Red Hat Linux originated in 1994 and has evolved a great deal over the last fifteen years. The same can be said for Red Hat's training and certification program, through which professionals can validate their knowledge and skills. One certification type is the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA).
Overview of RHCSA Certification
Candidates for the RHCSA are often system administrators experienced with Red Hat Enterprise Linux or students who have taken the appropriate level of training in the product in preparation for the RHCSA certification exam.
According to Red Hat, RHCSA-certified individuals can typically perform the following functions:
- Understand and use necessary tools for handling directories, documentation, files, and command-line environments.
- Develop and configure file systems and system attributes, such as encryption and network file systems.
- Deploy, construct, and maintain systems, including software installations, updates, and core services.
- Operate running systems, including identifying processes, booting into different run levels, controlling services, and starting and stopping virtual machines.
- Configure local storage using logical volumes and partitions.
- Oversee security, including basic firewall and SELinux configuration.
- Manage users and groups and be able to use a centralized directory for authentication.
To earn the RHCSA designation, candidates must pass the RHCSA exam (exam number: EX200). In order to qualify for the exam, candidates must meet one of the following requirements:
- Complete the Red Hat System Administration I and II courses, or have the equivalent professional experience.
- Complete the Red Hat RHCSA Rapid Track course, or have the equivalent professional experience.
More information about the RHCSA certification can be found on the RHCSA page on the Red Hat website.
The RHCSA Examination
The RHCSA examination is only available directly through Red Hat or a Red Hat Certified Training Partner. Valid testing locations exist in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
The RHCSA exam consists of "performance-based" questions, which require test-takers to complete one or more tasks similar to what they might do while on the job. Individuals are scored based on whether they meet certain objectives while performing their tasks.
Candidates have 2.5 hours to complete the RHCSA exam. They may not bring any outside items into the examination room. The documentation that ships with Red Hat Enterprise Linux is usually available to candidates during the exam.
Red Hat Certification Central typically sends candidates their exam scores within three U.S. business days.
For more information about the RHCSA exam, visit the RHCSA Exam Objectives page on the Red Hat website.
Renewing the RHCSA Certification
The RHCSA certification is valid for three years, once awarded by Red Hat. If an RHCSA-certified individual goes on to achieve the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification, or if they earn any Red Hat Certificate of Expertise, they are considered to be current for three years from when the RHCE or Certificate of Expertise is earned.
Professionals with an RHCSA certification can not only gain industry and employer recognition with their designation, but they can also gain access to an online network of Red Hat Certified Professionals.
Exam Objectives - RHCSA, Red Hat, http://ca.redhat.com/training/courses/ex200/examobjective
Recertification policies, Red Hat, http://ca.redhat.com/training/certifications/recertification.html
Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Exam (EX200), Red Hat, http://ca.redhat.com/training/courses/ex200/
Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA), Red Hat, http://www.redhat.com/training/certifications/rhcsa/