Each year for the past six years, The Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarship Program has given away free training courses to individuals who may not otherwise have access to these opportunities.  

This year the 14 recipients chosen for a LiFT Scholarship will also receive a Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) or Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE) exam, allowing them to clearly verify their skills to potential employers.

The 2016 program is open to individuals who demonstrate a passion for Linux or open source software and an interest in advancing their skills.  Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. PST on June 30, 2016 and will be reviewed by a panel at The Linux Foundation. Recipients will be notified in mid-July and an announcement will be made in August.  

Submissions will be accepted in seven categories:

  • Linux Newbies: Individuals who are new to Linux but have learned the basics by completing the Intro to Linux online course (LFS101x) are invited to apply. Recipients in this category will be awarded a scholarship specifically for the next course in this career-focused series (LFS201 – Essentials of System Administration) as well as the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam.

  • Teens-in-Training: Students 13 – 18 years of age who have already started using Linux and/or open source software and want to get a head start on a career in the field.

  • Academic Aces: 2016 high school or college grads already familiar with Linux and/or open source software but who want to prepare for their career with extra training. Applicants must be 18 years or older.

  • Women in Open Source: We invite women who have demonstrated leadership or want to take initiative in creating opportunity for themselves or other women in the Linux and open source community to submit applications in this category.

  • SysAdmin Super Stars: These applicants should have already begun using Linux or open source software in their workplace but want to take their work to the next level with additional training.

  • Developer Do-Gooder: We invite developers who are using Linux and open source software to advance their communities to submit applications, so they might expand that good work while enhancing their skills.

  • Linux Kernel Guru: This category will recognize an individual who has already worked with the Linux kernel community and who can become a more valuable contributor.

The LiFT Scholarship Program has awarded 34 scholarships worth more than $100,000 over the life of the program. The training provides recipients with the tools they need to advance their career or get started in one of the most lucrative jobs in IT. According to the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report, 65 percent of hiring managers say open source hiring will increase more than any other part of their business over the next six months, and 79 percent of hiring managers have increased incentives to hold on to their current open source professionals.

The Linux Foundation aims to increase diversity in technology and the open source community and support career development opportunities for the next generation, especially those who have traditionally been underrepresented in open source and technology.

Submit your scholarship application today!


Dice and The Linux Foundation recently released an updated Open Source Jobs Report that examines trends in open source recruiting and job seeking. The report clearly shows that open source professionals are in demand and that those with open source experience have a strong advantage when seeking jobs in the tech industry. Additionally, 87 percent of hiring managers say it’s hard to find open source talent.

The Linux Foundation offers many training courses to help you take advantage of these growing job opportunities. The courses range from basic to advanced and offer essential open source knowledge that you can learn at your own pace or through instructor-led classes.

This article looks at some of the available training courses and other resources that can provide the skills needed to stay competitive in this hot open source job market.  

Networking Courses            

The Open Source Jobs Report highlighted networking as a leading emergent technology — with 21 percent of hiring managers saying that networking has the biggest impact on open source hiring. To build these required networking skills, here are some courses to consider.

Essentials of System Administration

This introductory course will teach you how to administer, configure, and upgrade Linux systems. You’ll learn all the tools and concepts necessary to efficiently build and manage a production Linux infrastructure including networking, file system management, system monitoring, and performance tuning. This comprehensive, online, self-paced course also forms the basis for the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator skillset.

Advanced Linux System Administration and Networking

The need for sys admins with advanced administration and networking skills has never been greater. This course is designed for system administrators and IT professionals who need to gain a hands-on knowledge of Linux network configuration and services as well as related topics such as basic security and performance.

Software Defined Networking with OpenDaylight

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a rapidly emerging technology that abstracts networking infrastructure away from the actual physical equipment. This course is designed for experienced network administrators who are either migrating to or already using SDN and/or OpenDaylight, and it provides an overview of the principles and methods upon which this technology is built.

Cloud Courses

Cloud technology experience is even more sought after than networking skills — with 51 percent of hiring managers stating that knowledge of OpenStack and CloudStack has a big impact on open source hiring decisions.

Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies

As companies increasingly rely on cloud products and services, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all the technologies that are available. This free, self-paced course will give you a fundamental understanding of today’s top open source cloud technology options.

Essentials of OpenStack Administration

OpenStack adoption is expanding rapidly, and there is high demand for individuals with experience managing this cloud platform. This instructor-led course will teach you everything you need to know to create and manage private and public clouds with OpenStack.

OpenStack Administration Fundamentals

This online, self-paced course will teach you what you need to know to administer private and public clouds with OpenStack. This course is also excellent preparation for the Certified OpenStack Administrator exam from the OpenStack Foundation.

Open Source Licensing and Compliance

A good working knowledge of open source licensing and compliance is critical when contributing to open source projects or integrating open source software into other projects. The Compliance Basics for Developers course teaches software developers why copyrights and licenses are important and explains how to add this information appropriately. This course also provides an overview of the various types of licenses to consider.    

Along with these — and many other — training courses, the Linux Foundation also offers free webinars and ebooks on various topics. The free resources listed below can help you get started building your career in open source:



The Linux Foundation has launched a new self-paced, online course to help senior Linux sysadmins prepare for the advanced Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE) exam.

The Linux Networking and Administration (LFS211) course gives students access to 40-50 hours of coursework, and more than 50 hands-on labs — practical experience that translates to real-world situations. Students who complete the course will come away with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as a senior Linux sysadmin and pass the LFCE  exam, which is included in the cost of the course.

The LFCE exam builds on the domains and competencies tested in the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) exam. Sysadmins who pass the LFCE exam have a wider range and greater depth of skill than the LFCS. Linux Foundation Certified Engineers are responsible for the design and implementation of system architecture and serve as subject matter experts and mentors for the next generation of system administration professionals.

Advance your career

With the tremendous growth in open source adoption across technology sectors, it is more important than ever for IT professionals to be proficient in Linux. Every major cloud platform, including OpenStack and Microsoft Azure, is now based on or runs on Linux. The type of training provided in this new course confers the knowledge and skills necessary to manage these systems.

Certification also carries an opportunity for career advancement, as more recruiters and employers seek certified job candidates and often verify job candidates’ skills with certification exams.

The 2016 Open Source Jobs Report, produced by The Linux Foundation and Dice, finds that 51 percent of hiring managers say hiring certified professionals is a priority for them, and 47 percent of open source professionals plan to take at least once certification exam this year.

Certifications are increasingly becoming the best way for professionals to differentiate from other job candidates and to demonstrate their ability to perform critical technical functions.

“More individuals and more employers are seeing the tremendous value in certifications, but it can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive to prepare for them,” said Clyde Seepersad, Linux Foundation General Manager for Training. “The Linux Foundation strives to increase accessibility to quality training and certification for anyone, and offering advanced system administration training and certification that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, for a lower price than the industry standard helps to achieve that.”

Register now for LFS211 at the introductory price of $349, includes one year of course access and a voucher to take the LFCE certification exam with one free re-take. For more information on Linux Foundation training and certification programs, visit


With some studies showing the majority of private cloud deployments are on OpenStack, it’s essential that that today’s SysAdmins and DevOps pro’s are proficient on this important technology. That’s why today at OpenStack Summit in Austin, The OpenStack Foundation announced the availability of a Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) exam. Developed in partnership with The Linux Foundation, the exam is performance-based and available anytime, anywhere. It will enable professionals to demonstrate their OpenStack skills and employers to be confident new hires are ready to roll, and existing employees stay up to date on the latest advancements.

The Linux Foundation offers an OpenStack Administration Fundamentals course, which serves as preparation for the new certification. Starting today, that course is available bundled with the COA exam, enabling students to learn the skills they need to work as an OpenStack administrator and get the certification to prove it. The most unique feature of the course is that it provides each learner with a live OpenStack lab environment which can be rebooted at any time (to reduce the pain of troubleshooting what went wrong). Customers have access to the course and the lab environment for a full 12 months after purchase.

Like the exam, the course is available anytime, anywhere. It is online and self-paced, meaning students can learn on their own schedule, can skip sections they are already familiar with, and retake ones in which they need more preparation. Making this type of training and certification more accessible should help meet the growing demand for qualified OpenStack talent and provide ongoing career opportunities well into the future.


