Moving away from Windows to LINUX, careerwise

Hi all

I'm a IT veteran with lots of experience in many different capacities. Currently, I'm a Windows Server guy (Enterprise) and I'm thinking of getting more into the Linux realm. I've worked with UNIX/Linux extensively in the past but that experience is now dated, but the CLI is still familiar.

Any thoughts on moving into a more Linux based career? Are their administrators that work on both platforms? Being familiar with Linux I recognize the learning curve is more drawn out than it is with Microsoft products. Certification wise, I think I'll take the Linux+ exam & then I'm thinking about the Red Hat Certs. Thoughts on RH versus the LPI? I have Solaris certifications but they are long expired and Sun isn't the company it was.

Comments

  • kanecainkanecain Posts: 186Member
    I am in the same boat. I would love to hear feedback on this.
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  • KenCKenC Posts: 131Member
    IMO, you'd be better off go straight for a RHCSA (better still a RHCE) instead of Linux+, given your experience. I can't comment on Solaris as I haven't worked with it. I'm not sure what you mean by your UNIX/Linux experience being dated.
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Posts: 1,945Member
    If you have Linux experience, skip Linux+ and go to LPI or straight to Redhat. Maybe the exam has gotten more in depth since I took it, but prepping for it taught me enough to be dangerous.
    Andy

    2017 Goals: 1 of 5 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • BodanelBodanel Posts: 214Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I work in a mixed enviroment. If you want to switch path I would sugest to go for RHCSA. If you have some background info and you can do cd, ls etc the things you'll learn when you go for RHCSA could be very helpful in your current job even before you have the certification( and you will not have any problems with the exam if you master all objectives ). And if you have where to practice it will keep you focused.

    IMHO if you take RHCE you can switch afterward to another distribution without too much fuss. But after trying some Debian last month I will stay with RH or suse for bussines use. In the future will try Ubuntu LTS and BSD.
  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityPosts: 807Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Good thread. I'm in the same boat as the author - over 12 years IT experience with Windows. I'm realizing if I really want to make myself more marketable I'm going to have to learn Linux/Red Hat. I've worked with Red Hat some in the past, but it's dated. I've been trying to decide what is the best route to go to learn Linux.
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • demonfurbiedemonfurbie Posts: 1,819Member
    id say study the linux+ stuff to get a refresher on some forgotten basics but not take the test, go strait rhce after ya get refreshed
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  • antielvisantielvis Posts: 285Member
    rwmidl wrote: »
    Good thread. I'm in the same boat as the author - over 12 years IT experience with Windows. I'm realizing if I really want to make myself more marketable I'm going to have to learn Linux/Red Hat. I've worked with Red Hat some in the past, but it's dated. I've been trying to decide what is the best route to go to learn Linux.

    Honestly, it's not so much about being marketable, as it is about finding a new challenge. I respect Server 2008 and it is a robust, dynamic NOS. Anyone administrating Windows Server at the Enterprise level has likely committed blood, sweat and tears getting there. Achieving the MCSE/MCITP is no easy feat either. It's just after a while one feels sort of pigeonholed. The one thing I love about IT is the persistent change & dynamic nature of the industry. It's never boring & there is always more to learn. I've always wanted to be one of those Linux master guys I met when I was at University of Waterloo (It's a Canadian University).
  • onesaintonesaint Posts: 801Member
    I transitioned from Window's SA to Linux admin, over the last few years. The trick for me was finding a company that could utilize my windows ability, while allowing me to learn the Linux side of things. I then took that experience and was able to move to a Unix/Linux admin role.

    Be prepared for what might be a lateral move. What I mean is with 12 years of Windows experience, I'm not sure if a transition to your equivalent role in the *nix world will be possible without some good years of *nix experience. This is almost like transitioning from networking to a server admin role.

    Also, certs carry less weight in the *nix world, from what I can tell. Experience and knowing your stuff will make all the difference. As I'm sure you know, certs get you the interview, but knowing what you're talking about will get you the job. High level programming comes into play much, much more (think Bash, Python, Perl, Ruby, Etc.).

