About Google Associate Cloud Engineer Exam
The Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification is aimed at those professionals who deploy applications, manage enterprise solutions, and monitor operations. These individuals have the ability to utilize Google Cloud Console. They also use the command-line interface to carry out basic platform-based roles for the maintenance of multiple deployed solutions. These solutions leverage self-managed or Google-managed services on Google Cloud.
Target audience and other prerequisites
This certification is intended for the Cloud Engineers who know how to plan and configure Cloud solutions, install Cloud solution environments, implement and deploy Cloud solutions, configure security and access, ensure the successful operation of Cloud solutions.
There are no official requirements for this certificate and its qualifying test. However, before taking the certification exam, it is recommended that you possess at least six months of practical experience with Google Cloud solutions and products.
The Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification exam is 2 hours long and covers mostly two question formats, which are multiple choice and multiple select. The applicants can take the test as an online proctored option (remotely) or as an onsite proctored exam at one of the centers across the world. You can go through the official website for details of the test-taking process. To register for this exam, the individuals must pay the fee of $125. This fee applies to a single try. If you do not pass your Google exam at the first attempt, you have to try again and pay another fee for registration. The test is available in the English, Spanish, Japanese, and Indonesian languages.
The Google ACE exam covers five broad topics. Each section has a list of components that the candidates must study and understand before attempting the certification test. The domains are the following:
Setting Up Cloud Solution Environments
- Set up Cloud accounts and projects: the activities under this component include creating projects; assigning the specific users to predetermined IAM roles for a project; managing the users within Cloud Identity allowing APIs in projects; provisioning multiple Stackdriver workspaces;
- Manage billing configuration: this involves skills in creating multiple billing accounts; linking projects to a specific billing account; determining the billing budget and alerts; creating billing exports for daily/monthly estimated charges;
- Install and configure Cloud SDK CLI (Command Line Interface).
Planning & Configuring Cloud Solutions
- Plan and estimate the GCP product use with Pricing Calculator;
- Plan and configure compute resources with specific skills in choosing the relevant compute choices for a specific workload as well as utilizing preemptible virtual machines and custom machine types as relevant;
- Plan and configure data storage options with a focus on product choice and selecting storage options;
- Plan and configure network resources, which include distinguishing load balancing alternatives, configuring the Cloud DNS, establishing resource locations within a network for its availability.
Deploying & Implementing Cloud Solutions
- Deploy and implement compute engine resources: the skills required for this area include launching compute instances with Cloud SDK and Cloud Console; creating auto-scaled managed instance groups with instance templates; uploading/generating custom SSH keys for instances; configuring virtual machines or Stackdriver logging and monitoring. It also requires that the students can assess compute quotas and request for increases; install a Stackdriver Agent for logging and monitoring;
- Deploy and implement Google Kubernetes Engine Resources: this domain includes skills in deploying Google Kubernetes Engine cluster, container application to Google Kubernetes Engine with pods, and configuring Google Kubernetes Engine Application logging and monitoring;
- Deploy and implement App Engine, Cloud Functions, and Cloud Run resources: the learners will be required to demonstrate their skills in the deployment of applications, traffic splitting, updating scaling configuration, as well as deployment of applications that accept Google Cloud events;
- Deploy and implement data solutions: the applicants should be able to initialize data systems with Google products and load data;
- Deploy and implement networking resources: this will measure your ability to launch Compute Engine instances using custom network configuration; create egress and ingress firewall rule or VPC; create VPNs between the external network and Google VPC with Cloud VPN; create the load balancer to allocate the application network traffic for apps;
- Deploy solutions with Cloud Marketplace: the candidates must demonstrate the ability to browse the Cloud Marketplace catalog to check solution details; deploy Cloud Marketplace solutions;
- Deploy an application infrastructure with Cloud Deployment Manager with a focus on the development and launch of Deployment Manager templates.
Ensuring Operation Success of a Cloud Solution
- Manage Compute Engine resources: the test takers should demonstrate their capability to manage single VM instances; RDP/SSH to instance; attack GPU to new instances and install CUDA libraries; view on-going running virtual machine inventory; work with snapshots, images, management interfaces, and instance groups;
- Manage Google Kubernetes Engine resources: this requires one’s competence in viewing on-going running cluster inventory; browsing container image depository and viewing the details of container images; working with pods, node pools, services, stateful applications, and management interfaces;
- Manage App Engine and Cloud Run resources: the individuals should be able to adjust application traffic splitting parameters; set scaling parameters for auto-scaling instances; work with management interfaces;
- Manage database and storage solutions: this area requires your competence in setting object lifecycle management policies for Cloud Storage buckets; moving different objects between Cloud Storage buckets; estimating costs for BigQuery; executing queries for the retrieval of data from data instances. It also requires your capability to backup and restores data instances; review a job status in BigQuery, Cloud Dataflow, or Cloud Dataproc; work with management interfaces;
- Manage network resources: this part requires the capability to add subnets to existing VPCs; expand subnets to include more IP addresses; reserve static internal or external IP address; work with management interfaces;
- Monitor and log: this subject includes the examinees’ ability to create Stackdriver custom metrics and Stackdriver alerts according to resource metrics; use Cloud diagnostics to analyze application issues; check and filter logs within Stackdriver; configure log sinks for the exportation of logs into external systems; view the status of Google Cloud Platform.
Configuring Security & Access
- Manage IAM: this domain involves your ability to view IAM role allocations; assign IAM roles to Google Groups or accounts; define custom IAM duties;
- Manage Service Account: the candidates should know how to manage service accounts with restricted privileges; grant access to service accounts within another project; assign service accounts to virtual machine instances;
- View audit logs or managed services and projects.
The professionals with the Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification can explore different job roles. Some of these include a Cloud Operations Engineer, a Cloud Services Engineer, a Cloud Solutions Systems Engineer, a Cloud Network Engineer, and a Software Engineer. The average salary for these certified specialists is $74,000 per year. The actual salary depends on your position and level of experience.