What is Scalability?

Scalability, high availability, containers, fault tolerance and eventual consistency. Tech terms can be confusing to those new to server administration or development. In the coming weeks, we’ll be breaking down common — yet potentially confusing — terms you will undoubtedly come across in your learning journey.

wordscaleScalability is often referenced alongside its partner in quality systems, high availability, but these two concepts can become entangled for those just starting out. While high availability is a program, application, or server system’s ability to remain continuously operational despite any failures, scalability is a system or application’s ability to handle growth.

When an application or network scales, it allows for more throughput, or work, to be managed at a time. Whether this is more concurrent web server connections or more database queries, scaling is about one’s application maintaining its functionality for increasingly growing loads. You can also scale “down” during slow or low load periods to save money and increase efficiency. Ideally, scaling should be something that is configured to happen automatically and without manual intervention from an administrator.

Scaling is more than adding nodes, RAM, or CPU cores, however. An application or server that scales well will do so efficiently and practically, without undue cost and without affecting its availability. Scaling needs to be able to fit both into the budget of the computer or creator and the needs of the servers.

But how does one get a system to scale? For this, we have two options, known as horizontal and vertical scaling. (more…)

AWS Lambda Deep Dive Quizzes

As some of you may have noticed, we recently released the AWS Lambda Deep Dive course. In this course, we delve into the world of serverless architecture and focus on code instead of infrastructure.

Following the Linux Academy philosophy of learning, the course includes hands-on lectures, downloadable real-world use cases, andLive! Labs.

This course also includes quizzes. Quiz questions break down important concepts to know when it comes to Lambda and tests your understanding of these concepts. Quizzes, when bundled with other methods, are an excellent way to find weak points in your study. Instead of waiting until you go through the entire course before being tested on the material, we’ve included quiz questions at the end of each section. That way, after completing a section, you can see if there are any concepts or topics that you did not quite understand; and if that is the case, you can go back through the relevant videos until it clicks. Of course, if it still doesn’t make sense after that, you can always ask in the community or contact instructors.

How Do Quizzes Work?

If you’ve never taken a quiz on Linux Academy’s engine, you may be wondering what it is like.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 4.58.12 PM (more…)

New Course: OpenStack Foundation Certified OpenStack Administrator

openstack-cloud-software-vertical-largeLinux Academy now features training for the OpenStack Foundation Certified OpenStack Administrator exam!

OpenStack is an open source cloud computing platform featuring a RESTful API, dashboard GUI, and Cli. OpenStack contains a vast number of components that allow administrators to control everything from virtualization, image storage and networking to identify services, block storage and more.

The Certified OpenStack Administrator certification is OpenStack’s first professional certification. It is aimed at OpenStack professionals with at least six months of OpenStack experience, or the skills to provide daily management and operations to an OpenStack cloud. (more…)

SQL or No?: Relational and Non-Relational Databases

sqltestMany cloud applications are not complete without a database storing information. Traditionally, relational databases like MySQL and Oracle provide the needed tools; although, with the advent of non-relational or distributed databases (more commonly known as NoSQL), various alternative options have arrived to counter the conventional SQL solution.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one company that capitalized on the wealth of database options, providing users with multiple services for database management. However, before we delve into the differences between AWS database options, just what is a relational database? And what does NoSQL really mean? (more…)

Live! Labs: Now with Video

For those of you who pay careful attention to new content, you may have realized a recent change with our newest Live! Labs: They now include on-page video!

Live! Lab Page

Live! Labs are intended to give you hands-on experience working with the technologies you learn about in our videos. Live! Labs give students access to servers, the AWS Console or OpenStack environments based on the course and task at hand. If it seems like you are working in a real environment, that is because you are. (more…)

Linux Academy Notifications

Joining Linux Academy is a no brainer. With unlimited access to over 2,000 high-quality training labs, free server access, self-graded exercises and tons of quizzes & practice exams, there’s no reason not to sign-up.

What you may not know is the reason users STAY with Linux Academy: our vibrant community!

The Linux Academy Community is where instructors and students come together.  Whether you’re having trouble with a concept, looking for a job or just want to chat about Linux or cloud services, the Community Page is where users have been going for years.  And now, we’ve made it even easier to keep up with the latest posts.

Our community has been growing so fast that it could be difficult to see everything that’s happened.  You might have submitted a question on Tuesday, and if you didn’t log in by Thursday, your question might have been buried by one of our many Announcements and a deluge of achievements.  A glimpse of the Community below just goes to show how much activity there is in the Community.


For this reason, we’ve created a notification system that will track the posts you have interacted with.  Whether you’ve created a post or simply responded, the notification system will let you know when that thread has been replied to. (more…)