Acing CKA Exam — Certified Kubernetes administrator

One of the most in-demand skills for high-paying Cloud, DevOps, and SRE job roles is Kubernetes Administration.

Acing CKA Exam — Certified Kubernetes administrator
CKA Certification Badge Source: CNCF

As one of the highest velocity open source projects in the history, Kubernetes has taken the tech economy by storm — this economic shift has been flaring up from the fields like DevOps, SysAdmin, software development, information security and other cloud native spaces.

When it comes to plotting your Kubernetes Administrator certification (CKA), you have a lot to consider—from hands-on training to more important considerations like practice labs setups, building Kubernetes clusters, implementing observability, and so much more.

CNCF and The Linux Foundation have open sourced the exam curriculum around which the CKA program has been created for the benefit of organizations to develop open source talent and provide assurance that Kubernetes administrators have the sound technical expertise and functional knowledge to maintain the production-grade Kubernetes cluster.

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator — CKA program allows professionals to demonstrate their skills for designing and implementing solutions to leverage a Kubernetes cluster and perform all the critical responsibilities of Kubernetes administrators.

Good thing this living document is direct to the point, profitable to help you become highly equipped for the CKA exam with all the required resources.

CKA EXAM readiness

The CKA exam is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires solving multiple tasks in a hands-on, command-line environment aligned with the most recent K8s minor version.

  • Kubernetes v1.25 Combiner
  • Candidates have 2 hours to complete the tasks
  • Cost $395 (One Retake)
Certified Kubernetes Administrator — Official Registration
CKA
CKA Badge - CNCF | Design - Dracula Pro | Article - Kubernetes Certification

There are no prerequisites for CKA training. However, having a below skill-set is recommended:

  • Basic Linux administration skills, including shell Scripting
  • YAML/JSON knowledge
  • Basic Docker knowledge (not low-level)
  • Basic knowledge of DevOps methodologies

CKA Practice Resources

These hands-on resources are guaranteed to be up-to-date to help you pass the performance-based CKA exam.

Training Courses

Books

Practice Labs

Cloud Credits


More practice resources, including Community forums, events, blogs, and podcasts (links) are this Kubernetes resources article.
Tip–Don't depend on exam dumps and the free sources.

CKA EXAM domains — open source curriculum

The open source exam curriculum includes the following domains:

CKA - Exam Domains Weightage
Storage 10%
Troubleshooting 30%
Workloads & Scheduling 15%
Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration 25%
Services and Networking 20%

Let’s look at each domain below.


Storage

Kubernetes storage architecture is profitable for the dynamic scaling and administration of K8s apps with feature-rich support for multiple storage back ends. It's technically great for dynamic provisioning. The domain examines your understanding of implementing a convenient way for applications to request and use storage resources.

CKA
Learn to provide both long-term and temporary storage to pods in your cluster

It weighs only 10%, but it's also utterly important because storage management in Kubernetes can be complex with challenges pertaining to data integrity, preservation, replication, and migration. Get good with practice and become thoroughly acquainted with the basics of persistent volumes and persistent volume claims.

For most CKA job roles, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of Kubernetes storage classes. Learn technically how StorageClasses can provide a great deal of flexibility and control over how data is stored, which also makes it possible to tailor the storage infrastructure to the needs of the workload.


Troubleshooting

Being a Certified Kubernetes Administrator means you know how to tend to Kubernetes responsibilities like application monitoring for troubleshooting failures. It also includes maintaining clusters and node logging for productively operating workloads.

CKA Exam
Learn effective management of faults and best practices for taking proactive measures to prevent issues in Kubernetes components.

Build hands-on experience managing and operating workloads using free cloud credits to deploy sample applications to implement monitoring controls and compliance requirements.

The CKA training by KodeKloud is very popular in the Kubernetes and DevOps community to gain hands-on troubleshooting experience in sandboxed environments. It'll help you develop a good understanding of the well-administered K8s environment and learn the best troubleshooting practices.


Workloads & Scheduling

A workload is an application running (millions of daily jobs managed) inside a set of pods on Kubernetes. Learn administrator skills in deploying, managing, and operating workloads on Kubernetes.

The domain tests your practical knowledge to schedule workload capacity for high scalability. Learn the best practices to understand the primitives used to create robust application deployments for both stateless and stateful applications in a Kubernetes cluster.

CKA Exam Guide
Understand Kubernetes workloads properly to learn how Kubernetes gives you the platform to schedule and run containers on clusters of both physical or VMs.

You must be thoroughly acquainted with the kube-scheduler — a default scheduler for Kubernetes that runs as part of the control plane. With free cloud computing credits, you could also implement a custom scheduler and use the Kubernetes documentation to learn more about scheduling.


Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration

A functioning Kubernetes deployment is called a cluster — It includes the control plane and the compute machines, or nodes. And each node runs pods, which are made up of containers.

The domain examines your technical expertise for developing and maintaining an advanced platform to manage the Kubernetes cluster lifecycle.

Certified Kubernetes Administrator
Understand the main components of Kubernetes architecture

You'd benefit much from building up the low-level knowledge of the Kubernetes cluster architecture to provide guidance on the architectural design across multiple applications and projects of the enterprise. Develop abilities to map business objectives to application/architecture requirements.


Services and Networking

The Kubernetes platform is based on a flat network structure that eliminates the need to map host ports to container ports. It is different from other networking platforms to run distributed systems, sharing machines between applications without dynamically allocating ports.

The domain validates your expertise in advanced networking architectures for the breadth of cluster networking, including service discovery features and interconnectivity options between pods. It spans the basics of networking configuration, through to LoadBalancer, Ingress resources, CoreDNS, network interface plugin and more.

Kubernetes Administrator CKA Exam
Learn how containers within a pod use networking to communicate

Understand how different components in the Kubernetes platform (Pods, containers, nodes, applications) communicate with each other and with other applications. Build good knowledge of Container Networking Interface (CNI) which connects Pods across nodes, acting as an interface between a network namespace and a network plug-in or a network provider and a Kubernetes network.

FAQs — CKA program

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Kubernetes Certifications — Cloud Native Roadmap

What is the CKA program?

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator — CKA credential is among the most the most in-demand and challenging certification available today. The program provides assurance to companies that practitioners have the technical skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes administrators.


How hard is the CKA exam?

Many say CKA exam is harder than CKAD and CKS, but it's all relative to your experience. The scenarios for troubleshooting, cluster architecture, and networking are all complex but not impossible grasp. With hands-on training and consistent practice, you'll be able to tackle your way through the problems to earn the respectable CKA badge.


Is CKA best for DevOps?

CKA is one of the few certification exams that is exceedingly good for the DevOps career path. Since Kubernetes has become an essential tool for DevOps teams, CKA is a sought-after certification for most DevOps, SRE, and Cloud engineering job roles. It is even more imperative now for aspiring Cloud engineers and DevOps professionals in these cloud-native days to get a job based on their Kubernetes skills.


TL;DR

There is a high demand for Kubernetes skills as more and more companies move to containerized environments. The most popular Kubernetes-related tech roles include DevOps engineer, Cloud administrator, Open source administrator, SRE, and Cloud engineer.

Learning Kubernetes administration for CKA is certainly worthwhile. It may be intimidating for novices, but with hands-on training and practice, you'll pass this tough exam with flying colors.

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