Blog Details Page

  • Date: June 4, 2020
  • Article by: Robert Barrett

I recently took the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure 2019 Architect Associate exam. There was a question about Load Balancers and I only knew half the answer. I went back after the exam to search for the correct answer but had a really hard time finding it in any of the materials I had been using to study. This includes the videos and the transcripts too. Eventually I found the answer. The question I ran into is similar to the one below.

Which two will occur when a back-end server that is registered with a back end set is marked to drain connections?

A. It forcibly closes all connections to that instance after a timeout period.

B. It keeps the connections to that instance open and attempts to complete any in-flight requests.

C. It disallows new connections to that back-end server.

D. It immediately closes all existing connections to that instance.

E. It redirects the requests to a user-defined error page.

The “two” part is what threw me. I knew the first half of the answer was C. It disallows new connections to that back-end server. But had to guess at the second half. Afterwards, I eventually found a website that directed me to this url: https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/en-us/iaas/Content/Balance/Reference/sessionpersistence.htm

At the bottom of the page I did find this excerpt: “The Load Balancing service considers a server marked drain available for existing persisted sessions. New requests that are not part of an existing persisted session are not sent to that server.”

Based on this piece of information I am led to believe that the correct second half to the question is B. It keeps the connections to that instance open and attempts to complete any in-flight requests. Please feel free to respond to this and let me know your thoughts.

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Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations 2020 Certified Associate Issued to Joe Malewicki, Jr.

  • Date: Jul 07, 2020
  • Article by: Elysha Daly
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Oracle EPM 11.2.2 Dropped

  • Date: Jun 30, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki
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Blog Details Page

  • Date: June 1, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

Whether you’re a small business owner, a home-gown independent software developer, my middle school aged on trying to make his own Minecraft server, a college student needing a new term paper topic or the CIO of a global fortune 100 enterprise, Oracle has made it simple for you to explore the full feature set of their Gen-2 Cloud Infrastructure offerings.  As is the case with some of those “other” IaaS players, Oracle now offers a new “Always Free Services” tier for anybody and everyone!   To sweeten the pot, depending upon when you sign up, we’ve seen Oracle granting free Oracle Cloud Infrastructure credits to new accounts anywhere from $300-$500 USD ($300 is the standard) – something I haven’t those “other” IaaS providers even come close too offering.  

This little monetary freebie is a great way to check out almost all of the services they offer!  (just don’t forget to turn things off and remove them or like a good taxicab – the meter will keep running!!!).

Let’s get started!!!

Launch a web browser (we find that Chrome works best with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) interfaces and enter the URL for Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure Free Tier Account page.  If the URL below no longer works., simple open your favorite search engine and search for “Oracle Cloud Free Tier” and it should be one of the top few results.

https://www.oracle.com/cloud/free

Oracle cloud free tier searching google.com
Oracle cloud free tier searching google.com
Oracle cloud free tier search results from google.com search
Oracle cloud free tier search results from google.com search

Click either the “Start for free” button or the “Try Oracle Cloud Free Tier” button.  They both bring you to the sign-up screen for new accounts.

Oracle cloud new always free services welcome screen
Oracle cloud new always free services welcome screen

On the “Sign Up for Oracle Cloud” screen you will see the current Always Free Services offers at the top of the page (green box).  Fill in the form fields below.

Select your “Country/Territory” from the dropdown list.

Enter a your valid “Email Address” in the field (notice the green check marks validates the address is acceptable).

Click “Next”

Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account

On the “Enter Account Details” screen you will need to enter your personal or company details.  If you select “Company Use” then the mandatory “Company Name” field will display under the contact details section below.  For purposes of this Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Tutorial Series we will be using the “Personal Use” account.

Fill in the form fields as required:

Cloud Account Name:  

joeociarchitect

(This will become the name of your “Tenancy” name and cannot be changed).

Home Region:

US East (Ashburn) – Always Free Eligible

(Normally select the closet OCI “Region” to the mass of your user base.  This “Home Region” cannot be changed once it is selected and your tenancy has been setup however you can always deploy resources to any OCI Regions which you choose to subscribe too after account creation is complete.  There is no additional cost to subscribe to multiple Regions once your OCI tenancy is setup.

It’s also important to understand which resources are available at which Regions.  Oracle’s “Always Free Services” are only available in specific Regions.  You can find that list of resources per Region here.

