Administration and Finance Focus



UH Systems Administrator 3 Alan Pfeiffer-Traum earned distinction as a Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS).

To gain this certification he passed three proficiency exams that tested his expertise in software used to manage Data Center environments. The exams covered software deployment, configuration management, clustering, storage management, directory and authentication services.

To hold this certification a candidate must also currently be a RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer).

Pfeiffer-Traum works in University Information Technology's High Performance Computing group (HPC) which is primarily responsible for managing the Research Computing Center, a data center dedicated to supporting the research needs of the campus.

�The effort required to achieve this certification demonstrates our commitment to provide expert system administration to our customers,� said Keith Crabb, interim manager of the HPC. �Each of our staff holds certification in some area of the services we manage. Alan is building on that standard.�

�I think it is important for UIT to continue to give high quality support to the research needs of our students and faculty. It is their work that will directly advance the current efforts to attain Tier One status for UH. The academic goals of the university need our support," Pfeiffer-Traum said.

Red Hat proficiency exams are performance based exams. They are designed to test the ability to perform real-world tasks.

"In the exam you are presented with requirements and resources, and you are then expected, within a limited amount of time, to produce certain deliverables,� Pfeiffer-Traum explained. "The score is based on the result, not on the steps you followed to get the result. In that way it's more like real-life problem solving."

Cisco Systems also uses performance-based exams. Microsoft is beginning to introduce them as well.

�The experience of taking a performance-based exam is much more stimulating than a conventional multiple choice exam, which is not to say that it is fun," he said.