Monthly Archives: December 2019

Amazon AWS Certified Database – Specialty Exam Announcement: Key Points to Know

AWSAmazon Web Services recently made an announcement that it will soon be launching the beta exam version for the AWS Certified Database test of the Specialty level. The launch will take place on December 2, 2019. This announcement is one of the most important of the upcoming Amazon Web Services certification exam changes.

The code of this new exam is DBS-C01. It is created for those IT professionals who are involved in the roles focused on databases. The test will measure the candidates’ broad understanding of databases. The DBS-C01 exam will also evaluate one’s knowledge of access, design, monitoring, maintenance, troubleshooting, migration, automation, deployment, and security. Before the new exam goes to the public, the beta version will actually test its outline. The interesting thing is that it is available now for the candidates at a 50% discount.

Let’s find out what information is available about this new AWS test.

Potential candidates for the beta exam

The new certification that AWS has announced can help you obtain the AWS Certified Database – Specialty credential. Nevertheless, you should first find out whether you are actually suitable for the role of an Amazon Web Services Database Specialist or not. There are no official prerequisites for attempting this certificate. While this is great for the students’ flexibility, you should not take the recommended experience and knowledge for granted.

While these entries are not the mandatory requirements to attempt the new AWS Certified Database – Specialty exam, the following points of experience and knowledge can significantly increase your chances of passing this test on your first try. Please take a look at them:

  • At least 2 years of experience working with AWS;
  • Thorough conceptual knowledge of common database technologies;
  • 5 or more years of practical experience with common database technologies;
  • Proven expertise and experience for working with NoSQL and relational databases located on AWS Cloud and on-premises.

Key details of the beta exam

The information and details on the newly announced AWS beta exam can be found on the official Amazon website. The beta version will we available from December 2, 2019 to January 10, 2020.

It’s worth noting that the registration for this exam will stay open only for a certain period of time. So, it’s available that you register for it immediately after opening this process. This is due to the fact that registration usually stops immediately when the AWS tools obtain adequate statistical information about the exam outline.

The recently announced DBS-C01 exam will evaluate the candidates’ knowledge and skills in various areas:

  • Analysis of requirements and needs for providing and designing reliable database solutions through leveraging Amazon Web Services.
  • Differentiating and understanding the key features in AWS database services.

Topics to cover for the exam

The AWS Certified Database – Specialty certification exam is totally new. The beta test will cover various domains:

  1. Workload-Specific Data Design – 26%.

In this topic, you need to know a thing or two about the appropriate selection of database services for certain workloads and data. You also should have knowledge of developing database solutions in terms of scalability, performance, and compliance, as well as comparing the cost of these solutions.

  1. Database Security – 18%.

For this subject, you need to master the knowledge of data encryption in transit and at rest, assessment of audit decisions, search for possible security vulnerabilities, identification of authentication and access control mechanisms.

  1. Monitoring and Troubleshooting – 18%.

This exam objective has several subtopics to learn that include optimization of database performance, determination of monitoring and alerting strategies, and troubleshooting database issues.

  1. Management and Operations – 18%.

Here, you need to have skills and knowledge of managing the operational environment and determining backup & restore strategies, as well as maintenance processes & tasks.

  1. Deployment and Migration – 20%.

You need to know everything about migration and all the processes of execution and verification of data. Moreover, it is important to understand how to determine these strategies and automate the deployment of database solutions.

Format and process of registration for the exam

Regarding the format of the beta test, there will be multiple-response and multiple-choice questions. Those candidates who pass the beta version can become an AWS Certified Database Specialist. The beta exam is available at a discounted rate of $150. To pass it, you need to get at least 750 points The students will receive their scores within 90 days of passing the test. After receiving your certification, it will be valid for 3 years.

It is very simple to register for this exam. Here is how to do it:

  1. Move to the training page of AWS.
  2. Create a new account if you don’t have one. If you don’t have it, just click on “AWS Certification Account” to create a new one. If you already have it, just sign in.
  3. Click on “Certification” after a successful sign in.
  4. To schedule the test, click on “Schedule New Exam”.
  5. The page will direct you to PSI, the training vendor where you are required to choose a testing center for your exam.
  6. Last but not least, locate and click on the AWS Certified Database beta exam option. And complete the registration by following the subsequent guidelines.

Preparation tips for the exam

The candidates are advised to focus on the correct guide for the AWS Certified Database – Specialty exam. The right manual can take the form of specific steps to comprehensively prepare for the test, exactly like the ones highlighted below:

  • Take a reliable online certification training or an official AWS training course.
  • Take a complete overview of the exam objectives and the blueprint.
  • Never underestimate the power of practice when studying for any certification exam.
  • Learn more about tricks in order to accurately answer exam questions.
  • Understand every exam question in detail instead of simply mugging up solutions.

Conclusion

Anyone who aspires to have the AWS Certified Database – Specialty certification should start focusing on practical experience with Amazon Web Services and database technologies because its exam focuses on the basics of database technologies and applications in the AWS landscape.

Comparative Analysis: Which PMI Certification Is Better (PMP or CAPM)?

PMI certsThe field of project management is one of the most highly rewarding career paths with the average salary of a project manager netting a little above $75,000 per annum. In addition to this, the professionals in this area are not restricted to a specific industry. Therefore, it is not surprising to see a lot of aspiring PM specialists pursuing the credentials to enhance their career potential.

If you have ever considered obtaining a project management certification, there is a high chance that you are aware of the Project Management Professional (PMP) and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certificates, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). For many specialists, choosing between these two credentials is a difficult choice to make. If you are in this dilemma, this blog post will help you make an informed decision and understand which of the two is appropriate for your career path.

What Is the Difference Between PMP and CAPM?

The major difference between these two credentials is that PMP is a professional-level certification while CAPM is an associate-level one. The individuals with the PM certificate have some level of experience in the industry and have been recognized as professionals. Hence, PMI PMP is focused on the experienced project managers. On the other hand, the associate level means an entry-level credential. In other words, CAPM can be described as an entry-level certification when compared to PMP. The implication of this is that Certified Associate in Project Management is aimed at those individuals who want to improve their project management skills and earn a validation in the process.

