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What Is DNS and How Does It Work?

DNS stands for “Domain Name System”, which is a massive directory distributed across the world. In other words, DNS serves the purpose of the phonebook for the internet. It functions so instantaneously and seamlessly that we don’t realize how much we use it every day. We can understand DNS through a basic analogy. In a phonebook, we usually type a name whose number we need to check, we need not memorize the person’s contact number. The same service is provided by a DNS. Every device connected across the internet has a unique IP address. This IP address is used by the machines to interact with each other. Domain names are human-readable names that we enter into a web browser to access a website. Domain names are analogous to the names in the phonebook, while the IP address is the corresponding contact number. Computers interact through IP addresses which are complex strings of alphanumeric characters. Basically, DNS translates domain names to corresponding IP addresses to identify the different computers across the world. There can be more than one IP address associated with a domain name.A Brief History of DNSAround thirty years back, when the internet was introduced, people needed to memorize the IP address of the website that they wanted to visit. Computers being digital machines were able to communicate only through numbers. As the internet age began, the number of websites started to grow from hundreds to tens of thousands. The increasing number of IP addresses made it difficult for people to memorize. Paul Mockapetris in early 1980s introduced a system that was able to automatically map the domain names to its corresponding IP addresses. This led to the birth of the DNS which serves as a backbone of Internet till today.Do You Want to Make Career in Cloud Computing? Find a list of top AWS Certifications.Types of queries:There are mainly 2 types of queries:Recursive DNS query: When the DNS user directly gets the IP address of the desired domain by querying the corresponding name server, this is called recursive query. During this process, the DNS server might also query other DNS servers on the internet.Non-recursive query: The DNS user navigates through various levels of servers like root name servers, TLDs, and authoritative name servers to query the required IP address corresponding to the domain name.How does DNS work?The basic function of a DNS is to convert the user-friendly domain name into a corresponding computer-friendly IP address. Let’s look at the various steps:Information request: When you type the domain name while visiting a website, you are asking your computer to resolve a particular hostname. The first step performed by your computer is that it looks for the IP address corresponding to your domain name in the local DNS cache, which stores information regarding your previously visited websites. In case you have not visited that website before, the computer performs a DNS query.Ask recursive DNS servers: If the information is not stored locally, your computer contacts the recursive DNS resolvers or servers from your Internet Service Providers(ISPs). These resolvers have their own cache. Since many users use the same ISP, chances are that the common and popular websites are already cached. In this case, the required information is returned to the user and the process ends here.Ask root name servers: In case the information is not provided by recursive servers or the data is outdated, they query the root name servers. The root name servers publish root zone file contents to the internet. The root name servers do not provide the IP addresses but redirect queries to other servers that might provide the required answer.Top-level domain(TLD) name servers: The root name servers read the request from right to left and direct you to the top-level domain name servers. For example, information like .com, org, etc, corresponds to a TLD which has its own set of servers for these. The TLDs don't provide the IP address directly but direct your queries to the appropriate server.Authoritative name servers: The TLD servers read the next part of the query and direct it to the particular name server called authoritative name servers. These DNS servers are configured for different zones and provide related information. They store the original zone records and don’t cache the query results. These name servers can be present at the DNS provider or where the website is hosted. The authoritative name servers have different kinds of records, for example, we want to know the IP address, so we ask for the address record. This server lies at the bottom of the DNS lookup chain.Retrieve the record: The recursive server retrieves the required record from the authoritative name servers and stores it in its local cache. This serves to reduce the effort for a new lookup process while visiting the same website again. All the records maintain a time to live (TTL) value, which determines when the data will get expired, which helps ensure the data is up to date always.Receive the answer: The recursive server returns the required answer to your local computer which further caches this record. Your computer reads this record and returns the IP address to your browser. The browser opens a particular website by connecting to the webserver. This entire process is completed within a fraction of a second.What is a DNS address?To understand this even better, we must have a precise knowledge of domain name and IP address. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a unique numeric address that is accredited to every single device that uses an Internet Protocol-based network. Basically, with the help of an IP address, devices recognise each other on a network. A simple example of an IP address is 67.81.32.3.A domain name is an understandable way of identifying entities on a network; any particular website can be accessed by a domain name. For example, Microsoft is the domain for the website microsoft.com.Every domain name has one or more than one IP addresses assigned to it. DNS matches the domain name with the IP address accredited to it and fetches the right webpage for the user. For a user, it is more convenient to remember a domain name than an IP address but the computer understands only in binary numbers hence the DNS transcripts the domain into IP addresses with the help of DNS servers.What is a DNS server?A DNS server is a vast storehouse of domain names and their relevant IP addresses and helps to retrieve the IP addresses from the domain name or the hostname. We can deduce that the DNS server is the major element that incorporates the DNS protocol and serves the Web Hosts and clients on an IP based network. It bridges the gap between the humans and the computers.Primary and Secondary DNS serverThere are two basic types of DNS servers: Primary and Secondary servers.A primary server is responsible for the administration of the domain and it gets its information directly from the local files. It hosts the controlling zone file whereas Secondary servers get their information from a primary server in communication known as a zone transfer and contain read-only copies of the zone file.DNS root serversThe Domain Name System is organised in a hierarchy with different managing areas also known as zones and root servers are at the top of this hierarchy. Thirteen root servers are used to query the different root server networks. These are arranged in alphabetical order from A to M, the first 13 letters of the alphabet.Resolving DNS Server QueriesA DNS query without any caching is solved by the help of mainly four servers which are recursive resolvers, root nameservers, TLD nameservers, and authoritative nameservers. The query from the client is received by the DNS resolver which then looks up the IP address. The resolver then itself starts enacting as a client and then asks the rest three servers to fetch the correct IP address.First, the root server converts the domain into IP address and responds the resolver with the Top Level Domain servers that stores all the details of the domain servers. Now the TLD responds to the resolver with the IP address of the domain’s authoritative nameserver. The authoritative nameserver responds with the IP address of the origin server on the query of the recursor.Finally the resolver sends the origin server IP address to the client and in turn, the client can directly resolve its query with the origin server.DNS cachingCached data can also be used to resolve DNS queries apart from the above process used by the recursor. Once an IP address is obtained for the website, it can be saved as a cache for about 24 hours so that meanwhile any other user requests for the same IP address, it can be directly retrieved from the cache thus avoiding all the hassle. But after 24 hours, the resolver has to create a new cache.DNS Server FailureDNS server could fail due to varied reasons such as:Hardware malfunctionsMalware attacksPower outageCyber attacks etc.Earlier DNS server outage had a significant impact on the business but today due to server monitoring TLD nameservers, root DNS servers and backup recursive, it has become more efficient in resolving the issues. Though most of the outage and failure may be solved, one must have a DNS failover implemented so that if there are any DNS server outage, one can very easily be transferred to another DNS server without the knowledge of the end-user.DNS attack DNS spoofing - Also known as cache poisoning, DNS spoofing is a form of computer system hacking in which the malware creator secretly gains access to the information and alters the cache, such that the user may type an authentic domain name but the manipulated DNS  system transfers the user to an alternate server fraudulently. Keeping your antivirus and anti-malware up to date and running a scan on a regular basis will help avoid the spoof. DNS Hijacking - It is a malicious attack in which the malware attacks the local computer and manipulates the TCP/IP settings and transfers the user to the hacker’s server. This can be easily prevented by the use of an antivirus. Phishing - It is a cybercrime in which atrocious hackers develop spam websites, which is similar to the common bank webpages, payment sites, or gaming sites to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as passwords, banking details, etc. Many antivirus solutions provide a layer of protection designed to prevent phishing attacks. Also, it is important to keep an eye on the domain address and not fall for the fake ones. DNS reflection attacks - The malware creator floods the user with innumerable messages from DNS resolver servers and the attackers ask for large DNS files from the resolver using the fraud IP address of the victim. On responding to the messages by the resolver, the victim’s machine is swarmed by the unrequested DNS data which overburdens the machine.How can you protect yourself?These are the few precautions that can help you mitigate the effects of an attack. Some of these are:Monitor DNS servers for abnormal behaviour like: Increase in the number of unique subdomains being queried or increase in the number of timeouts or delayed response.Restricting packets with a spoofed IP address from exiting your network.Updating antivirus and anti-malware regularly.Keeping a keen eye on the address bar.DNSSecInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization in charge of the DNS system invented DNS Security Extensions to secure and ease up the interaction between the various levels of servers during lookup. DNSSEC devised a system where each level of DNS server digitally sign its requests, which makes it certain that the requests sent in by end-users aren’t appropriated by attackers. Moreover, DNSSec can verify whether a domain name exists and if it doesn’t then it protects the client and the servers from the infiltrated domain.

