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https://killexams.com/exam_list/CiscoKillexams : Cisco Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths
Cisco Systems Inc. specializes in networking and communications products and services. The company is probably best known for its business routing and switching products, which direct data, voice, and video traffic across networks around the world. However, Cisco also offers storage networking, applications for unified communications, telepresence and collaboration (WebEx), and an array of services from simple product support to complete solutions for data centers and cloud management.
To ensure that IT professionals have the skills and knowledge necessary to support Cisco products and solve customers’ technology problems on many fronts, the Cisco Career Certification program is all-embracing. That is, it begins at the entry level, then advances to associate, professional, and expert levels, and (in some certification areas) caps things off at the architect level.
Each level offers one or more credentials. Obtaining a credential usually involves passing one or more certification exams. Most Cisco exams are delivered by Pearson VUE. For higher-level credentials, candidates must also prove they meet necessary prerequisites. The higher the level of certification, the more credentials and prerequisites one needs to meet those requirements.
Cisco certification program overview
Certifications within Cisco’s portfolio include the following credentials:
There are many certifications and paths one can take in Cisco’s career program. That said, its two main paths cover network operation and network design. A typical Cisco networking certification ladder begins with the entry-level CCENT credential, moves up to the CCNA, onto the CCNP and culminates with the CCIE. The design-oriented might instead consider starting with the CCENT, moving up to the CCDA, then the professional-level CCDP, followed by the CCDE, and finish the program with the CCAr.
The Cisco Career Certification program also includes a number of specializations. These certifications acknowledge a professional’s skills in a specific Cisco technology, such as data center application services, voicemail and messaging or rich media. Cisco specializations are organized into two primary categories: one targeting technical certified and another targeting digital transformation specialists. Between these two categories, there are currently 15 specializations among which IT pros can choose.
The Technical Specialist category includes specializations across six subcategories:
Data Center (FlexPod)
Operating System Software
Internet of things (IoT)
Digital Transformation certified includes credentials geared to Business Architecture and Customer Success.
Achieving a specialist credential generally requires passing one or two exams. Some credentials also impose prerequisites.
Entry-, associate- and professional-level credentials are valid for three years, CCIE and specialist certifications are valid for two years and the CCAr is valid for five years. To keep certifications current, Cisco professionals need to recertify by passing a recertification test or advancing to a higher level in Cisco’s certification hierarchy.
Cisco’s entry-level certifications
Cisco has two entry-level credentials: the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and the Cisco Certified Technician (CCT). No prerequisites are needed to obtain either the CCENT or CCT credential, and candidates must pass a single test to earn each credential.
CCENT certified professionals install, maintain and troubleshoot small networks or a branch of an enterprise network, and implement basic network security. The CCENT credential is a prerequisite for some associate-level CCNA solution track credentials and the CCDA.
CCTs work onsite at customer locations, diagnosing issues and repairing or replacing network-related equipment. A CCT can choose one of several specialty tracks, which currently includes Data Center and Routing and Switching.
CertificationExamsNumber of QuestionsTime to CompleteCCENT 100-105 ICND1 45-55 90 minutes CCT Data Center 010-151 DCTECH 65-75 90 minutes CCT Routing & Switching 640-692 RSTECH 60-70 90 minutes
Cisco’s associate-Level Certifications
Cisco’s associate-level certifications include the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and the Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA). One must pass one or two certification exams to achieve a CCNA or CCDA credential, depending on the track you choose.
The CCNA recognizes basic skills in installing, supporting, and troubleshooting wired and/or wireless networks. One can choose from several tracks, including Cloud, Collaboration, Cyber Ops, Data Center, Industrial, Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider and Wireless. The CCNA is a prerequisite for the professional-level CCNP certification. Prerequisites for the CCNA vary depending on the solution track chosen as do the number of required exams. All solution tracks require either one or two exams.
Cisco created the CCDA to identify individuals who can design basic wired and wireless networks, and incorporate security and voice solutions. The CCDA is a prerequisite for the CCDP certification. To obtain the CCDA, candidates must possess either a valid CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching (or any CCIE certification), and pass a single additional exam.
Number of Questions
Time to Complete
CCNA Cyber Ops
CCNA Data Center
CCNA Routing and Switching**
CCNA Service Provider
**Candidates for the CCNA Routing and Switching may take test 200-125 OR test 100-105 plus 200-105.
Cisco’s professional-level certifications
Cisco’s professional-level credentials include two main programs: the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and the Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP). To obtain the CCDP, one must pass three certification exams and possess both the CCDA and CCNA Routing and Switching credentials or any Cisco CCIE or CCDE certification.
