I recently took the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Foundation Exam 1Z0-1085-20. This is the most basic exam in the series of 5 exams (blog coming soon) that Oracle offers. I took the proctored exam online and I was able to pass in my first try. For those of you planning to take this exam, Oracle is offering not only free online training but also free certification on PearsonVue. More details for this are here.
Now for the exam itself. Since this is the foundation level course, if you have prior knowledge of any cloud provider, it should be a walk in the park for you. I completed the online course (~3.5hours long) by Oracle instructor Rohit Rahi. The course talks at a high level about what cloud is in general and all the OCI services. The duration of the course is not too bad for an intro level certificate. The exam is 105minutes long and 60 questions, which means you have roughly 2minutes to get to the right answer. I finished the exam in 45minutes and went over all the answers again. After taking the exam, I feel some of the topics were missing in the online videos like SLA, Oracle db resource manager, what practical solution needs what service. Being an intro level certification, I was not expecting these. In a way it’s good, I went over the online videos twice as it helped me retain the materials better. For the second time, I did it at 1.5X speed and saved some time. It took me 3 days from start to finish to achieve this certification.
Let us talk about the important things you need to remember for this exam. You can be asked a question from each of the following section:
- Common cloud question that is often asked in most fundamental exams – Difference between:
- Capex and Opex
- IaaS, PaaS, SaaS
- Scale In-Out, Up-Down. Note that downtime is required for scaling up/down
- Public, private and hybrid cloud models
- RPO vs RTO
- OCI Infrastructure:
- OCI has Regions, Availability Domains (AD’s), Fault Domains (FD’s).
- 3 FD’s for each AD.
- You can be asked on how to create a Fault tolerant architecture with Multi-AD, One-AD, along with the use of multiple regions when deploying the resources.
- Compartments to isolate and control access. Can also be used to analyze cost and assign budget.
- You should know when you need Bare Metal, Dedicated Virtual Hosts, Virtual Machine, Container Engine and a Function. There can be couple of questions based on this.
- Storage Services
- Know the difference between Boot Volume and Block Volume. Boot volume is a type of block volume. There are three types of Block volume – Basic, Balanced and Higher Performance. You won’t be asked the numbers around throughput or IOPS but remember which has highest and lowest. Block Volume stores replica of data in 3 separate FD’s.
- Local NVMe is not durable but can survive a reboot. It has high performance. Because it is locally attached, there are no backups
- File Storage is fully managed and has three backups
- Object storage is bucket storage. It is for unstructured data (images, logs, video). Use of PUT and GET for object storage. It has two Tiers – Standard (hot) and Archive (cold). There will be questions based on this.
- Networking Services
- VCN – Virtual cloud network is a software defined construct
- Know the types of gateways – IGW (Internet gateway connect to Internet), NAT Gateway (only outbound, no inbound), DRG (Dynamic gateway to connect to on premises datacenter using IPSec VPN), service gateway (connects to internal resources). There will be questions based on this
- Understand the difference between Local VCN Peering (same region) vs Remote VCN Peering (2 different regions) and peering is not transitive
- You can put firewall rules at NIC or at subnet level
- Understand what is the responsibility of Oracle (Security of cloud) and what is Consumer responsibility (Security in cloud)
- When to use MFA vs Federation
- Oracle allows Key Management as service (allows BYOK).
- I was asked a question around certificates that oracle has for security
- Oracle Data Safe, Web Application Firewall (WAF)
- Understand about Load Balancer. This is highly available and scalable resource. This is assgined a public IP so that it can distribute traffic to internal web servers.
- IAM, Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
- Understand about users and groups. Instances can also be treated as users when it comes to permissions.
- Know the difference between Authentication and Authorization. Authorization on policies can be of type inspect, read, use and manage
- Database Services
- There are VM Db systems (Fast provisioning and you can change storage)
- Bare Metal (Fast performance and you can change CPU only)
- Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC – highly available)
- Exadata Db system (fully managed and used for OLTP)
- Autonomous (Shared and Dedicated). This is highly secure, and self-repairing, self-driving
- Know that patching is a two-step process. You patch the instance and then you patch the db.
- Understand what is Data guard vs Active Data guard. How these are used for Disaster recovery (DR)
- You will be asked few questions in this section
- Pricing and Billing
- You have 3 plans – Pay As You Go (PAYG), Monthly Flex and BYOL
- Important thing to note is all regions have same pricing
- There is no ingress cost. Unlike other cloud providers, there is no egress cost between AD in one region. But there is egress cost between two regions
- You can track cost/budget by using tags. The budget service runs every 15mins and can send you an email. Reports are retained for one year
That’s it folks. Hope this helps. Good luck on your exam.
If you are interested in other cloud certifications and how to prepare for them, check out our website.
Author: Haman Sharma is a life long learner with an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.
UPDATE: We have created two practice exams for OCI Associate Architect and posted on Udemy. First 10 people will get it for FREE – Click here. Alternatively, you can also take the exam on our website for FREE.