First Name:

Joe

Last Name:

OCIArchitect

Address:

PO Box 12345

City:

Monroe

State:

Connecticut

Zip/Postal Code:

06468

Country/Territory:

United States

Mobile Number:

(203) 555-1212

(The Mobile Number must be a valid cell number as it will be used to validate your authenticity for the new account.

Click the “Next: Verify Mobile Number” button.

Screen capture 1 of 2.

Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen

Screen capture 2 of 2.

Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure setup will send a text message to the mobile phone number entered on the previous screen.  You have 2 minutes to enter that code into the “Code:” field and then continue the process.

Code:

<enter your code here>

Click the “Verify Code” button to continue.

Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen

On the “Enter Password” screen there is a long list of password complexity requirements.  Please take note of those requirements and try to come up with a password to meet those requirements.

Password:

************

Confirm password:

************
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen

Click the “Next: Payment Information” button to continue.

Oracle requires a valid credit card to create the account/tenancy.  There will be no charges to this card upfront HOWEVER make sure you keep on top of your usage.  Once you exceed the free $300 USD comp Oracle Credits, or pass your first 30 days of account access, you may incur charges for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure resources and services.  Just be conscious of your time and usage.  Oracle provides VERY easy tools to see your billing usage within the OCI console.

Click the “Add Credit Card Details” button to continue.

Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen

Enter your valid credit card details and click “Finish” to continue.

Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen

On the “Payment Information” confirmation screen, you should see a confirmation message stating that you provided your credit card details properly and are able to continue.

Check the box next to the “Edit Payment Method” confirmation message stating you agree to the terms and conditions….

Click the “Complete Sign-Up” button to continue.

Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen

After a few minutes your new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) tenancy will be setup and a login screen will be displayed. In addition, you will receive and email confirmation from Oracle with your username (no passwords will ever be sent via email).

At this point your new account has been setup! Feel free to login and start playing!!!

Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen
Oracle cloud new always free services screen-create account continued screen

I hope you found this post helpful.  As always any and all feedback is greatly appreciated and if you have further topics to suggest or any questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist!

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Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations 2020 Certified Associate Issued to Joe Malewicki, Jr.

  • Date: Jul 07, 2020
  • Article by: Elysha Daly
Read More

Oracle EPM 11.2.2 Dropped

  • Date: Jun 30, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki
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Blog Details Page

  • Date: May 26, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

SSH Key Pairs are required by most Cloud Infrastructure (Infrastructure as a Service) providers for use in authenticating the root or admin level users for various UNIX or Linux compute instances and compute shapes as well as for other IaaS provider management systems (i.e. Amazon Web Services – AWS LightSail, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure – OCI console access, etc…)  The procedures below will walk you through creating your own SSH Key Pair using a Mac OS X operating system.

Launch the terminal.app

macOS Catalina Terminal app located within the "Utilities" folder.
macOS Catalina Terminal app located within the “Utilities” folder.

***NOTE***

Backup any existing SSH Key Pairs you might want to save or ensure the target directory/folder is unique from the default location on the Mac ( /home/.ssh)

Run the ssh-keygen command at your shell and answer the prompts.  It will run interactively by default (prompting you for the appropriate information as needed).  The name of the Key Pair we are using for this tutorial is RSA-KEY and will be located under the directory /tmp/oci-stuff/.ssh

ssh-keygen
/tmp/oci-stuff/.ssh/RSA-KEY
***
***
ssh-keygen command on macOS Catalina with interactive prompts
ssh-keygen command on macOS Catalina with interactive prompts

Optionally you can enter all of the details in a single command line.  There are several parameters required at a minimum.  -t <key type>, -N <passphrase>, -b <number of bits in key>, -C <key name>, and -f <filename>

For Example:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -N “yourPassphraseGoesHere” -b 2048 -C “RSA-KEY” -f /tmp/oci-stuff/.ssh/RSA-KEY
ssh-keygen command on macOS Catalina with single command line
ssh-keygen command on macOS Catalina with single command line

Once the SSH Key Pair has been created, do a quick sanity check of it’s contents:

cat /tmp/oci-stuff/.ssh/RSA-KEY.pub
macOS Catalina results of generating a SSH Key Pair using ssh-keygen
macOS Catalina results of generating a SSH Key Pair using ssh-keygen

This completes the process to generate an SSH Key Pair on the Mac OS X for use with various Cloud Infrastructure providers such as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, etc..