What Is DNS and How Does It Work?

8K
  • by Joydip Kumar
  • 30th Aug, 2019
  • Last updated on 11th Mar, 2021
  • 5 mins read
What Is DNS and How Does It Work?

DNS stands for “Domain Name System”, which is a massive directory distributed across the world. In other words, DNS serves the purpose of the phonebook for the internet. It functions so instantaneously and seamlessly that we don’t realize how much we use it every day. 

We can understand DNS through a basic analogy. In a phonebook, we usually type a name whose number we need to check, we need not memorize the person’s contact number. The same service is provided by a DNS. Every device connected across the internet has a unique IP address. This IP address is used by the machines to interact with each other. Domain names are human-readable names that we enter into a web browser to access a website. Domain names are analogous to the names in the phonebook, while the IP address is the corresponding contact number. Computers interact through IP addresses which are complex strings of alphanumeric characters. Basically, DNS translates domain names to corresponding IP addresses to identify the different computers across the world. There can be more than one IP address associated with a domain name.

A Brief History of DNS

Around thirty years back, when the internet was introduced, people needed to memorize the IP address of the website that they wanted to visit. Computers being digital machines were able to communicate only through numbers. As the internet age began, the number of websites started to grow from hundreds to tens of thousands. The increasing number of IP addresses made it difficult for people to memorize. Paul Mockapetris in early 1980s introduced a system that was able to automatically map the domain names to its corresponding IP addresses. This led to the birth of the DNS which serves as a backbone of Internet till today.

Do You Want to Make Career in Cloud Computing? Find a list of top AWS Certifications.