    Lastly, LPIC-1 and Linux+ are now the same thing. I would study up on the Linux+ topics, but as mentioned, not attempt to take the exam. Then work on the RHCSA/RHCE. Bare in mind you have to pass the RHCSA before you're eligible for the RHCE. From what I understand, LPI is more recognized in Europe while RH is more so in India and the US.

    Good luck!
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • BodanelBodanel Posts: 214Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have to disagree with onesaint here. As someone who lives and works in Europe I can tell you that everyone knows about RH certs and kows what value they have. LPI on the other hans has begun to get a foothold here but they are far from RH. If I were to choose from 2 guys (or girls) with no or little experience with Linux I would choose someone who has RHCE over someone with LPIC-2. RH exams will demonstrates also that you can do your job even if you are under time pressure. I have no use for a guy who knows all the switches of a linux command if he cannot get my web server up. I dont say that LPIC isnt good but they have a little to catch up on the practical side.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Posts: 192Member
    When you take RHCSA though, bring earplugs. The guy sitting next to me was clattering and banging away on the keyboard, and I could not concentrate. I fell so far behind I failed the exam. RH would not refund or let me retest for free, so I had to sue them. (and won)
  • varelgvarelg Posts: 790Banned
    So antielvis, you basically decided to add some Linux skills and then get certs to show you are competent at that OS. Considereing you went for Solaris certs before, however long ago that was, they might still be relevant as to forming a base for your Linux studies. Sun isn't company it used to be- wrong, there's no Sun anymore. It was swallowed up by Oracle and now it is almost completely digested. Not all is bad about it though... Solaris 11 is a great OS, in my view superior to Linux.
    L+ vs. LPIC vs. RH: Well, L+ = LPIC 1. RH certs top them all- a definite standout in one's resume. If you are after a future Linux job clincher and already have some Unix background, go for RH.
    Solaris cert now (with all the changes) would make sense of you find an employer that is willing to cover the cost of Oracle- mandated classes.
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  • antielvisantielvis Posts: 285Member
    varelg wrote: »
    So antielvis, you basically decided to add some Linux skills and then get certs to show you are competent at that OS. Considereing you went for Solaris certs before, however long ago that was, they might still be relevant as to forming a base for your Linux studies. Sun isn't company it used to be- wrong, there's no Sun anymore. It was swallowed up by Oracle and now it is almost completely digested. Not all is bad about it though... Solaris 11 is a great OS, in my view superior to Linux.
    L+ vs. LPIC vs. RH: Well, L+ = LPIC 1. RH certs top them all- a definite standout in one's resume. If you are after a future Linux job clincher and already have some Unix background, go for RH.
    Solaris cert now (with all the changes) would make sense of you find an employer that is willing to cover the cost of Oracle- mandated classes.

    I cut my teeth on Red Hat 3.0 or 5.0, I can't remember anymore to be honest. It was in the glory days when dial up internet providers were a dime a dozen. I didn't make much money, but I had a lot of fun. I ended up taking the Solaris certification because back then it was the only *nix course you could take. Linux+ or even the LPI didn't exist at that time. I ended up working with Novell Netware, took my LPI (2003) but ended up being swallowed by the Redmond Borg. Don't get me wrong, I do have respect for the products that come out of MS (at least lately). It's just that I find the real big iron is all UNIX based.

    I know Oracle bought out Sun. When I said they aren't what they were I was (incorrectly) referring to Sun when I should have said Solaris. Does anyone use Solaris anymore? I remember we could buy Sparc workstations at UWaterloo's Computer Store in the 90s.