Another difference between these two certificates is the difficulty level of their exams. The test for CAPM is easier when compared to PMP. In addition to this, it has less restrictive requirements and, of course, it is less expensive. Let’s delve into the two certification exams properly.

  • PMP Exam

The PMP credential is seen as the gold standard as far as the project management certifications are concerned. Its exam is also believed to be one of the most difficult tests. It is made up of 200 multiple-choice questions and has four hours allocated for its completion. It covers the concepts and principles of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide. The exam content is more than what you simply memorize. Rather, it measures your understanding of the topics and concepts, as well as your ability to apply the theoretical knowledge.

To write the PMP test, you have to pay the exam fee of $405 for the PMI members, and $555 – for the non-members. There are some specific prerequisites. The candidates are required to have a high school diploma or an associate degree or its equivalent. In addition to this, you should have at least 7,500 hours of project management experience and 35 hours of education in the field of project management. An alternative prerequisite is a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent 4-year degree, 4,500 hours of PM experience, and 35 hours PM education. To maintain your PMI certification, you have to earn 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) within three years. You can learn more details about the exam and the recertification process on the official webpage.

  • CAPM Exam

CAPM is also based on the PMBOK but it is more focused on understanding the principles and concepts rather than applying knowledge. It is a 3-hour exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions. No doubt, the CAPM test is easier than the PMP exam, but it is not so simple. As a matter of fact, the CAPM credential is believed to require more difficult test than many other entry-level project management certificates. To write the CAPM exam, you have to pay the fee of $225 for the PMI members, and $300 – for the non-members. The prerequisites for this certification test include a high school diploma or an associate degree (or its equivalent), and 23 hours of PM education, or 1,500 hours of PM experience. To recertify the CAMP credential, you have to retake the exam every five years. You can learn more about this in the CAPM handbook.

Is It Possible to Upgrade CAPM to PMP?

Unlike many other IT certifications, you cannot upgrade your CAPM to PMP. The two credentials are entirely different. The good thing about it is that CAPM gives you thorough foundational knowledge for the PMP exam. In addition to this, the education hours on project management you have attained for your CAPM can be applied to fulfill the prerequisites for the PMP test.

PMP vs. CAPM: Real World Roles and Responsibilities

A PMP certified professional is qualified for a full time project management role. The individuals have the capacity to manage projects of different sizes. These specialists can pursue the job titles, such as a project manager, a project controller, and a program manager. While working in any of these positions, they are required to take up ownership of large and complex projects. They are also expected to lead their team to project conclusion considering the budget and time.

A CAPM certified professional takes up the entry-level roles. These individuals work as assistant project managers, junior business analysts, or project coordinators. They will be required to apply their skills in coordinating teams, scheduling, and enhancing effective communication among the project team members. With CAPM alone, you are unlikely to head large projects with large budgets. However, if you have significant technical experience, you can still be given a leadership position. Technical experience is of great importance for the job that you received.

PMP vs. CAPM: Salaries

There are a lot of variables that determine salaries, and the PM credentials are just one of them. However, based on the PayScale report, a PMP certified professional can earn an average of $104,000 per annum while a CAPM certificate holder can get about $65,000 per year.

Conclusion

The ‘best’ in this case is very relative. Both credentials can add value to your resume, and your choice is dependent on your experience and your ability to fulfill the certification prerequisites.

Pros and Cons of Obtaining (ISC)2 CISSP Certification

cisspThe decision to pursue the CISSP credential is dependent on a number of factors. First, you have to understand that there are different options when it comes to the security certificates, so choosing the best option for you will depend on a couple of factors. Before we dive into the details, it is essential to put some facts into perspective.

First of all, job positions that require the professionals to have this (ISC)2 certificate are usually paid superbly. An individual with this credential can make an average of six-figure remunerations per annum but it depends on his/her location. Additionally, there is no lack of job roles for the security specialists, which means there is always an opening that you can fill when you have such a certification. For instance, it is estimated that there will be approximately 2 million extra security positions that will require the IT experts to fill them. Of great importance is the number of people who will fulfill these roles, and this is where a strong consideration for CISSP comes in. No doubt, this is a good reason to pursue this certificate but you shouldn’t jump right into it without putting some facts into consideration.

Below we share some objective views on choosing the CISSP certification as your goal.

  • CISSP requires paid work experience

Your work experience will showcase whether you should strive to pursue this credential or not. For instance, if you are just starting out in the sector of information security, you won’t be able to do it. This doesn’t mean that if you take the exam, you won’t pass it; it is all about the prerequisite for pursuing this (ISC)2 certification. You should have more than 5 years of paid work experience to qualify for this certificate. It is essential to point out that you can actually shorten the time by one year. However, you have four years to contend with, and nothing can be done about it. You just have to wait before you can attempt the CISSP certification test.

There are some other options that the professionals who starting out in the security field can consider. For those who want to earn their first job in the security field, CISSP is not the point to start. At this stage, you should seek to validate your basic skills. CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CySA+ are two certificates you can consider to confirm your knowledge and skills, as well as increase your chance of landing an entry-level position.

CompTIA Security+ is an entry-level cybersecurity credential that requires a single exam. It is made up of about 90 questions, which must be completed within 90 minutes. The test is created to validate the candidates’ knowledge and skills in basic IT and security domains. CompTIA CySA+ is also an excellent choice for an entry-level IT security specialist. This credential was introduced in 2017 by CompTIA, and it was developed to bridge the gap between the skills required for the foundational CompTIA Security+ and the expert-level CASP+ certificates. You can continue to pursue CISSP after earning either of these certifications. However, you have to fulfill the requirements for years of experience before you obtain it.