Types of queries:

There are mainly 2 types of queries:

  1. Recursive DNS query: When the DNS user directly gets the IP address of the desired domain by querying the corresponding name server, this is called recursive query. During this process, the DNS server might also query other DNS servers on the internet.
  2. Non-recursive query: The DNS user navigates through various levels of servers like root name servers, TLDs, and authoritative name servers to query the required IP address corresponding to the domain name.

How does DNS work?

How does DNS work?

The basic function of a DNS is to convert the user-friendly domain name into a corresponding computer-friendly IP address. Let’s look at the various steps:

  1. Information request: When you type the domain name while visiting a website, you are asking your computer to resolve a particular hostname. The first step performed by your computer is that it looks for the IP address corresponding to your domain name in the local DNS cache, which stores information regarding your previously visited websites. In case you have not visited that website before, the computer performs a DNS query.
  2. Ask recursive DNS servers: If the information is not stored locally, your computer contacts the recursive DNS resolvers or servers from your Internet Service Providers(ISPs). These resolvers have their own cache. Since many users use the same ISP, chances are that the common and popular websites are already cached. In this case, the required information is returned to the user and the process ends here.
  3. Ask root name servers: In case the information is not provided by recursive servers or the data is outdated, they query the root name servers. The root name servers publish root zone file contents to the internet. The root name servers do not provide the IP addresses but redirect queries to other servers that might provide the required answer.
  4. Top-level domain(TLD) name servers: The root name servers read the request from right to left and direct you to the top-level domain name servers. For example, information like .com, org, etc, corresponds to a TLD which has its own set of servers for these. The TLDs don't provide the IP address directly but direct your queries to the appropriate server.
  5. Authoritative name servers: The TLD servers read the next part of the query and direct it to the particular name server called authoritative name servers. These DNS servers are configured for different zones and provide related information. They store the original zone records and don’t cache the query results. These name servers can be present at the DNS provider or where the website is hosted. The authoritative name servers have different kinds of records, for example, we want to know the IP address, so we ask for the address record. This server lies at the bottom of the DNS lookup chain.
  6. Retrieve the record: The recursive server retrieves the required record from the authoritative name servers and stores it in its local cache. This serves to reduce the effort for a new lookup process while visiting the same website again. All the records maintain a time to live (TTL) value, which determines when the data will get expired, which helps ensure the data is up to date always.
  7. Receive the answer: The recursive server returns the required answer to your local computer which further caches this record. Your computer reads this record and returns the IP address to your browser. The browser opens a particular website by connecting to the webserver. This entire process is completed within a fraction of a second.

What is a DNS address?

To understand this even better, we must have a precise knowledge of domain name and IP address. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a unique numeric address that is accredited to every single device that uses an Internet Protocol-based network. Basically, with the help of an IP address, devices recognise each other on a network. A simple example of an IP address is 67.81.32.3.

A domain name is an understandable way of identifying entities on a network; any particular website can be accessed by a domain name. For example, Microsoft is the domain for the website microsoft.com.

Every domain name has one or more than one IP addresses assigned to it. DNS matches the domain name with the IP address accredited to it and fetches the right webpage for the user. For a user, it is more convenient to remember a domain name than an IP address but the computer understands only in binary numbers hence the DNS transcripts the domain into IP addresses with the help of DNS servers.

What is a DNS server?

A DNS server is a vast storehouse of domain names and their relevant IP addresses and helps to retrieve the IP addresses from the domain name or the hostname. We can deduce that the DNS server is the major element that incorporates the DNS protocol and serves the Web Hosts and clients on an IP based network. It bridges the gap between the humans and the computers.

Primary and Secondary DNS server

There are two basic types of DNS servers: Primary and Secondary servers.

A primary server is responsible for the administration of the domain and it gets its information directly from the local files. It hosts the controlling zone file whereas Secondary servers get their information from a primary server in communication known as a zone transfer and contain read-only copies of the zone file.

DNS root servers

The Domain Name System is organised in a hierarchy with different managing areas also known as zones and root servers are at the top of this hierarchy. Thirteen root servers are used to query the different root server networks. These are arranged in alphabetical order from A to M, the first 13 letters of the alphabet.

Resolving DNS Server Queries

A DNS query without any caching is solved by the help of mainly four servers which are recursive resolvers, root nameservers, TLD nameservers, and authoritative nameservers. The query from the client is received by the DNS resolver which then looks up the IP address. The resolver then itself starts enacting as a client and then asks the rest three servers to fetch the correct IP address.

First, the root server converts the domain into IP address and responds the resolver with the Top Level Domain servers that stores all the details of the domain servers. Now the TLD responds to the resolver with the IP address of the domain’s authoritative nameserver. The authoritative nameserver responds with the IP address of the origin server on the query of the recursor.

Finally the resolver sends the origin server IP address to the client and in turn, the client can directly resolve its query with the origin server.

DNS caching

Cached data can also be used to resolve DNS queries apart from the above process used by the recursor. Once an IP address is obtained for the website, it can be saved as a cache for about 24 hours so that meanwhile any other user requests for the same IP address, it can be directly retrieved from the cache thus avoiding all the hassle. But after 24 hours, the resolver has to create a new cache.

