Inclusion VMware vShield Endpoint™ to eliminate the agent footprint from the virtual machines, offload intelligence to a security virtual appliance, and run scans with minimal impact.
  • Automation: Two new methods for deploying new vSphere hosts to an environment make the Auto Deploy™ process more highly available than ever before.
  • VMware vCenter Enhancements:
    • vSphere Web Client
    • vCenter Single Sign-On
    • VSA enhancements
    • Support for Additional Disk Drives
    • Increase Storage Capacity Online
    • vCenter running on the VSA Cluster

Prerequisites: Attendance at one of these VMware vSphere 5.0 courses:

  • Install, Configure, Manage
  • Fast Track
  • What’s New
  • Or equivalent vSphere 5.0 administration experience
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Blog & Tutorials Server Virtualization

VMware VCP 510/VCAP Exam Voucher Coupon Code

If you are planning to take the VCP certification exam before December 31st, 2012, You can use the below voucher coupon codes to get 25% discount on the exam registration fee.

The voucher can be used any number of times.

1)      VMware Certified Associate (VCA) / VMware Certified Professional (VCP) Exams Voucher Number:*

Code no longer available (updated 8/27/2012)

2)      VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) Exams Voucher Number:**

Code no longer available (updated 8/27/2012)

* Exams available for discount using the above VCA/VCP voucher number are:

  • VMware Certified Associate — Desktop (VCA410-DT)
  • VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 (VCP410)
  • VMware Certified Professional 4 — Desktop (VCP410-DT)
  • VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 (VCP510)
  • VMware Certified Professional 5 — Desktop (VCP510-DT)

** Exams available for discount using the above VCAP voucher number are:

  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional vSphere 4 Datacenter Administration (VDCA410)
  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 — Datacenter Administrator (VDCA511)
  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional 4 — Datacenter Design Exam (VDCD410)
  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 — Datacenter Design Exam (VDCD510)

Thanks to Anil over at Google Groups for sharing!

Server Virtualization

Red Hat and IBM Achieve Top Security Certification for KVM Hypervisor

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with the KVM hypervisor on IBM Systems has been awarded Common Criteria Certification at Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+). The Common Criteria is an internationally recognized set of standards used by the federal government and other organizations to assess the security and assurance of technology products. This security certification is the first of its kind for an open source virtualization solution.

With this new certification, the KVM hypervisor on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and IBM x86 servers now meets government security standards allowing open virtualization to be used in homeland security projects, command-and-control operations, and throughout government agencies that previously were limited to proprietary virtualization technologies. This security certification paves the way for governments, financial institutions and other security-conscious agencies to create secure, open virtualized IT environments and private clouds.

Open virtualization offers organizations, including government agencies and financial businesses, the opportunity to reduce costs and increase choice with the enterprise-grade KVM hypervisor.

“This certification highlights the combined power of SELinux and KVM and we expect it to pave the way for broader adoption of private cloud computing infrastructure in government agencies,” said Paul Smith, general manager and vice president, public sector operations, Red Hat. “SELinux addresses common government agency concerns about implementing virtualization because it provides for virtual resources to run in separate containers and protect each one individually in case of intrusion.”

“Security is critically important to all our clients as they share workloads and data through virtualization and in the cloud – and especially so to our government and financial customers around the world”, said Jean Staten Healy, director of Linux, IBM. “Today’s announcement confirms that open virtualization and KVM are ready for business and are able to offer high levels of security certification on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and IBM Systems.”

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 features Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), a joint project developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Red Hat. This Common Criteria certification allows producers to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with the KVM hypervisor with confidence as they host many tenants on the same machine, knowing that their virtual guests will be separated from each other using Mandatory Access Control technology developed by the NSA.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the KVM hypervisor on IBM Systems was certified by BSI, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security. To facilitate this certification, Red Hat and IBM worked with atsec information security, a U.S. government and BSI accredited laboratory, which tested and validated the security, performance and reliability of the solution against the Common Criteria Standard for Information Security Evaluation (ISO/IEC 15408) at EAL4+.