  • CISSP is great if you want to take up government jobs

For the professionals trying to get a job position in the government, CISSP is a great credential option. It satisfies the IA baseline certification requirements for taking up job roles in this realm. The baseline certificates for the government employees possess four different categories, including IAT, AIM, CSSP, and IASAE. (ISC)2 CISSP takes its place in these categories, which means it is a great certification option for those individuals who want to get a government job title.

  • CISSP requires recertification

This is actually a great thing because it helps you consistently update your skills so as not to become obsolete. To renew your certification, you have to earn the CPE credits, which are quite easy to achieve. Every 3 years, you have to submit at least 90 Group-A CPE credits, as well as the additional 30 Group-A or Group-B CPE credits to retain your credential. There are different educational activities that make up for these CPE credits. You earn one credit for each hour you spend learning. Some educational activities you can engage in include reading of whitepapers, books, or magazines; attending educational courses, presentations, seminars, or conferences; publishing a whitepaper, an article, or a book. You can also earn the credits by preparing to train or present information associated with information security; volunteering for charitable organizations, public sector, and government; performing special project-related work outside your normal work responsibilities; taking higher academic training courses. Generally, if you learn the topics covered in the eight security domains, you can claim the CPE credit hours. Of course, they should be not within your standard job activity. With an average of 40 CPE credits every year, you can easily meet up with the recertification requirements.

Please note that the Group-B credits cover the general professional and development activities that the certification holders may engage in. These include anything that is not within the scope of the security domains. Additionally, the activities that qualify for the Group-A CPE credits can also be used for the Group-B ones.

Conclusion

Your choice of obtaining the CISSP certificate will be determined by your professional goals, industry, and work experience. If you want to break into the information security field, this (ISC)2 certification is the ideal choice. However, if you are an entry-level professional, it will not be a good starting point because you don’t have the prerequisite experience for it at this stage. Instead, you should pursue either CompTIA Security+ or CompTIA CySA+ to begin your journey in the world of information security. With experience you will earn, you can proceed to pursue the CISSP credential. This will be a good foundation for your future career path.

Important Points about VMware Certifications: Why They No Longer Expire

VMware certsRecently, there have been a lot of changes to the IT credentials provided by popular vendors, and this has made many professionals unsure of what to expect next. For instance, Amazon removed all exam prerequisites, and Microsoft also retired some of its brand new certificates. Not so long ago, Cisco also carried out a total overhaul on its certification program. All these have brought questions to the mind of the individuals, especially those planning to take one or two certification tests in the near future. Hence, it is important to keep up to date.

The changes are not limited to only these vendors as VMware has also recently announced a major change in its recertification policy. Now, you can choose when to recertify your VCP because the vendor has removed the mandatory recertification prerequisite. In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons for these changes and their implications for the specialists pursuing this certification path. First of all, let’s understand what the VCP credential is all about.

Overview of VMware VCP Certification

There are numerous credentials offered by this vendor to validate the experience of the professionals on VMware technologies. VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is a certification program that confirms the individuals’ skills and knowledge to use, troubleshoot, and maintain VMware vSphere. Due to the fact that VMware is the core player in the field of virtualization, this credential has become a highly valuable one in the IT industry. According to the report from PayScale, a VCP certified professional can earn an average salary of $88,000 per annum.

Prior to the change, there is a two-year recertification policy on the VCP credential, and it is designed to ensure that the certified specialists possess up-to-date knowledge and maintain their skills. No doubt, this policy is ideal for all IT certificates. For instance, a lot of Cisco and CompTIA certifications expire after a period of three years. Interestingly, VMware announced earlier this year that it will make some changes to its VCP recertification policy. What is the change? The vendor has removed the compulsory 2-year renewal prerequisite. This means your VCP will not expire if you don’t upgrade to an advanced or more recent certificate.

Main Reasons for This Change

There are quite a number of reasons why the change is appropriate. On the one hand, renewal was not always necessary in some cases. For instance, there are many companies that put upgrading of their virtualization infrastructure on hold for a long time. With this, there is absolutely no reason why their IT professionals should upgrade their credentials. The previous recertification process requires that the specialists retake the vSphere Foundations exam, in addition to any other relevant elective test, bi-yearly. Considering the time required for preparing for the exams, the two-year timeline becomes cumbersome for a lot of students. However, without this requirement, the individuals can choose when to update their VMware certificate based on their availability.

Consequences of Recertification Process Removal for Current VCP Certified Professionals

The removal took effect in February 2019. These changes have been made to officially reflect in CertManager, as well as the transcript of the candidates from April. This means many certifications that have expired before will appear active now. This generally minimizes the need to initiate the process from the scratch, and the candidates can choose when to upgrade or recertify. In case your VCP certificate has already expired, you can progress with an update path rather than starting over like a new student. If you have the expired VCP credential, it is likely to appear active now when you check your transcript.

Some versions of certificates will continue to be inactive, and you will be required to start the process from the very beginning. No doubt, this might be a bit exasperating, especially for an individual who has already gone through the expired certification path. The good news is that all hope is not lost. If you have already done the expired program within the past six months, VMware is offering you one-year premium license to the VMware Learning Zone, which is free. Combining the VMware training with the VMware Learning Zone will significantly enhance your preparation for the VCP exams.

Upgrading to VMware VCP Certification

In addition to the changes made to the recertification process, there is also an extension to the ability of the certification holders to upgrade their credential. The candidates can now upgrade any of the three most recent certificates in any given track. For instance, you can upgrade VCP5-DCV, VCP6-DCV, or VCP6.5-DVC to the new VCP-DCV 2019 certification. Prior to this change, only two most recent credentials could be upgraded.

The implication of this is that the applicants have the opportunity to upgrade without starting all over again. It is important to note that the extension is only applicable to the same VCP certification track. If you want to upgrade to another path, you have to do this within two versions of the current one, as it was in the previous policy. If you don’t meet this prerequisite, you have to start the new track from the scratch.

The Bottom Line

The core reason for changes in policy is to make the certification process simpler for the candidates. It started in 2018 when the vendor announced changes to the VMware certificate naming conventions to simplify the certification identification. Now, the recruiters can easily track the level of experience and authority of their employees.

