This first exam of the path to the Cloud Architect certification and covers the basic terms and concepts of cloud computing as defined by Thomas Erl.
On the cloud school website of the certification all the objectives of the exam are listed. Very useful is this PDF document which contains an overview of the areas covered in the exam. Detailed information of most of these areas can be found on the website whatiscloud. In detail these are:
- Terminology and Concepts (e.g. what are services, scaling)
- Cloud characteristics (e.g. elasticity, on-demand usage)
- Cloud Delivery Models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
- Cloud Deployment Models (e.g. public cloud)
- Roles & Boundaries (e.g. cloud provider, service consumer)
- Challenges and Benefits (e.g. increased security vulnerabilities, increased scalability)
- Business Cost Metrics (e.g. locked-in cost, up-front cost)
- SLA characteristics (e.g. availability, performance)
Beware though that information about the topics “SLA Characteristics” and “Business Cost Metrics” are not entirely available on the website. Especially the Service Metrics like “Service Reliability Metric” and the calculation of the different types of costs are not available only.
Although I have been working with cloud environments (mainly IaaS) for quiet some time when preparing for the exam, some of the terms and concepts were new to me. For example I have not been in contact with trust boundaries or the whole concept of Cloud business cost metrics like “locked in cost”.
I prepared for the exam by studying the areas above on the whatiscloud website. In addition I took a look at the other topics covered on this site (e.g DataCenter Technology). I also read the corresponding chapters in Thomas Erl’s book “Cloud Computing”. The book offers some practical examples and multiple case studies on the different topics. Although I found some of the case studies somewhat unrealistic. There are numerous courses and a self study kit available which I did not use for preparation.
As already mentioned the topics “SLA characteristics” and “Business Cost Metrics” are not available online but is covered in the book along with some case study examples.
I considered myself well prepared after reading the corresponding chapters and studying the information available online.
The test itself consisted of 50 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes. Which leaves a bit over a minute per questions which is not very much. My best advise would be to read the question thoroughly and pick the best answer(s) immediately. When you are in doubt mark the question to come back later after you have completed all the questions.
From my experience questions where you have to choose multiple answers are the hardest to answer. My advice would be to stick to the answers that you know are right and leave all other answers deselected even if they seem plausible.
I passed the test with a reasonable score. And I began immediately to study for the second exam…