Anthos 1.3 is GA on March 23, 2020!

There are some revolutionary features coming to GKE-OP:

  • A new installer helps you create and prepare the admin workstation.
  • In bundled load balancing mode, GKE on-prem provides and manages the Seesaw load balancer.
  • The Authentication Plugin for Anthos has been integrated into and replaced with the Google Cloud command-line interface, which improves the authentication process and provides the user consent flow through gcloud commands.
  • vSphere credential rotation is enabled. Users can now use Solution User Certificates to authenticate to GKE deployed on-prem.
  • Preview Feature: Introducing User cluster Nodepools.
  • gkectl automatically uses the proxy URL from config.yaml to configure the proxy on the admin workstation.

Full list of features is available here:

https://cloud.google.com/anthos/gke/docs/on-prem/release-notes

In the follow up post we will have a closer look at those new features!

Nailing Google Cloud Certified G Suite exam

Google Cloud Certified G Suite exam is a user-level exam that test your capabilities of using G Suite. In contrast to the Collaboration Engineer exam that tests your G Suite administrative skills. The details you can find here: https://cloud.google.com/certification/gsuite

The exam is online, lasts for 2 hours and consists of 2 parts. Once you finish the first part you start the second without being able to come back to the questions again:

  • Multiple-choice questions (15q)
    • Google Drive
    • Gmail and Tasks
    • Calendar
    • Hangouts/Meet
    • Sheets
    • Docs
    • Slides
  • Hands-on scenarios (7 parts)
    • Docs
    • Sheets
    • Slides
    • Gmail

Tips

If you have no experience with G Suite but use Office instead plan at least a week walk-through the interface to be confident with it. The questions go into exact steps that need to be taken to perform a particular task! You will have no access to G Suite when answering the questions.

Tip #1

Use Help option – I feel I could perform all the tasks in the exam I was not confident with using help! Check it out.

Btw. „Pomoc” is polish word for „Help”

Tip #2

Best videos to prepare, if you can perform all the task presented in the videos you are good to go: https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com/en/gsuitecertification

Tip #3

I will not go into all the scenarios you need to understand but just mark couple I fell you might not be doing so often and you need to pay special attention to:

  • Understand some basic functions in Sheets e.g count, sum constrains
  • Understand sources for charts in Slides
  • Understand how you use comments in Docs
  • Understand footers, headers and tables of content
  • Understand how to use images from Drive
  • Understand how you create videoconferences and add people to it
  • Understand how you create Tasks in Gmail
  • Understand OoO and confidential emails in Gmail

When you feel ready, check out the trial exam: https://google.qwiklabs.com/focuses/4051?locale=en&parent=catalog

Good luck with your exam!

Getting all the 10/10 GCP certificates – how do I start? Part 1/X

DISCLAIMER: Note this is not an official Google Guide how to get certified and I am explaining my own study path.

I am receiving multiple questions on how to start GCP certification. I am not able to answer all of the queries, so I decided to put together info on the resources and methodologies I use. Enjoy!

GCP certification seems to be on a massive demand these days! The Cloud Architect certificate was reported to be the best-paid certificate in the cloud industry: Link. Sounds convincing?

This week I have received news that I finally achieved 10/10 GCP certificates. Being the first individual in the world holding all of them. Having in mind the Certified Fellow certificate is available for invited only, the chase for getting them all might be perceived unfair but what can I say – I am super happy to work for AtoS and that I have been trusted to take it. 

Frist things first – decide on your path.

I decided to divide the GCP certification into logical paths that will allow you to best prepare for either getting the certifications that best suits your role or simply getting them all :).

I would say that there are 2 main paths; GCP and G Suite

G Suite path

The G Suite path has not much to do with GCP except the aspects related to Identity as a Service. I really enjoyed taking this path as it helped me to understand the G Suite package and it helps me with my day-to-day work! It, however, will not help you much to work with GCP itself. I suggest you either take this path in parallel or just leave it for the end of your journey.