The certification of KVM and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 applies to IBM System x, BladeCenter and iDataPlex servers.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 with the KVM hypervisor is officially “In Evaluation” for Common Criteria certification at EAL4+.

Cloud Computing

Dell PartnerDirect Introduces Cloud Services & Solutions Certification

Dell announced today a Cloud Services & Solutions Certification for PartnerDirect channel partners that will enable them to provide cloud services & solutions to customers based on both Dell technology and their own technology services.

Today, many organizations are living with complex, overgrown computing platforms that are underutilized, take up valuable data center floor space, consume large amounts of power and cooling resources, and are not easy to manage.

“Organizations, of all sizes, are looking to implement cloud computing solutions to align efficiency and deliver business results. We have created a certification practice area with choice and flexibility that will solidify partners’ value to the end customer. We invested the time and resources to fully understand the cloud solutions our partners need to provide in the market,” said Bob Skelley, executive director, Dell Global Certified Partner Program & Channel.

This new certification, available now in North America, in Europe 12 April and soon worldwide, is the result of many months of thoughtful collaboration with Dell’s partners and industry analysts to ensure it met the needs of many different types of cloud computing offerings, without over complication.

“Dell has continued to listen to us over the course of our partnership and the creation of this certification program. They took the time to understand our concerns as a global cloud provider and find a way to go to market together that strengthens both of our businesses and adds value to our customers,” said Dante Orsini, vice president business development, iland.

“Dell is also making it easy for partners to demonstrate their infrastructure-related skills by accepting their membership in channel programs of recognized vendors in technology areas of security, networking and virtualization,” said Anurag Agrawal, CEO, Techaisle.

Recent research by Dell Cloud Business Applications and Techaisle* showed that customers are looking for a trusted IT partner who has evaluated the right cloud applications for their businesses. Dell understands that sometimes that partner might be a value added reseller, and therefore has created this new certification.

“As a company that provides multiple cloud computing solutions, including Cloud Continuity, Replication, Secure Archive, and Backup, with Dell technology, we’re happy to see Dell recognizing that their channel partner needs vary. Dell has created multiple pillars to meet those needs that strategically align with our own cloud service offerings, enabling us to provide greater value to our customers and prospects alike,” said David Menendes, director of Business Development & Sales, Cloud and Hosted Services, VeriStor Systems, Inc.

The Cloud Services & Solutions Certification is comprised of three primary pillars in providing cloud services and solutions:

  • Cloud Builder – The Partner that operates as a Cloud Builder will offer all the necessary services to design and develop a cloud infrastructure for their customers.
  • Cloud Provider – A Cloud Provider will operate a cloud networking operating center (NOC) enabled with Dell technology to provide cloud services to their customers. These include: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS).
  • Cloud Service Enabler – A Cloud Service Enabler acts as an aggregator or broker identifying, securing and integrating the appropriate set of cloud technologies and services from multiple sources and operates the resulting cloud for their customers through a set of managed services.

In addition to receiving Certified (Preferred or Premier) Partner level pricing and existing Preferred or Premier Partner benefits, partners who provide or wish to provide cloud services and solutions to their customers will receive additional benefits such as:

  • Preferred access to Dell’s current and future cloud services and solution offers
  • Attractive financing options to provide alternative acquisition options
  • Participation in cloud-focused marketing campaigns and access to co-Marketing funds
  • Partner-to-Partner Eco-System: Representation as a Certified Cloud Services & Solutions provider in the Find-A-Partner tool
  • Engagement by Dell account teams for co-selling/joint opportunities through the Find-A-Partner tool
Blog & Tutorials

Passed VCP4 and VCP5 Exams, Study Tips and Thoughts

What a month this has been so far… 3 exams, 2 passed! Yes, I passed both VCP4 and VCP5 exams in span of about last 11 days. I took training back in August 2010 in order to take the VCP4 exam, I’ve blogged about that experience here. The training is required for the exam but in my opinion, it does not prepare you for the exam well enough. The exam is designed to test how well you can avoid being tricked as there are many tricky questions (I hope, I am not breaking any NDA with that statement). I tried for the VCP4 exam in 2010 and 2011 but did not make it for number of reasons. I didn’t take the exam seriously, moreover, due to work, family and other projects, I could not devote more time to studying and frankly did not read majority of the vSphere 4 documentation.