PLEASE NOTE:

It’s important to keep this SSH Key pair safe including noting the path it’s stored in and also if you opted to include a passphrase, that should also be recorded safely.  The passphrase cannot be recovered if lost! 

I hope you found this post helpful.  As always any and all feedback is greatly appreciated and if you have further topics to suggest or any questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist!

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Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations 2020 Certified Associate Issued to Joe Malewicki, Jr.

  • Date: Jul 07, 2020
  • Article by: Elysha Daly
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Oracle EPM 11.2.2 Dropped

  • Date: Jun 30, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki
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Blog Details Page

  • Date: June 2, 2019
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

Since I recently lived through the fun of getting myself Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Architect Associate certified, I wanted to share a little information on how I prepared for the exam.  Please note, the opinions, words and views expressed in this article are ONLY a brain dump from my little techy head and there’s no guarantee that if you follow my training regime you will pass.  Or maybe you’ll kick my score out of the park by following these steps in which I would expect you to buy me a beer and send me a compliment!

So let’s go….

I wasn’t able to take an actual paid Oracle University class due to time limitations, but I did manage to attend a couple of the free live training sessions found here:

https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/register-for-training

You’ll find a lot of the same content they cover listed below in this article.  The biggest issue with these free sessions is availability and timing.  I didn’t have 3 months to wait around to cover the free sessions they offered.  That being said, I always live by the motto, “if it’s free it’s for me” so I still registered for them all and believe it or not, I’m still taking them.  It’s a great post certification exam way to keep your skills up!

To really get started on my training plan I first grabbed the published Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Architect Associate certification path study guide to find out what exactly Oracle’s cloud learning team suggests I learn on this OCI certification journey.  

https://learn.oracle.com/education/downloads/OracleCloudInfrastructurestudyguide.pdf

In this PDF (updated February 2019) you’ll find a great list of content as well as resources to help prep for the exam.  The most useful resources I found were the series of YouTube based videos:

https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/iaas/training  (if the link doesn’t work search YouTube for OCI Level 100 or 200)

I ran through all of the Level 100 videos before I even touched the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) console.  I found that seeing everything “once” before helped me to make a lot more efficient use of my practical time once I got my hands into it.

Here’s a list of the Level 100 Videos I watched in order and their times:

OCI Level 100 – Getting Started with OCI12
OCI Level 100 – Identify and Access Management44
OCI Level 100 – Virtual Cloud Network70
OCI Level 100 – Connectivity28
OCI Core 100 – Compute40
OCI Level 100 – Block Volume42
OCI Level 100 – File Storage44
OCI Level 100 – Object Storage38
OCI Level 100 – Load Balancing50
OCI Level 100 – Database38
OCI Level 100 Autonomous Database47
OCI Level 100 – Monitoring37
OCI Level 100 – Edge Services40

After spending 530 minutes/8+ hours (yes I timed it) on the treadmill staring at my iPad I decide to “get practical” and signed up for a Free 300 hour trial for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS – OCI) offering:

https://cloud.oracle.com

***NOTE***

You get one free trial so plan your practical hands-on time accordingly, so you don’t waste this great trial.

If you’re like me and want to truly dive into new technology, I’d suggest opening your wallet and spending a few bucks to access some fantastic training labs:

https://ocitraining.qloudable.com/provider/oracle

This is by no means a commercial (nobody seems to want to pay me for advice) – I don’t get anything for that referral, I just think their stuff was pretty cool. They have one free level 100 tutorial you can try out to see if you like their format.  The best part is, you don’t need an OCI trial or account to use these training labs.  You can pick a topic which makes sense for the lesson you are trying to learn and the OCI environment required is staged for you to use for that lesson.

The combination of the Level 100 videos, using the OCI trial for a solid week (I tried out almost every feature in there) and spending a few bucks on those training labs (the Oracle Virtual Cloud Network – VCN and Oracle Cloud Autonomous Database) all got me VERY comfortable with the OCI console.

I then decided it was time to see if this old guy still has it in him to learn.  I took a stab at the Oracle provided Practice Exam (if the link doesn’t work, just google it, you’ll find it).

http://oukc.oracle.com/static12/opn/login/?t=checkusercookies|r=-1|c=2164389233

I was able to answer successfully about 80% of the questions after the work I had put in so far.  (not bad although my high school son told me if he came home with an 80% I’d take away Xbox rights for a week – he’s right)

To kick it up a notch I went ahead and started watching the Level 200 series videos.  Those were “OK.”  I think the 100’s were a lot clearer on the presentation/learning angle.  The topics range widely for the OCI certification exam so for preparation, I chose to watch (and re-watch) the key areas from level 100 I felt needed some deeper explanation. 

