Road to RHCA Epilog: How I Became a Red Hat Certified Architect

It has been a lot of hard work, but totally worth it in the end.

In a Nutshell

Main study resources: RHLS, Ansible documentation, Red Hat documentation, including product documentation for Red Hat Satellite 6, RHEL 7 Security Guide and High Availability Add-On Administration.

Hours spent studying: 150.

Hours spent labbing: over 180 (RHLS and homelab combined).

Hours spent driving to the training centre: 20.

How much did it cost? Bloody everything.

Exams Taken

  1. Clustering (EX436)
  2. Puppet (EX405)
  3. Ansible (EX407)
  4. Satellite (EX403)
  5. Security (EX415)

The Most Challenging Exam

I found Puppet to be the hardest exam. You are only given 3 hours to solve the questions. There is a lot of coding involved, and not that much time to waste to be honest with you.

How Long Did it Take?

It took me 6 months with some scheduled breaks in between.


Was road to RHCA hard? Yes. I learnt some things I didn’t know about. I also learnt Ansible. This was one of the best investments I have ever made. Would I do that again? I would.

I believe that time management was the key to success. Red Hat documentation can be overwhelming, and it’s planning that keeps you sane. Spending 1-2 hours a day studying does not look like a difficult task to achieve, but you get drained emotionally over time, and it’s easy to lose focus if you’re not careful. Having breaks in between exams is a must in my opinion.

Being familiar with Red Hat technologies helped me a great deal. I breezed through HA clustering, Puppet and Satellite courses. It is only now that I realise that relevant work experience is paramount to attain RHCA. If you don’t use tech stacks you’re studying for, you will struggle.

What’s Next?

I have a couple of exam attempts remaining on my RHLS, therefore it makes sense to take advantage of the opportunity to the fullest, and attempt to level up, probably later this year.

8 thoughts on “Road to RHCA Epilog: How I Became a Red Hat Certified Architect

  1. Congratulations for the distinction achievement tomas, reading your blog definitely improved my experience with linux systems so thanks a million, and my path to RHCA has just begun. i wish you a successful career, keep up the good work.

  2. Congratulations Tomas!!! that was an awesome hard work.
    Are you planning to do the EX210 RCHSA in Openstack?

    • Thank you. I’m currently working on OpenShift, and I am almost certain that I will take the OpenStack course at some point this year to familiarise myself with technology, but I don’t think that I will sit the OpenStack exam.

  3. Congratulations tomas :) Just want to ask why you are not working on redhat performance tuning ex442 as its very crucial in enterprise environment.

    • Thanks! That’s a fair question. Taking the course is definitelly on my list! I’ve just got other courses that I want to do first because they are closely related to the work that I do (HA, systems automation and provisioning). We have a dedicated performance test infrastructure already in place, therefore performance tuning isn’t a priority at the moment.

  4. Congrats! Is there a resource that allows one to practice things like satellite and tower? I’m able to practice for most things (like Ansible, IPA, performance, …) just using CentOS but I can’t find how one might practice satellite and tower without subscribing to them?

    • Thanks very much!

      All Red Hat products are open source, meaning that you can pick an upstream version and use it in a homelab without having to purchase a subscription. You can use Foreman/Katello for Satellite, AWX for Ansible Tower or OKD for OpenShift.

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