This certification is mainly about three things :
– storage management (iSCSI, LVM, multipathing, udev rules)
– Red Hat Cluster Suite
– Red Hat Storage
The full list of objectives is available on Red Hat’s website.
I did not take the course RH436 that prepares to the certification, so I guess that anyone can do it that way too. What do you need to pass this certification ? As usual with Red Hat, this certificate of expertise is based on hands-on tasks to realize, so there is no way to get this certification by just thinking you know about the technology. This presentation from Thomas Cameron, a Red Hatter, at the Red Hat Summit 2011 is a good start to get to know the technology. If you can do everything he does during the presentation, you are on a good way to get the certification 😉
If you do not have a system running on RHEL with a subscription, a CentOS server or virtual machine will do it too to sharpen your skills on the High-Availability Add-on of RHEL, on the Resilient Storage Add-on of RHEL and on Red Hat Storage.
Of course, a virtual environment is a good idea, for example to create multiple networks (such as application, cluster heartbeat, storage1 and storage2) that way you can train on multipathing with iSCSI targets.
Finally, in order to train on Red Hat Storage, downloading the packages from the community website might not be a too bad idea, as the community version of Gluster is not too different from the enterprise version used in Red Hat Storage (although that might change in the future).
All in all, this certification was not too difficult, although I still learned a lot by training for it ! Next certificate of expertise in sight : the EX442 Red Hat Enterprise Performance Tuning Expertise which is, from what I heard from my colleagues, much more challenging. I am looking forward to taking that one !