The job of Linux system administrators has historically been seen as tirelessly logging into servers, looking at log files, modifying configuration files, restarting services, updating software packages, and then rinse and repeat on the next system. Replicate this process over hundreds, or even thousands, of servers and you’ve got a pretty good idea what the life of a Linux sysadmin usually looks like.
Or, does it?
The Linux Foundation is introducing a new course, Linux Enterprise Automation (LF430), that focuses purely on the more advanced Linux system administration skills of the future. Over the last year, we’ve spent time teaching new Linux system administrators the basic concepts they need to understand such as local Linux system administration as well as more complex Linux network administration topics. Topics that include: how to manage users, deploy storage devices, make a server more secure, implement shell scripts, etc.
A couple of primary goals for the Linux Foundation’s training program is to help sysadmins be both more productive on the job and more valuable on the job market. We’ve been thinking about how our Linux training can leverage the fundamental sysadmin topics and transpose them to where the market is headed - an environment where you need to administer a large number of systems in more efficient ways.
The open source community has been busy addressing this issue over the last few years. A number of projects such as Puppet, Spacewalk, Chef and CFEngine have been very successful at giving system architects and sysadmins the tools to multiply their productivity, while increasing reliability and server reproducibility. These projects are certainly more complex to use than traditional system administration utilities. But, we think that as servers and virtual machine deployment continues accelerate, every system administrator will soon be expected to come in with a small arsenal of provisioning, configuration management and monitoring tools in their toolbox. Our new Linux Enterprise Automation course will dive into this, and will also train advanced system administrators how to build custom software packages and automate the process with tools such as koji.
We’ve observed that many large enterprise environments are also coming up with custom distribution builds, which minimizes the time sysadmins spend configuring new servers and ensures consistency across the datacenter. We feel this is an important topic so we’ve built it into the new Linux Automation course.
Combine that with the unique experience of our expert Linux instructors and the Linux Foundation’s privileged relationship with the largest Linux deployments on the planet, and we’re convinced that this new Linux Enterprise Automation course will result in a massive gain of productivity, reliability and scalability for our members and clients.
Welcome to the future of Linux system administration.