Cloud Technology Concepts

The second hurdle on the roadmap to the Certified Cloud Architect is the “Cloud Technology Concepts” module and corresponding exam. The emphasis in this module is on looking at cloud technologies that enable some of the cloud characteristics already covered in the first module.

While the most valuable source for the first exam was the whatiscloud website, the cloudpatterns website is the place to look for information regarding the this module. Additional information can again be found in the book “Cloud Computing” by Thomas Erl.

All of the objectives for the module can be found here. Again this PDF does contain a very good summary of what to learn, as well as a visualization of the relation between concepts, mechanisms and techniques.

The following are the objectives of this module:

  • Cloud Computing Mechanisms and how they support specific Cloud Characteristics (e.g. failover system supports resiliency)
  • Cloud Computing Mechanism Combinations. Namely Cloud bursting and Cloud Balancing
  • Cloud Security Threads and their effect (e.g. Denial of service impacts Availability)
  • Cloud Security Mechanisms and threats they counter (e.g. encryption counters malicious intermediary)
  • Cloud Service Implementation Mediums (e.g. REST Services)
  • Cloud Storage (e.g. NoSQL)
  • Cloud Testing approaches and types (e.g. White Box and Black Box Testing)

Most of the material needed for preparing for the exam can be found online. Some topics like “Cloud Testing” however are neither covered online nor in the book “Cloud Computing”.

My test preparation included studying the cloud mechanisms and technologies outlined in the PDF, as well as their relationships (e.g. failover supports resiliency, encryption counters malicious intermediary). Furthermore I read the corresponding chapters of the Cloud Computing book as well as the case studies therein. Finally I studied the information available on the cloudpatterns website and reviewed my notes for the first exam.

Some of the more noteworthy (and for me not so intuitive) thesis in this module include the following:

  • Components are considered Cloud Service implementation mediums besides REST and WebServices. What exactly components are in context of this module is explained here. While this is totally understandable it rarely is the case from experience.
  • HTTP is not mandatory of a cloud service. Again it is obviously possible to use cloud services with other protocols. But I would question that things like load balancing, broadly accessible services or pay-per-use are possible with other protocols like CORBA.
  • The counter measures for the “Denial of service” attack include “Cloud based security groups” as well as “Identity and Access Management”. And it is not stated anywhere how these two counter measures actually do it. I could imagine that they do aid preventing denial of service attacks but I hardly would include these two measures as effective.

The actual tests consisted of 50 questions to be answered in 60 minutes (See post for the first exam for some more info).

Again I passed the test with a reasonable score. Next is the third module.

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