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Overview

Linux Certification Program Illustration

Six Feet Up assisted an international nonprofit in implementing their online Certification Program for both early-career and engineer-level Linux systems administrators.

Challenge

In a time crunch, the organization looked for experts in Salt, Python and Linux administration to augment their own distributed team of devops and complete the software development and testing of the new Certification Program before a major announcement in August 2014. Six Feet Up assembled a cross-functional team of sysadmins, developers and QA engineers to answer the challenge.

System Deployment

Linuxsaltawspython.jpgSix Feet Up contributed to the implementation of the client's Certification Program by developing a mechanism to quickly build and tear down servers. The team successfully integrated the system configuration management tool Salt with Amazon Web Services such as EC2 clusters, S3 storage, SQS and CloudFormation. Scripts were used to automate the management of VM environments and the creation and grading of exams. Leveraging the cross-platform tool Salt proved to be a key success factor as it helped the team navigate through each environment's bugs, quirks and edge cases when trying to get exams to operate identically in each distribution. The Six Feet Up QA team also played a key role in the project by relentlessly running each scenario against the three Linux distributions CentOS, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu.

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Conclusion

Six Feet Up worked with the client's distributed team of engineers for several months, helping with the formalization of the agile management process, and ensuring the project launched on time with the quality that systems administrators around the world have come to expect. "We couldn't have done it without you," said the project manager. "Six Feet Up kept the launch of our certification programs on schedule by streamlining our testing and QA across multiple Linux distributions and by assisting our development staff."

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