DNS Server Failure

DNS server could fail due to varied reasons such as:

DNS Server Failure

  1. Hardware malfunctions
  2. Malware attacks
  3. Power outage
  4. Cyber attacks etc.

Earlier DNS server outage had a significant impact on the business but today due to server monitoring TLD nameservers, root DNS servers and backup recursive, it has become more efficient in resolving the issues. Though most of the outage and failure may be solved, one must have a DNS failover implemented so that if there are any DNS server outage, one can very easily be transferred to another DNS server without the knowledge of the end-user.

DNS attackDNS attack

  1.  DNS spoofing - Also known as cache poisoning, DNS spoofing is a form of computer system hacking in which the malware creator secretly gains access to the information and alters the cache, such that the user may type an authentic domain name but the manipulated DNS  system transfers the user to an alternate server fraudulently. Keeping your antivirus and anti-malware up to date and running a scan on a regular basis will help avoid the spoof.
  2.  DNS Hijacking - It is a malicious attack in which the malware attacks the local computer and manipulates the TCP/IP settings and transfers the user to the hacker’s server. This can be easily prevented by the use of an antivirus.
  3.  Phishing - It is a cybercrime in which atrocious hackers develop spam websites, which is similar to the common bank webpages, payment sites, or gaming sites to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as passwords, banking details, etc. Many antivirus solutions provide a layer of protection designed to prevent phishing attacks. Also, it is important to keep an eye on the domain address and not fall for the fake ones.
  4.  DNS reflection attacks - The malware creator floods the user with innumerable messages from DNS resolver servers and the attackers ask for large DNS files from the resolver using the fraud IP address of the victim. On responding to the messages by the resolver, the victim’s machine is swarmed by the unrequested DNS data which overburdens the machine.

How can you protect yourself?

These are the few precautions that can help you mitigate the effects of an attack. Some of these are:

Ways to Protect from Attack

  1. Monitor DNS servers for abnormal behaviour like: Increase in the number of unique subdomains being queried or increase in the number of timeouts or delayed response.
  2. Restricting packets with a spoofed IP address from exiting your network.
  3. Updating antivirus and anti-malware regularly.
  4. Keeping a keen eye on the address bar.

DNSSec

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization in charge of the DNS system invented DNS Security Extensions to secure and ease up the interaction between the various levels of servers during lookup. DNSSEC devised a system where each level of DNS server digitally sign its requests, which makes it certain that the requests sent in by end-users aren’t appropriated by attackers. Moreover, DNSSec can verify whether a domain name exists and if it doesn’t then it protects the client and the servers from the infiltrated domain.

Joydip

Joydip Kumar

Solution Architect

Joydip is passionate about building cloud-based applications and has been providing solutions to various multinational clients. Being a java programmer and an AWS certified cloud architect, he loves to design, develop, and integrate solutions. Amidst his busy work schedule, Joydip loves to spend time on writing blogs and contributing to the opensource community.