Specifically, the following videos were VERY useful (hint hint hint) for the exam prep:

Level 200 – Virtual Cloud Network

Level 200 – Storage

Level 200 – Load Balancing

Level 200 – Terraform

Level 200 – Identity and Access Management

Level 200 – Database (pay close attention to the migration slides)

After going blurry and losing about 12 pounds from walking/hiking and jogging on my treadmill (bad knees ya know) I capped off my learning time by reading Oracle documentation and a series of whitepapers they provide.

So final prep and words of advice for the test……

The exam is NOT an easy one.  Yes, the passing score is only 65% but the questions are VERY specific so studying and getting hands on practice are essential for success.  Without divulging exam details (hey I had to earn it through hard work and a lot of time) I can offer up some words of advice – remember Oracle is a Database company – KNOW YOUR OCI DATABASE content.

Also – OCI like AWS or Azure is a Public cloud service/solution for the most part (with lots of added enterprise class technology to enhance that).  Keep in mind public cloud means connectivity requirements which means what????  Security which means what???? NETWORKING CONCEPTS so make sure Oracle’s Virtual Cloud Network concepts are engrained!

Outside of level 100’s 200’s and OCI hands on labs/trial/videos – the rest was just reading and practice.  

At this point I was feeling pretty good at what I’ve learned so I tried the  Oracle provided Practice Exam one last time (if the link doesn’t work, just google it, you’ll find it).

http://oukc.oracle.com/static12/opn/login/?t=checkusercookies|r=-1|c=2164389233

This time I was able to answer successfully 100% of the questions. (plenty of Xbox time for this guy!)

From there it was a matter of scheduling my exam test and going for it.  A word of advice – some test centers offer the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Architect Associate certification exam online but I would NOT do that.  The system is very picky, and it would stink to have an invalid test result due to a glitch.  I feel that going to a test center (although it’s a pain) will let you get your head straight with the material and take you out of your comfort zone and I’ve found that helps to hyper focus on the task in front of you. Just my suggestion but it seems to work for me.

As much as I wish I could say I bagged 100% on the exam – alas, I only scored an 83%.  Afterward I recalled several of the mistakes I made when I went back and reviewed, but that’s OK.  The practice I got prepping as well as the hands-on experience since then has been priceless and I know my clients are much better off that I endured this work and had to master this information.

Last food for thought…. Make sure you register for “Your Acclaim” so you can have bragging rights to all of your friends once you kick butt and pass the exam!!!:

https://www.youracclaim.com

I hope this article was helpful for anyone interested in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Architect Associate certification exam preparation.  I would love any and all feedback, comments, questions you might have or to know your experiences!!!

Thank you and good luck!

I’ve tried to create a list of the URL’s you can find a lot of very relevant information for the OCI certification exam itself.  Please feel free to take a look and if you have some suggestions to add to the list, please let me know!

