Ramblings of James Gosling, a Novell enthusiast, Network Engineer and IT consultant specializing in Novell products. An Open Enterprise Server enthusiast on Novell Netware & SUSE Linux, a strong Novell advocate. He uses an array of Novell products and shares his thoughts and experiences.

Archive for the 'CPD' Category

I’m off to London next week to do Microsoft’s 4 day course on Implementing Forefront Identity Manager 2010 (M50382), intended they say for Systems Engineers, Developers, Architects, and Project Leaders who need to gain a good understanding of how Forefront Identity Manager 2010 can be applied to manage identity information across a number of directories or databases. We will learn how to:

  • Understand FIM concepts and components.
  • Identify appropriate FIM scenarios.
  • Manage users, groups, and passwords using FIM.
  • Synchronize identity data across systems, such as Active Directory and HR.
  • Understand the issues involved in loading data (initial load, backup, and disaster recovery).
  • Configure security for different levels of user.
  • Manage password self-service reset and synchronization.
  • Automate run cycles.
  • Handle sets, simple workflows, and management policy rules (MPRs)

I’m doing the training with QA at their apparently state of the art purpose built training centre near Tower Bridge. I negotiated a good rate for the course and accomodation at The Tower A Guoman Hotel next to Tower Bridge, a 4-star hotel with apparently lovely London and The River Thames. So I should be comfy! I’ll catch the train as I simply can’t stand trying to negotiate the London traffic in a car.

FIM is effectively Microsoft’s equivalent of Novell Identity Manager, with which I am already familiar. So the plan is to do some self-study/revision over Xmas and sit the exam in January.

To top up the knowledge from the course materials I’ve also purchased what appears to be just about the only book available on FIM – “Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 Handbook” by Kent Nordstrom. It’s had positive reviews so should give me a slightly different slant on the subject.

This is to prepare me to pass Exam 70-158 which will gaine me the cert Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Forefront Identity Manager 2010, Configuration. It should be interesting and will add a string to my bow when it comes to Identity Management work.

When I next have a gap in contracting I’m planning to do the Microsoft MCITP: Enterprise Administrator Certification. This is the modern day successor to the MCSE: Microsoft Certified Software Engineer. The exam track I plan to follow looks like this:

Exam 70-640 Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
Exam 70-642 Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
Exam 70-643 Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring
Exam 70-680 Windows 7, Configuring
Exam 70-647 Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator

It’s been quite a while since I did any Microsoft curriculum training so I plan to do classroom led learning, backed up by self-study.

In the meantime I’m continuing to develop my Linux skills self-study, the aim being to enhance my cross-platform credentials.

I’ve just taken delivery of LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O’Reilly)) by Adam Haeder, Stephen Addison Schneiter, Bruno Gomes Pessanha, and James Stanger (Paperback – 22 Jun 2010) £28.99 from Amazon. This is the third edition updated 2010 to take into account the latest revisions to the LPIC-1 exams (as of April 2009). Previous editions covered LPI Levels 1 & 2 and the four exams involved, this edition purely covered Level 1 – exams 101 and 102.

I’ve also found some useful on-line resources:

LPI Exam Simulations

LPI Linux Certification from Wikibooks, very good, includes step by step guides through exam prep materials

IBM’s Linux Professional Institute (LPI) exam prep
Self-study articles and tutorials to help you learn Linux fundamentals and prepare for certification

LPI Study Resources, guides, practice questions

LPI study guides and test simulation

So no points for guessing how I will be spending my evenings!

I’m currently working on contract within the Information Services department at Leeds City Council. My focus is upon support of their Novell Infrastructure, which includes eDirectory, Netware, BorderManager, Zenworks, Storage Manager and Identity Manager. I’m also in the process of relocating to Leeds myself.

For the past 16 months I’ve been working as a Technical Consultant within the Security, Identity & Access Management (SIAM) team at Salford Software. Salford Software are known as “The Identity Specialist” and focus on identity and access management, they are a leading technology solutions provider. A Novell Platinum partner, Microsoft Gold partner and partnered with Sun and Oracle. Their clients include colleges, universities, local government, NHS and commercial clients.

My work involved designing and implementing Identity Management solutions, principally using Novell Identity Manager. Designing and creating Novell Identity Manager drivers for large projects, including Active Directory, eDirectory, JDBC database and Text drivers. I was also regularly called upon to utilize my skills with eDirectory, LDAP, Netware, Border Manager, Storage Manager and SUSE Linux, including Open Enterprise Server. Working on-site and remotely, including collaborating with colleagues on complex projects, and embracing constant technical challenges.

The company has been forced to downsize due to tough trading conditions and I am amongst a number of consultants that have been cut loose. During my time with Salford I’ve met and worked with some great people, who I intend to keep in touch with. It’s a very small world after all and with our particular skill sets we are likely to bump into one another again and again.

So I’m now seeking new challenges and will consider permanent or contract work. I am happy to provide a full CV to prospective clients/employers on request, which includes details of my role in numerous large and challenging technical projects. Visit my website at to learn more about me and skills I have to offer and details of how to get in touch.

I’m now working as a Technical Consultant at Salford Software, a leading IT solutions provider here in the UK. Salford Software are a Novell Platinum partner, Microsoft Gold Partner and and are also partnered with Sun and Oracle. Their clients include colleges, universities, local government, NHS and commercial clients such as Virgin Media. Salford Software itself was formed by the University of Salford back in 1988. Since then they have built a very good reputation, with highly skilled in-house expertise. One of the biggest areas of specialism for the company is identity and access management, in fact they brand themselves as ‘The Identity Specialist’. I am working as part of the Professional Services team, and my primary focus is this specialist area. The team uses products from Novell, Sun and Microsoft. Currently my principle tool is Novell Identity Manager. My linux skills are coming on leaps and bounds and I work with SUSE Linux on a daily basis, primarily with Novell services such as eDirectory.

