Issue #10 August 2005


Last month's content: Win a free training class

Last month, we asked readers to tell us about how a Red Hat training class impacted their careers and/or organization's overall effectiveness. The entries poured in for the grand prize: a free Red Hat training class.

Grand prize winner

Congratulations to Stuart Kirk for the following winning entry:

I loved the RH300 program that I attended back in January of 2005; Chuck Mead was a wonderful and intelligent instructor. The RHCE that I obtained is of great value to me. In preparation for the exam, the nature of the pre-exam problems that Chuck provided were of great assistance particularly with grub configuration and the boot process portion of the exam. Taking these skills back home to my place of employ, one example of an application of this skill-set is as follows: the firewall management station in our organization is a server that now runs three copies of Red Hat *flawlessly* thanks to the knowledge I obtained from RH300. Since Checkpoint only supports Red Hat [Linux] 7.3, I have a main image for the system for day-to-day use. As the machine is a Dell Poweredge, and their Openmanage applications only run (currently) under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, I have a minimal Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 image to be able to get in and diagnose system hardware problems that can't be reported to me through Red Hat [Linux] 7.3. Lastly, I have a "lifeboat" image on a separate disk that I can boot into by confuring the RAID controller to boot off of a different LUN. So, in essence, three Red Hat images, two GRUB images, and they all talk happily between one another! Thanks to Chuck, and Red Hat! On to RHCA!

Second place winners

Three second place winners each won a $20 Cool Stuff store gift certificate.

Jess Nutter won second place for the following entry:

The ease of installation and use of Red Hat has let us increase the number of Red Hat servers in our production environment by 400%. Our in house coded password security system is saving many man hours of administration. We have integrated our password server to work with and syncronize passwords from all systems. Including Windows AD, IBM Mainframe, RACF, email servers, proxy servers, ftp servers, and Windows servers with local user accounts, Citrix, webservers. All of this was done after one class on Red Hat [Enterprise Linux]. Just think what we could do with more training :)

David Rettig also won for the following entry:

Our rapidly expanding business was constrained by a legacy UNIX system, a 5 year old server, and the contracted programmer who developed both. Our help desk had hourly calls to this programmer who used his sole knowledge of this system to abuse our entire IT department. We had no recourse as the application was bound to an operating system to which he had the only keys. Furthermore, his job was secure. Since the business was tied to this legacy system and the legacy system to UNIX and UNIX to the contractor, we had to use him. Then I began experimenting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. The legacy system could be ported to Red Hat [Enterprise ] Linux! My boss purchased the training under the guise of support for a Red Hat Enterprise Linux license. I flew to Raleigh and got to take the training at the corporate headquarters. It was quite an experience and I had quite a sense of awe being at the HQ. Our SMB sales rep gave me a cool hat, and our trainer loaded us up with tons of free stuff. The marketing team came down and gave us a heads up about the RHCA program (without disclosing too much) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 which was due out a couple weeks after the class. I learned so much my head hurt!

After returning, I was armed with the resources to convert our legacy system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4! We now have a new server that functions 40X as fast on our reporting benchmarks and no operating system ties to the contractor! His attitude changed markedly! Much more humble now. And our executive team is DELIGHTED that the server runs so fast! One report which ran as an 8+ hour batch process now runs in 13 minutes and 44 seconds. The time saved is amazing!

And finally, Adam Scheinberg won second place for the following:

After taking RH033, as a relatively new Linux user (having just had a little shell access on a web server), I became infatuated with standing up Red Hat [Enterprise Linux] and Fedora web servers. I got into a little challenge with a fellow network admin - who could keep the best uptime.

The contest went on for awhile and we almost forgot about it. Then one day, I got an email asking "Still up?" My response was "Yep, up and current, 330 days." He said, "Up and CURRENT? How are you applying updates?" My answer was simple: "Um... up2date."

"Up2date?" he said. "You're not using Windows Update?" I said, "No, I'm running Fedora Core 1!" His Windows 2000 server was still up and chugging along doing DHCP, but hadn't been patched or updated in any signficant way in almost a year, leaving it vulnerable to several critical security threats. In the meantime, my FC1 server had served well over 100,000 web pages, ran several daily shell scripts via cron jobs; it's had Apache upgraded 5 times, PHP upgraded several times (including from PHP4 to PHP5), and MySQL upgraded many times, even changing table structures with MySQL 4.1; acted as a mail relay for thousands upon thousands of emails, and run several management tools that faithfully monitored the backbone of our network.

Try doing THAT in Windows without a reboot!

Honorable mentions

We received so many inspiring entries, we decided to share a few more with you.

Kevin Orrey submitted:

I attained RHCE in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 last April. Before this time I was a relatibvely junior member of the section who nobody really came to for help or advice. My standing within the office was therefore a little lowly. Since passing, however, people regularly come to me for help and advice not just about Red Hat Enterprise Linux but other work related issues. I believe my Bosses see me in a different light also as it has given me a standing within the IT community within the workplace.

A few senior members of the office attended the RHCE track course in the months after I participated and they did not manage to gain a qualification proving to them how difficult the course really is and the work and determination required to attain certification. This course was a turning point for me in the workplace and I thank Red Hat for that!

shri submitted:

I am Teacher Assistant here in Nepal. You know that Nepal is a under developed country. Only few people have information on open source concept. I am taking the class on linux to give the theme of open source concept and how it will help for students at bachelor level, also for the teachers with personnel desktop as well. Most of the lab machine are transferred to LINUX. It will sound good for me if most all of the labouratory machine along with all teachers and student's machine at home are transferred to LINUX. And all students are getting advantages of open source and may help on our community.

If I get the chance on joinning such programme on linux it will more advantages for not only me but also for such underdevelop community.

I hope you will help me on my work.

August contest: Favorite school supply

In the spirit of students returning to class after a well-deserved summer break (unless you went to summer school), we would like to know what your favorite school supply is.

Does the smell of brand new textbooks make you want to curl up in a corner and read for days? Does the idea of writing in a crisp new notebook for the first time excite you? Do you spend hours in front of the mirror trying to pick the perfect back-to-school outfit? If so, share with us your favorite school supply and why you love it so much, and you could win a $20 Cool Stuff store gift certificate.