Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Switching Gears.

I finished a one term class today, 12 weeks early. I planned it that way and with the leap year, I actually finished 1 day early. Ha. The LAMP / Eucalyptus class is still moving along, although we're covering Open Stack and not Eucalyptus anymore.

It seems the professor (A Sr. Systems Engineer at The Aerospace Corp.) was a part of a group who had deployed Eucalyptus and found that when the resources were maxed out, VMs would just get dropped (disappear). Openstack by contrast does not allow new VMs to be deployed once all available resources are spoken for by other VMs. So, we are moving forward with Openstack.

With my (short term) class completed (Linux Administration), it marks a shift in focus to my next certification. Originally, I was thinking that would be the Comptia Security+, but that will be put off till I receive the exam voucher, later this year (no reason to waste money!). Then, I was thinking the ITIL V3 would be good, but now I'm thinking I will move the ITIL to April and work on the Redhat RHCSA in March. I'm pretty enthralled with Linux right now. I'm also reading Classic Shell Scripting: Hidden Commands that Unlock the Power of Unix.
Links to Amazon's site.

 So, tonight we (me and the mouse in my pocket) start reading Mich Jang's Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide, I've laid out the month long schedule for the exam and scheduled it for April 6th. Here's the month's calendar.

I'm looking forward to the next few months with the exams, classes and what not. This is the reason I got into IT in the first place!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cisco Network Academy - Switching from Student to Alumni

For those of us fortunate enough to take the Cisco Network Academy courses (Exploration being better than Discovery, in my opinion), we have an opportunity to switch our account over to Alumni status. This can only happen once we've completed the student courses successfully and the instructor has marked the Network Academy grade book with a passing grade.

This switch can sometimes be an elusive task unless you know wheat you're looking for. For instance, the T.A. at my local brick and mortar community college missed out on the Alumni account opportunity. The Alumni account option eventually expires post course completion.

The Alumni home page looks exactly like the student home page, but it has different options. You loose the option to view the student page once your Network Academy class is completed. The Alumni home page allows access to course materials, the Alumni forums,  career tools,and more.

The Alumni Network Academy home page. © Cisco Systems

Here's the info from Cisco about the Alumni benefits:

Alumni Enrollment Is a Valuable Benefit

Starting back to school and finishing a school term are perfect opportunities to get registered as alumni with Cisco Networking Academy. We can show you how.

Why should I register as an alumni member?

Students who do not register as alumni will lose their access to Academy Connection soon after they leave the classroom if they do not enroll in a subsequent class. That means you’ll no longer be able to access the Course Materials to study for certification or re-certification.

If certification is one of your career goals, you’ll want to maintain curriculum access as a valuable resource for your exam preparation. Alumni privileges include access to Course Materials (for courses you passed). Even if you’re still in class, you’ll want access to benefits available only to registered alumni.

Along with continued curriculum access, there are a number of other benefits available to you as a registered member of the Alumni Community including:

Eligible students and grads will see the Alumni Home link on their Student home page.

Register now to secure your access as an alumni member.

Click here to watch a brief video about the alumni registration process.

For more information, send an e-mail to academy-alumni@external.cisco.com.


So, how do you change over to Alumni once your class is done? Here's how:

  1.  Navigate over to the Cisco Network Academy and log in.
  2.  Verify minimum age requirements
  3.  agree to the terms
  4. Update your profile (required)
  5. You'll then be able to edit your information and enable "Opt-ins"
  6. lastly click register on the "Opt-ins" page to be given 99 years of Aceademy Alumni access. Awesome.
  7. You'll eventually receive an Email letting you know you'r registered as an Alumni. That's it.

Hopefully this will be helpful for someone to be able to utilize the Academy Alumni resources in the future. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

2012 picking up fast.

I have invested a bit with Darrill Gibson's security+ books/audio and got caught in the holiday rush thus missing the deadline for the SY0-201. The exam offering was closed on 20111231. So, I picked up the new CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead and started to read it. About 1/3 of the way through, I was in communication with a professor at my local community college, who informed me there would be  a voucher available to me if I completed a security course with them in the fall. So, the Security+ is postponed till fall 2012.

With that I picked up Bradly Orand's Foundations of IT Service Management with ITIL 2011 and have been making my way through that. I'm thinking I'll pick up a CBT to supplement the book.

Speaking of that CBT Nuggets has a $24.00 for 24 hours of access to all videos within their IT library. The IT library includes a ton of training subjects, that would last well beyond you 24 hour allotment. Still, for a single subject it's a fantastic deal. Here is CBT Nugget's IT Library offerings.

Beyond that, I started a LAMP / Eucalyptus class at my local B&M which should be interesting. I will be studying for the RHCSA during this class and plan to sit for that in April / May. The class is based on Scientific Linux, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I picked up a copy of Michael Jang's RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide and will have started working my way through that.

So, this means I'm slow on posts to the blog, but things are picking up cert wise. I did come across some other of my CCNA lab resources and once I find them again, I'll post my last installment in the CCNA LAB resources series.