Website : https://geeks18.com/

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These cover information on Cisco cloud infrastructure, automation, infrastructure, and troubleshooting.  Prerequisites: There are four exams that need to be taken in each of the above fields. They are administered by Pearson VUE.  Exam Cost: Each exam costs $300, $1200 total. (Source)  Exam Guide: For the study material, Cisco has curated many resources like Learning Network games, self-assessment modules, seminars, videos, and much more. Textbooks and other materials are also available on the Cisco Marketplace Bookstore.  Salary: The typical job that can be obtained is Cisco Systems Cloud Engineer that pays around $158010 per annum.(Source)  Certification LevelsThese cloud certifications can be segregated into Professional and Associate levels, where various criteria are required to be fulfilled to be eligible to apply for the respective certification. As per the market trends and the demand, here is a detailed description of some of the most coveted certifications: Amazon Web Services - AWS 1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional This certification is for professionals who have experienced hands-on solutions architect roles. A candidate must have 2 or more years of experience in operating and managing the AWS operations. The exam costs 300 USD and is 180 minutes long. This course validates the following abilities:  Implementation of cost control strategies  Designing fault proof applications on AWS  Choosing appropriate AWS services for design and application   Migrating the complex applications on AWS  Exam criteria 2 or more years of experience in handling cloud architecture on AWS  One should have diverse knowledge of AWS CLI, AWS APIs, AWS CloudFormation templates, the AWS Billing Console, and the AWS Management Console  Detailed knowledge of the scripting language  Must have worked on Windows and Linux  Must be able to explain the five pillars of the AWS architecture Framework  Practical knowledge of the architectural design across multiple projects of the company.  2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate  This course is for professionals who have one year of experience in handling and designing fault free and scalable distributed systems on AWS.  This certificate validates the following abilities:  In depth knowledge of deploying the secure and powerful applications on AWS  Knowledge and application of customized architectural principles  Exam criteria The course requires a complete understanding of the AWS global infrastructure, network technologies, security features and tools related to AWS  Knowledge of how to build secure and reliable AWS applications  Experience of deployment and management of management services.  The exam duration is 130-minutes and the fee is $150. The above were some of the main certified courses of AWS. The other two Associate level courses are AWS SysOps Administrator Associate and the AWS Developer Associate. 3. The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – ProfessionalThis exam is for professionals who have experience as a DevOps engineer and have experience in provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments.  This course validates the following abilities: Management and implementation of delivery systems and methodology on AWS  Deploying and managing the logging, metrics, and monitoring system on AWS  Implementation and management of highly scalable, and self-healing systems on AWS.  Automation of security controls, government processes and compliance validation  Exam criteria  Knowledge and experience in administering operating systems and building highly automated infrastructure.  Knowledge of developing code in at least one high level programming language.  The cost of the exam is 300 USD and the duration is 180 minutes. There will be 75 questions.  Microsoft Web Service – Azure:  1. Azure Developer Associate AZ-204This course will provide you with the skill set to design, build, test and maintain cloud solutions from the start to the end.  You will master the basics of developing an app and all the other services Azure provides. This certification course will help you learn the actual syntax and programming languages that are used to integrate the application on Azure.  Exam criteria You are required to take an Exam AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure ($165 USD) and must have at least 1-2 years’ of experience with development and azure development.  Having a good command in any of these languages like C#, PHP, Java, Python, or JavaScript would be a plus.  Getting certified with this course will set you ahead of your peers in the development sector.  2. Azure Data Scientist Associate DP-100Turning data and facts related to a business into useful and actionable insights is an art, and getting the Azure data scientist certification will prove that you have the required expertise in data and machine learning.  This course is for professionals who are currently working as a data scientist or are planning to become one soon. Exam: DP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure ($165 USD)  Exam criteria You should have knowledge and experience in data science and in using Azure Machine Learning and Azure Databricks. This certification course can future-proof your career, as there is spectacular growth in internet use and the demand for job roles in this sector will continue to increase year on year.   Wondering where to start? Here are some pointers:Are you a Newbie?If you are a lost soul in the world of technology but want to learn, then the perfect way to start is the Azure Fundamentals Course. Any beginner can grasp the fundamentals and get started.Are you in the middle of the road?If you are someone who has average experience and has worked with hands-on AWS, GCP, or Azure then too we would recommend you start with the Fundamental course. Refresh your knowledge and make your basics stronger before you move on to the Administrator Associate certification, which can be very intimidating otherwise. Are you an Expert?  If you have had enough experience with cloud computing or have got serious geek vibes in you, then you can take up any speciality or professional certifications to add the missing edge to your expertise.  If you still need more clarity, you can explore our cloud certification category page for more details. Need more handholding? Contact our experts by using the Contact Learning Advisor button and fill up a small form. Let’s connect! Why be a Cloud Computing Professional? 1. A Growing Field As more and more of our lives are uploaded on the Cloud, the demand for professionals with the capabilities to handle cloud architecture is increasing by the day. Professionals with the right expertise are paid handsome salaries, and the investments made in certification repay themselves many times over. The demands for Cloud professionals outstrip the supply by a huge margin, making this an easy job for entry-level applicants.   2. A Good PayThe salary for a Cloud Engineer ranges from $117,892 to $229,000 (Source). This is a rewarding field, indeed! You can get onto the entry point of the ladder and work your way up, which is an easy journey if you earn a certification. It is one of the highest paying jobs that can be found in the IT sector.   Companies Hiring Certified Cloud Computing Professionals Some of the companies whose certifications we addressed above are also among the key employers in the Cloud Computing market. The key employers for these jobs are listed below.    Amazon They are the undoubted leaders in the fields of Cloud Computing and management. They are branching out in the fields of AI, the Internet of things, machine learning, and database management as well, and you can explore exciting new opportunities in any of these fields. As documented above, AWS has faced over 43% growth year after year for a sustained period. They are undoubtedly one of the largest hirers in the field as they need competent workforce for their expanding ventures.  Microsoft After the enormous success of the Office 365 platform, Cloud Computing was the next step forward for Microsoft, with the Azure platform. They are neck to neck with Amazon for the number 1 spot in the field of Cloud architecture and database management.   IBM The waning brand of IBM has now made a sudden resurgence to capitalize on the demand in the fields of AI, the Information Age, and the new Cloud phenomenon. They have recently acquired Red Hat and have entered the field of hybrid cloud development. They will surely be looking for professionals in the field to boost their chances. Dell Technologies (VMware) VMware, mentioned on the above lists, has partnered with Dell Technologies to form a robust cloud platform. A veteran player in the industry already, VMware has constantly evolved to adapt to advancements in the industry. They have partnerships with all the huge players like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud as well.  ConclusionIt is quite evident that Cloud computing is one of the most exciting and lucrative fields one can be in, considering the investment to return ratio. These certifications offer incredibly excellent value for money and will lead to placements in leading companies, which is not easy via other paths.  There is a lot to learn in the field of Cloud Computing, and it is a highly adaptive job as well; that is why one needs to keep an eye on the newest software and architecture in the market. These certifications make sure that you can validate your experience and increase your employability. While there are many certifications available, only the ones from reputed institutions help to get a job. They show that you have the knowledge and expertise to make your mark in the industry.  It is never too late to start your learning journey, so grab that certification exam guide and start learning. Happy computing!  
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Top Cloud Certifications