https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/managingbackendsets.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/API/SDKDocs/terraformconfig.htm
https://www.terraform.io/intro/getting-started/outputs.html
https://medium.com/@tigerbabu/oracle-cloud-infrastructure-associate-architect-notes-4495b25b24a4
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/managinglisteners.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Compute/Tasks/imageimportexport.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Block/Tasks/cloningavolume.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/database/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Identity/Tasks/managingusers.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/best-practices-for-iam-on-oci.pdf
https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/edge/dns/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/API/Concepts/cliconcepts.htm#services
https://www.terraform.io/docs/extend/writing-custom-providers.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Tasks/managingVCNs.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/GSG/Tasks/loadbalancing.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/managingcertificates.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/bare-metal-network/vcn/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/networking/vcn/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/General/Concepts/regions.htm#one
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/database-dbaas-cloud/csdbi/backing.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Block/Concepts/blockvolumebackups.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/governance/identity/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/deploying_custom_os_images.pdf
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/General/Concepts/identifiers.htm#two
https://www.terraform.io/docs/commands/plan.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Concepts/securitylists.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Compute/Tasks/terminatinginstance.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Tasks/managingIPsec.htm#Example
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Identity/Concepts/federation.htm
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/database-dbaas-cloud/csdbi/monitor-and-manage-db.html
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/object-storage/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/archive-storage/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Tasks/NATgateway.htm
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/database-dbaas-cloud/csdbi/dbaascli.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/API/SDKDocs/cliinstall.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Object/Concepts/objectstorageoverview.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Reference/lbpolicies.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/managingbackendservers.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/File/Concepts/filestorageoverview.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/data-transfer/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/object-storage/features
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Compute/References/bestpracticescompute.htm
https://blogs.oracle.com/cloud-infrastructure/introducing-oracle-cloud-infrastructure-data-transferservice
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/migrating.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/editinghealthcheck.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/vcn-deployment-guide.pdf
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Identity/Concepts/policies.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Concepts/balanceoverview.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/best-practices-deploying-ha-architecture-oci.pdf
https://oracle-base.com/articles/misc/articles-misc
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/block-volume/faq
https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/technetwork/tutorials/obe/cloud/ocis/load-balancer/loadbalancer.html
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/autonomous-data-warehouse-cloud/user/manage-service.html#GUID-4861BA7F-F9FA-4909-8DC0-4F46AFF80706
https://cloud.oracle.com/fastconnect/peering-types
https://blogs.oracle.com/cloud-infrastructure/connect-private-instances-with-oracle-services-through-an-oracle-cloud-infrastructure-service-gateway
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/autonomous-data-warehouse-cloud/user/load-data.html#GUID-1351807C-E3F7-4C6D-AF83-2AEEADE2F83E
https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/storage/file-storage/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/oci_security.pdf
https://cloud.oracle.com/database/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/pdf/gsg/OCI_Getting_Started.pdf
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Object/Tasks/managingbuckets.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Object/Tasks/usingmultipartuploads.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Concepts/fastconnectoverview.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/usingDG.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/adbmanaging.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/tools/oci-cli/latest/oci_cli_docs/cmdref/compute/instance/launch.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/adbcreating.htm
http://storageconference.us/2018/Presentations/Beauvais.pdf
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Tasks/managingDRGs.htm
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/iaas/storage-cloud/cssto/encrypting-objects.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/usingdataguard.htm
https://blogs.oracle.com/cloud-infrastructure/using-availibility-domains-and-fault-domains-to-improve-application-resiliency
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/launchingDB.htm

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations 2020 Certified Associate Issued to Joe Malewicki, Jr.

  • Date: Jul 07, 2020
  • Article by: Elysha Daly
Read More

Oracle EPM 11.2.2 Dropped

  • Date: Jun 30, 2020
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki
Read More

Blog Details Page

  • Date: May 22, 2019
  • Article by: Joe Malewicki

Since I recently lived through the fun of getting myself Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Architect Associate certified, I wanted to share a little information on how I prepared for the exam.  Please note, the opinions, words and views expressed in this article are ONLY a brain dump from my little techy head and there’s no guarantee that if you follow my training regime you will pass.  Or maybe you’ll kick my score out of the park by following these steps in which I would expect you to buy me a beer and send me a compliment!

So let’s go….

I wasn’t able to take an actual paid Oracle University class due to time limitations, but I did manage to attend a couple of the free live training sessions found here:

https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/register-for-training

You’ll find a lot of the same content they cover listed below in this article.  The biggest issue with these free sessions is availability and timing.  I didn’t have 3 months to wait around to cover the free sessions they offered.  That being said, I always live by the motto, “if it’s free it’s for me” so I still registered for them all and believe it or not, I’m still taking them.  It’s a great post certification exam way to keep your skills up!

To really get started on my training plan I first grabbed the published Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Architect Associate certification path study guide to find out what exactly Oracle’s cloud learning team suggests I learn on this OCI certification journey.  

https://learn.oracle.com/education/downloads/OracleCloudInfrastructurestudyguide.pdf

In this PDF (updated February 2019) you’ll find a great list of content as well as resources to help prep for the exam.  The most useful resources I found were the series of YouTube based videos:

https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/iaas/training  (if the link doesn’t work search YouTube for OCI Level 100 or 200)

I ran through all of the Level 100 videos before I even touched the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) console.  I found that seeing everything “once” before helped me to make a lot more efficient use of my practical time once I got my hands into it.