I keep in touch with former colleagues from the University of Nottingham, which is just down the road, and we meet up regularly for cold beer and pork scratchings! Funnily enough I am now working on the same project I was when I was at UoN except now I am sitting on the opposite side of the table as an IDM consultant with Salford Software.

I’m looking for a new challenge to move onto now that my work here in Systems & Security at the University of Nottingham is coming to a close. I’ve enjoyed working with the team here, but I’m also looking forward to the next challenge. I’m ready to re-locate anywhere for the right opportunity. For more about me, my skills and experience please visit my main website and if my skills are of interest please feel free to ring me on 07863-318939 to discuss how I may be able to help.


I’ve just completed a 3 day course for CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer. It was run by a company called Rezound based in Sheffield who are one of the few to offer such a course that’s endorsed by CompTIA. Although the complete CompTIA model was coveredd, the emphasis was on providing an immersed classroom experience to give me the skills needed to train in the real world. I was one of 3 candidates in what was an very fast paced and intensive 3 days, but an experience that I would very much recommend. We were all taken out of our comfort zones and strangely performed better when under the most pressure. The use of a variety of media and delivery methods and generating the right mix of questions; overhead and directed was drilled into us. It was very much experiential and our trainer was very good. By the end of the course we all had the necessary video recordings made of us delivering 20 minutes of training, a requirement for the video submission element of qualifying for CompTIA’s Certified Technical Trainer. I have previously sat and passed the computer based exam unlike the other candidates, but this was some time ago and I very much welcomed the opportunity to refresh and review my knowledge. Rezound have an impressive 100% success rate for their candidates video submissions which compares very well to an average of 50%… so no pressure then! Once I receive my video files from rezound I will need to complete detailed supporting documentation to relating each of the key CompTIA domain elements to my course delivery. I found the course very useful and would certainly recommend it to others.

In July I attended an intensive 4 day course, it was a Novell advanced technical training course run by Salford Software. A product expert flew in from Dusseldorf in order to deliver the course in Manchester. The other delegates included a team from ITV and a team from the Turkish government, based in Istanbul. We learned how to integrate and automate different systems using a product called Novell iDentity Manager. By integrating systems and automating processes so that entirely different systems work together seamlessly cuts down on duplication and automates processes that might otherwise be done manually. An example might be for example a new employee joining an organisation – the organisation will need to enter and maintain details about that employee on a number of different systems such as payroll and administration and the user may need accounts on various systems – getting all of that setup is time consuming and involves duplication. Using iDentity Manager it is possible to link these systems together and automate the processes so that the information need only be entered once and the necessary accounts are created automatically and perhaps emails generated to the appropriate people. This is just a very simple example but demonstrates the advantages. Entire business processes can be automated in this way and systems which are currently entirely seperate can be linked together. The skills gained on this course should prove very useful in the future in integrating and automating systems/processes. Identity Manager is an incredible product that I hope to work with more heavily in the future. Provided you have a good technical foundation I highly recommend you try a Novell ATT course.

Nights in with SUSE!
02 5th, 2007

It has been a while since my last blog entry. Since then quite a lot has happened, not least Xmas! I am once again enthralled with revision… I’m about half-way through preparing to sit the practicum test for the Novell Certified Linux Professional 10 (CLP 10) certification. It will be my first practicum, 050-697, one of Novells new hands-on practical exams. The idea is to test your ability, rather than simply your ability to memorize information from a book, a laudable idea, but I reserve judgement until ‘after’ the exam!

I’m doing this self-study as usual, I purchased a CLP 10 self-study bundle consisting of materials for the following courses:

Course 3071 – SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Fundamentals
Course 3072 – SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Administration
Course 3073 – SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Advanced Administration

Not all the usual test centres are capable of running the practicum exams, so I’ll have to check that out in advance. Once I have completed the CLP I plan to go on towards a Novell CLE certification (Certified Linux Engineer).

Last year I passed the computer based exam for CompTIA’s Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+), but I still need to do the video submission (a video of me training). Well it was a good excuse to buy myself a nice digital video camera for Xmas, all I need now is the time (and volunteers) to do it. I now wish I had gone straight on and done it, I’ll have to brush up now before I tackle it. I’ve got a couple of recommended books for this purpose, that way I’m learning new things not just raking over the old. The books are:

Effective Presentation Skills by Steve Mandel
50 One-Minute Tips to Better Communication by Phillip E. Bozek.

I’m sure I’ll learn a lot…

I’ve gone mad and ordered all the parts I need to build myself quite a decent server. I’ve always maintained a small lab at home to help with self-study and simulating work. I’m now moving into the wonderful world of Xen Virtualization, doing away with 3 low spec servers (ok, low spec PC’s!) and bringing in a proper server: Dual Xeon 64-bit processors, Intel server-board, Ultra 320 RAID 5 with SCA hot-swap SCSI backplane all in a neat 4U short rack-case on a small mobile 19 inch rack. It should all be very neat compared to several boxes and a mass of cables (I won’t even need to use a KVM switch). Well I figured it was a good excuse to jump into Virtualization feet first, it’s so cool!

Well, I’ll let you know how it goes….



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