Red Hat offers a comprehensive portfolio of subscription-based cloud products that enable companies to update their aging infrastructures. Through its open-source technology stack, Red Hat provides software to more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
Mastering Red Hat can equip you with the skills you need to minimize downtime, simplify data management and quickly provision new resources in your organization. One of the best ways to learn Red Hat products end to end is by earning a Red Hat certification.
In this blog, we’ll discuss three popular Red Hat certifications and share the training and experience you need to prepare for each exam.
What Is Red Hat?
The leading provider of open-source enterprise IT technologies, Red Hat helps organizations virtualize their outdated infrastructures to drive operational flexibility.
Red Hat has been in business for over 20 years. In that time, it’s been providing a fully open technology stack that enterprises can alter to suit their needs. Red Hat products include cloud computing, cross-platform virtualization, JBoss middleware, Enterprise Linux and more.
Red Hat provides certification programs for IT professionals who want to prove their mastery of popular Red Hat products to current and potential employers. Red Hat certifications focus on modern operating systems, storage, virtualization and cloud-based solutions.
Most Popular Red Hat Certification Path
Unsure where to start with your Red Hat training? Here are the three popular certification paths to get you on your way:
1. Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)
Earning the RHCSA proves you have the system administration skills required to manage a Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment.
This certification is perfect for Red Hat Enterprise Linux system admins who want to validate their skills or increase their earning potential. It’s also a required step for IT professionals who are on the path to earn a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification.
The RHCSA will test your ability to:
- Handle files, directories, documentation and command-line environments with separate running systems
- Manage users and groups
- Maintain security
- Configure local storage
- Create file systems and file system attributes
- Support software installation and updates as needed
2. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
Once you become an RHCSA, you’re one step closer to earning the next certification on the path, the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE). Red Hat engineers can automate Enterprise Linux tasks and integrate Red Hat with emerging technologies to make the environment more efficient and innovative.
With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, Red Hat updated the RHCE certification to place more emphasis on automation skills. The refreshed exam focuses on automating system administration tasks using Red Hat Ansible Automation and shell scripting.
In addition to the skills gained as an RHCSA, RHCEs need to prove they can:
- Configure systems to provide networking services
- Manage system logging
- Deliver reports on system use
- Build simple RPMs
- Set kernel runtime parameters
- Use shell scripting to automate tasks
- Configure networking systems
- Format an iSCSI initiator
You can choose from a variety of courses to prepare for the RHCE exam, depending on your preferred operating system and experience:
Courses for Windows System Administrators With Minimal Linux Experience:
Courses for Linux or Unix Administrators With 1-3 Years of Experience:
Courses for Experienced Linux/Solaris Administrators:
Courses for Senior Linux Administrators:
3. Red Hat Certified Specialist in Virtualization (RHCVA)
If you’re a Linux system administrator responsible for implementing and managing virtualization infrastructure, hosts and guests, the RHCVA certification is a natural evolution in your career.
The RHCVA builds upon many of the skills you’ll learn in the RHCSA and RHCE certification courses. It’s an excellent credential to go after once you already have another Red Hat certification under your belt.
IT professionals with this certification can:
- Install Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager
- Perform essential management tasks within the system
- Spin up data centers, clusters, templates and pools
- Configure hypervisors to support Linux using Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager
More and more businesses are choosing to virtualize their infrastructure as cloud products become cheaper and easier to deploy. Having the RHCVA certification on your résumé ensures you’ll be able to apply the latest virtualization tools and techniques in your role.
4 Tips for Passing Red Hat Certification Exams
Passing a Red Hat certification exam is no easy feat. Unlike other exams, the tests don’t include standard multiple-choice or scenario-based questions. Instead, each exam is presented as a performance-based evaluation of your Red Hat skills and knowledge.
You'll perform a variety of routine tasks and get evaluated on whether you meet specific objective criteria. The exam focuses on tasks that mirror what you’d do in real-world scenarios.
As intimidating as this sounds, there are a few things you can do to reduce your stress on exam day. Keep these four tips in mind as you prepare for your Red Hat certification exam:
Read all of the exam tasks and environment documentation before starting. Resist the urge to jump into the tasks before reading what’s expected. Some tasks depend on others and are easy to break. Reading instructions carefully before you start working will help you understand what you need to accomplish.
The environment documentation provides you with everything you need to get started, including passwords, servers, documents and even how Red Hat grades the exam.
Understand the exam objectives. Red Hat provides a list of exam objectives to highlight tasks you can expect to see on the exam. Reviewing these objectives will help you gauge whether you’re ready for the exam. You will need to prove that you know the configurations, architecture, features and abilities of each technology presented in the objectives.
Choose the tools you know best. The great thing about Red Hat exams is that, while you have to achieve tasks successfully, you can choose from a variety of tools to perform the tasks. If you’re more comfortable with a graphical interface than you are with a command-line tool, that’s fine. Use the tools you understand the best.
Re-review your tasks before you claim you’re “done.” Tasks in the exam are often related to one another, so you can easily set up one tool and accidentally break another. And that will cost you some exam points. Before you submit your exam, use the last 20 minutes to review each of your tasks and fix any mistakes. At the very least, you’ll know where the missteps took place if you must retake the exam.
Learn Red Hat With New Horizons Training
Are you ready to take the next step in your career and prove you’re an expert in system administration, engineering or virtualization? Demonstrate your value to employers by becoming Red Hat certified.
New Horizons, the world’s largest IT training company, provides expert-led Red Hat training courses to assist you along the Red Hat certification path. Review our full Red Hat course list to learn how we can help accelerate your career.