80 hours lab time not enough

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It takes about 3 months for an average person to be prepare for an exam. Given that Red Hat exams are hands on, lots of practice is needed.
If one is to study 2 hours a day, he or she will run out of lab hours in 2 months. Given that lab hours is limited to 80 hours per course. This is not enough lab time. Please you guys to up the lab hours.

Thank you

Responses

Totally agree. I try to save this time by first I read chapter and lab few chaper few times before I start the lab, but this not ideal as it still stays in head and not in hands

Thank you for seeing my point. The worst thing is, the timer starts when you start the lab. It takes a good 15 to 20 minutes for a lab to start. You loose lab time before the lab even starts. Red hat knows how to rob people. I have open a support case with red hat. I suggest you do the same.

If I do run out of lab hours, I will take red hat to court. They did not mention anywhere that lab hours are limited. If it is mentioned that lab hours are limited, perhaps I and many others will not bother paying $5500 or $8500 for training that limits your practice time. That is a lot of money to throw away.

Edit: Forgot to mention that the biggest issue with Lab time is that it is billed hourly. If you use 15 mins of lab time, it will count as 1 hour in your usage quota.

While I do understand and partially agree with you, you assume that you will do 2 hours of lab everyday, you will run out of lab time in 40 days flat. I think you're not taking into consideration that A) Not everyone will access course content everyday for different purposes and excuses. B) Even if they do, you need to spend time learning the actual course content, not just labs.

As a student, you need to make sure you're time managing this correctly. At the end, IMO you shouldn't take the subscription if you plan to take 1-2 courses only in the span of a year.

From Red Hat's side, I hope they re-adjust their lab time counters to calculate actual usage without boot-up time, or simply delay the counter to start after 10mins of clicking the start button for example. This should make people a little bit less frustrated about the matter (If you've taken RH413, you'll understand as you generally need to power on 1 machine and wait for a while before powering on the others).

Thank you for your input. "For each their own". Everyone has a different style of studying. For starters, Red Hat is not like Biology or history, where you can study the course content and later do labs. Studying for Red Hat is like doing programming. Your hands have to be busy on the keyboard. You have to have the lab up and running to follow along. I am studying for RH318 right now. How do you I study the course material without having the lab running? I have to be able to navigate to see what the instructor is talking about. I am not a genius to understand what I study and practice in one go. When I power on the lab and it runs for 2 hours (loosing 10-15 minutes out of 2), not enough for me. Not enough at all.

Time management is very essential. I want to believe any one of us studying Red Hat does know how to manage time. It is about practice. Keyboard time is the most valuable time when studying for Red Hat Exams.

Thank you for your valuable points Amin.

And on top of that you're paying between 5000 and 7000 euros for the subscription itself, why limit the time on labs? Most people work fulltime and only have time to study in their free time which is in the evening and in the weekends.

I am very glad many like you are seeing my point in this. Red hat is trying to compare the subscription from the stand point of a 40 hour 5 day class. Meaning you have to study 8 hours a day. Very ridiculous. They forget to market this subscription as self paced. Study at your own time at your own. Why cap lab hours?

You guys should open a ticket for this as well.

You mean seeing it as 32 hour 4 day class, 5th day exam if you are taking a course including an exam.

I didn't know it is billed hourly. I don't think red hat yet implemented any of lab time hours strictly I haven't used many lab hours but I am always afraid to start lab and afraid that I will be out of lab hours soon. You can cry however you want. I have talked to Red hat on phone on this issue and they emphasized me that they are not going to change it. Well, I will not continue my subscription either. One thing I have also learned is not to buy premium subscription with exams if you are not serious to go for exam. There is hardly time to go for exam while working. I agree you get extra free re-take credit, but I was not able to use 70% exam and it expires when your subscription ends.

Agreed. I am taking only courses that a hard to get training for. Like Satellite and Virtualization, gluster and ceph.. When my subscription runs I will not renew. I will use other sources. Red Hat is robbing students.

All,

If you have the hardware, you can in most case apply for a Development subscription and build your own Lab. Off course this not ideal.

Regards,

Jan Gerrit

Agreed. Thank you

really ? does Dev stuff include satellite ? and others like Ansible tower, openshift, openstack ? Lab is needed first to get concept clear. I did setup katello in my home lab but there are many things were not clear on katello until I did satellite lab two times.