Here’s a list of the Level 100 Videos I watched in order and their times:

OCI Level 100 – Getting Started with OCI12
OCI Level 100 – Identify and Access Management44
OCI Level 100 – Virtual Cloud Network70
OCI Level 100 – Connectivity28
OCI Core 100 – Compute40
OCI Level 100 – Block Volume42
OCI Level 100 – File Storage44
OCI Level 100 – Object Storage38
OCI Level 100 – Load Balancing50
OCI Level 100 – Database38
OCI Level 100 Autonomous Database47
OCI Level 100 – Monitoring37
OCI Level 100 – Edge Services40

After spending 530 minutes/8+ hours (yes I timed it) on the treadmill staring at my iPad I decide to “get practical” and signed up for a Free 300 hour trial for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS – OCI) offering:

https://cloud.oracle.com

***NOTE***

You get one free trial so plan your practical hands-on time accordingly, so you don’t waste this great trial.

If you’re like me and want to truly dive into new technology, I’d suggest opening your wallet and spending a few bucks to access some fantastic training labs:

https://ocitraining.qloudable.com/provider/oracle

This is by no means a commercial (nobody seems to want to pay me for advice) – I don’t get anything for that referral, I just think their stuff was pretty cool. They have one free level 100 tutorial you can try out to see if you like their format.  The best part is, you don’t need an OCI trial or account to use these training labs.  You can pick a topic which makes sense for the lesson you are trying to learn and the OCI environment required is staged for you to use for that lesson.

The combination of the Level 100 videos, using the OCI trial for a solid week (I tried out almost every feature in there) and spending a few bucks on those training labs (the Oracle Virtual Cloud Network – VCN and Oracle Cloud Autonomous Database) all got me VERY comfortable with the OCI console.

I then decided it was time to see if this old guy still has it in him to learn.  I took a stab at the Oracle provided Practice Exam (if the link doesn’t work, just google it, you’ll find it).

http://oukc.oracle.com/static12/opn/login/?t=checkusercookies|r=-1|c=2164389233

I was able to answer successfully about 80% of the questions after the work I had put in so far.  (not bad although my high school son told me if he came home with an 80% I’d take away Xbox rights for a week – he’s right)

To kick it up a notch I went ahead and started watching the Level 200 series videos.  Those were “OK.”  I think the 100’s were a lot clearer on the presentation/learning angle.  The topics range widely for the OCI certification exam so for preparation, I chose to watch (and re-watch) the key areas from level 100 I felt needed some deeper explanation. 

Specifically, the following videos were VERY useful (hint hint hint) for the exam prep:

Level 200 – Virtual Cloud Network

Level 200 – Storage

Level 200 – Load Balancing

Level 200 – Terraform

Level 200 – Identity and Access Management

Level 200 – Database (pay close attention to the migration slides)

After going blurry and losing about 12 pounds from walking/hiking and jogging on my treadmill (bad knees ya know) I capped off my learning time by reading Oracle documentation and a series of whitepapers they provide.

So final prep and words of advice for the test……

The exam is NOT an easy one.  Yes, the passing score is only 65% but the questions are VERY specific so studying and getting hands on practice are essential for success.  Without divulging exam details (hey I had to earn it through hard work and a lot of time) I can offer up some words of advice – remember Oracle is a Database company – KNOW YOUR OCI DATABASE content.

Also – OCI like AWS or Azure is a Public cloud service/solution for the most part (with lots of added enterprise class technology to enhance that).  Keep in mind public cloud means connectivity requirements which means what????  Security which means what???? NETWORKING CONCEPTS so make sure Oracle’s Virtual Cloud Network concepts are engrained!

Outside of level 100’s 200’s and OCI hands on labs/trial/videos – the rest was just reading and practice.  

At this point I was feeling pretty good at what I’ve learned so I tried the  Oracle provided Practice Exam one last time (if the link doesn’t work, just google it, you’ll find it).

http://oukc.oracle.com/static12/opn/login/?t=checkusercookies|r=-1|c=2164389233

This time I was able to answer successfully 100% of the questions. (plenty of Xbox time for this guy!)

From there it was a matter of scheduling my exam test and going for it.  A word of advice – some test centers offer the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Architect Associate certification exam online but I would NOT do that.  The system is very picky, and it would stink to have an invalid test result due to a glitch.  I feel that going to a test center (although it’s a pain) will let you get your head straight with the material and take you out of your comfort zone and I’ve found that helps to hyper focus on the task in front of you. Just my suggestion but it seems to work for me.

As much as I wish I could say I bagged 100% on the exam – alas, I only scored an 83%.  Afterward I recalled several of the mistakes I made when I went back and reviewed, but that’s OK.  The practice I got prepping as well as the hands-on experience since then has been priceless and I know my clients are much better off that I endured this work and had to master this information.

