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What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

Share with us what path did you take to earning your RHCA title or what path are you taking to reading to this?

What tips can you share for those who are willing to achieve that?

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13 Replies
RajatPatel Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist
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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

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Flight Engineer RedHatNation Flight Engineer
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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

The RHCA path is pretty intimidating, let me tell you.  I'm working on test #3 (EX436 - High Avail Clustering) and sheer volume of topics involved and the sparse documentation - is making this one a real mountain to climb.

Red Hat provides a TON of useful KB articles about clustering, GFS, and HA but having to pull them all together, test everything, and learn from those is time-consuming.  Search for high-avail in the KB, also search for "Design Guidance" , "Administrative Procedures", "Diagnostics Procedures", and "Support Policies" for more info.

Pearson has a Red Hat High Availability course by Sander van Vugt (who is brilliant yet easy to follow) that kinda gets your feet wet regarding HA.  But since we're talking about Red Hat and a hands-on test, that isn't enough either. 

There are maybe two or three books about HA and Red Hat.  Sadly, one is out of date (still mentions cman - i.e. RHEL6)

The official RH docs are helpful but even they aren't as complete as I would like.  

Ultimately, at least for EX436, I think it just comes down to plenty of hands-on lab, practice, and production time with all of the exam topics.  Set things up, test them, move things around, break then fix things, and keep at it.  I've penciled in about 6 weeks for this exam but I have some background in HA, Load balancing, and GFS2.

There is always the official Red Hat course.(RH436) which, if it's anything like the other RH courses, will be packed with practical information.  

 

Good luck on your quest to RHCA!  This route we chose isn't easy...but that's the point.  An RHCA carries some serious weight in the IT world.  If you do go for EX436, drop me a line with any questions.  I'm not an expert...yet...but I love talking Red Hat.

Regards,

-Gordon

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Flight Engineer DavidH Flight Engineer
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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

Thanks for the insights Gordon! I too am hoping to attain an RHCA status; I apreciate the knowledge. I have a ways to go as I'm only working on the RHCSA right now!

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Flight Engineer RedHatNation Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

Outstanding!  The RHCSA is tough but is totally worth the effort.  Some generic exam insights:

1.  Reboot early and often to ensure your server configs survive a reboot.  I found it much easier to reboot early and test then trying to cram everything in at the end of the exam.

2.  Put together a gameplan before you go into the exam.  Identify which topics to address first.

3.  Pace yourself.  It's easy to get locked into the exam and forget that you can take a break.  The chance to step outside the exam, grab a soda, and visit the restroom can be quite helpful if you get into a jam or hit a snag.

4.  Re-read the exam objectives often.  It's easy to gloss over an objective and complete most of it but miss one or two subtle points that could ding your exam score.

5.  Know where you can find additional documentation or info.  Not just man pages but the info pages, the sample configs that come with some packages, and things like installing httpd-manual to get apache documentation.  There's no shame in referring to a man page or info page during the exam.  

Good luck with your RHCSA.  When you get it, you should print your your certificate and frame it!  I sent mine to a local printer and had a nice color copy printed and framed.

Best Regards,

-Gordon

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Flight Engineer Bodanel Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

For EX407 I was sent to training by the company, material is great but the class not that much.

For EX405 I used my knowlegde from a Puppet course and Katello since we didnt had Satellite and Puppet integrated at work. The exam itself was not that hard but lots of coding to do. First 2 requirements seemed not so clear but maybe because I'm not a native English speaker.

For EX436 I used 4 VM's and the admin guide provided by RH. It took me lots of labs but I got a perfect score on this one. However I had previous experience with pacemaker(altough it was version 1 at that time) and some of the concepts were already clear to me and we had multipath configured by default in our environment.

I'm working on my exam #4  EX280. Introduction to containers was done by a co-worker/friend that was working on a different project but using docker heavily. For the rest of the requirements I'm using the official documentation since this has worked so far for me.

For all the exams I've labbed heavily and this is what I recommend to everyone. Not for passing the exam but for understanting the technology and for what you learn during building up the labs and when you fail to configure something properly.

For RHCSA/RHCE there are ALOT of good resources on the web.

This is my strategy and so far I have never failed an exam. Most of them were paid from my own pocket my wife probably would not have a happy face if I tell her I failed Smiley Happy

@RedHatNation

I think I may have some notes or labs since I learned for this, if you think it will help you I can give those to you.

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Flight Engineer jthiatt Flight Engineer
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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

If you like EX280 try EX288 next, it dive more into the application development on OpenShift

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Flight Engineer RedHatNation Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?


@Bodanel wrote:

 

@RedHatNation

I think I may have some notes or labs since I learned for this, if you think it will help you I can give those to you.


Hi Bodanel,

I appreciate your very kind offer but I'm about done with EX436 and virtual machines.  I'm now onto physical servers, power fencing devices (PDUs, and iLO and DRAC cards), and a SAN.  (Yeah, it might be overkill but I'm having fun with it!)

The one thing I'm most curious about is which type or types of fencing appear on this exam.  I suspect we probably get some kind of virtual fencing.  I know you can't answer this due to testing rules so I'm going to ask Red Hat Learning.

Thanks again for your very kind offer.

Best Regards,

-Gordon

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Flight Engineer Bodanel Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

@jthiatt

It's on my radar. Until here was pretty easy to choose the exams.

EX436 was required for a consulting project I did

EX405 came as an easy choice since I was working with Puppet alot and also had a puppet training

EX407 also easy choice because I like Ansible and I could not say no to a company paid RH training  Smiley Happy

EX280 is a personal choice because I like containers and OpenShift. We are currently testing it and we love it, management love it and probably will deploy it in production. I will stay a bit ahead of the curve Smiley Happy.

For the lastt one I dont know what to chose so this will be on the list together with the new 415 but I need to prioritize since the bugdet is an issue (I plan to take both but I need to take the first what the company is paying for).

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Re: What path did you take to / are taking reading to your RHCA?

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