S'pore students get taste of mainframes, Linux

With IBM and Red Hat as partners, Republic Polytechnic aims to arm country's IT professionals with expertise to manage Linux in a mainframe environment.

SINGAPORE--Local institute of learning, Republic Polytechnic, has partnered IBM and Red Hat to groom IT professionals with expertise to meet rising adoption of open source software and mainframe virtualization.

The institute has launched a new course that provides training on IBM's System z mainframe based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

At a media briefing Wednesday, Eden Liew, RP's deputy principal overseeing corporate services, said up to 150 students and 75 industry professionals are expected to be trained over the next three years.

"They will gain technical understanding and develop problem-solving process skills for Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on IBM System z servers," he said.

Under the course, students will be equipped up to the level of Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) or Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE).

Lee Lit Voon, director of IBM Asean's Systems and Technology Group, said server consolidation, virtualization and the use of Linux-based systems globally, have increased the need for trained IT professionals conversant in these technologies.

Mervin Beng, director for RP's School of Information and Communications Technology (SIT), told ZDNet Asia the course could also address the shortfall in mainframe expertise, caused by ageing expertise leaving the industry.

For the new course, RP upgraded its mainframe to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The upgrade also included the addition of the z/VM operating system that enables the virtualization of system resources to support running multiple Linux servers on the single IBM System z890 mainframe.

According to Liew, the three partners will be investing S$5.45 million (US$3.6 million) to cover the costs of hardware, software licenses, services and maintenance support for the program.

SIT staff will first be trained at Red Hat and IBM "so they in turn will be able to provide training to students who come through the program", he added.

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