    I've been reading what Red Hat offers & I think that's the path I'll go down. Maybe do Linux+ first as a refreshing then go after the RHCSA. Nice to see Red Hat became what it is. A true linux success story. And is it Linux or linux?>
  • brownwrapbrownwrap Posts: 549Member
    Yes, I'm cerified in Solaris 10. I don't know what share of the market Solaris has, but the site I work at has plenty of Solaris. Not only in my department, but elsewhere.
  • onesaintonesaint Posts: 801Member
    Also, if storage is your game, Open Solaris flavors like OpenIndiana and NexentaStor are still alive and well.
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • al3kt.R***al3kt.R*** Posts: 118Member
    Dear antielvis,

    Some RHCSA (in case you give it a try) tips for your use:
    • Moderate cost (around $400 if I remember correctly)
    • Is completely performance-based, hands-on live systems (excellent examination procedure in my opinion) given a numbered list of tasks to complete in a couple of hours
    • Requires familiarity and experience with KVM virtualization.
    • Requires, unattended & network, OS installation skills (a great thing to learn)
    • You can have unlimited hours of free practice using your x64-capable machine (have lots of RAM installed for VM exercise), a speedy network and a current CentOS copy.
    • Closed-book & no Internet (just the source dvd) in case you wondered.
    • Michael Jang's relevant book is considered by IT community a sufficient preparation tool, as long as you're willing to dedicate some months time on reviewing all relevant chapters (great structure btw) and completing all the labs and sample exams again and again with minor changes you add as you become more experienced.
    Hope it intrigues you enough to give it a try!!!

    PS: I was on the break of sitting for this exam just a couple of months ago, but the test center I was about to visit "moved" exam date from what was initially planned as early April to mid September, messing up my schedule and making me reconsider taking it; I've recently started working on the SSCP cert, so I 've decided to revisit the exam once I've more time and mood to practice again (working on a day to day basis with a Linux client on a Windows environment and with Windows mentality can sometimes be really challenging:D)
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,914Mod Mod
    Solaris is not going anywhere anytime soon. Solaris 10 is actually more superior to all Linux distros in many areas, and Solaris 11 is much better. The internet is full of wars and fights about this topic.

    What I know is that there are a lot of transitions happening now to Solaris 11 (direct upgrade isn't possible). Linux is doing better on the web-front.



    you can use RHCSA as a stepping stone to get a job in the *NIX world, but as suggested here, beware that moving into the Unix world after so many years of experience in the Windows domain might not be the best career move. Perhaps a move to a management role or a design role might be more helpful. Maybe getting into Virtualization and Storage would a better idea.
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • onesaintonesaint Posts: 801Member
    UnixGuy, where do you see the Solaris presence?
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,914Mod Mod
    onesaint wrote: »
    UnixGuy, where do you see the Solaris presence?


    Mostly with Oracle database. With Oracle's new licensing policy for their products, you will be seeing more Solaris with Oracle database. Oracle is also pushing Oracle Enterprise Linux (it's basically a Red Hat).
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • jdancerjdancer Posts: 479Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I wouldn't disregard your Windows Server experience. But there are more and more organizations looking for both Windows and Linux experience. That's a powerful combination. For more info about one possible future of system administrators, you can read this article Forecast for systems administrators: Cloudy - Computerworld
  • learn2successlearn2success Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    myself also planning to get hands on to Linux, specially in contracting world it is 100% worth it.. i have seen in a lot of jobs give you a plus point to have linux experience.
  • petedudepetedude Posts: 1,510Member
    I'm starting to think that Solaris vs. Linux will play out much like Beta vs. VHS (yes, I'm showing my age). Solaris may be superior, but Sun hurt its prospects by 1) making it too "tech-y"; 2) tying it to expensive proprietary hardware early on.

    There was a time when Solaris + Apache was considered the superior web server platform. Not so much now.

    I would say Linux has a much broader and healthier market, and up-and-coming IT folks should learn Linux before Solaris. Not that knowing Solaris hurts any, but you don't see as many companies using it.
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • lordylordy Posts: 632Member
    I used to be in the Solaris niche, but to me it is a dead platform now.

    With Oracle taking over, killing OpenSolaris and any effort to move into the Open Source world I do not think that Solaris will stand a chance against RHEL over the next few years. Most of the Open Source stuff has been geared towards Linux and with Solaris seamingly becoming a rather closed platform I don't see why anybody would want to migrate to it.