Without the recertification prerequisites for VCP, the applicants and the employers can decide when the advanced credential is needed. This will definitely make the VMware certificates more popular among the professionals since they are in high demand and have no expiration date. It is not surprising that many other certification providers will tow this strip.

How to Prepare for Cisco Exams (CCNA, CCNP, & CCIE) via Network Simulators/Emulators?

Exam prepPreparing for any exam requires choosing the right study materials. If you are planning to take the tests in order to get the Cisco CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE certifications, it is imperative that you choose the best network emulator or simulator. Unfortunately, making the right choice might be a bit difficult. This is because it is practically impossible to evaluate each program before making a choice. In most cases, you have to rely on the recommendations of others. The recommendation itself can be a big issue. If you have many professionals in your line of networks, you are likely to have different opinions based on the individuals’ preferences.

The fact is that each software comes with its own pros and cons, and understanding all of these factors will help you make an informed decision without relying solely on the opinions of others. In this blog post, we will analyze two simulators (Boson NetSim, Cisco Packet Tracer) and three emulators (EVE-NG, GNS3, and VIRL). It’s important to mention that they are well-known network tools that can help you gain the Cisco lab experience you need for your routing and switching certification exams. But before we delve into the details of these simulators and emulators, it is important to understand the difference between them.

The main difference between Simulators and Emulators

As the name indicates, a simulator simulates a network topology that is composed of at least one network device. This means it can consist of more than one network device. The one that is being simulated is actually not real and does not have the ability to pass live network traffic just like the real one. In other words, a simulated network device is a software that pretends to be a real one as much as it can. Due to the fact that it is not real, it is limited to the features and commands that have already been programmed into the simulation. The major advantage of simulators is that they are highly lightweight and can run on almost any contemporary computer system without being distressed about storage requirements, memory, or processor.

On the other hand, an emulator connects and runs a combination of network devices. It virtualizes real devices, and in the real sense of the word, virtual network devices usually provide more advanced attributes compared to the simulated ones. The characteristics of emulated virtual network devices are closer to real physical ones, which is the major difference between a simulator and an emulator.

The best Simulators and Emulators for Cisco exams

Now that we know the difference between these network tools, let’s explore the details of each software that we mentioned.

  • Boson NetSim

Boson NetSim is a product of Boson, an IT training company known for its high-quality coursework and practice tests for the Cisco certification exams. This product is an application designed to simulate Cisco network routers & switches. It is important to mention that Boson NetSim is a paid network simulator. However, it has some significant advantages that offer value for the money you pay for it. Some of these benefits include the quality of labs; customized lab distribution; licensing maps for the exams; lab accessibility; device customization; less clicking (when compared to Packet Tracer), and realistic terminal features.

Although Boson NetSim has some great advantages, it definitely has some disadvantages as well. They include the lack of a simulation mode; absence of topology information and customization; unavailability of cross-platform compatibility; and inability to modify the active topology.

  • Packet Tracer

Packet Tracer is designed to simulate network topologies covering Cisco routers, switches, and firewalls. It is essential to mention that this product was first developed to support Cisco NetAcad (Networking Academy). However, it has become a great simulator for those individuals who want to earn the credentials from Cisco such as CCENT and CCNA Routing & Switching. It is also important to mention that Packet Tracer is a free simulator but this doesn’t mean it lacks benefits. Some of the advantages of this tool include device variety; cost; cross-platform compatibility; realistic terminal; connection variety; simulation mode; customized exercise creation. It makes the lab realistic. Some of the shortcomings of Packet Tracer are bugs, customized exercise distribution, the lack of in-built labs.

No doubt, Packet Tracer is the gold standard for the Cisco virtual network simulators. Although it’s free, it still provides a rich sand-box setting that is perfect for experimenting with a wide range of network device types, connections, and platforms. In addition to this, it demonstrates the closest characteristics to real network devices. Its in-built terminal client is also very close to the real device.

  • GNS3

GNS3 (Graphical Network Simulator-3) is an open-source client-server interface designed for network virtualization and emulation. It is a Python-based platform that basically uses software known as Dynamips for emulating Cisco hardware and software. GNS3 supports the same platforms that Dynamips supports, including Cisco 1700; 2600; 2691; 3600; 3725; 3745; as well as 7200. This emulator has grown in recent years to support a wider scope of virtual network devices of different vendors. It has quite a number of benefits, which include cost because it is free; multiple connection types; community labs; simple and easy to read documentation; ability to modify the active topology. Its primary shortcoming is that it doesn’t come with prepackaged virtual network devices, which means you need to have the Cisco IOS software image, compatible with the GNS network emulator.

  • VIRL

Virtual Internet Routing Lab (VIRL) is the proprietary virtual network emulator of Cisco. It is designed for the individuals and the education institutions. It functions in a client-server model that is close to GNS3. Its server can either be installed as a virtual machine or on a bare metal server. The advantages of VIRL include the availability of software images, advanced automation capabilities, and network topology portability. The disadvantages are as follows: cost because it is not cheap; no serial interfaces; inability to modify the active topology; resource requirements.

  • EVE-NG

Emulated Virtual Environment Next Generation (EVE-NG) is a multi-vendor virtual network emulator that operates like VIRL Personal Edition. It was created for the individuals and the small business owners. There are two editions available, which are Community and Professional. It is essential to mention that the Professional Edition comes at a price. The benefits of the EVE-NG network emulator include the availability of free version; ability to modify the active topology; clientless; multi-connection types. The disadvantages are the unavailability of software images and documentation issues.

Conclusion

This was the list of the best network simulators and emulators that you can use for you Cisco exam preparation. The choice depends on your preferences, so it all up to you. Choose wisely and let the tool help you with your preparation process.

Top 10 Free Cloud Storage Services: Store Your Data in a Safe Place!