Fast Forward to January 2012 and Vmware announced deadline for VCP4 and that you must RETAKE training course in order to take the VCP5 exam. That was UNACCEPTABLE. Frankly, in my opinion, Vmware announced the date prematurely but it doesn’t matter now that I’ve cleared both exams. So, I made it a mission to go through the official documents for VCP4 and read the Mastering vSphere 4 book by Scott Lowe, again! I gave the exam early February but failed… I guess, I missed a couple of questions as score was close. I went back to studying and gave the test again and this time I was successful. That was such a confidence booster that I scheduled the VCP5 exam 8 days after the VCP4 and I am glad I passed it the first time. I guess taking a beating and failing an exam a couple of times makes you good at stuff you are suppose to know for the exam?

Tips for passing

  • Study the Official VMware Manuals documents
    Now that VCP4 is gone, VCP5 documentation is much better and organized (it could be better though) so just go through each one of those a couple of times and there is no way you can fail (provided that you remember important details from those documents).
  • Pay attention to the “Note: or bullets” in the official documents. That stuff is important. I like to write stuff down on paper if I feel its important, helps me remember otherwise its hard to recall.
  • I have a great virtualization lab at home and I used it every step of the way! I retired my existing lab servers and got a couple of great Dell PowerEdge 1950 IIIs. I will write more about that later this week or next. In addition to home lab, I work with this stuff at work as well so that is always helpful with some real world scenarios but every environment has its own real world as compared to the real world that Vmware imagines in the exam. 🙂
  • I bought the Mastering vSphere 4 and Mastering vSphere 5 books by Scott Lowe. GREAT Books. Go through them at least ONCE ( i read the version 4 twice and 5 just once). Scott provides a lot of ideas and information so even if you fail (hope not) you still get away with great info and ideas.
  • Another book which I thought was very useful but extremely technical was the VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS Technical deepdive by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman – Its a good book if you feel like knowing how HA and DRS work from a very technical point of view. I have and read that as well, just once though.
  • I used Simon Long’s notes/practice exam as well as Forbes Guthrie’s notes on vsphere 4 and vsphere 5. Thanks guys!
  • I am not a big fan of video based training, it doesn’t help me but if you are then David Davis/TrainSignal make some good training videos on Vmware vSphere products. I must have watched whatever they have available for free thats about it.
  • The Vmware mock exam is helpful for some but I think its a joke. If you want to spend hour or so thats okay but I wouldn’t waste too much time on it. The mock exam doesn’t have questions as close to the real exam as possible, the answer explanation are poor or non existent.. its just poor over all.
  • READ each question on the exam a couple of times before answering it. It becomes must clearer. If there is time, try to break it up in parts…


That is it from me. I am glad to be VCP4 and VCP5 and wish you good luck if you plan on taking your exam soon. If you have any tips, questions or comments, please share with me or post in our Virtualization Community Forums.


Desktop Virtualization Server Virtualization

TrainSignal Releases VMware View 5 Essentials Training

TrainSignal, the global leader in professional computer training, announced the release of their VMware View 5 Essentials Training course.

The newest VMware course from TrainSignal teaches a beginner in virtualization how to install, configure and maintain a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). While this is an essentials course, students can expect to finish the course with a working knowledge of View components, virtualization using ThinApp, and everything necessary for using VMware View 5 on the job, on a regular basis.

By centralizing end-user desktops as virtual machines, VMware View allows for better, more efficient management of VDI with the potential for drastic reductions in support costs. The course covers new features that come with VMware View 5, including one lesson dedicated to demonstrating how to upgrade to View 5 from previous versions.