    Of course, ZFS is nice. Containers are nice. Solaris has a lot of nice features but no unique selling point that would make me want to abandon Linux.

    I had to choose between Linux and Solaris and I have made my choice: Linux.
    Working on CCNP: [X] SWITCH --- [ ] ROUTE --- [ ] TSHOOT
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,914Mod Mod
    lordy wrote: »
    .... Most of the Open Source stuff has been geared towards Linux and with Solaris seamingly becoming a rather closed platform I don't see why anybody would want to migrate to it.

    Of course, ZFS is nice. Containers are nice. Solaris has a lot of nice features but no unique selling point that would make me want to abandon Linux.

    I had to choose between Linux and Solaris and I have made my choice: Linux.


    This is true, and that's why I think anything web-based is better use Linux. But for governments, army, banking, oil ,..etc they don't really need anything Open Source. They use IBM Websphere webservers, or Java Enterprise systems, or Sybase data or Oracle database. None of these technologies are Open Source. They need support and strict SLAs.

    Don't underestimate ZFS and Containers, we have used and sold So many solutions and containers alone saved A LOT of money, space, and administration burden. It's been used heavily and it's a life saver.

    I think Solaris has a place in financial services, government (especially military where Security is essential), and anywhere with Oracle Database. For Web-based solutions, I choose Linux. For a core banking system for example, I can't trust Linux, I choose Solaris or IBM AIX. Better be a cluster system.
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • onesaintonesaint Posts: 801Member
    I've heard there is a turn in the public sector to go more open source as the support cost is just to exorbitant. Mind you this is from sr. architects I know who work for public sector companies and not management (decision makers...).
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,914Mod Mod
    This discussion has no end because no one knows what will happen. I recently read a thread on Linked that has something like 1000+ responses and still going on about this topic. You will hear different opinions, and see different sales figures as well. As a professional, if you work with Unix (Solaris) or Linux, you will have no problem learning the other.
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • higherhohigherho Posts: 882Member
    I'm jumping into a role that will have Linux (Red hat Enterprise 6), Windows (Server 08 and Windows 7) and virtualization. I don't have any linux work experience (some educational background) so this time I will be able to learn something new (Linux) while still having that familiarity (Windows, etc).
  • antielvisantielvis Posts: 285Member
    I decided I'd take the Linux+ exams sort of as a 'warm up'. I installed Fedora on a laptop & CentOS on a server I have at home. The Linux+ stuff is more of a review...commands I've long forgotten but relearning is easy. Once I get around to taking the exams, I'll get more focused & pursue the Red Hat stuff. I'm fortunate in that where I work has both a UNIX and Windows department.

    Have to admit, there is just something that feels right about Linux. The new GUI's in the installs are pretty sweet too compared to what they were years ago. It's a long way from Slackware 3
  • petedudepetedude Posts: 1,510Member
    antielvis wrote: »
    Have to admit, there is just something that feels right about Linux. The new GUI's in the installs are pretty sweet too compared to what they were years ago. It's a long way from Slackware 3

    A long, long way from Slackware 3. Geez, a long way from SUSE4 and RH6, too!!!

    Strangely enough, over the last few weeks I've almost become more comfortable at a Linux command line than an M$ one. . .
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • antielvisantielvis Posts: 285Member
    petedude wrote: »
    A long, long way from Slackware 3. Geez, a long way from SUSE4 and RH6, too!!!

    Strangely enough, over the last few weeks I've almost become more comfortable at a Linux command line than an M$ one. . .

    LOL, I remember Red Hat 5, which was the first OS I worked on professionally. It wasn't long after they added a "GUI" for the install, etc. Today's stuff is pretty sweet.

    Linux command line is easier & makes more sense than Windows. One reason is, it never changes. The majority of the commands I typed in 1999 are still relevant today. In Windows, that's not the case at all. I hold out some hope for PowerShell V3, but I'm not sure. Hell, they even changed things in PowerShell. I'm a fan of BASH...which reminds me of debates we used to have over which shell was better.
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