Yash,

Unfortunately not, for that you need either an evaluation subscription or a NfR subscription from a Red Hat partner.

Regards,

Jan Gerrit

Anyone interested in development work, check out the offerings at https://developers.redhat.com/downloads/ (it is not just merely RHEL, there are a lot of things; scroll down when you arrive at that link). Remember if you use this, you'll have to commit to the Red Hat usage agreement of it being for development purposes, not production.

To add what Jan Gerrit Kootstra mentioned, I run my own lab for some things, I put on a base OS, and if you use KVM (oddball name for native virtualization to RHEL), or some other virtualization technology, you can then take a "snapshot" in many cases of virtualization. The Good Thing(TM) about a snapshot (where possible), is you can revert back to your original load and take your lab to a different direction. Optimal? no. Practical in some cases/useful? yes. Run at your own risk... There are some labs that are impractical to replicate. And... you'll have to really make sure you accomplished the lab properly as you won't have the native lab tools Red Hat offers. See Jan Gerrit Kootstra's posts above.

This is all the more reason why Red Hat has to give unlimited lab hours or increase lab hours substantially for paying ROLE costumers. $5500/$8500 is no small amount of money.

It looks like this thread is starting to spiral a bit, let me see if I can provide some additional clarity.

But first, lets talk a bit about community behavior. I respect everyone's ability to espouse their opinions in this open forum. However, one should realize that positioning your posts in an adversarial way is likely going to engender adversarial responses, which is definitely going to change the tone of the thread. Personally, I don't find that very productive, and much rather prefer a more collegial environment in the communities I participate in. Further, having a negative-focused community tends to drive participants away from the community. I don't know about you all, but I like having more members and more participation in the community, so creating an environment that discourages those things, makes me, also, less likely to participate.

On the same thread of thought, being a Red Hat employee, I don't really appreciate statements that I'm intentionally am out to harm our customers or community members. Even if these statements are hyperbolic or in jest, it doesn't engender the overall theme we have at Red Hat of inclusion and collegiality. Additionally, statements threatening legal action, again, even in hyperbole or jest, is a very effective way to create a situation where any Red Hat employee participants on a thread now need to disengage and not further assist or interact with members within the community.

The short answer to the original request, increasing the available lab hours is "Probably not." I don't have any plans on changing the machine time limits. I'm sure there are thousands of arguments of why I should and should not entertain a change. But at the end of the day, labs cost money. An hour of consumed lab time is an hour of time Red Hat is billed for by our cloud provider that hosts the labs. Red Hat is billed, rounded up to the nearest whole hour, and as a result, that is how we also manage the consumed lab time measurements as well. Billing starts at the moment you hit "Provision Lab" or "Start Lab" or when you start an individual machine in the lab, regardless of whether the state of the machine is STARTING or STARTED, and as a result, that's how we also manage the lab systems and time shown to you all. Your environments and systems display in the exact same way as our back-end machine management; transparency is another Red Hat value, and I want you all to see exactly what's happening, even if that may not be how you might prefer the product to work.

The lab limits of the product are outlined a couple of different places. The first is in the description of the product available from it's product information page:

Description
Red hat Learning Subscription is an exclusive program that provides you with
1 year's access to all Red Hat Online Learning courses. You will receive
unlimited access to our online learning content, up to 400 hours of hands-on
lab time, and more than 300 recorded instructor videos - all for one low price.

Subscription Product Page

Also in the terms and conditions for Red Hat Training & Certification Products, I've picked the pieces out a bit since they're distributed in several different product categories:

RED HAT ONLINE LEARNING SUBSCRIPTION
ACCESS TO LABS
A ROLE subscription makes Named Participant eligible for 80 hours of labs.
[Scott Note: This is the description pertaining to per-class limit]
...
RED HAT LEARNING SUBSCRIPTIONS
All of the same Terms and Conditions for ROLE apply to Red Hat Learning Subscription except as otherwise noted below.
...
RED HAT LEARNING SUBSCRIPTION-BASIC (RHLS-BASIC)
LAB HOURS
RHLS-Basic Subscription includes up to 400 hours of lab access.
...
RED HAT LEARNING SUBSCRIPTION-STANDARD (RHLS-STANDARD)
All the same Terms and Conditions for ROLE and RHLS Basic apply to Red Hat Learning Subscription-Standard, except as otherwise noted below
[Scott Note: no further changes to lab information in this product, so essentially, same as RHLS-BASIC]