What is Cloud Computing?Cloud is the new buzzword ... Read More

A Glimpse Of The Major Leading SAFe® Versions

A Quick view of SAFe® Agile has gained popularity in recent years, and with good reason. Teams love this approach that allows them to get a value to the customer faster while learning and adjusting to change as needed. But teams often don’t work in isolation. Many teams work in the context of larger organizations.  Often Agile doesn’t fit their needs. Some teams need an Agile approach that scales to larger projects that involve multiple teams.   It’s possible to do this. That’s where the Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe®, can help.Why SAFe® is the best scalable framework?The Scaled Agile Framework is a structured Agile approach for large enterprises. It’s prescriptive and provides a path for interdependent teams to gain the benefits of using an Agile approach.Scaled Agile provides guidance not only at the team level but also at the Program and Portfolio levels. It also has built-in coordinated planning across related teams who are working in Release Trains.These planning increments allow teams to plan together to work with customers and release value frequently in a way that’s sustainable to teams.And it supports continuous improvement.It’s a great way for large companies to maintain structure and roll out Agile at a large scale.  What is SAFe® 4.5? Scaled Agile, otherwise known as SAFe®, was initially released in 2011 by Dean Leffingwell as a knowledge base for enterprises to adopt Agile. Over the years it has grown and evolved. SAFe® 4.5 was released on June 22, 2017, to accommodate improvements to the framework. Following are some of the key improvements in SAFe® 4.5:Essential SAFe® and ConfigurabilityInnovation with Lean Startup and Lean UXScalable DevOps and Continuous DeliveryImplementation roadmapBenefits of SAFe® 4.5 to companies:Organizations who adopt SAFe® 4.5 will be able to gain the following benefits:1) Test ideas more quickly. SAFe® 4.5 has a build-in iterative development and testing. This lets teams get faster feedback to learn and adjust more quickly.2) Deliver much faster. The changes to SAFe® 4.5 allow teams to move complex work through the pipeline and deliver value to the customer faster.3) Simplify governance and improve portfolio performance. Guidance and support have been added at the Portfolio level to guide organizations in addressing Portfolio-level concerns in a scaled agile context. SAFe® 4.5 - Key areas of improvements:A. Essential SAFe® and ConfigurabilityFour configurations of SAFe® that provide a more configurable and scalable approach:Essential SAFe®: The most basic level that teams can use. It contains just the essentials that a team needs to get the benefits of SAFe®.Portfolio SAFe®: For enterprises that implement multiple solutions that have portfolio responsibilities such as governance, strategy, and portfolio funding.Large Solution: Complex solutions that involve multiple Agile Release Trains. These initiatives don’t require Portfolio concerns, but only include the Large Solution and Essential SAFe® elements.  SAFe® Full SAFe®: The most comprehensive level that can be applied to huge enterprise initiatives requiring hundreds of people to complete.Because SAFe® is a framework, that provides the flexibility to choose the level of SAFe® that best fits your organization’s needs.B. Innovation with Lean Startup and Lean UXRather than creating an entire project plan up-front, SAFe® teams focus on features. They create a hypothesis about what a new feature will deliver and then use an iterative approach to develop and test their hypothesis along the way. As teams move forward through development, they perform this development and test approach repeatedly and adjust as needed, based on feedback. Teams also work closely with end users to identify the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to focus on first. They identify what will be most valuable to the customer most immediately. Then they rely on feedback and learning as they develop the solution incrementally. They adjust as needed to incorporate what they’ve learned into the features. This collaboration and fast feedback and adjustment cycle result in a more successful product.  C. Scalable DevOps & Continuous DeliveryThe addition of a greater focus on DevOps allows teams to innovate faster. Like Agile, DevOps is a mindset. And like Agile, it allows teams to learn, adjust, and deliver value to users incrementally. The continuous delivery pipeline allows teams to move value through the pipeline faster through continuous exploration, continuous integration, continuous deployment, and released on demand. DevOps breaks down silos and supports Agile teams to work together more seamlessly. This results in more efficient delivery of value to the end users faster. It’s a perfect complement to Scaled Agile.D. Implementation RoadmapSAFe® now offers a suggested roadmap to SAFe® adoption. While change can be challenging, the implementation roadmap provides guidance that can help with that organizational change.Critical Role of the SAFe® Program ConsultantSAFe® Program Consultants, or SPCs, are critical change agents in the transition to Scaled Agile.Because of the depth of knowledge required to gain SPC certification, they’re perfectly positioned to help the organization move through challenges of change.They can train and coach all levels of SAFe® participants, from team members to executive leaders. They can also train the Scrum Master, Product Owners, and Agile Release Train Engineers, which are critical roles in SAFe®.The SPC can also train teams and help them launch their Agile Release Trains (ARTs).And they can support teams on the path to continued improvement as they continue to learn and grow.The SPC can also help identify value streams in the organization that may be ready to launch Agile Release Trains.The can also help develop rollout plans for SAFe® in the enterprise.Along with this, they can provide important communications that help the enterprise understand the drivers and value behind the SAFe® transition.       How SAFe® 4.5 is backward compatible with SAFe® 4.0?Even if your organization has already adopted SAFe® 4.0, SAFe® 4.5 has been developed in a way that can be easily adopted without disruption. Your organization can adopt the changes at the pace that works best.Few Updates in the new courseware The courseware for SAFe® 4.5 has incorporated changes to support the changes in SAFe® 4.5.They include Implementing SAFe®, Leading SAFe®, and SAFe® for Teams.Some of the changes you’ll see are as follows:Two new lessons for Leading SAFe®Student workbookTrainer GuideNew look and feelUpdated LPM contentSmoother lesson flowNEW Course Delivery Enablement (CDE) Changes were made to improve alignment between SAFe® and Scrum:Iteration Review: Increments previously known as Sprints now have reviews added. This allows more opportunities for teams to incorporate improvements. Additionally, a Team Demo has been added in each iteration review. This provides more opportunity for transparency, sharing, and feedback.Development Team: The Development team was specifically identified at the team level in SAFe® 4.5. The development team is made up of three to nine people who can move an