All CCNP solution tracks, except Routing and Switching, require candidates to pass four exams. Only three exams are required for the CCNP: Routing and Switching credential. Prerequisites for all CCNP solution tracks include either the lower-level CCNA credential or any CCIE credential. The CCNP: Service Provider credential also accepts the Cisco Certified Internet Professional (CCIP) credential as a prerequisite (which retired in 2012).
The CCNP credential recognizes professionals who plan, deploy, and troubleshoot local networks and wide area networks. The CCNP tracks are the same as those for the CCNA, except for Industrial and Cyber Ops, which are not offered in the CCNP track. The CCNP is recommended to climb up to the next step on the cert ladder – the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert.
The CCDP identifies proficiency in designing and deploying scalable networks and multilayer-switched networks. From the CCDP, you can move on to the Cisco Certified Design Expert.
Number of Questions
Time to Complete
CCNP Data Center**
CCNP Routing and Switching
CCNP Service Provider
**CCNP Data Center may take either the 300-160 or 300-180 exam.
Cisco’s expert-level certifications
Cisco’s expert-level credentials embrace two primary certifications: the coveted Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) and the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE). Neither certification imposes prerequisites, but one must pass a written test and a rigorous practical test to earn either of these credentials.
Beginning in July 2016, Cisco updated its expert-level exams to include an evolving technologies domain. This new domain targets cloud, network programmability and the IoT, and it accounts for 10 percent of the total test score. Cisco may change the Topics included in this domain to reflect emerging technologies as they reach strong enough commercial interest, potential and presence to make them examworthy. The company describes this mechanism as a way to help future-proof its certifications so that employers may assume that those who hold current credentials are also up to speed on important new networking technologies.
For many network-track professionals, achieving the CCIE is the highlight of their careers. A CCIE has expert technical skills and knowledge of Cisco network products and solutions in one of the CCIE technical tracks, which currently include Collaboration, Data Center, Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, and Wireless.
The CCDE identifies experts who design infrastructure solutions for large enterprise environments, which include technological, operational, business and budget aspects of a project.
Cisco’s architect-level certifications
For persons seeking positions such as network architect or data center architect, a smart move is to acquire the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) certification. The CCAr is like the Ph.D. of the Cisco Career Certification program – it’s the highest level of certification that Cisco offers. This credential validates the skills of a senior network infrastructure architect, someone who can plan and design IT infrastructures based on business strategies. Many people consider the CCAr the most difficult tech certification to achieve.
To earn the CCDE certification, you must design a network solution to implement an assigned strategy; then, you must appear before a Cisco-appointed panel to explain and defend that solution.
Whether you’re following a network operations or network design career path, Cisco certifications are uniquely positioned to assist IT professionals as they prepare to fulfill various Cisco-related career roles. Regardless of your chosen career path, job opportunities are plentiful for skilled Cisco professionals. A simple search for Cisco CCNA professionals on two popular job boards – SimplyHired and Indeed – yielded between 7,500 and 9,500 job postings each.
Job opportunities vary by factors, such as experience and whether you’re focused on network operations or network design. While certainly not exhaustive, the following list identifies some common job opportunities by certification:
CCENT: Help desk or technician roles
CCT: Engineer (field, network, application support) or systems administrator
CCDE: Expert-level roles; systems engineer, senior network engineer, network architect, network design engineer or IT infrastructure team lead
CCAr: Architect (lead, network, enterprise, voice data and more)
Training and Resources
Cisco maintains a comprehensive list of training and self-study resources. These resources include various forms of online learning, practice exams, learning labs, links to which appear on each certification’s web page. The Cisco Learning Network offers candidates a free basic membership that includes access to test topics, live seminars, IT training videos, study groups, forums, study materials and much more. The subscription-based Cisco Platinum Learning Library provides professionals with on-demand learning and access to more than 400 courses, hands-on vLabs, the support library, and more. Additional training materials are also available from Cisco Press.
