words of wisdom from a systems engineer

One RHCA exam down, five to go

EX442While I’m not the biggest proponent of certifications, I still think you can learn some valuable information while studying for some certification tests. A good example of that is Red Hat’s System Monitoring and Performance Tuning Expertise Exam. It’s one test out of five in the Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) track of exams. I passed the exam this week and it’s definitely one of the most difficult certification exams I’ve ever taken.

Many of the topics covered on the EX442 exam are really handy for Linux system administrators. The advanced filesystem configuration, software RAID optimization, and process scheduling knowledge can provide some tangible performance gains on just about any Linux server.

I especially enjoyed learning about SystemTap. I’d heard about it before, but I never really understood what it did and how much power it can give a system administrator on a server. You can sample a wide variety of system events quickly with relative ease and you’re not bound to the hardware dependencies of OProfile.

Bear in mind that you’ll need a valid RHCE to get started with the RHCA exams. That’s another certification that I’d definitely recommend as it helps you learn a wide variety of administration topics that can be applied to almost any Linux distribution available today.