Passed EX403 Deployment and Systems Management with Satellite

Four down, one to go!

EX403 Exam Experience

The EX403K has been retired from the available exams list temporary as Red Hat’s Koala stations in London and Manchester need to be upgraded to reach the technical specifications for this exam. As a result, I opted in for a classroom exam on Satellite 6.2.

The task list is quite sufficient for a 4 hour exam. It should come as no surprise, but some tasks take time. If you use Satellite, you know what I mean.

I started the exam by spending 10 minutes reading all questions, and making a plan to avoid shooting myself in the foot. This helped a great deal, because I was able to work on one thing while waiting for another one to complete.

The exam score came back 265/300.

I’m more or less happy with the result. One of the exam questions really got me good, and it took me around 40 minutes to partially solve it. I knew I would drop points because of this, but I was also certain that it’s not the task that would fail the exam. Ironically, towards the end of the exam I figured out the solution, but there wasn’t enough time left to safely implement and test it.

If you are planning on taking the Satellite exam, then double check everything. A simple typo can cost you a lot of time if you need to redo things. It’s one of those exams where you have to perform certain tasks in a specific order. There is no other way around it. Therefore making a plan at the start of the exam is essential.

Exam Preparation in Numbers

I’m not new to Satellite, I’ve been using it for some time now.

I spent around 15 hours studying, and over 50 hours labbing before I took the exam. I’ll be honest and admit that a good portion of that time was spent waiting on Satellite installation, repository sync and PXE provisioning!

29 thoughts on “Passed EX403 Deployment and Systems Management with Satellite

  1. Hi!
    I have never used this product, but I want to try on it to pass the exam, is it a difficult exam?

  2. Hi Tomas,
    question about RHCA,

    your first exam you pass it on dec 2018
    your fifth exam you pass it on jan. 2020.

    What is the range of your RHCA?
    is it jan2020-jan2023?
    dec 2018 – dec 2021?

  3. What happen after you got RHCA? Did the redhat contacted you? Like asking you to work for them? Etc? Aside self fulfilment and career advancement. What happen after RHCA?

  4. Hi Tomas,
    i have only like 100 days left in my RHLS subscription. what im doing ehre at work is ansible and a little bit os satellite.
    Do you have any advise what to take first? im not a guru of this two. I always relay in google. I can write a stnand alone playbook. can manage satellite if i have a guide. What you think? 100 days and 80 hours of lab hours left.
    I did not know the rules in RHLS that theres a time allotment for the lab hours. so I burn it in RHCSA and RHCE

    • 100 days is plenty to prepare and pass an exam. Pick the one that you find the most interesting, it will make studying easier.

      You’re right, you are limited to 400 lab hours per RHLS, and from my experience it’s sufficient. There are RHLS reports that you can generate to see how many hours you’ve used already. Also, it helps if you run your own homelab.

  5. Hi Tomas. Thanks for your efforts in posting this information. I just started prepping for the satellite exam now and are freaking out at the thought of having to remember all of the firewall ports for satellite and capsule as well as some of the more general installation and configuration command switches. Like you I have done the ansible exams, which I thought had more than enough support material available. Could you say how you found the availability of information in the satellite exam by way of comparison? Thank you.

    • Satellite documentation is available during the exam, however, I didn’t have to use it much. From my experience all Red Hat exams have official documentation available in one form or another, and it’s usually enough if you know what you are looking for.

      You don’t have to memorise all the firewall ports as long as you know the services that Satellite uses. E.g. Satellite relies on DNS to deliver the solution, therefore it’s expected that firewall ports for this service should be open. The same goes for DHCP and TFTP.

      Satellite installer has a lot of options I’ll give you that, however, in most cases you only need the proxy ones for DNS, DHCP and TFTP. This makes searching documentation much easier.

  6. Hi .. I did not pass the test. :(
    I have a question.
    There are two network interfaces. (eth0, eth1) and two clients
    I don’t know where to configure dhcp, dns, tftp.
    eth1 network subnet are same as client
    When I was studying, I studied with one network interface.
    Sorry, I can not speak english not well

    • Read the exam objectives carefully, everything that you need to configure services is provided. I’d recommend setting up Satellite in a homelab environment with multiple interfaces and practising before you retake the exam. Good luck!

  7. Hi,

    I see there is a new version of Satellite (v6.6). The objectives are also changed. Does this mean we didn’t have to know how to install a Satellite\Capsule server?

    • Yes, the new version has been released for v6.6. Please check the official exam objectives for any changes as well as whether you are required to install the Satellite server.

    • Yes just did the brand new 6.6 exam and past it with a score of 274 of 300. If you know all the labs in the book i think it is sufficient. Redhat has verry good study material and lab environment.

  8. Hello Tomas,
    How are you. Could you please help me to get understand some concept regards the subscription.
    Q1: If we buy redhat satellite subscription they ask how many physical system are you going to used . Does it mean that only specif number of server could be patched through satellite or does it mean they will only provide support on specific number of server.
    Q2: If we buy subscription for 4 server. Cant i patch my other server through satellite ?
    Q3: Do we need satellite subscription for installing redhat satellite as like we need to purchase rhel add-on for installation pacemaker cluster.

    • Hi, this is tricky, I don’t want to provide you with incorrect information. Red Hat’s subscription pricing is best discussed with their sales representative.

  9. I just passed the EX403 with 300 point.
    I finished it in 90 minutes, only because I made a typo in an ip address range. :D So I had to troubleshoot and extra 30 mins to figure it out it is just a typo.
    This was ridiculously ease compared to EX294/EX407/EX447. Two more exams to become an RHCA. ;)

  10. Hello Lisenet

    First all all many thanks for your work it help
    I passed ex294 and success
    One question for ex403 , can we use web UI interface instead of hammer command ?
    Which one do you prefer in term eof conveniance and time consuming ?


    • Hi, thanks very much. Congratulations on passing RHCE8!

      You can use the web UI for EX403 if you want. I prefer to use the CLI because it’s easier, but there is nothing wrong with using the web UI.

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