Red Hat Training Terms and Conditions

If there is a misunderstanding of the product description or the Terms and Conditions of the product, I'm happy to have an individual conversation to clear it up and work on getting the documents updated to better express things so that further misunderstandings or misinterpretations do not occur. I certainly don't want someone to buy something then be disappointed that it did not meet their expectations.

Lastly, knowing that someone would express unhappiness about losing time to "STARTING" vs. "STARTED" state, I've set the actual limit where lab time will no longer be available slightly higher than 400 hours. I am being intentionally vague here because I think my limit should be OK, but I want the flexibility to adjust it. Also, as indicated above, Red Hat is billed for that additional time, so I may be asked to change it by other stakeholders.

I'd like to thank R. Hinton, for the excellent link to the Red Hat Developer's program, where registered users can have access to a catalog of Red Hat software (for development purposes) to further their lab time when providing their own equipment.

-STM

Scott McBrien
Principal Product Manager, Red Hat Online Training
Red Hat Certified Architect, Level VI (100-000-264)

Hi Scott,

I read your post carefully and want to thank you for your comprehensive information. What you say about the behavior of community members is something that exactly meets my feelings and opinion and hence is what I appreciate very much, so thanks for that too. Fortunately we have a lot of friendly and kind people here - you mentioned one of them - R. Hinton is a perfect example, he always tries to find a proper answer or solution for everyone, be it a 'newbee' or a 'pro'. Of course there are a lot of other users who are having the same attitude,
think of members such like Jan Gerrit Kootstra, or David Powles, or Ryan Sawhill, or, or, or ...

Compared with other communities I have to say that this is one of the nicest. I think that you are in a collegial environment here, so please keep on participating and providing your useful contributions. :)

Regards,
Christian

Hello Scott, Thanks for the detailed explanation! I understand that it costs money to run the labs, but would it then be possible to create an option for RHLS subscribers to be able to download a lab(for each course) to their home computer and run the lab setup on their own setup. I know my system can handle a lab setup running it via KVM or other virtualisation software. If that were an option I'm sure more people would choose to do that if that option were possible. The advantage to that would be that the labs would probably run faster on many home computers because it would be dedicated for one lab. From what I understand is that te labs run on a cloud provider and I can imagine that if you have thousands of lab running that at times the performance can go down. And if people had a choice between using the cloud provided lab vs running the labs on their own computers many would choose the latter. If enough people did that, and had no need for a cloud lab I'm sure that would reduce the cloud lab costs for RedHat also. I'm sure many people would appreciate it that option could be made available.

Cheers! Maarten

I meant to post it as a reply, delete this comment please

Maarten,

An excellent thought, and in fact, we've taken a look at doing this a couple of times over the years that we've been offering online training.

Unfortunately, the reasons we don't do this boil down to what I'd like to call: "THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!"

