Kubernetes Certifications

Many businesses used to buy physical servers to host their applications and software. It faced many problems like server failure, the poor performance of software, and difficulty in allocating resources like RAM and CPU size. It led to many of them looking for ways how they can change this. Many opted for Kubernetes due to its low costs and proper utilization of resources. Kubernetes was different from the other cloud services as it used a better orchestration tool. According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) 2020 yearly report, the number of people who use Kubernetes to host containers increased by 300%. The market is estimated to reach $4.3 billion by 2022, making the demand for Kubernetes experts rise. According to Payscale, the salary of individuals with these skills will be from $117k per year, increasing as time moves by. People who can work with Kubernetes include DevOps engineers, cloud engineers, Python developers, systems engineers, e.t.c. This guide will look at several types of Kubernetes certifications, what it entails, and their pricing.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source technology built by Google that uses containers to manage workloads and services that help in automation during development and deployment. Its ecosystem uses clusters which is a collection of virtual machines. 

The containers have properties like their file system, CPU, memory, e.t.c, that help in different phases of application development and deployment. Some of the processes include agile development, DevOps, performance, cloud distribution, CI/CD, e.t.c.

Kubernetes makes it easier to build applications. It comes with a lot of features that provide:

  • Balances network traffic distribution between the containers using DNS names and Ip addresses.
  • Provides a lot of storage systems to choose from, i.e., cloud providers, local storage e.t.c
  • Uses automated rollbacks and rollouts to change the state of deployed containers.
  • Uses clusters of nodes to run container tasks that help manage needs like memory, CPU size e.t.c
  • Easy to recover in case of failure.
  • It gives you more power during configuration, making you store critical information like usernames, passwords, tokens, and keys.

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What is Kubernetes Certification?

These steps help nurture Kubernetes professionals by equipping them with the required skills that meet the job market. It is done through a well-structured curriculum that covers different aspects of technology. After finishing the curriculum, one can sit for exams and get issued a certificate after the results. It ensures individuals and organizations are competent in dealing with this new technology with no or little issues.

Different types of Kubernetes Certifications

Kubernetes is a new trend in technology whereby not many people are well conversant with it. Many online institutions offer certifications to show that an individual or company has more knowledge about it. The certification gets categorized according to different paths: developer, security, and administrator. The certifications target both individuals and companies.

The developer is the one who handles the management of applications for Kubernetes. They ensure that the software meets all the Kubernetes requirements and how it will work well with the environment. The security team ensures that the app environment is safe and fast while understanding the security ecosystem without interfering with the development environment. The administrator handles the Kubernetes environment and helps the developers fix any issues they face during development.

There are several types of Kubernetes Certifications, It includes:

  • Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
  • Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
  • Kubernetes Certified Service Provider(KCSP)
  • Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist. (CKS)
  • Kubernetes and Cloud-Native Associate.

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Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)

It was a collaboration between Linux Foundation and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to ensure that the administrators have enough skills and knowledge. It ensures that the developers who apply for administrator jobs are competent and ready for the job market.

The exam is conducted online, and you have to do the test by solving several issues using the command line. Some of the things it covers in the curriculum include:

  • Cluster Architecture
  • Installation and Configuration
  • Working with workloads and scheduling.
  • Network configuration.
  • Working with services.
  • Troubleshooting issues.

The exam costs $375, and it's accessible in other languages like German, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese. It takes 2 hours to complete the exam. If you fail the first attempt, they offer up to two attempts with the help of Killer.sh, which acts as an exam simulator. The certification renewal is after every three years when you have to retake the exam to maintain the certification.

The final exam tests typically on Kubernetes v1.23.Before the exam, the organizations provide you with the following resources to help you with exam preparation:

  • Introduction to Kubernetes.
  • Kubernetes Fundamentals.

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Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)

It was also developed by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in collaboration with Linux Foundation. It ensures that the developers can use different primitives to monitor and build applications and tools in Kubernetes. He also has to understand how to define the resources and troubleshoot any problems in applications. The exam assumes that you have more knowledge about containers and you are conversant with the following:

  • Working with cloud natives architecture.
  • How to work with Kubernetes resources
  • Validation of Kubernetes resources.
  • Understanding cloud-native concepts.

