Entry Level to Google Cloud Certification.
The Cloud Engineer exam from Google is one of the more interesting certifications for technically focused engineers. If you like command lines such as gcloud and bq you will do great.
This exam is very different than the cloud architect exam. No case studies just Command Line such as gcloud and kubernetes, services understanding and cloud best practices.
For the GCP Cloud Engineer Exam its very important to distinguish what type of compute options should be deployed . A good focus of the exam is to be able to specify: Compute Engine, App Engine, Cloud Functions or Kubernetes Engine as well. Data services are tested as well such how to migrate to Bigtable or import to Cloud Storage.
gcloud commands are part of the objectives and of course were on the exam in several areas such as projects, kubernetes engine and gsutil
- Gcloud Commands to learn before exam.
gcloud projects list
-Set Your Default Project In GCP
gcloud config set project myProject
-Set Your Default Region
gcloud config set compute/region “europe-west1”
-List Compute Regions
gcloud compute zones list
-Set Cloud Functions Default region
to use when working with Cloud Functions resources.
gcloud alpha functions regions list
-Describe List Compute Zones
gcloud compute zones list
-Print List All the URI in a zone
gcloud compute zones list –uri
-List DNS info in Project
gcloud dns project-info describe
Describe a Project
gcloud compute project-info describe –project
Knowing the GCP hierarchy is important. Organization may be a focus but also where Folders fit in. Know the use cases for each and how they solve customer issues.
•Understand the gcloud command line for changing the following • •Regions/zones •Default project •Create project
To set the project property in the core section, run:
$ gcloud config set project myProject •
To set the zone property in the compute section, run:
$ gcloud config set compute/zone asia-east1-b
Hybrid connectivity knowledge around when to use Cloud Interconnect, Peering or Cloud VPN. Straight forward.
Cloud VPN is a managed service. -Its is a gateway to gateway service. -Use case is for secure connection over the internet.
Cloud Interconnect is a private provisioned low latency connection to a Google Edge. Partner Interconnect is similar and may provide better costing if Cloud Interconnect not available in your region.
VM Networking Protocols
Supported Protocols •TCP •UDP •ICMP
Every VM Instances belongs to a network.
Default network is used if none selected…
You can optionally assign a secondary IP range to the subnet for use with Alias IP. The secondary IP range also cannot overlap the IP ranges of existing connected subnets
Inferred instances- for billing purposes, the same type of machine used in the same zone will be combined into a single charge (Increase your discounts) •Google does discounts their resources
Billed for minimum of 1 minute and thereafter every second, Lower price for a PREMPTIVE instances.. Custom-type is discounted on a percent of total use
Below is a chart that compares AWS to GCP discounts.
Auto restart refers to what behavior the VM should take after a hardware failure or a system event. •If marked auto restart, the system will try to launch a replacement VM. •Auto restart does not restart the VM if it was terminated due to a user event, such as shutting down and terminating the VM.
NOTE: If the VM availability policy is set to the default, live migrate, during regular system maintenance your VM will be migrated to different hardware so there is no downtime
Bastion Hosts and NAT
Bastion Hosts •Know the use case for a bastion host. •Generally think of using a “bastion”host for “ingress “traffic and NAT for traffic “egress”
You may also want to know the commonly used ports for RDP and SSH •3389 and 22 •
Command line for connecting to a Compute Engine Instance is
gcloud compute ssh (instance name)
A managed instance group use for the following
There are two Types of Managed Instance Groups.
•Zonal Managed Instance Group
•Regional Managed Instance Group (Recommended)
Subnets are ways to group similar or related resources •If you have a VPN this allows you to target the VPN tunnels To a specific region for better control and performance.
•Benefit where you don’t need to know much networking nor layout a network right away. •Define IP ranges in two ways.
– —Auto – —Custom
•Tags are needed to know for exam •Used to identify routes and firewall rules for VMS.
•Tags are user defined
•Not limited to topology like an IP address.
•64 tags to an instance
A list of instance tags indicating the set of instances on the network which may accept inbound connections that match the firewall rule.
If both target tags and target service account are omitted, all instances on the network can receive inbound connections that match the rule.
gcloud compute instances add-tags Instance1 –tag1 tag2
Firewalls as a VPC Resource
VPC networks has two implied firewall rules. Note that these “implied” rules CAN NOT be removed..
•implied allow egress rule (65535 Priority)
•implied deny ingress rule (65535 Priority)
Firewall rules cannot be used to un-block traffic that is always blocked.
Rules are evaluated for priority. 0-65535 Default is 1000
There was a good amount of Kubernetes questions for sure and perhaps the algo popped with a bunch of special questions right off the bat just for me.