  • The first thing is product entitlements. Satellite, Ansible, and some other classes include manifests and product entitlements that we wouldn't want out there in the wild. Additionally, some of the business departments would potentially look at that as us giving paid products away for no cost, which is not permitted. The Developer Program folks spent a ton of effort wrangling this over a couple of year, and I don't think that every product is included in the Developer Subscription. (aka: why is your enterprise running all their production software as 'training' machines?)
  • Next is the format. I would want to do KVM guests, but others would want vagrant, VirtualBox, VMWare, xen, and just about any other hypervisor out there. No matter what we provide, there would be requests and complaints that whatever it is, is not enough or not in the right format. (aka: What do you mean I can't run my labs on BeOS?!?!?)
  • Support. Right now, our support staff have access to customer environments. If you have problems, we can boot up and access your machines and see what's happening. We would lose that ability with a local-support option, yet the customer expectation of support would likely remain unchanged. Further, we would vastly broaden our support requirements since now we not only have to help and troubleshoot the actual lab systems and their configuration, but now local hardware issues, local hypervisor issues, configuration issues, networking issues, etc. (aka: This machine has 32 bits and like 4G of RAM, what do you mean I can't run OpenStack labs on it?!?!?!)
  • Better enabling people to share a subscription. The subscription is for a single "Named User" and is not to be used by multiple people. We can monitor what's happening in our current setup, but if someone starts running local labs, we lose that ability and the possibility that people start abusing the subscription and we don't notice it, increases. (aka: I bought this subscription for me and 20,000 of my closest friends!)
  • Some people just don't use good judgement, then blame the product. (aka: I ran lab setup break-all-the-things on my production webserver and my company's web content was inaccessible for 4 days while I fixed everything. Why didn't you tell me I shouldn't use this on production systems?!!?!?!???!?)
  • Longevity. This also ties into support as well. We do maintenance and updates of labs and classes, but how do we get those updates into people's hands that have locally running labs? (aka: 3 years ago, I downloaded this war file and now it barfs errors, why doesn't it work anymore? FIX IT!!!!!????!!???!!!)
  • Owning the end-to-end experience. Right now, me, and the team I work on, own the user experience. You're unhappy with something in the lab or UI, we're responsible for evaluating it and either routing it (if it's a content issue), fixing it, or not-a-bug'ing it. If we end up with derivative lab environments out there, we lose that ability. As we add new features to the product, I've got a pretty cool one [I think] brewing for delivery later this year, I can't make sure that someone's derived lab would have it as well. This type of inconsistency creates issues that otherwise would not exist.

While I used the (aka)s as an attempt at levity, in my 17 years working with Red Hat Training & Certification, I've seen all but one of those actually happen in real life.

-STM

First off let me apologize if I did not meet the collegiate requirements for posting. Not my intention. I blame it on the fact that I can't really detail study and practice, knowing that I will run out of lab hours. It is frustrating. I just ask you to put yourself in my shoes. You are an architect, so I am sure you know very well that Red Hat exams require a ton of practice. Rushing through doesn't help us.

Your points for not providing offline labs are all valid. With that said, is it not possible for Red Hat to build a cloud specifically for ROLE (for RHLS members)?. This will eliminate the cost of paying the cloud providers you use.

Thank you

Arrey,

I'm sorry that you've reached the point of frustration. I've been there myself, on many occasions, so much so, that at one point in my life, I earned the nickname "Stabby" as I was wont to just sent a harsh and critical e-mail to someone to 'stab' them over an issue. It still even happens sometimes today, but much less frequently.

I am a Red Hat Certified Architect. For all my certifications, I participated in Instructor Led Training, Monday through Thursday, then took the exam on Friday. I had about 24-32 class hours (that's total time, not just labs), then took the exam. Or, occasionally, I'd just show up and take an exam, as was the case with EX342, without any preparation, because I could. If you verify my certification #, you'll see that a large majority of my certifications were earned long ago before we had online training available. (I earned my RHCE in 2000.) All my 'after-hours' studying was reviewing the manual provided in class, we didn't have access to labs after class ended at about 5:30p. I also invented fire, learned computing on an abacus, and had to walk to work in 47 feet of snow, uphill both ways.

We routinely review our lab infrastructure. We're always looking for new things that can provide a better experience for you all or cost savings for us (without sacrificing features we already have). So much so that we now have a new member joining the team who's sole focus is going to be on managing the cloud lab infrastructure and content. He's wrapping up work on the CL310 Red Hat OpenStack III course, then will transition to our team.

Moving to an in-housed cloud won't eliminate the cost of labs, it will shift it's make-up, and I think likely make it more expensive. Red Hat Online Training is a world-wide operation, and we're able to leverage the cloud datacenters around the world to geo-colocate people close to their lab systems. While it's not perfect, getting someone in Europe to systems running in Europe, means they don't have to traverse the transoceanic lines. Having increased latency in a connection can create all kinds of wonky lab problems, like when you type 'cat' but it appears as 'caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat' on your console.