Tue, 11 Oct 2022 12:00:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10700-cisco-certification-guide.htmlKillexams : Get on the Right Track to IT Success with Top CompTIA and Linux Certification Exams
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Fri, 23 Sep 2022 05:30:00 -0500Entrepreneur Storeentext/htmlhttps://www.entrepreneur.com/science-technology/get-on-the-right-track-to-it-success-with-top-comptia-and/435745Killexams : How to design a data architecture for business success
When it comes to business information, chief information officers (CIOs) and chief data officers (CDOs) are tasked with bringing order to chaos.
As firms gather ever more data, they face both commercial pressure to do more with the information they hold and increasing regulatory burdens for managing data, especially where it relates to customers.
The situation is made more complex still by the range of tools available for storing and manipulating data, from data lakes and data hubs, to object storage, and machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
According to a survey by storage manufacturer Seagate, as much as 68% of business data goes unused. As a result, firms are forgoing the advantages that data should offer. At the same time, organisations face regulatory and compliance risks if they are unclear about what data they hold, and where.
To address this complexity and make data “work” for the business, companies need to look at their data architecture. At the simplest level, a data architecture is about knowing where the organisation’s data is, and mapping how data flows through it. However, given the vast range of data sources and ways that data can be manipulated and used, there is no single blueprint for doing this. Each organisation will need to build a data architecture that works for its own needs.
“Data architecture is many things to many people and it is easy to drown in an ocean of ideas, processes and initiatives,” says Tim Garrood, a data architecture expert at PA Consulting. Firms need to ensure that data architecture projects deliver value to the business, he adds, and this needs knowledge and skills, as well as technology.
However, part of the challenge for CIOs and CDOs is that technology is driving complexity in both data management and how it is used. As management consultancy McKinsey put it in a 2020 paper: “Technical additions – from data lakes to customer analytics platforms to stream processing – have increased the complexity of data architectures enormously.” This is making it harder for firms to manage their existing data and to deliver new capabilities.
The move away from traditional relational database systems to much more flexible data structures – and the ability to capture and process unstructured data – gives organisations the potential to do far more with data than ever before.
The challenge for CIOs and CDOs is to tie that opportunity back to the needs of the business. Building a data architecture should be more than just a housekeeping or compliance exercise.
“I like to ask the question, ‘what are we able to do with better data, what is it that could be different?” says PA Consulting’s Garrood. “If it doesn’t come with an articulated business problem, then that’s the next place to go.” Physical data architecture, data flows and integration of data sources and applications come after that.
What is a data architecture?
Data architecture is often described as a data management blueprint. Certainly, an effective data architecture needs to map the flow of information through the organisation.
This, in turn, relies on a good understanding of the data being collected and held, the systems it is held in, and the regulatory, compliance and security regimes that apply to the data.
Firms also need to understand which data is critical to operations, and which delivers the most value. As organisations store and process more information, this becomes ever more important. Sometimes it is more art than science.
“It’s the art of understanding that there are few principles you really need to adhere to, and understanding which data is key to the organisation,” says Tim Bowes, associate director for data engineering at data consulting firm Dufrain. “Organisations have oodles of data floating around, but not all of it is absolutely key to operating successfully. Having an understanding of which data is key is fundamental.”
Data architecture has to link to the organisation’s data strategy, and its data lifecycle – but it also relies on sound data management.
Often, organisations split their data architecture into two parts: data supply, and data consumption or exploitation.
Nick Whitfield, KPMG
On the supply side, CIOs and CDOs need to look at data sources, including transactions, business applications, customer activity and even sensors. On the consumption side, firms are looking at their reporting, business intelligence, advanced analytics and even ML and AI capabilities. Some companies will also be looking to exploit data further by selling it on or using it to create new products.
The relative importance of these parts will shape the data architecture.
Consulting firm KPMG, for example, applies what it calls a “four Cs” framework to data architecture – create, curate, consume and commercialise.
According to Nick Whitfeld, the firm’s UK head of data and analytics, create and curate fall into the supply side, separate from consumption and commercialisation. Each side might need its own data architecture.
“I don’t think any organisation can have a single, homogenous data architecture,” he says. “I think there are different types of data architecture for different types of purpose.
“It’s more than just a data model. It’s the collection of processes and the governance framework, the enabling technology and the data standards. Together, these ensure that data is well organised and well controlled, such that it flows through your business processes accurately.”
Why and how to implement a data architecture
The drive to create, or update, a data architecture can come either from changes in technology or changes in the business.
Changing a core component of an organisation’s IT or analytics systems provides an opportunity to look again at data flows. And the move to cloud technology offers a way to update data flows without the need for a “lift and shift” replacement of systems. Instead, changes can be made on an application-by-application, or project-by-project basis.