The certification curriculum covers the following areas:

  • How to design and build applications.
  • Deployment of applications using Helm package manager and use of primitives.
  • Configure the application environment and security measures using authentication, ServiceAccounts, ServiceContexts e.t.c
  • Monitoring application services and networks using policies and rules for troubleshooting.
  • Application maintenance using API, debugging, logs, and Kubernetes tools to perform health checks.

The exam fee is  $375 with only one retake. The exam duration is two hours, and it's normally on performance-based items. The exam is online and needs a lot of lab tests. The Linux Foundation offers a Kubernetes course that helps in exam preparation.

Kubernetes Certified Service Provider(KCSP)

This program identifies service providers who have experience helping businesses use Kubernetes. The companies with KCSP help Kubernetes with support and training to companies interested in using the technology. The program helps companies launch apps faster with enough support due to the assurance from the Kubernetes partners.

For a company to meet the Kubernetes Certified Service Provider(KCSP), it should have the following requirements:

  • Have three or more developers who passed the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam.
  • Their business model supports other businesses and users, i.e., developers work perfectly with the clients.
  • Should be a member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation(CNCF).
  • Their website should show that they offer Kubernetes Training, consultations, and support and should be in English and other languages if possible.

For a company to get the certification, they need to follow several steps. These are:

  • Fill out the Kubernetes Ecosystem form.
  • Send the CKA certifications of your three employees to  [email protected]
  • You can check the application status using the Working Group list or email them at [email protected]

There are a lot of benefits a company gains with Kubernetes Certified Service Provider certification. Some of these benefits include:

  • Appearing on Kubernetes partners page on their website.
  • Getting more customers for consultancy services due to increased business awareness.
  • Get recognized as a leading provider in Kubernetes specialization.
  • It helps companies get more leads due to a lot of traffic from the Kubernetes website.

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Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist(CKS)

This certification by Linux Foundation and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) enables security operators to have skills on how to protect containers and Kubernetes platforms during the building, production, and deployment processes. The online exam tests on several issues, including a deeper understanding of Kubernetes and the security of cloud applications.

CKS curriculum entails the following:

  • Understanding how to set up clusters using different policies, endpoints, binaries, elements e.t.c
  • Cluster hardening using updates, controls, restrictions to Kubernetes API e.t.c
  • System hardening through minimizing host OS footprint, IAM network, access to network externally, use of apps like AppArmor e.t.c
  • Minimizing vulnerabilities
  • Maintaining the supply chain security with the help of static analysis, image scanning e.t.c
  • Monitoring and Logging through audits, investigations, detection, and analysis of file processes and activities.

The exam is online with monitoring using a webcam and screen sharing. To take this certification exam, you must be a holder of unexpired  Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) certification that shows that you have expertise using Kubernetes. This certification is valid for two years. The exam costs $375.

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Kubernetes and Cloud-Native Associate(KCNA)

This certification is for those with expertise in Kubernetes and a deeper understanding of the cloud-native ecosystem. It helps individuals who have a passion for cloud-native technologies. It equips them with skills such as using the kubectl commands to deploy applications, Kubernetes architecture,cloud-native projects like GitOps, storage e.t.c, and cloud security principles.

The certification exam covers the following topics:

  • Kubernetes fundamentals, i.e., the resources, containers, API, architecture e.t.c
  • Container orchestration using runtime, networking, storage e.t.c
  • Understanding cloud-native architecture, i.e., scaling, serverless, personas e.t.c
  • Use continuous delivery, e.g., GitOps, CI/CD, e.g., Github.
  • Cloud-native observability using Prometheus e.t.c.

The exam cost is $250 with one free retake. It's online through multi-choice options.

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Having Kubernetes certifications at your hands shows that you are fit for the job market, giving you more chances to get employed. You can use them to show your competence and work with large organizations that still face issues navigating the Kubernetes ecosystem. With proper planning, it's easier to pass the exams, and most of them offer one or more retakes giving you a chance to try again. 

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As a senior technical content writer for HRK tainings, srivalli patchava has a greater understanding of today's data-driven environment, which includes key aspects of data management and IT organizations. She manages the task of creating great content in the areas of software testing, DevOps, Robotic process automation. Connects with her on Linkedin and Twitter.