element of work from development through the test. This development team contains software developers, testers, and engineers, and does not include the Product Owner and Scrum Master. Each of those roles is shown separately at the team level in SAFe® 4.5.Scrum events: The list of scrum events are shown next to the ScrumXP icon and include Plan, Execute, Review, and Retro (for a retrospective.)Combined SAFe® Foundation Elements SAFe® 4.0 had the foundational elements of Core Values, Lean-Agile Mindset, SAFe® Principles, and Implementing SAFe® at a basic level.SAFe® 4.5 adds to the foundation elements by also including Lean-Agile Leaders, the Implementation Roadmap, and the support of the SPC in the successful implementation of SAFe®.Additional changes include: Communities of Practice: This was moved to the spanning palette to show support at all levels: team, program, large solution, and portfolio.Lean-Agile Leaders: This role is now included in the foundational level. Supportive leadership is critical to a successful SAFe® adoption.SAFe® Program Consultant: This role was added to the Foundational Layer. The SPC can play a key leadership role in a successful transition to Scaled Agile.Implementation Roadmap: The implementation roadmap replaces the basic implementation information in SAFe® 4.0. It provides more in-depth information on the elements to a successful enterprise transition to SAFe®.Benefits of upgrading to SAFe® 4.5With the addition of Lean Startup approaches, along with a deeper focus on DevOps and Continuous Delivery, teams will be situated to deliver quality and value to users more quickly.With improvements at the Portfolio level, teams get more guidance on Portfolio governance and other portfolio levels concerns, such as budgeting and compliance.  Reasons to Upgrade to SAFe® 4.5 Enterprises who’ve been using SAFe® 4.0 will find greater flexibility with the added levels in SAFe® 4.5. Smaller groups in the enterprise can use the team level, while groups working on more complex initiatives can create Agile Release Trains with many teams.Your teams can innovate faster by using the Lean Startup Approach. Work with end users to identify the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), then iterate as you get fast feedback and adjust. This also makes your customer more of a partner in development, resulting in better collaboration and a better end product.Get features and value to your user community faster with DevOps and the Continuous Delivery pipeline. Your teams can continuously hypothesize, build, measure, and learn to continuously release value. This also allows large organizations to innovate more quickly.Most Recent Changes in SAFe® series - SAFe® 4.6Because Scaled Agile continues to improve, new changes have been incorporated with SAFe® 4.6. with the addition of five core competencies that enable enterprises to respond to technology and market changes.Lean Portfolio Management: The information needed for how to use a Lean-Agile approach to portfolio strategy, funding, and governance.Business Solutions and Lean Systems: Optimizing activities to Implement large, complex initiatives using a Scaled Agile approach while still addressing the necessary activities such as designing, testing, deployment, and even retiring old solutions.DevOps and Release on Demand: The skills needed to release value as needed through a continuous delivery pipeline.Team and Technical Agility: The skills needed to establish successful teams who consistently deliver value and quality to meet customer needs.Lean-Agile Leadership: How leadership enables a successful agile transformation by supporting empowered teams in implementing agile practices. Leaders carry out the Agile principles and practices and ensure teams have the support they need to succeedSAFe® Agilist (SA) Certification exam: The SAFe® Agilist certification is for the change leaders in an organization to learn about the SAFe® practices to support change at all levels: team, program, and portfolio levels. These change agents can play a positive role in an enterprise transition to SAFe®.In order to become certified as a SAFe® Agilist (SA), you must first take the Leading SAFe® class and pass the SAFe® certification exam. To learn more about this, see this article on How To Pass Leading SAFe® 4.5 Exam.SAFe® Certification Exam: KnowledgeHut provides Leading SAFe® training in multiple locations. Check the site for locations and dates.SAFe® Agile Certification Cost: Check KnowledgeHut’s scheduled training offerings to see the course cost. Each course includes the opportunity to sit for the exam included in the cost.Scaled Agile Framework Certification Cost: There are multiple levels of SAFe® certification, including Scrum Master, Release Train Engineer, and Product Owner. Courses range in cost, but each includes the chance to sit for the corresponding SAFe® certification.SAFe® Classes: SAFe® classes are offered by various organizations. To see if KnowledgeHut is offering SAFe® Training near you, check the SAFe® training schedule on our website.TrainingKnowledgeHut provides multiple Scaled Agile courses to give both leaders and team members in your organization the information they need to for a successful transition to Scaled Agile. Check the site for the list of classes to find those that are right for your organization as you make the journey.All course fees cover examination costs for certification.SAFe® 4.5 Scrum Master with SSM Certification TrainingLearn the core competencies of implementing Agile across the enterprise, along with how to lead high-performing teams to deliver successful solutions. You’ll also learn how to implement DevOps practices. Completion of this course will prepare you for obtaining your SAFe® 4 Scrum Master certificate.SAFe® 4 Advanced Scrum Master (SASM)This two-day course teaches you to how to apply Scrum at the enterprise level and prepares you to lead high-performing teams in a Scaled Agile environment. At course completion, you’ll be prepared to manage interactions not only on your team but also across teams and with stakeholders. You’ll also be prepared to take the SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master exam.Leading SAFe®4.5 Training Course (SA)This two-day Leading SAFe® class prepares you to become a Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist, ready to lead the agile transformation in your enterprise.  By the end of this course, you’ll be able to take the SAFe® Agilist (SA) certification exam.SAFe® 4.5 for Teams (SP) This two-day course teaches Scrum fundamentals, principles tools, and processes. You’ll learn about software engineering practices needed to scale agile and deliver quality solutions in a Scaled Agile environment. Teams new to Scaled Agile will find value in going through this course. Attending the class prepares you for the certification exam to become a certified SAFe® 4 Practitioner (SP). DevOps Foundation Certification trainingThis course teaches you the DevOps framework, along with the practices to prepare you to apply the principles in your work environment. Completion of this course will prepare you also to take the DevOps Foundation exam for certification.
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A Glimpse Of The Major Leading SAFe® Versions

