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Author: stephen

Stephen Smith is a Systems Infrastructure Security Engineer with over 16 years of architecting experience. He has been with Linux Academy since the beginning and teaches courses on Linux, AWS, Azure, and OpenStack. Stephen's passion is OpenStack and holds many certifications and is very active within the OpenStack Foundation's community.

CompTIA Cloud Essentials

CompTIA Cloud Essentials

Cloud Essentials is a basic certification through CompTIA. The certification aims to provide a vendor-neutral, conceptual understanding of the cloud. Cloud Essentials focuses on real-world issues and practical solutions for cloud computing, as it relates to business and IT. This is not a technical-heavy course and centers on the principles of the cloud, instead of the command line. CompTIA also has a CompTIA Cloud+ certification more in the direction of technical-heavy concepts that Linux Academy will offer in the future as well. If your organization uses the cloud or is still on the fence of migrating services into the cloud, the Cloud Essentials is a great starting point for you.

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Linux Academy introduces Microsoft Azure Essentials

Linux Academy introduces Microsoft Azure Essentials

This week we released the first course for our Microsoft Azure cloud training. This is an introductory course for learning about the basic concepts of Microsoft Azure, what it can do for us and how to get started. This course is the first of what we hope to be many Azure training courses, due to popular demand from our users. So what is Azure anyway? Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. Simply put, if you are familiar with Amazon Web Services, Azure is Microsoft's cloud services offering. Depending on your business needs, for a public cloud or hybrid cloud, there are many reasons your organization may be using one over the other. (And as a fun side note: You can absolutely run your Linux application workloads and Linux distributions within Azure too!)

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Preparing to Take the Certified OpenStack Administrator Exam

Preparing to Take the Certified OpenStack Administrator Exam

This past week at the OpenStack Summit in Austin Texas I had the privilege of speaking about what it takes to prepare for the OpenStack Foundation's new Certified OpenStack Administrator exam. I wanted to share with the audience, and now with you, some of the primary steps you need to focus on when becoming a certified professional for administrating OpenStack environments.

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Understanding Keystone Endpoints

Understanding Keystone Endpoints

(OpenStacks Identity Service) OpenStack Identity (Keystone) provides a central directory of users mapped to the OpenStack services they can access. It acts as a common authentication system across the cloud operating system and can integrate with existing backend directory services like LDAP. It supports multiple forms of authentication including standard username and password credentials, token-based systems and AWS-style (i.e. Amazon Web Services) logins. Additionally, the catalog provides a queryable list of all of the services deployed in an OpenStack cloud in a single registry. Users and third-party tools can programmatically determine which resources they can access.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenStack#Identity_Service_.28Keystone.29 In OpenStack before we can start utilizing the the vast ecosystem of services and applications that are available ie: (Nova, Swift, Neutron, Glance, etc), we first have to authorize our users.  There are some very important terms that we need to understand when working with OpenStack Identity (keystone). I would like to take a moment to address one of the biggest confusions when setting up endpoints in keystone today.  First let's start out by defining what an endpoint even is.  An endpoint in keystone is just a URL that can be used to access a service within OpenStack.  An endpoint is just like a point of contact for YOU (the user) to use an OpenStack service.  The adminurl (we will show these further down) is for the admin users, the internalurl are what the other services use to talk to each other.  And the publicurl is what everyone else accessing the service endpoint uses.

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OpenVPN, OpenSwan, and AWS VPC

OpenVPN, OpenSwan, and AWS VPC

The last week or so I have been working on the content of Linux Academy’s new Hybrid AWS Technologies course.  Going through the OpenVPN and OpenSwan lessons I thought it to be the perfect opportunity to talk a little bit about how awesome these open source VPN solutions are. If you've gone through any of our AWS courses at the Linux Academy you probably already know that Amazon VPC has built-in functionality that you can use to utilize in order to connect your on-premise network to your VPC instances on the Amazon cloud. But if you’re a business that already uses OpenVPN or an OpenSwan VPN server at your on-premise networks then today I want to talk a little bit about connecting those two environments.

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How To Study For AWS Certifications

How To Study For AWS Certifications

One of the most frequently asked questions by our students is "How do I study for the an AWS exam?" and "Which exam should I take?" Here I hope to help create some clarity around the AWS exams and the best way to prepare for exams. In our next post I'll talk about which exam you should take. After all do SysAdmins need to take the developer cert? (The answer to that is yes, but this is a teaser for our next post). At the Linux Academy we have crafted a pretty unique prep course for each one of these exams. We know that everyone learns differently and personally I'm a strong believer that to truly "learn" a concept not just "memorize questions to pass an exam" you need more than one learning method and you need to practice, hands on in a real environment.

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