Last food for thought…. Make sure you register for “Your Acclaim” so you can have bragging rights to all of your friends once you kick butt and pass the exam!!!:

https://www.youracclaim.com

I hope this article was helpful for anyone interested in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Architect Associate certification exam preparation.  I would love any and all feedback, comments, questions you might have or to know your experiences!!!

Thank you and good luck!

I’ve tried to create a list of the URL’s you can find a lot of very relevant information for the OCI certification exam itself.  Please feel free to take a look and if you have some suggestions to add to the list, please let me know!

https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/managingbackendsets.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/API/SDKDocs/terraformconfig.htm
https://www.terraform.io/intro/getting-started/outputs.html
https://medium.com/@tigerbabu/oracle-cloud-infrastructure-associate-architect-notes-4495b25b24a4
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/managinglisteners.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Compute/Tasks/imageimportexport.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Block/Tasks/cloningavolume.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/database/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Identity/Tasks/managingusers.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/best-practices-for-iam-on-oci.pdf
https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/edge/dns/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/API/Concepts/cliconcepts.htm#services
https://www.terraform.io/docs/extend/writing-custom-providers.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Tasks/managingVCNs.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/GSG/Tasks/loadbalancing.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/managingcertificates.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/bare-metal-network/vcn/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/networking/vcn/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/General/Concepts/regions.htm#one
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/database-dbaas-cloud/csdbi/backing.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Block/Concepts/blockvolumebackups.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/governance/identity/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/deploying_custom_os_images.pdf
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/General/Concepts/identifiers.htm#two
https://www.terraform.io/docs/commands/plan.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Concepts/securitylists.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Compute/Tasks/terminatinginstance.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Tasks/managingIPsec.htm#Example
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Identity/Concepts/federation.htm
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/database-dbaas-cloud/csdbi/monitor-and-manage-db.html
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/object-storage/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/archive-storage/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Tasks/NATgateway.htm
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/database-dbaas-cloud/csdbi/dbaascli.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/API/SDKDocs/cliinstall.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Object/Concepts/objectstorageoverview.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Reference/lbpolicies.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/managingbackendservers.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/File/Concepts/filestorageoverview.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/data-transfer/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/object-storage/features
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Compute/References/bestpracticescompute.htm
https://blogs.oracle.com/cloud-infrastructure/introducing-oracle-cloud-infrastructure-data-transferservice
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/migrating.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Tasks/editinghealthcheck.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/vcn-deployment-guide.pdf
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Identity/Concepts/policies.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Balance/Concepts/balanceoverview.htm
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/best-practices-deploying-ha-architecture-oci.pdf
https://oracle-base.com/articles/misc/articles-misc
https://cloud.oracle.com/storage/block-volume/faq
https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/technetwork/tutorials/obe/cloud/ocis/load-balancer/loadbalancer.html
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/autonomous-data-warehouse-cloud/user/manage-service.html#GUID-4861BA7F-F9FA-4909-8DC0-4F46AFF80706
https://cloud.oracle.com/fastconnect/peering-types
https://blogs.oracle.com/cloud-infrastructure/connect-private-instances-with-oracle-services-through-an-oracle-cloud-infrastructure-service-gateway
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/paas/autonomous-data-warehouse-cloud/user/load-data.html#GUID-1351807C-E3F7-4C6D-AF83-2AEEADE2F83E
https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/storage/file-storage/faq
https://cloud.oracle.com/iaas/whitepapers/oci_security.pdf
https://cloud.oracle.com/database/faq
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/pdf/gsg/OCI_Getting_Started.pdf
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Object/Tasks/managingbuckets.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Object/Tasks/usingmultipartuploads.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Concepts/fastconnectoverview.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/usingDG.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/adbmanaging.htm
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/tools/oci-cli/latest/oci_cli_docs/cmdref/compute/instance/launch.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/adbcreating.htm
http://storageconference.us/2018/Presentations/Beauvais.pdf
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Network/Tasks/managingDRGs.htm
https://docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/iaas/storage-cloud/cssto/encrypting-objects.html
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/usingdataguard.htm
https://blogs.oracle.com/cloud-infrastructure/using-availibility-domains-and-fault-domains-to-improve-application-resiliency
https://docs.cloud.oracle.com/iaas/Content/Database/Tasks/launchingDB.htm

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