Students will find a range of topics for learning what is new in View 5 and how to manage virtual desktops:

  • Persona Management
  • PCoIP Optimization
  • Monitoring and Troubleshooting View
  • Virtualizing Applications with ThinApp

Students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the different components of View and how to install them. Managing user profiles and data, location-based printing setup, and maintaining pools are each covered in distinct, individual lessons.

Since this is an essentials course, the successful student only needs experience managing desktop operating systems with Active Directory, and a basic understanding of a vSphere environment. These prerequisites are not required to take the course, but may prove helpful as the course utilizes vSphere 5 with shared storage in a Windows 2008 R2 Active Directory environment.

There are two instructors for VMware View 5 Essentials Training, virtualization experts Brian Knudtson and Lane Leverett. Lane Leverett (VCDX #53, VCAP4-DCD, VCA4-DT, VCP4-DT) has over 13 years of experience as a server, network and virtualization engineer. Lane currently implements and designs VMware infrastructure, Cisco networking, and various storage solutions. He contributed to vSphere Security Design Training for TrainSignal, and has lasting passion for evangelizing the benefits of virtualization while helping customers as a senior systems engineer.

Brian Knudtson (Quadruple VCP, VCAP4-DCA, VCAP4-DCD, VCA4-DT, VCP4-DT) is a co-founder of the Omaha VMware User Group, and has also sat on VMware’s Partner Technical Advisory Board. With over 10 years of experience in IT, Brian has also received the vExpert award. He has concentrated on virtualization technology for the majority of his career, and writes for TechTarget,, and his personal blog.

The VMware View Training course contains 15 lessons in nearly 8 hours of video instruction. Students will receive 2 DVDs of video lessons. Each lesson is available in several formats, iPod Video, Mp3 Audio, .WMV and high quality AVI, allowing students to use course materials on a variety of devices. Students can view all materials online after signing up for the course, ensuring instant access.

VMware View 5 Training is available for just $397. TrainSignal backs each and every course with their exclusive 90-day Total Experience Guarantee. All courses are shipped worldwide at no charge.

About TrainSignal: Founded in 2002, TrainSignal provides computer-based “Total Experience” training that gives individuals the tools and confidence to tackle real-world challenges, pass their certification exams and succeed in today’s competitive global IT market.

TrainSignal offers a wide range of computer training packages covering Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, CompTIA, VMware, and Microsoft Office. In addition to its Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010, and Windows 7 courses, TrainSignal offers training for over fifty different training courses including VMware vSphere training, Cisco CCNA training, Citrix XenDesktop training and more.

Desktop Virtualization

Devon IT Receives Microsoft RemoteFX Software Certification for Thin Clients

Devon IT, a leading provider of thin client and VDI hardware and software solutions, today announced it has achieved Microsoft RemoteFX logo certification for its TC5Xc thin client running Window Embedded Standard 7 (WES7). The TC5Xc is also available from Dell as the OptiPlex FX170 thin client with WES7.

Microsoft RemoteFX advances virtual desktop performance of Devon IT and Dell thin clients running WES7 in a Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services environment. Microsoft RemoteFX features virtualized graphics resources and intelligent codecs to accelerate graphics even for remote users. Devon IT is one of the first thin client vendors to achieve Microsoft RemoteFX logo certification.

“Devon IT is excited to work with IT giants like Microsoft and Dell to deliver powerful solutions for our clients,” says Joe Makoid, president of Devon IT. “Cutting edge tools like Microsoft RemoteFX developed by major IT organizations accelerate the momentum of virtual desktop computing, providing users of all intensity levels with PC-like performance while retaining all the benefits of thin client computing.“

Devon IT and Dell thin clients running WES7 with RemoteFX deliver significant user experience and security benefits. WES7 leverages GPU virtualization and advanced codecs to deliver the full modern Windows 7 desktop experience, including multimedia and multiple displays, to thin client devices. RemoteFX allows users to take advantage of rich media features, such as 3D user interface, full-motion video, animations, and portable graphics stacks like Microsoft Silverlight and Flash. WES7 also features an enhanced, highly secure environment with seamless connectivity between the thin client and the network to protect critical data.