Cloud storageThe significance of high-quality online storage services continues to gain popularity as the consumers and businesses are adopting the ongoing digital transformation. The trend will continue throughout 2020 with more dependence on the online storage of files in Cloud. This means that both enterprises and individuals are shifting their focus from local storage hardware and infrastructure to Cloud storage. We present you a list of the ten best free Cloud storage services in 2019 to help you choose the one that suits your needs.

What is Cloud storage and why do you need it?

Cloud storage allows you to store data in a remote area that is accessible from any device. It plays a vital role in improving your productivity and efficiency in terms of backing up important data and ensuring its security. The conventional approach of storing data like hard drives has numerous benefits. But when the storage drive gets attacked by a virus or malware, all data can be lost. So, the utilization of Cloud storage acts as a substitute for the conventional storage gadgets that the businesses can use to store data and backup the files on hardware drives.

Top 10 free Cloud storage services

With numerous options available for Cloud storage, it’s important to choose a provider that will give you optimal storage amount and bandwidth while keeping your data secure. In this blog post, we’ll share a list of Cloud storage providers that offer the best services for free.

  1. Degoo

Degoo gives you 100GB of free storage space once you set up an account. You can also refer your friends to use the service and get 500GB extra. You receive a storage space of 3GB for every user that creates an account via your referral. While you can choose which files to back up, it is done automatically every 24 hours to ensure your files are up-to-date. Since this software is somehow different than other Cloud storage products, you need to choose a fold on your PC that will accommodate your backed-up files or create a new one. Put your files in the folder that you intend to keep online and then ensure Degoo is running to back up your data online. You can use the Cloud storage account on your PC via the desktop program, or access your data with the mobile app for Android, iPhone, and iPad.

  1. Amazon Drive

Amazon.com offers an online storage product, known as Amazon Drive, that provides its prime members with unlimited photo storage and 5GB of storage space for files and videos. The users can share documents to create a public link that is accessed by any person who uses it, even if they don’t own an Amazon account. However, it doesn’t support folder sharing. The documents can be uploaded with the desktop client software or web version. It also has a mobile app that lets you upload photos and videos from iOS and Android devices.

  1. MyDrive

MyDrive is another free Cloud storage service but it provides lesser space than most products in this list. While there is no limit to how large uploads can be, you are only allowed to store up 100MB on MyDrive, and this means that the maximum file size should be 100MB. The site is limited, and document sharing is supported only when you give out a guest username and a password. The best thing about this service is that you can download several files in the archive and restore the deleted files up to one month of removing them from your account. The desktop app is accessible for Mac, Linux, and Windows PCs. The IOS and Android apps are available for mobile devices. You can as well connect your MyDrive account via WebDAV.

  1. Jumpshare

Jumpshare comes with a free storage space of 2GB that allows you to upload numerous types of files. When you refer other users to create an account with Jumpshare, you qualify to get free storage of 18GB. The upload limit per file is 250MB. The desktop program allows you to record your screen and take screenshots. The downloadable program is accessible for the Mac and Windows users, iPad and iPhone, and it also supports simple drag and drop and hotkey file-sharing abilities.

  1. Sync

Once you register with Sync, you get free Cloud storage of 5GB. The site allows you to upload several files at once via its interface and desktop, as well as through mobile apps. You can create shared folders that other individuals can interact with and even share files and folders with any person, regardless of whether they are Sync users or not.

  1. OneDrive

This Cloud storage service is offered by Microsoft. OneDrive allows you a free storage space of 5GB once you sign up. You’ll get additional hosting by referring your friends to sign up. The service allows you to install a desktop program to transfer files and folders to any OneDrive. This makes them accessible from smartphones. You can also upload photos and videos via a mobile app.

  1. Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the best Cloud storage products from Google. Every new user is entitled to get 15GB of free space. This space is shared with other services such as Google Photos and Gmail. You can use all the space if you don’t use these services. The desktop users can install a sync client that supports file and folder uploads. Folders & files can be shared with certain Google users through their email address or any person with a public link. It’s available for iPhone, iPad, or Android on smartphones, as well as Windows and Mac on PCs. There is a mobile app that allows you to send videos and images to Google Drive.

  1. FlipDrive

FlipDrive gives you 10GB of initial storage with a chance for additional storage space for every friend you can refer to sign up for this service. It comes with a mobile app that allows you to download files and folders. It also has a web version that allows you to upload huge folders via the site. The product is available for iPad, Windows, iPhone.

  1. Box

Box offers a free online storage space of 10GB. It comes with a mobile app that allows you to download, upload, and share files. It features a sync client that makes it easy to upload files to Box. The users have a chance to share the entire folder of data or choose a specific document to share with a public link. It’s available for iPad, iPhone, Windows, Android, and MacOS.

  1. Dropbox

The new Dropbox users have access to 2GB of free storage with numerous means of getting extra space of up to 18GB. You can download and view your files from a mobile app or a desktop and share folders with other people, even if they are not the Dropbox users. If you store your files in Microsoft Office, you can edit them from your browser for free through Microsoft Office Online. It is available for iPhone, Android, KindleFire, and Windows.

Conclusion

Understanding the features of a free Cloud storage service is essential when it comes to finding the ideal one. Numerous services offer you free Cloud storage and come with multiple benefits. They give you excellent UX and impressive features as they allow you enjoy free services after your registration. All you have to do now is choose the best one.

Complete Guide: Save Your Data Using the Best Free Cloning Tools

Save dataChoosing the best cloning software is never an easy task, particularly if you are new to some of these technologies. For an operating system to function well, it must be upgraded at regular intervals. Nevertheless, with numerous changes, your hard drive needs to be updated when you don’t have empty space. Irrespective of how the operating system of your PC or hard drive functions, it also poses some risks such as file and data loss. That’s when you require disk cloning software for your OS. In this article, we’ll talk about free and reliable cloning tools you can utilize to save your data.

What is cloning tool? Why is it important?

Cloning is a way to make an uncompressed duplicate of a hard disk in your system on another drive. The cloning tools are used as a precautionary measure to ensure your data and system settings are not lost. With the help of cloning software, you can easily switch the existing hard drive to SSD, substitute, or faulty drive. Cloning your drive allows you to save system data and installed software.