But we were talking about building our own cloud! To build our own cloud, we'd have to have a very large capital expenditure to get all the gear (compute nodes, network switches, storage). Then, we'd need to position the gear in geographically located datacenters (which means we'd have to have an operational expense of the datacenter & network costs), and we'd have to hire staff or contractors to manage that hardware. Now our costs would move away from being 'cloud operations' where we pay by the hour per student per lab, and would now be an emmense capital investment, which would be amortized over several years, plus operational expenses of datacenter, network, and staff. And as I said earlier, I suspect this shift would be more expensive than what we're currently doing. While this would then incentivize Red Hat to temporarily provide more lab time (as our costs are mostly fixed), at some point, it's going to be constrained again as we add more users, but haven't expended more to acquire more hardware and capacity (as more hardware means more capital expenditure).

I appreciate the suggestions and thoughts, and as I mentioned, we also spend some time looking for alternatives. We've even found some really great regional cloud providers, but they only service one region, or maybe two. We're currently offering labs in 12 different geographically located datacenters, and as new locations come online, I expect that to expand slightly this year.

-STM

Scott,

Yes I can see your point(s), and some of they made me laugh as in how true they are :) I have tried setting up my own comparable labs for products that don't require a license or a comparable product that doesn't require a license either. Usually I don't have enough knowlege of the product in order to setup a decent lab to practice on, or I'll spend alot of hours trying to figure out a lab setup and then in the end not being able to have setup a usable lab and having wasted ours on it and not getting anywhere. Best case scenerio where I got some knowledge of the product I am able to setup a working lab and than actually able use it to practice for a course/exam. Anyways I appreciate the time you took to respond to me. Thanks! Just so you know I wasn't try to complain about the service, I was just more frustrated as in that I work fulltime and have limited time in my free time to study and do labs that I may take more than 80 hours of labs for some courses. So far I haven't run into any time limit yet which prevented me from being able to do labs in order to get the practice I need in order to prepare for an exam. I'm just really working hard towards my next certification spending most of my free time outside of work on it and it would really be a bummer if I ran into a time limit on labs. That's why the question about the time limits, and if it would be possible to have offline labs. I'll just try to get as far can since with the time I have since it is not possible, but I'm sure you can understand the frustration and time stress ;)

Cheers, Maarten

Maarten,

Completely understand. I've been 'taking' JB248 Red Hat JBoss Application Administration for about 4 years, and never seem to make much headway at it with my other commitments. Your not alone. It's a hazzard of the modality.

For me, to really make some headway on an online training class, I need to block out repeated time on my calendar so I'm not sucked into other things like meetings. I do much better if I can enforce some recurring, structured time so that I can focus my efforts. Though, I know that's not available for everyone, and even I struggle sometimes with work tasks interrupting my scheduled training time.

-STM

I think it will be a good idea if we can have the labs off-line because sometimes being conscious of timing makes one want to only runs through the steps in the Guided Exercises and Labs alone and not experiment with other features that are outside the labs. And again, since you have made available the training kit off-line as PDFs, it will be nice if you can do the same for the labs

I feel sorry for genuine open request by Arrey Ashu and it got buried under so called civilized talk. Yes, It is emotional, but that's part of intelligence, not just superficial request.

Okay guys, we should really have sympathies for the cost of cloud service Redhat ( a billion dollar company) has to pay in order to learn their own product. After all our paid subscription service is not enough. A typical IBM I observed around 2005, charging so high to learn their own product. I dropped IBM after 2008, even though AIX was really great. If Redhat thinks their product is so important, then make it easy to learn by providing enough practice environment or else get lost as anything else.

And other intelligent question asked by Arrey Ashu, cloud service, does Redhat offers could service or it is by amazon ? this is really confusing, what Redhat keeps talking about their cloud around Openstack and cloud offering, and at the same time they do not have their own cloud environment to support their service to learn their own product ? How's is that cloud model offered by redhat make any sense ?

Yash Menpara, thank you for being very very supportive. Your thoughts do align with mine. However, I came to realize it is better for me to be the bigger person and just manage what I have been given for now. After which I will take a different route, just as you dropped IBM. Eventually majority of people will stop subscribing to this so called ROLE. People like linuxacademy and informit are producing courses for RHCA. Studying for Red Hat exams will eventually become cheap.

Also, most contracts I have been in intell and commercial are using CentOs. I always ask the same question " Do you have subscription with red hat?" Their responses are usually the same " It's too expensive." The king will fall if they are not careful.

