GCP Top Ten Things to Know for the Cloud Architect Exam

I have taken the updated Cloud Architect exam and wanted to share my Top Ten List of areas of focus before taking the exam. For those folks that have taken AWS exams you may be caught off guard when some of the questions and answers talk about development, DevOps and CI pipelines with reference to industry best practices and not a direct reference to GCP Services.

With AWS there exams have been focused on speeds and feeds, functions and what AWS thinks. GCP approaches this different. In a Nutshell you will be tested on industry best practices that are focused on Cloud Architecture best practices and not just speeds and feeds, features and what GCP thinks directly. DevOps, Pipelines and development and not always GCP platform bells and whistles.

Notes From Exam

Below are some notes before we get into the top ten.

  • Exam was clearly an upgrade from previous version.
  • I appreciated how they removed the Jencomart Case Study. To be honest two case studies would be fair enough
  • Case studies were tested in a sequential order and thus made it easy to focus on one before proceeding to another.
  • Once they(GCP) gets off the Kryterion platform it will enable better access to more testers. Jacksonville is a hick town with 600,000 people, I get it, but just one testing within 70 miles!:) Its a community college that is open three days a week. Pearson Vue has over 12 options for me as a comparison

Below is my video on Youtube. Subscribe to my channel and you will be alerted when my GCP Cloud Architect FREE mini course is released.

TOP TEN LIST Lets go thru the top areas to study before taking this exam.

The list below covers the heavy tested areas. My main advice to folks taking this exam is to understand that Google Cloud expects you to know Cloud Development and also the services that complement CI Pipelines, DevOps, Agile, etc.

  1. Ensure you know how to apply a CI Pipeline and what GCP services would complement this task. Exam has a heavier focus on development than previous exams. GKE, Cloud Build, Repositories
  2. You clearly need to understand SDLC around testing best practices (A/B) Blue Green and Agile
  3. Understand not only how to migrate a VM from on premise but also how to migrate storage from cloud as well. Migration best practices
  4. Load balancing options are a need to know. (HTTP/S, Network, Cloud SSL Proxy, and apply to Case Studies. 
  5. Cloud Security Options. IAM with a focus on how to handle with auditors. Service Accounts 

For those wanting a cost effective LIVE Training experience follow the link below to O’Reilly. I host bi – monthly 8 hour GCP Cloud Architect Certification bootcamps.


6. Storage around every aspect and needed to discern between Nearline and Coldline. Regional and Standard storage. Persistent Storage options. 

7. Know your use cases for Cloud Endpoints, App Engine, DataProc, Dataflow, Cloud Datastore, BigQuery and Bigtable.  

8. Exam is more focused on Cloud Architecture than perhaps the GCP Platform itself. This is evident especially around development.  

9. Understand billing and how to mitigate costs for the customers (VMS and Storage)

10. Cloud Spanner and Cloud SQL. Know you scaling requirements and apply to use case.

My take on the exam is that it is a vast improvement from the previous exam. Clearly, passing this exam will display your clear understanding of Cloud Architecture and development. Not just GCP Cloud Architecture and Platform details.

Good Luck

Joe Holbrook, The “Cloud Tech Guy”


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