If you haven’t done anything with Linux yet, the first step in getting serious about Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 is to evaluate your training needs. If you are a current Novell Certified Engineer (NCE), you have been well-trained and seasoned with years of experience installing, configuring, maintaining and troubleshooting NetWare servers.
You know NetWare like the back of your hand and are confident in your ability to keep your NetWare servers up and running — and your employer and users happy. If you haven’t done much with Linux yet, you might not have that same confidence when it comes to Linux servers. The only way to gain that confidence is to begin with a good training program, and Novell Training Services has such a training program on the way.
The Novell Certified Engineer Enterprise Services
At BrainShare 2007, Novell Training Services announced the new NCE certification program. The first certification track to roll out in that program was NCE Enterprise Services. The Enterprise Services track was conceived with current NCEs in mind. This track will bring you up to speed on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 platform and the services provided in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2.
The Enterprise Services certification track takes your experience managing Novell services on NetWare into account. You already know how eDirectory works and how to keep the tree healthy. You already know what Novell Storage Services is and how to manage storage devices, pools and volumes. You already have a firm grasp of Novell networking in general, so this track starts with the assumption that you just need to learn how to manage and administer Novell network services on Linux.
For current CNEs, this learning path is made up of two courses, also announced at BrainShare 2007: Implementing Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 for Linux (Course 3089) and Deploying Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 for Linux (Course 3090).
Implementing Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 for Linux (Course 3089)
Course 3089, in a nutshell, provides the essential skill set needed for implementing Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 on Linux. This course starts with the Linux operating system. For the majority of this course, you get hands-on experience with the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 operating system. If you have any UNIX or Linux experience, you will recognize many of the concepts presented in this course. If you do not have prior UNIX or Linux experience, you will find there are many new and important concepts you must learn from this course, such as:
Installing SLES 10 SP1: The installation content of the course will help you understand the installation requirements and options for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10. Options include network installs, automated installs and physical media installs. You also will learn the details of the installation process and gain an understanding of common installation issues.
Boot processes and runlevels: This course will help you understand the differences between the Linux boot and initialization process and the NetWare boot processes (loadstages) you may be used to. You’ll also learn about another new concept: runlevels in Linux.
File systems and volumes: Linux uses a different paradigm for mounting file systems and volumes (particularly in the way devices are mounted and located in the file system hierarchy) and includes a variety of file systems and volume types from which to choose. Understanding file systems and volumes is critical for deploying Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 services on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
Linux also has a complex set of configuration options for setting and managing partitions and volumes that you will get to explore using the YaST management tool. YaST is the SUSE Linux tool you’ll use to do the majority of server administration tasks as you roll out the services in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2.
User and file system security: Linux is a multiuser operating system with an approach to access control, files and services that differs significantly from NetWare. Linux uses POSIX for handling user access to directories and files, and this course will familiarize you with POSIX and file system permissions.
Packages, processes and services: You also must be comfortable with the concepts of packages, processes and services before you begin migrating services from NetWare servers to your Open Enterprise Server 2 servers running on Linux.
SUSE Linux organizes software into packages for ease of distribution and installation. Because Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 services are deployed using packages, this course will teach you where packages can be found, how to configure access to packages and how to install and uninstall them.
SUSE Linux also takes a somewhat different approach to running processes and services than you are used to with NetWare. In this context, the term “services” refers not to network-based services such as NSS or iFolder, but to a specific type of Linux system process that is also referred to as a daemon. Your familiarity with NetWare will help you grasp these concepts; this course will supplement this knowledge with an understanding of how Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 utilizes processes and services (daemons) in the SUSE Linux environment.
After you complete this content on Linux basics, you install Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 on your SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 machine. You will learn how network-based services such as Novell eDirectory, Novell Storage Services, Novell iFolder, Novell iPrint and Dynamic Storage Technology are installed, configured and maintained on a Linux server.
If you want to deploy these network-based services on a Linux server, you need to know which tools you use to configure and manage them; where the configuration and log files are stored; and how they are started, stopped and monitored. This course helps you explore the location and contents of these configuration and log files and points out how you might configure them for the needs of your enterprise. In this course, you also will start and stop these servers and learn the various command-line options associated with each service.
When you have completed this course, you will feel confident with Linux and comfortable with the idea that you can keep your employer and users as happy with a Linux-based network as they are with NetWare servers.
Deploying Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 for Linux (Course 3090)
While Course 3089 provides the foundational knowledge, Course 3090 provides the more advanced knowledge you need for a successful deployment of Novell Open Enterprise Server 2. In fact, Course 3090 takes many of the Linux fundamentals taught in Course 3089 and bumps them up a notch to give you the maintenance, troubleshooting and security-related skills needed to keep your Linux servers running smoothly. This course also covers topics such as service migration and advanced configuration to give you the skills you need to deploy Open Enterprise Server 2 servers in your network.
Other important skills and components taught in this course include the following:
Xen virtualization: In this course, you will get into the nuts and bolts of Xen virtualization. You will migrate services from a virtualized NetWare server to a virtualized SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 server that you will build yourself.
Dynamic storage technology: In this course, you will perform configuration tasks with Dynamic Storage Technology and gain a greater understanding of how you would deploy it in your environment.
Advanced configuration and installation of Open Enterprise Server 2: The installation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 can be done with physical media, over a network connection, from a PXE menu and also can be automated. This course explores these options and gives you hands-on experience with them.
Patches and upgrades: This course also offers you training on deploying patches and upgrades on your Linux servers. The procedure for doing so is different from what you are used to with NetWare and is essential for keeping your servers running reliably.
Finding support for Open Enterprise Server 2: As with NetWare, Novell offers many avenues for getting support for your Linux servers, from online help to support forums to technical information documents. This course helps you navigate, locate and effectively use these sources of support.
The Objective of the NCE
Enterprise Services Learning Path
The ultimate purpose of this learning path is for you to be able to deploy Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 in your network. If you are a current CNE, Implementing Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 for Linux (Course 3089) helps you get comfortable with the Linux platform and shows you how Novell services function on Linux. The next course in the path, Deploying Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 for Linux (Course 3090), covers the advanced topics that complete your skill set migration from NetWare to SUSE Linux.
You can then prove your skills and become NCE Enterprise Services certified by successfully completing Novell Exam 050-709, which is delivered as a Practicum test.
David Coughanour manages the course and test design and development team at Novell. He has nine years of experience designing and developing certification curriculum. You can contact him at editor (at) certmag (dot) com.