Again thank you for being supportive in this.

I do not believe we'll see a day when "cheap" online courses are sufficient to attain Red Hat certifications. Yes, our courses can be expensive... but that's because of the amount of resources that goes into developing them. A Red Hat certification means something that most other certs just don't.

As for the expense of Red Hat subscriptions... again, yes, it costs. But the value of what you're getting is substantial. You mentioned CentOS, which is a great OS. But what happens when your business comes to a halt because of some issue? Who are you going to call and have a guaranteed response time? What happens when you have an enterprise baseline to maintain for years, and CentOS goes EOL and poof! no more updates? https://www.redhat.com/en/about/value-of-subscription goes into more depth on the value that so many of our customers find in Red Hat.

I'll toss my $.02 in the ring :-) I'm currently taking DO407, Automation with ansible. I've used ansible before, feel like I'm fairly proficient in it, but am learning a LOT. I'm about 70% of the way through the course, and was shocked to realize I'd used 37 hours of lab time. A lot of that was not realizing there was a limit, and I'd just bump it up 4 hours, then get distracted by something shiny.

My point is, 80 hours should be MORE than enough. After you've gone through a given chapter, read everything, read through the exercises, etc. you should be able to sit down for an hour or two and do all of the exercises for it. I can think of two exceptions: one, the material is just too advanced and possible a more fundamental course would be more appropriate; or two, so much time goes by between chapters that the student keeps going back and redoing chapters to refamiliarize themselves with the material. In that case, you're really going to need to do some time budgeting, set aside dedicated study time with no interruptions, etc. Because all the lab time in the world isn't going to help you when you go to take the exam and half of the material you last saw weeks or months ago. This stuff isn't easy, and the exams are not easy. You may need to make some temporary sacrifices to get this course done in a timely manner.

Hello John, thank you for your $.02. The thing is, you have used your method of studying to say 80 hours is enough. Everyone has their method of studying. Some people are slow to understand while others like you I believe are fast to grasp what they learn. Some people have to practice and practice to master the material while others have to do guides and labs only one time. So what do you think? Should Red Hat provide lab hours to accommodate the smart and fast or the slow and steady? It is true that some, not all people waste lab hours. That should not be a generalization. Please don't assume. Just as you have your $.02 that 80 hours is enough, I have my $.02 that 80 hours is not enough. And from this thread, majority is saying 80 hours is not enough.

Thank you

Redhat should leave to user discretion on how to use lab hours.i may choose to select 2 courses for whole year ,so why there is cap of 80 hrs.You buy subscription for 400 hours so redhat should leave it to user discretion on how to use 400 hours i.e either one course or 10 course.Why set limit

Hi Deepak,

I agree and you have very good good point why to restrict 80 lab hours per course and why not to allow student to use 400 hours however they want to use. Well, I still think 400 hours itself is not enough. If Red hat want to save money on lab hours then red hat should guide us how we can create such lab environment for ourself ( I understand that there can be no support on such thing except providing good documentation and student subscription for one year of Red hat software. This way Red hat is not giving away anything free). If is still not possible, then there should be option to use lab hours from unused 400 quota and also have option to purchase additional lab hours if needed. But in any case there should be no restriction per course. I may end up learning only 3 courses and then not able to use rest of lab hours at all. This will be total waste of money on student side.

Dear Redhat,

please have look at below queries: 1.Are you an agile organization? 2.If yes,assuming you have product owner,is the person checking these comments?If not god bless Redhat. 3.Is product owner checking these comments?If not why? 4.Assuming product owner checks these comments which are way too many what is being done other then defending saying 80 hrs is more than enough ,400 hrs is too much? 5.Are these comments reaching product owner? if not why? 6.There is defect in your lab hours.I start lab by default it takes 1 hr and 59 ,there is option to modify increase or decrease.Decrease does not work,i am still charged 2 hours .why?I need only 1 hour lab by default it selects 2 hrs and modification fails i.e shows i used 2 hours?

Note: for all employees who are defending ,not all are equal in capability.Some may need 10 hours others many need 80 hrs.It depends on situation,time and capability of person to finish a course.So why not grant 400 hours cap and leave it on user how he handles it either one course or 10 courses.Why there is micro management?