- Taking the exam you must have a concise background for Kubenetes Engine (kubectl/gcloud cli commands)
- You must know what the Error Codes 400/403 are in several contexts.
- Know the complementary services around containers and Kube but also how to monitor containers. The easiest way to install Stackdriver monitoring is let it happen at deployment..
Complementary services for Kubernetes/DevOps are…….
Know your use cases for data services. Connecting to Services(Cloud Storage, App Engine, Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Dataflow and Cloud Endpoints).
- App Engine command to deploy versions
gcloud app deploy app.yaml –v a
- Cloud Functions respond to events. Know the use case, workflow and two types of functions variants (bakground and foreground
What Compute service do you choose. But also containers can be deployed on App Engine in the Flex environment.
If your running a single-node database on GKE you Need = Persistent Volumes and Persistent Volume Claims.
You want to understand how to scale Kubernetes engine •You want to scale you Kubenetes cluster and what gcloud command do you use?
•gcloud container clusters resize “Number of nodes”
More Kubernetes commands to learn
gcloud config set container/cluster [CLUSTER_NAME]
gcloud container clusters get-credentials [CLUSTER_NAME]
Heres a question…..What will happen if a running GKE pod encounters a fatal error? Answer.. GKE tries to ensure that the number of pods you’ve specified in your deployment are always running, so it will restart one if it fails.
Stackdriver is the default logging solution for clusters deployed on Google Kubernetes Engine. Stackdriver Logging is deployed to a new cluster by default unless you explicitly opt-out
Ensure you can create a Kubernetes Cluster and configure it to host an application. Lastly, understand how to make the cluster auto repairable and upgradable with Node auto-upgrades and auto-repairing feature
DataProc or Dataflow?
•Know that you can use DataProc for batch data? Apache Spark and Hadoop on exam,,, This is likely the answer • Don’t confuse DataProc and DataFlow. •Cloud Dataflow is for newly-built processing that can take advantage of Apache Beam
Structured or Unstructured Data services choices?
We need to services such as Cloud Storage, BigTable, BigQuery, etc. heres a thought..
_____________is made for large analytical workloads. • •With Cloud Storage is for _________ storage. • • •Bigtable / Object
Data cannot be moved from Multi-Regional to Regional through Lifecycle Management
Data can be moved from Nearline to Coldline for example
•30days or less- keep on Multi-regional or regional.
•30 -90 days = Nearline
•90 or more days = Coldline
What? Signed URL to give temporary access and the users do not need to be GCP users . Note that changes are in accordance to object creation date for life cycle management. • Review IAM vs ACLs on buckets
Cloud Storage Transfer Service
•GCP to GCP Bucket
•AWS S3 bucket to GCP Bucket
•On Prem Url List to GCP Bucket
Understand that Cloud SQL scales Regionally not Globally.
Note to self…….Specify Cloud Spanner over Cloud SQL if there is a Cross Regional requirement. Horizontal vs Vertical Scaling
Cloud SQL Proxy provides secure access to your Cloud SQL Second Generation instances without having to: 1.Whitelisting 2.Configure SSL
Cloud SQL Proxy works by having a local client, called the proxy, running in the local environment.
Cloud SQL VS Cloud Spanner
Globally distributed and can scale and handle more than 10TB. •Not a direct replacement and would need migration
Regional(Vertical) vs Global (Horizontal) •CloudSQL is fully relational database for supporting customized table views, stored procedures, tons of indexes and ACID compliance. It supports MySQL and PostGreSQL (Vertical)
•Cloud Spanner is the first and only Global Scale relational database service that is both strongly consistent and horizontally scalable. •Cloud Spanner is a tool really for scaling globally (Horizontally). •Cloud SQL is your standard SQL databases and scales like. You can select machine type, hard disk type and size, region and zone.
Data Service Summary
•Cloud Storage as the medium to store data as data lake
•Cloud Pub/Sub as the messaging service to capture real time data esp.IoT •Cloud Pub/Sub is designed to provide reliable, many-to-many, asynchronous messaging between applications esp. real time IoT data capture
•Cloud Dataflow to process, transform, transfer data and the key service to integrate store and analytics.
•Cloud BigQuery for storage and analytics. Remember BigQuery provides the same cost-effective option for storage as Cloud Storage
•Cloud Dataprep to clean and prepare data. It can be used anomaly detection.
•Cloud Dataproc to handle existing Hadoop/Spark jobs. Use it to replace existing Hadoop infra.
•Cloud Datalab is an interactive tool for exploration, transformation, analysis and visualization of your data on Google Cloud Platform
- IAM Permissions basics. Know what service accounts are, know how to setup up audit logs for auditors and logging best practices. Customize Permissions for Hybrid cloud applications. Use service for secure authentication and not API keys
- Org Nodes, Projects, folders and the hierarchy in GCP. GCDS is nice to know around use cases with orgs.
