Novell to launch Linux qualification

Novell is launching a Certified Linux Engineer (CLE) program in which IT pros can demonstrate competence in using Linux in a business environment. The certificate, like Novell's Certified NetWare Engineer (CNE) scheme, will be used for job applications and in-service training.

"There is a demand for this," said Brian Green, Novell product marketing manager EMEA. "Customers thinking of buying Linux from Novell are concerned about the lack of skills. We've been running a series of Linux events round the world, and over fifty percent of delegates said they wanted Novell to contact them about Linux training."

A five-day course to accompany the CLE certification is expected to commence worldwide by the end of the year. The course will initially be delivered by Novell but move across to the company's education partners as demand for the certification increases. Australian education and training providers include Excom Education, Skillmaster, Dimension Data Learning Solutions, Drake Training, IT&T Training and Total Networks.

The CLE program was developed with SuSE, Red Hat, and will combine awareness of kernel issues with the services required in a business environment, Green said. More specifically, the CLE will teach applicants how to implement, troubleshoot and support Novell services for Linux, such as iFolder, NetMail, ZENworks for servers and Novell eDirectory, Novell Australia manager for partner relationships Australia and New Zealand, Steve Martin said. The course will also take a look at the Linux operating system and Linux networking.

The CLE certification exam will consist of a practical exam, including issue resolution in a live environment, as well as question students on troubleshooting issues with Linux OS and Novell solutions for Linux.

Recommended prerequisites for the CLE course include Level 1 Linux Professional Institute knowledge and hands-on Linux experience.

Training from Novell for the CLE exam will include instructor-led and self-study formats. Practical test questions will also be available on the Novell training Web site by the end of the year.

Although Novell's NetWare is moving to (or including as an option) a Linux kernel in version 7, the CLE and CNE courses cover very distinct areas, Green said.

CNE covers services provided by NetWare and, with version 7, it will have to include a module on the new features provided by the Linux kernel. Meanwhile the CLE will cover all Linux products provided by Novell, including the Linux desktop.

As a result, there are no plans to combine the two at this stage, Martin said.

Novell's Linux roadmap is becoming clearer, as elements of Ximian begin to take centre stage. For example, a promise to deliver Linux management technologies will be met by the Ximian Red Carpet product, which will be part of Novell's Enterprise Linux Services.

Similarly, Ximian's Outlook-like email client Evolution is central in Novell's Linux desktop and will have the ability to talk to Novell's Groupwise, as well as to Microsoft's Exchange and other email servers. "We are allowing customers to have a Linux desktop and collaborate on their desktop, irrespective of back end," said Green.

Novell also inherits some large Linux customers from Ximian including the RSPCA, which uses Linux desktops.

Although there is no set expiry date for Novell's certification, certification holders will be required to keep their skills up to date via Novell's Continuing Certifications Requirements (CCRs) program. A CCR program for the new CLE course has not yet been announced.

More information on the Linux program is available at: http://www.novell.com/linux/linux_cert.html.

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