GCP path

Note: I will create tips on passing each of the exam in separate posts. This is to show you how set your plan on passing them all

I strongly suggest starting your journey with Cloud Architect as it gives you all the fundamentals you need to pass other exams. You will learn about all of the most important services and when to use each of them. Then you should look at the Cloud Engineer exam. It will be a quick one – just make sure you are comfortable with gcloud and gsutil commands and you should be good to go.

Next, you can choose one of the 3 paths:

  • Data Engineer exam is very much targeted on Data Engineers and Scientists so you might need more time to prepare for it if you come from the infrastructure world.
  • Network and Security exams have much in common. E.g. firewalls, vpn etc. You can put them in one bucket and take them in a row.
  • Developer and DevOps exams do focus on Apps development and management they focus very much on GKE, App Engine, SRE topics.

Hybrid Multi-Cloud Fellow exam is an invitation-only and would require you to have knowledge from most all of the GCP exams. It is tests both your architectural and engineers skills.

In the next part of the article, we will look at all available resources to prepare for the exams.

Check my tips for passing exams here: 

Want to start straight away- check out our book!

All 10/10 GCP Certifications achieved!

So the 1,5-year GCP Certification journey ends (for today 😛 ) with the last certificate achieved on 11th of March! According to official Google Certified Directory it seems that it is a first collection like this in the world 🙂 https://googlecloudcertified.credential.net/profile/0eed9d9cc08925ef82da33ed914f0dab017590e4

If you are interested in starting your certification journey follow the blog for posts where I will explain what is the best path to get fully certified. It is coming soon!

If you want to start your journey today try our book at Amazon!

For my experience with various exams have a look at the certifications section!

Nail the Google Cloud Profession Collaboration Engineer Exam

I have finally passed my last pro exam on my GCP list! It occurred to be the toughest on as I mainly work work Anthos and I am only a G Suite user. This exam has nothing to do with GCP itself and is all on G Suite. I took me around 3-4 weeks of very intensive study prepare. I find my previous experience with AD, GPOs and Exchange super useful to understand some concepts in G Suite. If i had to prepare for this exam in a non-rush mode iI think i would need 2-3 months to prepare starting from ground 0.

Even thought I am not a G Suite admin I found it great to learn about it and I will definitely use this knowledge at work.

The exam is 50 Multiple-choice questions and last 2 hours. This is more then enough. I answered all of them in 1h and then reviewed till the time finished.

Tip #1

You need to buy G Suite (domain + subscription) at least for 14 days. Without access to the admin console you will fail.

Top Tips

  • You will never feel fully prepared for this exam! The scope is massive!
  • All question are related to Admin Console not to particular applications (e.g. how to create formula in Sheets)
  • Yes you need to remember where to click in the console to get to particular configuration settings.
  • Logging and Auditing is super important (for all components of G suite)
  • Migration and removal of user data is super important! This includes all services user was assigned with (Drive, Mail etc.)
  • Authentication for both users and applications is super important
  • Gmail is around 20% – so understand routing, spam, security, tracing, smtp relay.
  • Calendar and resources management is super important.
  • Understand G Suite release cycles and how to get info about the new features.
  • Understand rollout strategies
  • Understand user and groups management
  • Understand what OU and groups are used for and what are the differences (hierarchy, settings)
  • Understand application management both G Suite as well as custom apps.
  • Understand what device you can manage (e.g Android, ChromeOS, iOS) and how you do it.
  • Understand how you sync catalog and manage attributes like passwords.
  • Understand how you manage calendars (persona and shared)
  • Understand SSO, Cloud Identity, SAML applications and LDAP Server topics. This might be super confusing at the beginning to understand who is the IdP in each of those. Make sure you are super clear on it.
  • There are questions around AppMaker and Apps Script.
  • Understand backups with Vault
  • Understand how you manage contact

Guide:

I must say the guide is pretty accurate, but the scope is massive. Reading the docs seems to be a never ending story (see the list of links in the end of the post). You can find the link bellow:

https://cloud.google.com/certification/guides/collaboration-engineer

Video training

Coursera – most of them are actually hands exercises you need to do yourself

I very much liked to Udemy Training but it is over 20h!

https://www.udemy.com/course/the-complete-course-to-manage-g-suite/learn/lecture/9363706#overview

Tests:

I recommend to take the bellow test and if you don’t feel comfortable with the answers do more reading until you can do at least 90% every time. The questions do not appear in the exam but are very useful to understand what you still don’t know.