While our updated boasts a clean look and fresh interface for our users, there’s also an entirely new infrastructure stack that we’re happy to take you on a tour of. serves over two million page views a month: providing news and technical articles as well as hosting a dynamic community of logged-in users in our forums and Q&A parts of our site.

The previous platform running suffered from several scalability problems.  Most significantly, it had no native ability to cache and re-serve the same pages to anonymous visitors, but beyond that, the underlying web application and custom code was also slow to generate each individual pageview.

The new is built on Drupal, an open source content management platform (or web development framework, depending on your perspective). By default, Drupal serves content in a such a way as to ensure that pages served to anonymous users are general enough (not based on sessions or cookies), and have the correct flags in them (HTTP cache control headers), to allow Drupal to be placed below a stack of standards-compliant caches to improve the performance and reliability of both page content (for anonymous visitors) and static content like images (to all visitors including logged-in users).

The Drupal open-source ecosystem provides many modular components that can be assembled in different ways to build functionality. One advantage of reusable smaller modules is the combined development contributions of the many developers building sites with Drupal who use, reuse, and improve the same modules. While developers may appreciate more features, or fewer bugs in code refined by years of development, on the operations side this often translates into consistent use of performance best practices, like widespread use of application caching mechanisms and implementing extensible backends that can swap between basic configurations and high availability ones. takes the performance-ready features of Drupal and combines it with the speed and agility of the Fastly CDN network to re-serve our content from locations around the world that are closer to our site visitors and community. Fastly is a contributor to and supporter of open source software, including the open source Varnish cache. Their use of Varnish provides an extra level of transparency into the caching configuration, making it easier to integrate with the rest of our stack. Fastly provides a very flexible cache configuration interface, but as an added bonus, they let you add your own custom Varnish VCL configuration. The Drupal ecosystem already provides a module to integrate with Fastly, which in typical Drupal fashion doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but leverages the Expire module, a robust community module that provides configurable cache clearing triggers and external integrations used on over 25,000 sites (as of April 2016).

While Varnish provides a very powerful cache configuration language, also uses another caching reverse proxy, NGINX, as an application load balancer in front of our FastCGI Drupal application servers. While NGINX is less flexible for advanced caching scenarios, it is also a full-featured web server. This allows us to use NGINX to re-serve some cached dynamic content from our origin to Fastly at the same time as serving the static content portions of our site (like uploads and aggregated CSS and JS, which are shared between NGINX and our PHP backends with NFS). We run two bare-metal NGINX load balancers to distribute this load, running Pacemaker to provide highly available virtual IPs. We also use separate bare-metal servers to horizontally scale out our Drupal application servers. These run the PHP FastCGI Process Manager. Our NGINX load balancers maintain a pool of FastCGI connections to all the application backends (that’s right, no Apache httpd is needed!).

We’re scaling out the default Drupal caching system by using Redis, which provides much faster key/value storage than storing the cache in a relational database. We have opted to use Redis in a master/slave replication configuration, with Redis Sentinel handling master failover and providing a configuration store that Drupal uses to query the current master. Each Drupal node has its own Redis Sentinel process for a near-instant master lookup. Of course, the cache isn’t designed to store everything, so we have separate database servers to store’s data. These are in a fairly-typical MySQL replication setup, using slaves to scale out reads and for failover.

Finally, we’ve replaced the default Drupal search system with a search index powered by SolrCloud: multiple Solr servers in replication, with cluster services provided by ZooKeeper. We’re using Drupal SearchAPI with the Solr backend module, which is pointing to an NGINX HTTP reverse proxy that load balances the Solr servers.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour and that it sparks some ideas for your own infrastructure projects. I’m proud of the engineering that went into assembling these—configuration nuances, tuning, testing, and myriad additional supporting services—but it’s also hard to do a project like this and not appreciate all the work done by the individual developers and companies who contribute to open source and have created incredible open source technologies. The next time the latest open source pro blog or technology news loads snappily on, you can be grateful for this too!