The best free cloning tools to save your data

There are a lot of different cloning programs that can help you deal with your problems. But we highlighted the top 5 cloning tools that can be of great help for you. Keep reading to find out the key points about them as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Clonezilla

Clonezilla is one of the best cloning software as it enables disk imaging and is very light on resources. This tool is available in two versions. Clonezilla Live is designed for the home users and is ideal for a single PC while SE is a business-oriented version that allows cloning of over 50 machines simultaneously. The software supports several systems as well as GPT/MBR partition formats. Moreover, it can clone different OS, such as Minix, Chromium, and NetBSD. If you are conversant with Debian/Linux, you’ll like this impressive feature.

Pros

  • Offers fast restoration speed;
  • Supports Linux OS and Windows OS;
  • Gives you the opportunity to clone, partition, and perform disk imaging;
  • Operates from optical media or USB drive.

Cons

  • Not one of the best UI.

Acronis Disk Director

This free and reliable cloning tool is a top-quality cloning software that works on Windows OS only. Acronis makes the best software for cloning and other impressive things, such as formatting, creating, and labelling partitions. You can also resize, split, and merge volumes.  You can format your disk to any format, including FAT32/16, NTFS, Linux, Reiser3, Exts, Ext3, or SWAP. All Windows versions are supported.

Pros

  • Supports UEFI;
  • Supports several disk services and formats;
  • Easy to use;
  • Many backup tools;
  • Free demo available.

Cons

  • Not compatible with other OS apart from Windows;
  • The demo version is limited.

Paragon Backup & Recovery Free

This is one of the best programs to back up and restore data on your home computer. It is reliable and comes with impressive features. It has been in the market for many years, and so this cloning tool is almost ideal and compatible with any version of Windows. It features a unique backup capsule that allows you to store your backup data on a local hard disk in a concealed partition for fast recovery when the active portion fails. It comes with WinPE and Linux bootable recovery media options. It is one of the best free and reliable cloning tools.

Pros

  • Allows cloning to a small drive;
  • Gives you the opportunity to clone the entire disk;
  • Enables you to resize portions through disk cloning;
  • Well-designed help wizard.

Cons

  • It can be slow.

MiniTool Partition Wizard

This is another great program that offers free cloning services to the home users. It also includes a paid version called Minitool Partition Wizard Pro that comes with extra bells and whistles. But do you think you need this? The free version allows you to clone your disk as you benefit from other features. For the beginners, this software is a robust partition manager that will help you manage portions, align SSD partition, and check your file systems. It also allows you to change MBR to GPT, transfer your OS to another SSD/HDD, or even clone the whole disk. If you are using Windows, MiniTool Partition Wizard is the best choice since it supports any Windows version that is higher than XP.

Pros

  • Supports FAT12/16/32, exFAT, NTFS, Ext2/3/4;
  • Allows you to restore lost partitions;
  • Comes with an in-built space analyzer;
  • Features a portable mode;
  • Great for the Windows home users;
  • Easy installation;
  • Intuitive and friendly UI;
  • Numerous data recovery features.

Cons

  • Compatible with Windows only;
  • The free version cannot manage dynamic disks.

Macrium Reflect

It is a widely-known cloning software for commercial and personal use. Apart from cloning services, Macrium Reflect provides free backup services and disk imaging in the free edition. It also has a 30-day trial that lets you test all the essential features available in the enterprise version. The software is an easy-to-use top quality direct disk cloning service. You can also restore non-boosting systems using the free version and schedule backups or make live photos of your operating system. Furthermore, you can add cool security features such as back-encryption and ransomware protection. Note that these features will cost you some bucks. The program supports various file systems, such as exFAT, FAT12/16/32, HFS+, NTFS, and ReFS.

Pros

  • Numerous features;
  • Malware protection;
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface;
  • Enough and robust backup;
  • The free version is enough for HDD cloning or disk imaging;
  • It can support all versions of Windows and Linux OS.

Cons

  • No cons for the free version.

Final Words

If you’ve been searching for the best backup solutions to help you clone your hard disk, look no more. These free and reliable cloning tools will give you the solution you’ve been looking for. Some of these programs are more powerful than others. Some apps will help you perform a bit-for-bit copy while others will let you make a complete ISO of your operating system. Some are compatible with Windows only while others can support any OS. What matters is that you get software that fits your skills as well as needs. Getting a cloning software for your PC is mandatory if you intend to clone your disk or create an image. It allows you to restore, clone, copy, or even make portions on your drive and restore data on any of your HDD or PC any time you want.

How to Nail Even a Difficult IT Certification Exam in 6 Steps?

Prep stepsJust like most of us, we bet you have heard of and read about tips and tricks that can help any student prepare for various exams. Take a lot of practice, explore study guides, watch video tutorials, eat healthy food, take breaks, study for a specific amount of time every day, and so on. While these hints are great, they can only help you pass ordinary tests in high school or college, but not the IT exams. These tips can never be an alternative to structured preparation.

By understanding some basic principles of the brain, you can be able to maximize your studying and become more successful on the exam day. But before we get to the best lifehacks for your successful exam preparation, let’s know why the certification tests are so special.

What are the differences between IT certification exams and other tests?

The IT certification exams, unlike others, are designed to measure one’s skills needed at work. These skills are not only learnt for the test. Actually, there is a very big difference between IT and college exams.

First of all, you need to have hands-on experience for most IT certification exams. You may be required to input commands into the virtual command line, or drag and drop the network components around the virtual network. The IT tests come with a ton of information that the students should memorize and be able to use in practice. For instance, there are a lot of channels, commands, ports, and so on, that you should explore and remember. There are also several hands-on components for some of them. But we can’t say the same about the high school or college exams. Finally, the questions in the IT tests are highly technical and can be misleading, especially if you don’t understand how network and system components operate together.

What tips can help you excel in any IT certification exam?

So, the following tips and tricks are your best assistants during the exam preparation process. Let’s look at them in detail.