Official mock test

https://cloud.google.com/certification/practice-exam/collaboration-engineer

Coursera Tests (need to enroll) :

Hands On

Try out this Qwiklabs:

And finally never ending list of links i used for study :). I frankly don’t believe this is enough.

Goog luck and let me know if you have any tips!

GCP Certified Swags!

Last update: 6.12.2020

Disclaimer: This post is informational only and list of swags might be outdated! Google might change the swag list at any time and there is no guarantee you will get one. The following list is based on the perks I could choose from at the time I passed the exam or participated in the program.

Lets admit it, if you visit this site you are a Geek like me and you love swags! Google has been spoiling us with awesome gifts after passing GCP exams. With info on successful completing the certification requirements you would get a code to redeem at the Google Perk Store: https://shop.googlemerchandisestore.com/certificationperks/

Google swags are really premium quality with labels like North Face, Patagonia or Timbuk etc.

Let have a look what you get for each of the exam:

Professional Machine Learning Engineer:

For this exam you get to choose either a Marmot vest or Moleskine Notepad and a mug!

Professional Exams (Architect, Data Engineer, Network Engineer): As I have taken this almost 2 year ago this might have changed. I love both the Pullover and the Hoodies! They are top quality!

Professional Cloud Architect update December 2020

As I re-certified GCP Cloud Architect credentials I unlocked the quite long list of swags including this awesome plates frame. Would love to see european version in black 🙂

GCP Cloud Engineer Associate: for this exam you get a 13” or 15” laptop pouch and a mug! the 13” is perfect fit for MacBook Pro 13”. Personally I thought I will never use it but since I got it I take it with me when ever I take my laptop with me. I wish it had some space for the charger :).

Update: I learned that from 2020 there are no more swags for CE exam 😦

GCP Developer Professional: I remember there were couple of swags for this one including hoodies but I decided to pick this small JBL. Great for a short business trip to listen to music on the go as it is water resistant 🙂

Obrazek posiada pusty atrybut alt; plik o nazwie image-6.png

GCP DevOps Engineer: Still cannot decide which one to pick 🙂 all of them super geeky 🙂

Obrazek posiada pusty atrybut alt; plik o nazwie image.png

Collaboration Engineer:

GCP Fellow swags: This program is still not GA. I guess it will be open to public in couple of months. As being an elite certification it comes with some premium swags. The pictures are from official site of the vendors but the actual swags will have a Fellow tag on them. I have still not received the swag but will post the picture when it arrives. You could choose either a jacket or a bag. I went for the jacket.

Obrazek posiada pusty atrybut alt; plik o nazwie image-3.png

Stickers : With every exam you get a nice sticker to put it on your laptop! Yes! More stickers!

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania: google network engineer hoodie

Beta Tester: After taking a beta exam you also get a cap. I believe you get it even if you don’t pass the exam

A bonus for those attending NEXT conference: Both in SF and London you can pick up you GCP Certified jacket. Super warm and protects you from wind 🙂

Obrazek posiada pusty atrybut alt; plik o nazwie image-8.png

GSI Champion Swags: GSI Champions have extra perks 🙂 some of them showing bellow. GSI is program for Google Partners an enable individuals with extra training to be the person to go for GCP topics. One of the extra bonus working for Atos!

GSI Champion Bundle
Google Cloud GSI Backpack

Still not convinced to get GCP Certified? 🙂

Post bellow which of those you like the most! I am curious which one you chose!

Need help starting to learn GCP check out our book!

Professional Cloud Network Engineer Exam tips

Couple of tips for all of you who want to take this exam.