“Part of the role of the data architect is to paint that picture of what the benefits can look like,” says PA Consulting’s Garrood. “But it’s also to identify what needs to be changed, and what new flows need to be added to the pipeline.”
The switch from data warehouses to data lakes also supports this, as data should no longer be bound to specific applications.
“Firms have a lot of new sources and data,” says Roman Golod, CTO and co-founder of data ops firm Accelario. “They need to not only move to continuous integration between different sources, but to new technologies, including web services and the cloud.”
Golod notes that most, perhaps 80%, of his customers are still working with on-premise systems. But new capabilities increasingly come from the cloud, or hybrid technology.
This allows businesses to look again at that all-important blueprint or data flow, to identify new data sources and to carry out more advanced analytics and ML and AI.
But before they do so, organisations need to put their data house in order.
Data quality and master data management are not, strictly, part of data architecture, but good-quality data remains vital to deliver the business results from an architectural project. Experts who have worked on large-scale data architecture projects say that often, connecting up disparate systems can reveal data quality issues that went unnoticed before. And a clear understanding of which records are the master, or “golden”, data is essential if the business is going to trust the decisions coming from advanced analytics or ML/AI tools.
This is even more so where organisations have large numbers of systems, including older architectures and systems that have built up technical debt. As KPMG’s Whitfield points out, one of his firm’s clients, in oil and gas, has had more than 1,500 data integrations. Integrating those data points into a data lake, for example, raises both practical and compliance questions, as well as those of data standards.
“That information spectrum has to be managed according to the information type, and therefore the underpinning datasets also have to be managed,” he says. “At one end, you have data that need to be highly controlled, highly governed, very, very consistent and, broadly, not touched. At the other end, you are giving data scientists access to large pools of data and letting them go and explore whatever they want. The fact is, the data architecture has to accommodate both ends of that spectrum, which is no easy task.”
Data experts recommend an iterative approach, or looking at data architecture on a project or business case basis. Otherwise, the work risks becoming unmanageable and failing to deliver business benefits. But this still needs to tie into the overall data model the business is working towards. This will always be challenging – too many small projects create their own risks, with varying data standards and isolated silos of information.
Data architecture and the business case
Nonetheless, investing in data architecture can bring a significant, and sometimes rapid, return on investment.
Firms stand to make more use of the data they have, and will be better placed to take advantage of new and emerging platforms and applications, including AI and the cloud. And, as Dufrain’s Bowes points out, an updated data architecture gives firms a better view of their customers, not least by allowing the connection of data from cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) systems to existing data stores.
Organisations can also use data architecture to tackle technical debt and ensure that data acquisition and retention policies comply with regulations. But, ultimately, it is about unlocking value in the data the business has already spent money to collect.
“Fundamentally, it is there to model the world we see, and to represent that world in some way,” says PA’s Garrood. “It’s still fundamentally about modelling entities and the relationships between them. It comes down to the same basics about being clear about what you’re trying to achieve.”
But this also needs business leadership, and ongoing management or even curation, and a willingness to put the new data, and insights, to use.
“There’s no point having a data architecture, a beautifully documented thing, without the right data leadership in place,” says KPMG’s Whitfield. “Clearly, there is value from better insights and there are any number of business opportunities there. But physically how we organise our data is a relatively small part of that. It is about the business case leadership, the right operating model, the right governance framework, the right tooling, and then the right culture.”
Wed, 05 Oct 2022 04:38:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://www.computerweekly.com/feature/How-to-design-a-data-architecture-for-business-successKillexams : AWS Certified Solutions Architect test Guide
AWS Certified Solutions Architect test Guide
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification is an industry‑recognized professional certification that validates one’s knowledge in the design and deployment of distributed applications in AWS Cloud. Having the certification can be a unique opportunity to grow your career, boost your resume, highlight in‑demand skills and generally become more competitive.
Get this prep guide for FREE and learn all you need to know to pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification exam:
Deep dive into test domains (including storage, networking, security and more!)
Tips on how to prepare and understand theories
Links to useful resources and sample test questions
Tue, 03 May 2022 06:46:00 -0500en-UStext/htmlhttps://redmondmag.com/whitepapers/2022/05/veeam-aws-certified-solutions-architect-exam-guide.aspx?tc=page0Killexams : Cisco Live 2018: Learn to Be the Architect of the Future
These are heady days for business IT professionals. In a world that gives them more influence than ever over the direction of their organizations, they are increasingly deluged with information about the latest advances in network and data center technology, security threats, the evolving workplace, the demands of modern employees and a lot more.