  1. Get familiar with the exam details.

This should come first. Before you start, you should learn everything about the certification test. Most accredited examination bodies provide the candidates with blueprints that openly lay out the exam topics and all their sections. It will help in guiding your study approach. Besides, understanding question formats, quantity of questions, and the amount of time you will have can help you get prepared for your test in a better way.

  1. Make a good start.

Before you begin your study, you should create a schedule. Be sure not to wait until the last minute because you won’t be able to learn everything within a short time. Instead, dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes for studying per day for several weeks. Alternatively, you can spend a few hours every weekend. You should never try to learn so much within a short period of time because your brain can only absorb a certain amount of information in a given period of time.

  1. Determine your perfect learning style.

When studying for an IT exam, you should determine how you learn best. Doing so can help you align your preparation process with the inclinations of your brain. Some of the most common learning styles include auditory, visual, and kinesthetic/tactile learning. In case you are a visual student, you will study best by watching videos. But if you are an auditory learner, you are probably better at absorbing the info by reading the text out loud or by going through the concepts out loud. If you are a tactile or physical one, you will learn best through practical exercises or tutorials, which are hands-on learning. Ideally, the individuals should rely on all these three styles of learning.

  1. Take mock tests and use simulators.

At the early stages of your training, you should take a mock test to get a general idea of what areas you need to focus on. It will help you determine problem areas and develop a strategic study plan that will enable you to minimize any knowledge gaps. You can evaluate yourself by taking full-length practice tests so that you can get to know how things will be on the real exam. If you are preparing for a network test, such as Cisco certification exams, you should use a network emulator or simulator. This preparation tool can help you find out your strong and weak areas.

  1. Feel yourself comfortable.

When studying for your certification exam, ensure that you are comfortable with your study space and that you are able to focus on what you are studying. Most likely, you will absorb more information easily if there are no distractions, such as a poorly-lit room, uncomfortable chair, noise, and so on. Determine whether you will learn better in silence or while listening to music. The main point here is that your entire study space should be a pleasant place where you can concentrate to the maximum and learn effectively.

It’s important that you stick to the habits that you are accustomed to even on the exam day. For instance, if you had a good night’s sleep throughout your study period or you drank your favourite drink immediately before you begin studying, it’s important that you do the same on the exam day and just before the certification test, respectively.

  1. Be ready on the exam day.

You should check all the requirements and rules for your certification exam and ensure that you adhere to all of them. Find out where the test center is and plan which route you will use to get there. Ensure that you are adding extra travel time in case you are caught up in traffic or if you get lost on your way there. The last thing you want this day is to arrive late for your exam. In such a case, the candidate, as a rule, don’t allow taking the test after a specified time of delay. You should also not feel rushed as this may interfere with your general exam performance. Ensure that you have everything you will require for your certification test a day before. Be sure to eat healthily and have enough sleep. Being hungry and feeling tired when taking the exam can negatively affect your concentration.

Summary

At first glance, preparing for any IT certification test can sound and seem daunting or even impossible. Of course, the certification exams are rarely a cakewalk, and the candidates need to learn a lot in order to succeed. However, incremental and consistent progress will help you get closer to your goal and achieve good results.

What Computer Jobs Will Rule in the Future?

JobsThe IT industry is one of the biggest fields with numerous opportunities that the professionals can explore. If you are just starting out or want to change your current career path, IT is definitely one of the top realms to consider. When you are ready to explore opportunities in the industry, it is important to take note of some of the sought-after jobs with the best salaries. You should also consider the prospects for advancement in your chosen career pathway. In this post, we will focus on some of the best computer jobs that have been predicted to experience huge growth, high demand, and better salaries above the standard average in the country, as well as opportunities for promotion. Let’s descry them in detail.

  • Database Administrator

The necessity for storing, analyzing, organizing, and securing data has increased the need for the skilled and certified database administrators. With the huge amount of digital information that should be processed, there are a lot of opportunities for these specialists. Additionally, the increase in the connection of databases to the Internet and Cloud will increase the complexity and vitality of data security, and the skills and expertise of the database developers and administrators will be required to protect corporate data from cyber threats and hackers.

  • Mobile Application Developer

In 2018, it was predicted that by 2028, there will be additional 241,500 new jobs requiring the skills of professional developers. This shouldn’t be strange, given the fact that smartphones and tablets have continued to change the ways people communicate, access entertainment and news, and do business. No doubt, there will be a huge demand for trendy and innovative mobile applications across the world. Currently, this situation has led to an increase in demand for the mobile application developers. If you are planning to obtain skills in this area, you might want to earn the knowledge of working with Android and Apple IOS as these are the most sought-after skills in the domain of mobile app development. The average salary of a mobile application developer is placed at about $109,000 per annum.

  • Video Game Designer

The gaming industry is worth over $400 billion, and this is definitely good news for the potential professional video game designers. Over and beyond the huge and growing market for console and PC games, there is an increase in the popularity, graphics capabilities, and processing power of mobile devices. These have opened the world of gaming to a brand new dimension and better opportunities for the programmers, artists, and video game designers. The professional game designers with skills and expertise in mobile development are highly sought after because smartphones and tablets will continue to redefine the users’ interactions with video games. There will be more than 241,500 new video designer job openings by 2028. As a video game designer, you can expect to earn an average of $80,000 per annum.

  • Software Engineer

Thanks to the technological advancement and growth in varieties of software, there will be an increase in the demand for the software engineers. For instance, the fast adoption of Cloud technologies is a strong driver for this demand. These are the professionals with skills and capabilities to build scalable and secure Cloud programs. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that there will be about 284,100 new software engineering job positions by 2028. The explosion of computer systems and software expansion into smart devices and new industries will require the development of computer systems that can power various initiatives and innovations. The estimated average salary of a software engineer is about $106,000 per year.

