Just passed RHCSA, here's the path that worked for me

thegreenlaanternthegreenlaantern Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Background:
I work as a Linux/UNIX System Admin. November 2012 I looked at the requirements for the RHCSA Exam, I counted roughly 30 items, 8 of them I do in my daily functions. This meant I had to get up to speed on 22 items I wasn't familiar with.

Study Plan:
Bought the Damian Tommasino Cert Guide. Liked the condensed size of the material. Read RHCSA sections twice, taking notes the second time.
Bought the Michael Jang Cert Guide. Liked the Detail of the material, book was thick like Shon Harris CISSP material. Read RHCSA material once, taking notes.
Looked up items from Google or Youtube if I thought the books were unclear or lacking.

Lab Setup:
I bought a Lenevo 64 Bit Laptop for $300, 2 Gig of RAM and 300 Gig harddrive. It came with Windows installed, and I tried to use Virtual Box as suggested by the Damian Tommasino book, but just couldn't get the software to work the way I wanted. The Michael Jang Book was jumping around on setting up the Lab environment and was confusing like many others have mentioned. Ultimately I installed over the Windows O/S with a downloaded RHEL 6 DVD. Set up the Lenevo as a Server with all software options from the DVD installed. When I would practice for the test, I would install a new KVM machine with 750 Gig of memory from the system (if you go too low on the number you cannot install a GUI environment) and 40 Gig of hard drive space reserved. I'd run through the 30 items on the KVM, testing my speed and whether the configuration could work from the LapTop Server side. I would delete the KVM from virt-manager and reinstall the KVM with a new install after I ran through the 30 items and start my practice runs over again.
Note on the IP address: When Virtual Software is installed on the laptop, 192.168.122.1 is the Laptop's IP address, when the KVM is installed, it's ifcfg-eth0 is on the 192.168.122.XXX subnet, just configure it with an IP address and use 192.168.122.1 as your gateway and your Server side can ping and communicate with your KVM.

Test:
My first attempt was in February and I realized after that test (and my score) I needed to be more comfortable with some of the test items. Think 4 months of reading and lab work will get any self studying individual a decent advantage over anyone just trying the bootcamp and taking the test.

Thanks:
Damian Tommasino (NightShade) and Michael Jang. We were all looking for a path to get this Certification and you both provided the first steps for all of us to figure out a plan to achieve it.
techexams.net for all those that failed/succeeded/shared with those that started later.

The Email from Red Hat saying I was certified was like losing 20 lbs of weight off my shoulders. Hope all of you going for this Certification get to experience this.

Comments

  • onesaintonesaint Posts: 801Member
    Congratulations! Way to keep at it and accomplish your goal!

    What's next?
    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
  • webgeekwebgeek Posts: 495Member
    Congrats and nice read! This cert has been on my radar for a while
    BS in IT: Information Assurance and Security (Capella) ETA 2013/Early 2014
    2013 Goals: CISSP [:cheers:] ITIL Foundations [ ] Project+ [ ] Linux+ [ ] CCNA (Maybe) [ ]
  • log32log32 Posts: 217Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    very nice! on to RHCE!!!
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAPosts: 4,004Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congrats on pass!! icon_thumright.gif
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
  • thegreenlaanternthegreenlaantern Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Summer of non Red Hat projects and then full attention to the RHCE Exam in the fall.
  • coffeeluvrcoffeeluvr Senior Member NCPosts: 733Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Congratulations!! I used Michael Jang's book several years ago and it really helped.
    "Something feels funny, I must be thinking too hard. - Pooh"
  • Complete_IT_ProfessionalComplete_IT_Professional Posts: 53Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations! I bet that confirmation email from Red Hat was a good feeling!
    I run CompleteITProfessional.com - a website dedicated to helping IT professionals improve their careers.
  • _Marauder_Marauder Posts: 132Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats!! icon_thumright.gif
  • ChitownjediChitownjedi Chasing down my dreams. Posts: 577Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Congrats and thanks for the details about what you did... I just made a post about this and hopped and here and boom... TE ROCKS!
  • versdversd Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    gz! start with rhce ;)
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    Congratulations on the pass, and thank you for the great write-up! I was planning on hitting this cert up, myself, down the road at some point so it's nice to see that your study-plan - which is very similar to what I was thinking of doing - worked out.

    Have a beer (or seven) and celebrate. You've earned it. icon_thumright.gif

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Virtual Academy
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  • AceRimmerAceRimmer Posts: 41Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■■□□□□□□□□
    I had pretty much the same experience as thegreenlaantern.

    It took me about 2,5 months to prepare for RHCSA and about the same for RHCE. At least hour or two of practice each day, and at least 8h/day a week before the exam.

    Building yourself a home lab is essential. I used Damian Tomassino's book, Asghar Ghori's book, Jang's book, RH official guides (SE Linux, Deployment, Installation ...) and various HOWTOs from Internet (mostly Howtoforge).
    I used Paul T. Ammann's "Hacking Red Hat enterprise linux" book to configure LDAP server and create CA signed SSL certificates for it. Created almost perfect lab with 2 virtual networks (KVM routed), DNS server, LDAP server, Kerberos server, NSF/Samba/Ftp servers, SMTP server, NTP, exported iSCSI targets, local Yum repository ... as close to the "real thing" as possible.
    All that on a pretty low-spec machine: dual-core Intel Celeron G with "vtx" enabled and 8Gb of cheap RAM.
    Host was a CentOS 6.x (KVM), and all virtual machines were RHEL 6 (trial subscription).

    All in all, I think I covered more then was expected and learned a lot. Spent a nice sum of money on books from Amazon and equipment (still less then official RH course), but I think it was worth it ;).
  • log32log32 Posts: 217Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    AceRimmer that's very nice way of studying, you simulated exam environment very well.
    I used Michael Jang's book together with VTC videos for the RHCSA, used vmware workstation for the lab environment but before that I used a physical machine to simulate some virt-manager tasks.
    for the RHCE I used the part 2 of michael jang's together with VTC of RHEL5 version of RHCE, and random blog sites, and around 3-4 machines (also OpenNAS for the ISCSI)
    it took me about 10-11 months, close to a year to achieve both certs. but that was not 100% up to me.
  • thegreenlaanternthegreenlaantern Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    AceRimmer, Thanks for the comments and breakdown of how you set up your lab. Agree that the hands-on daily routine and making sure you have all the exam requirements down is the key to passing. system-config-firewall was a useful tool for me in managing the iptables.
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