I assume redhat employees have unlimited hours of lab and exam attempts, they why control other users on what they do?Leave it to them on how to handle lab in an year.

Hoping that redhat stops defending things and get product manager to see comments and make space for improvement.

Looks like I have been right all along. The customers of ROLE are not happy with the cap on lab hours.

And the lab environment needs to be solid and working. Just spend again an hour to try to get the openshift environment up and running for the CL220 training.

I just reviewed my subscription and see 400 hours of lab time, so I am not panicking. Regardless, I have been trying to optimize my hands-on by practicing labs on two CentOS instances that I'm running. I don't get the lab setup and grading, but I do get lots of hands-on, nonetheless.

Some courses you will not be able to practice using your own setup since a subscription will be required to download the products. Satellite is one of them.

Hi Arrey,

This statement about subscription being in the way of setting up your own educational lab is not 100% accurate.

Contact Sales in your region and most Sales representatives are willing to allow an evaluation subscription for a period of time mostly 30 or 60 days.

You might also ask an Advanced Partner so setup a Proof of Concept to test a specific product.

Regards,

Jan Gerrit Kootstra

Hello Jan, Your statement using centos for lab is very general. If it implies for the courses within RHCSA and RHCE then I agree but other then that it is meaningless for the course like satellite, puppet, Cluster, Ansible, Openshift, Openstack, Gluster, ceph etc..Were you able to setup any of these labs successfully ? I mean the redhat labs are really good. I do give credit to redhat for their hard work in setting up this high quality training lab. I myself have practiced four times doing satellite lab and then was able to setup katello in centos and yet it is not fully functional in the area like errata. I am able to setup this lab only after practicing the lab given in the course.
So you first need to get clear understanding what you are doing in doing the lab given class, otherwise you will end up spending a hell lot of time setting up your own lab

Regards, Yash

Having read through this entire thread, one option I've not yet seen mentioned is the option for Red Hat to offer customers taking any particular course the ability to purchase additional lab hours. Has this ever been suggested? I understand there would be a shift necessary in the existing environment to allow (and securely accomplish) the purchase of additional hours.

A way to consider this would be to allow a purchase in 5 hour increments. That way a student who's close to the end of their studying time for a given course isn't purchasing (say) 40 hours, when they might only need a couple more---by their own evaluation, of course.

Hi,

My suggestion is to pose the questions your respective manager i.e after you buy subscription someone will contact how things are going. I asked this question on why i was not informed that each lab has 80hr limit but when i bought it was informed 400 hr in total,after that person never came back.Total silence!!!!

May be you can try asking with relationship manager who is assigned to you.More you ask question more the helpful.

Dear all, what bothers me in labs hours is that time start to count when I click on "Start lab" but environment can be used after 10-15 minutes(for example in CL210). Because I usually have 1h spare time for labs I can use only 75% of counted time. It would be great if lab time will be counted from the moment when all necessary VMs are started.

I find that when I shut down my RH299 lab completely and log out, then log in a couple of minutes later, the lab counter is still counting down, even with no lab running! To be honest, this is unacceptable - it's like a phone provider billing me for a call after I've already hung up.

Hello, I dont have skin on this conversation as I dont have a subscription so please take my intruder's $.02 as suggestions that may help, or not.
I assume:

  • Ansible is free and open source. It's
  • I imagine that the labs are managed using Ansible or scripts to set them up?
  • The scripts or playbooks can be shared without legal issues?

If that is the case maybe add a few lines of how to use with VirtualBox or KVM. The student can use developer licenses or trial licenses to run them. They can use this in addition to the available labs and while not perfect, it will allow much more practice time. Not all brains are created equal...I couldn't just go to the training and take an exam after. I also don't have the experience.

About Support: Use a disclaimer, similar to the ones you already pointed out about lab hours and such, stating that they are provided as-is and only community help is available from the appropriate github link or whatever SCM you use to share said scripts\playbooks.