Sometimes it can seem nearly impossible to keep up.
Enter Cisco Live 2018, one of the premiere technology events of the year and can’t-miss show for users of Cisco Systems’s robust portfolio of products. BizTech will be covering Cisco Live 2018 from the show floor in Orlando June 10-14. We’ll be interviewing executives, covering keynotes and breakout sessions, and getting a preview of Cisco’s latest tech offerings. So keep this page bookmarked for articles and videos from the BizTech team.
Here’s what attendees should watch for during the conference:
The opening keynote from Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins, who will discuss how the company is helping IT professionals “be the architects of the future for their organizations.”
Comments from David Goeckeler, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of networking and security business. Goeckeler will argue that the “Age of the Network” has dawned, meaning the availability of a generation of “intent-based” network hardware and software that are “fundamentally changing how networks are configured, managed and secured.”
The closing keynote from Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute, and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, who will describe a future of “emerging technologies and revolutionary developments in medicine, AI, computers, business, energy, quantum physics, and space travel that will change our lives and alter the course of civilization itself.”
Attendees whose interests are a bit more prosaic will also find plenty to keep their attention. Throughout the week, speakers will explore Topics including managing multicloud environments, emerging collaboration technology, and the latest in data centers, software-defined networks and more.
Whether you’re attending Cisco Live or not, follow us on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine or the official conference Twitter account @CiscoLive, and join the conversation using hashtag #CLUS.
Ian Anderson/Getty Images
Tue, 26 Oct 2021 09:29:00 -0500Bob Keaveneyentext/htmlhttps://biztechmagazine.com/article/2018/05/cisco-live-2018-learn-be-architect-futureKillexams : Fastly: Staggering From One Issue To The Next
Fastly (NYSE:FSLY) continues to trade near all-time lows as investors weigh the potential of edge computing against Fastly’s dire financial performance. While there has always been a significant amount of hype around Fastly’s technology, weak revenue growth in the core business suggests there is a problem with either the product or Fastly’s sales organization. Josh Bixby has been replaced as CEO by a former Cisco executive, but it is not clear that Fastly’s problems lie with senior management. Fastly has always positioned itself as a high-performance CDN for large enterprises, which limits their platform's appeal. Until they can Excellerate profitability and broaden their customer base, Fastly’s stock is unlikely to return to the heady days of 2020.
Fastly continues to achieve strong security sales, driven by their next-generation WAF, which is now available for customers to purchase from the AWS marketplace. Fastly has also achieved an integration milestone, with the introduction of a beta version of Signal Sciences agent on the Fastly Edge Cloud.
Management had previously expected Signal Sciences to contribute approximately 10% of the company’s revenue in the second quarter of 2021, but this figure ended up being 13%, indicating that Signal Sciences is outperforming expectations and the rest of Fastly’s business is underperforming.
Fastly’s long-term goal is to increase security revenue 10x, which would be approximately 500 million USD in annual revenue. This does not seem to be a particularly aggressive target given the size of the security market, although is in line with Fastly’s current positioning as more of a niche vendor.
Fastly has also stated that Compute@Edge allows them to acquire technology and rapidly release it, although this is not readily apparent from a product innovation standpoint so far.
While Compute@Edge has a lot of potential and hype around this service was one of the drivers behind Fastly’s stock price rise in 2020, the financial impact has so far been muted. In 2021, management was pointing towards 2022 as the year that Compute@Edge would begin to have a material impact on the business, but this has not really been apparent so far. The reason for this is not really clear, but it is possible that Fastly’s inability to engage a broad swath of developers and lack of product innovation has left them in Cloudflare’s (NET) shadow. Fastly is taking steps to correct the lack of developer engagement, including introducing a credit program where customers are offered up to 1 million USD to onboard the Compute@Edge service. Fastly has also introduced a free tier for Compute@Edge developers, which has increased the total number of developers on the platform, but also likely impacted new customer sign-ups at the lower end. It is also possible that edge computing is something of a paradigm shift that will require longer than expected to be fully adopted by customers. Cloudflare launched their edge compute platform 5 years ago and have suggested that it takes 8-12 years for a new developer platform to reach escape velocity.
