The Cloud Native Computing Foundation has officially released the brand new Certified Kubernetes Exam (CKA).

I took the exam last week and loved it! It was extremely challenging and covered many different aspects of Kubernetes.

Exam Personas

The exam can best be described as a series of objectives that cover two target personas: Developers and Operators.

Developers

The developer section requires you to understand how to directly interact with the Kubernetes API via kubectl.

These objectives require you to act as the developer deploying cloud-native applications on Kubernetes by creating Pods, Jobs, Deployments, Services and ConfigMaps. You should understand how to run ad-hoc kubectl commands as well as create object manifest files in JSON or YAML format.

This makes up about 60% of the exam.

Operators

The operators portion of the exam requires you to put on your System Engineer hat and understand how to install, manage, and troubleshoot live Kubernetes clusters! You must be familiar with all aspects of the Kubernetes installation process, including flags and settings for the kube-apiserver, kube-scheduler, kube-proxy, kubelet, kube-proxy, and etcd.

This makes up about 40% of the exam.

Objectives

The objectives for the Developer/Operator personas can be found throughout the Official Certified Kubernetes Administrator Exam Curriculum.

Together, all of these domains make up 100% of the exam.

Core Concepts - 19%

  • Understand the Kubernetes API primitives.
  • Understand the Kubernetes cluster architecture.
  • Understand Services and other network primitives.

Security - 12%

  • Know how to configure authentication and authorization.
  • Understand Kubernetes security primitives.
  • Know how to configure network policies.
  • Create and manage TLS certificates for cluster components.
  • Work with images securely.
  • Define security contexts.
  • Secure persistent key value store.

Installation, Configuration, Validation - 12%

  • Design a Kubernetes cluster.
  • Install Kubernetes masters and nodes.
  • Configure secure cluster communications.
  • Configure a HA Kubernetes cluster.
  • Know where to get the Kubernetes release binaries.
  • Provision underlying infrastructure to deploy a Kubernetes cluster.
  • Choose a network solution.
  • Choose your Kubernetes infrastructure configuration.
  • Run end-to-end tests on your cluster.
  • Analyze end-to-end test results.
  • Run Node end-to-end tests.

Networking - 11%

  • Understand the networking configuration on the cluster nodes.
  • Understand Pod networking concepts.
  • Understand service networking.
  • Deploy and configure network load balancer.
  • Know how to use Ingress rules.
  • Configure secure cluster communications.
  • Configure a HA Kubernetes cluster.
  • Know where to get the Kubernetes release binaries.
  • Provision underlying infrastructure to deploy a Kubernetes cluster.
  • Choose a network solution.
  • Choose your Kubernetes infrastructure configuration.
  • Run end-to-end tests on your cluster.
  • Analyze end-to-end test results.
  • Run Node end-to-end tests.

Cluster Maintenance - 11%

  • Understand Kubernetes cluster upgrade process.
  • Facilitate operating system upgrades.
  • Implement backup and restore methodologies.

Troubleshooting - 10%

  • Troubleshoot application failure.
  • Troubleshoot control panel plane failure.
  • Troubleshoot worker node failure.
  • Troubleshoot networking.

Application Lifecycle Management - 8%

  • Understand Deployments and how to perform rolling updates and rollbacks.
  • Know various ways to configure applications.
  • Know how to scale applications.
  • Understand the primitives necessary to create a self-healing application.

Storage - 7%

  • Understand Persistent Volumes and know how to create them.
  • Understand access modes for volumes.
  • Understand Persistent Volume Claims.
  • Understand Kubernetes storage objects.
  • Know how to configure applications with Persistent Storage.

Scheduling - 5%

  • Use label selectors to schedule Pods.
  • Understand the role of DaemonSets.
  • Understand how Resource Limits can affect Pod scheduling.
  • Understand how to run multiple schedulers and how to configure Pods to use them.
  • Manually schedule a pod without a scheduler.
  • Display scheduler events.
  • Know how to configure the Kubernetes scheduler.

Logging/Monitoring - 5%

  • Understand how to monitor all cluster components.
  • Understand how to monitor applications.
  • Manage cluster component logs.
  • Manage application logs.

About the Exam Environment

The exam expects its test-takers to be proficient in completing all objectives in a terminal environment.

Here is a visual representation of the exam console as described in the Certification and Confidentiality Agreement:

The exam console is embedded into the browser. It is composed of two primary parts: The Content Panel and the Terminal Panel.

The Content Panel is the section that displays the exam timer and objectives. You can use the next and back button to move to each objective.

The Terminal Panel gives you full access to an Ubuntu 16.04 environment with previously installed programs including kubectl and SSH to access a Kubernetes cluster environment.

It's Open Book!

Although you can't use your personal notes for the exam, you can use the net to browse official Kubernetes documentation as well as any web sites containing Kubernetes-related technical documentation.

Good Luck!

Have fun preparing and taking the Certified Kubernetes Administrator!



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