  • Computer Systems Analyst

With the growth in dependence on technology, there will be greater opportunities for the computer systems analysts. These professionals will be needed to architect new systems. The health care industry is one of the core industries that require the skills and expertise of a systems analyst. With government mandates and funding initiatives designed to drive the increase in the adoption in EMR (electronic medical record), as well as other health-focused software projects and electronic prescription services that require customized computer systems, the skills of a computer systems analyst will continue to be in high demand.

  • Web Developer

A business enterprise is moving from the physical terrain to the online platform to offer its products and services. With the increase in the number of businesses online, the demand for the skills of web designers and web developers will grow. Additionally, enlarged use of social networks will also increase the demand for web developer skills as the organizations explore new ways to enhance their competitive advantage and attract a new generation of customers. Top skills that will be in high demand include responsive web design, user interface, and user experience. The web developers can earn an average of $73,000 per annum, and it is estimated that about 20,900 new jobs will be available by 2028.

  • IT Security Specialist

Security will continue to be a major concern for the hiring managers as the complexity and frequency of cyberattacks continue to grow. Every year, the organizations are on the lookout for the qualified professionals with skills and expertise in information security. Unfortunately, these job roles are difficult to fill because there are not many certified specialists out there. This means there are a huge potential for those individuals who will take the challenge to grow their skills and get certified in information security. Job roles where computer security skills are highly in demand include mobile device security, IT operations security, information assurance, network, risk management, and Cloud & virtualization security. As an IT security specialist, you can expect to earn an average of $118,000 per annum.

  • Network Administrator

There will surely be an increase in demand for the network administrators. As enterprises invest in the latest network technologies and computer systems to enhance their productivity and attain competitive advantages, these specialists will have new and great career opportunities to explore. Additionally, the quick adoption of Cloud computing and mobile devices in corporate culture implies that more organizations will utilize the Internet to carry out their business at the online platform. This will ultimately create opportunities for the network managers and network administrators.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of job positions that you can choose in the IT industry. And most of them are in demand and prestigious now and will remain so in the future. That is why, nowadays, it is better to earn a credential and become a certified specialist, whom every employer will want to make a part of the company’s personnel.

Get These 4 Core Skills and Become an IT Pro This Year

SkillsFor the professionals who manage a small IT team and those who are solely responsible for the IT requirements in their business, handling the task can be a tad demanding. In today’s work environment, the users have more complex business needs and have to deal with more complex tools. In most cases, they rely on their team to solve their problems. No matter how small your IT business is, you still have to deal with some level of collaboration and security with your users. If you are one of the proactive specialists handling a small IT shop, you are probably thinking of how to enhance your skills so that you can better meet the needs of your consumers.

This blog article explores the four areas where you will need to function optimally in a small IT shop. It is essential to mention that these are not the only skills, but they are definitely among the best that will be of great help for you.

  • Data Analysis

If you work in an organization where you are the only IT professional, there is a good chance that you are an analyst, a trainer, and a database administrator. As a matter of fact, you can also take up some level of Excel training. You can develop your skills to become an expert in many areas. To gain more exposure to some of the best tools for data analysis, you might want to focus on technologies, such as Power BI, Python, and Tableau. Having expertise in these tools will enable you to automate data requests and reports, and you may also be able to equip your users to explore data on their own. If this is interesting for you, 2019 is a great year to consider this path. By the way, it can be useful to know that there is currently a high demand for the data professionals, and this demand is expected to grow by about 364,000 openings by 2020.

  • Cybersecurity

Any organization and team, irrespective of its size, requires security. The number of offensive attacks is increasing, and there have been reports of hacking systems and attracting the users to ransom. To mitigate this, the companies are heavily investing in cybersecurity in today’s business world. As a matter of fact, the global spend on cybersecurity services and products are expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2021. The core goal of offensive attacks is to access information that the hackers can sell. Another goal is to cause harm to a business enterprise or an industry. This means you have to equip your team with the right tool to mitigate any attack. However, before you can achieve this, you need to develop your security skills. There are various ways you can enhance them. In fact, the number of security training available in the industry is limitless. However, as a small team, you may want to stick with the basics for the purpose of resources and time. Some vendors that you can explore include Microsoft and Cisco. You can consider some vendor-neutral credentials from CompTIA.

It is very critical to equip every employee in your organization with up-to-date information and security best practices in the industry. As an IT professional, you should be able to explain in detail to your team members how cybersecurity functions. As a result, it will be easy for everyone in the company to take steps to secure the network or handle the basics.

  • Project Management

As mentioned earlier, as an IT professional, you are the whole team, including technicians and managers. Equipping yourself with project management skills will help you understand how you can successfully manage projects within timeline and budget. When you have a project management framework in place, you are sure that everything is within your control without anything falling through. Project management knowledge will help you in scheduling, task management, and critical thinking. All of them are an integral part of any successful organization, irrespective of its size. If your company has a small IT team, it means it will likely have a small project management unit. The implication of this is that the IT pro in the team will have to wear many hats.

You can easily develop your skills in project management and validate your experience with the relevant certification. You can consider the ITIL credential to validate your IT knowledge as well as your project management skills.

  • Collaboration Technologies

The size of the team doesn’t matter as every organization uses some kind of collaboration technology. Whether it is Microsoft Team for chat or Cisco Call Center for phones, there is always a need for collaboration technology in your team. Hence, there is a need for someone to manage the systems. Since you are an IT specialist, there is the tendency that the responsibility will fall on you. This means you have to develop competence in at least the fundamentals of collaboration tools. No doubt, this will be a worthwhile venture.

Many employers across the industries look out for the qualified specialists with the ability to combine different online communication tools and utilize them appropriately to develop a stronger and deeper communication platform. If you have this ability, you are on your way to becoming a highly valuable IT pro in your organization. You will also be perceived as a contemporary IT expert who has the capacity to run any technologies and combine them to create an excellent working tool.

Conclusion

The skills highlighted above will definitely help you stand out from the crowd. Developing skills in data, security, or project management will widen the scope of your activity and the circle of people with whom you can effectively work and communicate. It also brings the potential to land a more lucrative job role.