  • This exam has quite a lengthy questions not like all the other Google exam. Expect A4 long scenarios at least they were there on the beta.
  • The bellow list of the topics is what you need to master:
    • VPCs management
    • Shared VPCs
    • VPC Peering
    • Load Balancers types and use cases
    • VPNs
    • Interconnects (know the configuration process)
    • Cloud Router
    • NAT
    • Firewall rules
    • Cloud DNS
    • Cloud Armor
    • Network for GCE and GKE
  • This exam has a lot of topics around routing and multi-pathing.
  • General knowledge on networking is very helpful.
  • As usual understand IAM for networking

Unfortunatelly there are no good video materials for this exam.

I suggest use the official Coursera materials for the beginning

https://www.coursera.org/learn/networking-gcp-defining-implementing-networks/home/welcome

https://www.coursera.org/learn/networking-gcp-hybrid-connectivity-network-management/home/welcome

and then switch to google Docs. Finish it off with Qwiklabs.

Good luck with the exam!

Anthos 1.2 GKE-OP backup script issues

To backup your Anthos GKE-OP cluster Google provides a nice script you can schedule to run as a crone job.

https://cloud.google.com/gke-on-prem/docs/how-to/backing-up

The only problem is that it misses last line where you actually copy the snapshot of the admin cluster ETCD database.

Add the bellow line to make it work:

kubectl --kubeconfig=${ADMIN_CLUSTER_KUBECONFIG} cp kube-system/${admin_etcd}:admin_snapshot.db $BACKUP_DIR/

Once added it work like a charm 🙂


ubuntu@admin-workstation2:~/backup$ ls
admin_snapshot.db gke-03-usercluster01_snapshot.db pki

In the output you might see some errors related to the issue I explained here: https://gcpfellow.com/2020/02/04/anthos-1-x-issue-when-running-sudo-commands/ but you can ignore it

Anthos 1.x issue when running sudo commands

When you login to GKE-OP nodes and try to run sudo command you will get the following warning:

sudo: unable to resolve host [nodename]

Your command will still execute but will show this warning. It is related to Ubuntu OS settings. To resolve it add the following line into the /etc/hosts file on the node:

127.0.0.1 [node-name]

Hope this will be solved soon as Google has already identified this issue. I guess they will add the record in the provisioning process for the nodes.

Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer Certificate tips

The DevOps Engineer exam is finally GA! I took the Beta in December 2019 and received good news that I am now certified! Here are couple of tips you can use to get this certification.

The starting point is the official Google site: https://cloud.google.com/certification/cloud-devops-engineer.

In the exam guide you can find basic info on the content: https://cloud.google.com/certification/guides/cloud-devops-engineer/

I must admit that the exam guide is very accurate and mastering all the topics is the clue to nail this exam.

The main topics to concentrate on are:

SRE ca. 30% of the exam:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/site-reliability-engineering-slos

The books https://landing.google.com/sre/books/ might be a great resource but the coursera is good enough to cover topics like SLO, SLI, SLA, post mortem reports, error budget, blameless culture etc.

Stackdriver ca. 30% of the exam:

Make sure you know all the services of APM, Log Based metrics and integration with Fluentd. Understand advanced logs filtering.

Go through all the docs under: https://cloud.google.com/stackdriver/docs/

and Qwiklabs: https://www.qwiklabs.com/quests/35?catalog_rank=%7B%22rank%22%3A2%2C%22num_filters%22%3A0%2C%22has_search%22%3Atrue%7D&search_id=4476323

For beginners good summary of Stackdriver you can find in our book in the Monitoring Chapter:

DevOps ca. 20% of the exam:

Have basic understanding of tools like Terraform, Jenkins, Cloud Build, Spinnaker, Deployment Manager. I suggest finding some 101 on youtube e.g. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=spinnaker+demo

GKE ca. 10% of the exam:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/google-kubernetes-engine

and for beginners: https://www.qwiklabs.com/quests/29?catalog_rank=%7B%22rank%22%3A3%2C%22num_filters%22%3A0%2C%22has_search%22%3Atrue%7D&search_id=4476352

I would say having the Cloud Architect Professional knowledge you should need 40-80h to prepare for this exam.

Good luck to all of you and let me know if you have any questions!