A Quick view of SAFe® Agile has gained popularit... Read More

How Start Ups Can Benefit From Cloud Computing?

From nebulous beginnings, the cloud has grown to a platform that has gained universal acceptance and is transforming businesses across industries. Companies that have adopted cloud technology have seen significant payoffs, with cloud based tools redefining their data storage, data sharing, marketing and project management capabilities. The easy availability of affordable cloud infrastructure has made it so easy to set up new businesses that the economy is all set for a start up boom which has its head, so to speak, in the cloud! With the advent of this new technology, complete newbie’s in the market are able to hold their own against established market players—by achieving an amazing quantum of work using skeleton manpower resources. Recently, a popular ad doing the rounds on TV showed a long haired youth conducting business from a cafe on his HP Pavilion laptop, where he is ridiculed by some well heeled middle aged businessmen on their coffee break. Back at their office, they find that this youngster is the new investor that their boss has been heaping accolades on. “Where’s your office?” one of them asks the young man…to be laughingly told that he carries his entire office in his laptop! And that, typically, is how the new-age start up business looks. We have heard many stories of how a clever idea has turned a tidy profit for a smart entrepreneur working out of his laptop. While cloud computing is pushing the boundaries of science and innovation into a new realm, it is also laying the foundation for a new wave of business start ups. New ventures in general suffer from a lack of infrastructure, manpower and funding…and all these three concerns are categorically addressed by the cloud. Moving to the cloud minimizes the need of huge capital investments to set up expensive infrastructure. For nascent entrepreneurs, physical hardware and server costs used to be formidable given the limited budgets at their disposal. Seed money was also required to hire office space, promote the business and hire workers. Today, thanks to cloud technology, getting a new business off the ground and running costs virtually nothing. Most of the resources and tools that new ventures need are available on the cloud at minimal costs, in fact quite often at zero costs, making this a powerful value proposition for small businesses. A cloud hosting provider such as AWS can enable you to go live immediately, and will even scale up to your requirement once your business expands. Small businesses can think and dream big with the cloud. When it comes to manpower resources, it takes just a handful of people to work wonders using the online resources that are at their disposal. If you have a brilliant idea and have a workable plan for execution, you can comfortably compete neck to neck with market leaders. The messaging sensation WhatsApp was started in 2009 by just two former Yahoo employees who leveraged the power of the internet – and this goes to show that clever use of technology can completely eliminate the need for a sizeable manpower pool. Start ups have always been more agile than their large scale counterparts, and the cloud helps them take this a step further. Resources can be scaled up or down in no time, whereas in traditional environments it would have taken many days, considerable planning and funds to add hardware and software. Cloud computing also helps improve collaboration across teams, often across geographies. Data sharing is instantaneous, and teams can work on a task together in real time regardless of their location. Powered by the cloud, small businesses operate with shoestring budgets and key players in different continents. All their accounting, client data, marketing and other business critical files can be stored online and are accessible from anywhere. These online tools can be accessed and utilised instantly, and underpin all the crucial processes on which these businesses thrive. Strategic financial decisions are made after garnering insights from cloud-based accounting software. E-invoicing helps settle bills in a fraction of the time of traditional billing systems, and client queries are answered quickly through cloud-based management systems—saving precious time and increasing customer satisfaction levels to an all-time high. Whether at home, on vacation or on the phone, businesses can oversee sales, replenish products and plan new sales strategies. That’s a whole new way of doing business, and seems to be very successful! An estimate by Cloudworks has put the anticipated cloud computing market at over $200 billion by the year 2018. As Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, succinctly put it, the cloud “makes it easier and cheaper than ever for anyone anywhere to be an entrepreneur and to have access to all the best infrastructure of innovation.” With cloud technology rapidly levelling the playing field between nascent and established businesses, it is anybody’s guess as to just how many new start ups will burst into the scene in the next few years. Hoping that the blog has helped you gain a clear understanding of the importance of Cloud Computing.  To gain more knowledge on what cloud computing has to offer, take a look at other blogs as well as the AWS certifications that we have to offer or enrol yourself for the AWS Certification Training course by KnowledgeHut.  
How Start Ups Can Benefit From Cloud Computing?

From nebulous beginnings, the cloud has grown to a... Read More