Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations Associate – What and How?
Most often the only names heard in the Cloud Service Provider markets conforms only to AWS, Azure and GCP – the Goombah Trifecta. But even with all the stiff competition, there have been other players in the market gaining traction gradually as the Public Cloud market grows.
Names like IBM, Oracle, DigitalOcean and Alibaba form the upper echelon of the list of Cloud Providers who are competing for dominance right after the Big 3. And while the cloud market and its shares have seen little change in dominance in recent times, the tide seem to be shifting as with the aforementioned players entering the fray.
For some time now, Oracle has been well-renowned for 3 things – world’s fastest database, Java and under-developed cloud platform. However, in the recent months, Oracle has upped their Cloud game. It can be said that the reason behind this not only lies in the growth of the cloud market but also the fact that AWS, which used to be run on Oracle Databases, has completely shifted to their own infra and software. Their answer to the cloud market comes in form of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).
I won’t be getting to how to operate the OCI and design highly available solutions – that requires a whole lot more than just one article. This article is about OCI Foundations Associate Examinations – one of the Associate level Cloud Specialty Certifications offered by Oracle.
Preparing for OCI Foundations Associate.
OCI Foundations Associate Certification is fairly easy. It is, after all, their introductory cloud certification (at the time of writing this article). What it demands from the candidate is the knowledge and understanding of Cloud Infrastructure before OCI in general.
Sure enough, you would get quite a few OCI specific questions but a majority of the questions in the examination could be easily solved if one understands the uses of the universal cloud infrastructure. Example of it could be use cases of Block Volume and differences between Block, Object and File Storage and NVMe.
You can expect questions from Database offerings of Oracle which, at the time of writing this article, include VM Database, Bare Metal Databases, Autonomous Databases and OCI’s crown jewel – Exadata Service. The exam won’t test you on the specifics of it but, as mentioned before, would need you understand when to use what. Focussing on keywords “data warehousing”, “low latency”, “compute scaling” will help. A quick reminder of it would be how you can scale up CPU but not Storage on Bare Metal DB instances.
Other concepts tested include Oracle’s Compute offerings (difference between it’s PAAS and IAAS offerings) and Support & Billing. Oracle’s Virtual Private Cloud is named VCN (Virtual Cloud Network) and you need to have a pictorial understanding of how it functions (using the Security Lists, Network Security Groups and Gateways).
While it has been mentioned in the official syllabus of the certification exam that “ability to understand and build” cloud native application is tested, a basic understanding of what Oracle Kubernetes Engine and OCS is should suffice.
The learning material for OCI is available freely on internet. You can look up the following materials if you want to get resources to prepare for OCI Foundations Associate:
4. Subscribe to Oracle Learning YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpcndhe5IebWrJrdLRGRsvw
The exam is administered using Oracle’s Pearson VUE portal and registering for it is similar to how one would register for other Pearson VUE certs. Word of advice: “If you are planning to give the exam from home, make sure you have a stable internet connection and good quality Webcam at your disposal.”
If I were to compare OCI Foundations Associate with Microsoft’s AZ-900 Cloud Certification, I would definitely say that OCI Foundations Associate was easier. Might you choose to sit for the certification exam, my best wishes!