Understand the options for authentication This IAM Decision tree is worth its weight in gold.
What about the auditors?
We need to understand how auditors can access compliance required data and how we as a cloud engineer can provide access. Remember Google uses the least privalege approach.
If you just want to give a user the ability to connect to a virtual machine instance using SSH, but don’t want to grant them the ability to manage Compute Engine resources, add the user’s public key to the project, or add a user’s public key to a specific instance. You can avoid adding a user as a project member, while still granting them access to specific instances.
Command to copy roles to different projects or organization.
OS Login simplifies SSH access management by linking your Linux user account to your Google identity. Use OS Login to manage SSH access to your instances using IAM without having to create and manage individual SSH keys. OS Login maintains a consistent Linux user identity across VM instances and is the recommended way to manage many users across multiple instances or projects.
•gcloud iam roles copy
Roles and Permissions
Roles to understand for exam
•Cloud Storage – Admin vs Creator vs Viewer
•Compute Engine – Admin vs Instance Admin
•Spanner – Viewer vs Database User
•BigQuery – User vs JobUser
•App Engine – Viewer vs Deployer
Develop a Service account key-management strategy for migrating user profiles. (Key Management)
Auditors – Export audit logs to GCS bucket and set IAM policy
•Cloud Identity- IDaaS
Understand the difference between Primitive, Pre-defined and Custom roles and their use cases
Project Roles to give to Auditors such as Org viewer, project viewer
Auditors are referenced on almost all GCP exams.
Googles best practice is to create a group and then a role.
“We recommend collecting users with the same responsibilities into groups and assigning Cloud IAM roles to the groups rather than to individual users.” Create a ROLE for Auditors after you create a group and they will inherit the defined permissions. You can create and manage groups through the Admin Console.
Do not even take the exam if your not confident in Stackdriver logging setup, setup alerts and you can spell out the difference between Stackdriver modules, workflows and to note that Debug and Trace were on the objectives.
How do you install Stackdriver agents?
Know how to setup an Uptime Check in Stackdriver Monitoring •Feature to enable filters of aggregated logs down (Logging)
Debug one piece of the application across many hosts(Debug) •Understand API requests to microservices-based applications (Trace)
Know Stackdriver Monitoring default retention policy and how to export/analyze for legal purposes. (7/30/BigQuery)
Use Stackdriver Logging and setup triggers to alert for events
PCI Compliance – Enable Logging export to Google BigQuery,ACLs, views to scope the data shared with the auditor
The Deployment Manager service previews the configuration by expanding the full configuration, including any templates and the creating a deployment and “shell” resources.
Know how to dry run the deployments. “preview feature” gcloud command
gcloud deployment-manager deployments create example-deployment –config configuration-file.yaml \ – preview
It can help minimize deployment time and can be used without any knowledge about the product •Provides a way to launch common software packages in a pre packaged stack.
Monthly vs Threshold and which has priority?
Change a billing account for a project and what roles you need. Project Owner and Billing Administrator for the billing account. Billing is an area that could be on your exam so review these focus areas.
Estimating the cost of certain services is part of the exam. You should go to the pricing calculator and understand how to estimate BigQuery, Cloud Storage and other services.
Pricing Calculator is here. https://cloud.google.com/products/calculator/
Google Cloud Best Practices
A reccuring them on any GCP exam seems to be about best practices. Another way on the exams they are phrased are “Recommended best practices, Enterprise Best Practices are linked below.
Trust me there will be exam content indirectly from this page around best practices.
Resources to help Study.
Resources to use for studying for GCP Cloud Engineer
- Google Cloud Platform https://cloud.google.com/
- GCP Console https://console.cloud.google.com/
- GCP Storage https://cloud.google.com/products/storage/
- Documentation https://cloud.google.com/docs/
- Pricing https://cloud.google.com/pricing/
- Free Tier https://cloud.google.com/free/
- Code Labs https://codelabs.developers.google.com/
- Qwiklabs https://qwiklabs.com/dashboard
- Stackoverflow https://stackoverflow.com/
- GCP Cloud Engineer Exam
- Google Site Reliability Book
- GCP Diagram Templates
- GCP to AWS Services
- Kinsta Blogpost
Getting Started with Google Cloud Platform LiveLessons
Classes on Pearson Safari
New. Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Video
My Youtube has GCP Videos for Certification
Medium Post Summing up the GCP Associate Cloud Engineer Exam (updated 02/2019)
Exam Objective links
Storage Transfer Service
Stackdriver Error Reporting
Identity and Security
Infrastructure as Code
Cloud Development Tools
gcp associate cloud engineer cheat sheet
gcp cloud engineer test dumps