I, in my humble opinion would see this as value add that shouldn't cost too much for RH and the scripts coming from a repo would mean the student can update as needed when new versions are available. Thinking something like Dockerfile's image: centos/latest functionality.
If taken an extra step, the scripts could be organized in sections which then would setup the lab with all previous actions/sections performed. If the student went back to his\her lab after a month it wouldn't matter as the 30 day license would just be renewed in a brand new lab environment. I think this fixes the concern on licenses that can be in the wild?
Extra value add for RH:

  • those scripts or ansible playbooks would get open source benefits of community added fixes, enhancements, comments, documentation, etc. Think of it, you provide scripts or playbooks that work for RH and KVM but community adds centos and virtualbox, or vmware, or fedora, or...
  • people that didn't get the subscription would be able to setup the labs as well...you just helped more users regardless of their ability to pay for the training and it didn't cost you a cent. They would still need to take the certification and figure out how to use the labs but that's on them. They could also contribute.

You don't need to reply to every point or even at all, just take them as suggestions to be evaluated or not, they can be ignored. As I said: I don't have a training subscription.
I don't have the inclination to buy one either, I don't need it for my job.

Regards MR

I have already raised these points with the relevant Red Hat training division (at the Red Hat Forum in Zürich, on 11.09.2018), in person. It really comes down to a question of mindshare vs. internal revenue expectations. I recently got my RHCE last month, but I originally come from a Sun Solaris background - and there was no such thing as a Sun training subscription. You typically had to pay ~€5.000 each, for several one-week courses. (Luckily, I worked for Sun, who sent me on about 8 weeks' worth of training in 2 years.) However, there are already projects on the Web that are duplicating many aspects of the Red Hat training labs, and I think it's only a matter of time before it will get to the point where one doesn't have to pay for practicing Red Hat lab topics.

Nevertheless, from what I've seen of the labs, I would go so far to say that the second and third assumptions of yours are incorrect. The RH lab environment is based on an extremely ancient version of RHEL 7.0 (with a last login date on the 27th of December, 2017 when I logged in with my subscription, before it expired this month), which has notable bugs (i.e. try to add an IPv6 address in nmtui, and it will crash with a segmentation fault). Every time you reset the lab, and log in as root, you can see some of the commands used to set up the lab in the bash history of the root user, so it was definitely set up manually.

Personally, I found the labs helpful - and my employer footed the bill for the time and the money, so I have less skin in the game. However, having gotten my RHCE behind me, I'll start building a home lab with stuff like LDAP and Kerberos built in (I have already set up Cisco switches with DHCP, so I can do full PxE booting with Kickstart using Cobbler for rebuilds), so doing lab topics with RHEL 8 will be less of a challenge, when I need to renew in 2021.

Incidentally, I think the limit of 10 student guides downloaded during the course of a Red Hat Training Subscription is just wrong: It's priced as an all-you-can-eat product, and to discover little limitations like this only once you've paid up and signed in is vexing, to say the least. It did not affect me, as I only bought the RH299 course this time, but it would seriously discourage me from buying the full-fat Red Hat training subscription in future.

If the assumptions are wrong, then this is an opportunity even if slowly doing so lab by lab. It would bring the overhead down considerably eventually and allow those experts to work on updating and making better said script\pb. Specially once community added content starts to trickle in per lab. I have seen attempts at creating the labs externally and while that is fine for some courses, as mentioned here, you would have to know what you are doing prior to creating it. Add on things like RH solutions like Tower or OpenShift and you want someone that know what they are doing to set those up with best practices. Heck, the scripts/playbooks can be their own documentation and initial training on installation of the product in question.

I didn't use my RHLS-standard throughout the year to not exhaust these labs' hours . The last three months (Apri 2019 - June 2019), I decided to take advantage of my subscription, and I cleared 3 certifications in the same month May 2019 (2x Openshift + Ansible). Now, I am preparing for my 4th exam, unfortunately, I am not able to start the lab : The 80 hours are exhausted even though I used it only during the last 3 months. I have to respect the amount of Labs time provided by RHLS, but I would suggest to provide an alternative solution where students can run the environment using their Datacenter or Cloud IaaS. If you like the suggestion, I would expect that Red Hat provides some Cloudformation templates, Terraform templates, .. so on.

Another suggestion is to sell another plan "RHLS-Cloud" with a discount (.i.e: $1000 ) comparing with "RHLS-standard" but the student will run labs in his own Cloud account (AWS, Google Cloud , so on).

Thank you for keeping listening to your customers.