Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist – RHCDS

by Mirek Burnejko

RHCDSIf you think about the highest certification from Red Hat – RHCA and you want to build your career towards data center subjects, it is a good idea to take some time and obtain the Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist – RHCDS certification.

To become a RHCDS certified you must pass 5 exams (2 for RHCE and 3 for RHCDS). This process is hard. All these exams cost more that $500 each, additional all these exams are live, practice tests.

Hard to achieve, great value on market, few steps closer to one of the hardest certifications in the world – RHCA. Do not wast your time, go for RHCDS.

What Exams You Must Pass to Become a RHCDS

You must pass three exams:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Deployment and Systems Management (EX401)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Clustering and Storage Management (EX436)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Directory Services and Authentication (EX423) or Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHCVA) (EX318)

You must have valid the RHCE certification.

Format of the Exam

Each of the exams (except RHCVA) is a 4-hour long lab exam. You must deploy, configure and troubleshoot tasks from an examination guide.

Where You Can Pass the RHCDS Exams

There are no central database for exam facilities (In USA you can use a tool from the Red Hat website). If you want to find a place to pass the exam, just type in google: “Red Hat + EX401 + your_country”. (EX401, EX436, EX423 or EX318).

The best way for you to pass the exam is to take an official training with a certification exam at the end of the training.

How Much Do the RHCDS Exam Cost

Each of these exams cost $600. You must contact your local certification/training office to find a way how to pay for an exam.

How To Renew your RHCDS Certification

RHCDS currency is pegged to the currency status of one’s RHCE. Consequently, as long as RHCE is current, one’s RHCDS is current. When an RHCDS’s underlying RHCE is no longer current, the certification verification page will list the non-current RHCE along with all Certificates of Expertise.

Scope of the RHCDS Exams

  • Red Hat Enterprise Deployment and Systems Management (EX401)
    • Installing Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite server
    • Managing changes with revision control software
    • Construction of custom RPM packages
    • Red Hat Network organizations, users, and roles
    • Managing software with RHN—software channels and errata
    • Reporting and automation with RHN programming API
    • Deploying configuration files using Red Hat Network
    • Bare-metal provisioning with PXE
    • RHN Satellite server system administration
    • More information
  • Red Hat Enterprise Clustering and Storage Management (EX436)
    • Configure a high-availability cluster, using either physical or virtual systems
    • Configure a GFS filesystem
    • Configure SNMP to provide cluster monitoring
    • Configure iSCSI targets and initiators
    • Manage software RAID and LVM to provide
    • More information
  • Red Hat Enterprise Directory Services and Authentication (EX423)
    • Install Red Hat Directory Server
    • Configure Red Hat Directory Server for TLS communication
    • Configure command-line tools
    • Configure Red Hat Directory Server access through user Access Controls
    • Authenticate to the Directory Server using kerberos
    • Configure write referrals
    • Migrate NIS users and groups into LDAP
    • Create and modify entries of the inetOrgPerson object class
    • Import user information from a LDIF file
    • Export specific user information to a LDIF file
    • Configure a system to authenticate using LDAP
    • Configure a system to authenticate using Active Directory(tm)
    • More information

Information about the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHCVA)exam

How To Prepare to the Exam

  • Books that helps you with preparation
    • There are no single official book for the RHCDS certification. If you want to find resources for your exam topics start with official documentation and exam objectives.
  • Official Training
    • A lot of companies have in the offer trainings. After three-five days of training you can pass the official exam. The course with the exam costs $2000 – $4000. One of the best training companies is GlobalKnowledge. You can find a fast track training around you. Just type in google “RHCDS + [your city|your country]”.
  • Lab
    • You will pass the exam on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Of course you can install Red Hat Linux at your computer or a virtual machine, but without a license you can’t download anything from the Red Hat repositories. So the best way is to install CentOS which is derived entirely from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution. We recommend to do some labs with the Red Hat Linux, to have an idea about integration with the Red Hat portal and the license manager.
    • The best way for you, to learn materials for the RHCDS exam is a virtual environment. You can build a free lab on you workstation with CentOS and VirtualBox. More in that great video.

Examples of Job Opportunities

Success Story

If you interested with sharing your success story with RHCDS please contact me.

Questions and Answers

Q: Which training/exam I should take first?
A: The courses are all peer level and any order is fine, but RH401 gives them a good foundation for other courses.

Q: Can I verify the RHCDS certification?
A: You can verify it on the official website.