Edge computing is behind the blurring of the lines between CDN services and cloud computing, something that became visible to many with the launch of Cloudflare’s R2 service in 2021. The hyperscalers have been trying to promote their own CDN services to bring workloads into their own public clouds and Akamai (AKAM) has acquired Linode for public cloud capabilities. The hyperscalers are also looking at providing some edge caching capabilities for certain types of workloads. Fastly do not see themselves as competitors to the hyperscalers though, which points towards their positioning as a high-performance CDN rather than a true edge network.
Fastly recently acquired Glitch in an attempt to Excellerate developer adoption. Glitch is a platform used by more than 1.8 million developers to create and share full-stack web apps without having to run the infrastructure or manage tools themselves. Glitch provides an easy-to-use development environment, remixable code, and a community of collaborative developers. Approximately 60% of developers using Glitch are enterprise developers, which is one of the reasons Fastly acquired them.
In the most recent quarter Fastly added over 100,000 developers across Glitch and their Compute@Edge platform. It is not clear what the split is between Glitch and Compute@Edge but adding developers to the Fastly ecosystem should be seen as a long-term positive.
Fastly acquired Fanout in the first quarter of 2022 to enable real-time app development at the edge. Fanout’s platform allows developers to build and scale real-time and streaming APIs and will be integrated into Fastly’s Compute@Edge platform. This acquisition will support customers who wish to move away from complicated in-house WebSocket stacks, as well as customers who do not have the resources to build a push architecture for real-time data and communications. Customers will be able to use their existing HTTP origin instead of maintaining a complex WebSocket or other push protocol messaging infrastructure.
Network performance is at the heart of Fastly's business, with their network being on average 30% faster in the US and Europe than their largest competitor. Fastly's network also delivers almost half of the traffic using 98% fewer servers. Over the past few years Fastly has aggressively added to the capacity of its network (likely in an effort to ensure performance), and this is now hurting margins as traffic has not kept up.
Fastly is currently deploying a new architecture in key metro regions that will increase storage capabilities and merge entire regions into one storage unit, reducing duplication. This involves a temporary duplication of resources as the new architecture is deployed though, which is currently a drag on gross margins. Longer-term, Fastly believe that this new architecture could be accretive to gross margins through greater server efficiency. Fastly transitioned several sites in the first quarter, and more in the second. They expect that in the second half of 2022 the older duplicate sites will be fully decommissioned.
Some of Fastly’s over capacity problem has also likely been driven by hardware supply chain issues and data center availability. Fastly tried to minimize the impact of these by pre-buying and deploying capacity in key markets, but this has contributed to underutilization.
Product innovation relative to peers has been something of an issue for Fastly in the past, and this appears to be something that they are actively working on. Releases increased from 3 in the fourth quarter of 2021, to 11 in the first quarter of 2022 and 13 in the second.
Fastly’s continued reliance on acquisitions to add capabilities and relatively slow pace of internal innovation should be seen as a red flag. Fastly was hyped as a technology leader that would eventually go on to dominate the market due to its best-in-class capabilities, but their track record just doesn’t support this.
Recent innovations include:
Global persistent Object Store for compute functions, allowing developers to store, control and cache data to reduce origin dependency and unlock new use cases.
Deployed HTTP/3 and QUIC, a latency-reducing, reliable and secure internet transport protocol.
Observability dashboard, which brings delivery, security and application metrics into one window.
Todd Nightingale is now the Chief Executive Officer of Fastly, previously working as an executive in Enterprise Networking and Cloud at Cisco. Bixby will remain at the company for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition. This move appears to have been well received by investors, as many of Fastly’s problems have been pinned on poor leadership, although the share price has continued to decline. Fastly’s current issues (customer concentration, inability to win new customers, narrow vision, slow product innovation) pre-date Bixby’s appointment in 2020 though and will likely remain well after his exit.
Fastly’s revenue growth decelerated rapidly in 2021 due in large part to difficult comparable periods. After accounting for revenue growth from the Signal Sciences acquisition, it is likely that Fastly’s organic revenue growth was near zero. While revenue growth has improved somewhat since then, it is still relatively weak given the once lofty expectations for the company.
Total revenue for the second quarter increased 21% YoY. Excluding Signal Sciences, Fastly’s growth was approximately 17%. Signal Sciences continues to perform well, growing in excess of 50% annually and now contributes approximately 13% of Fastly’s total revenue.
It should also be kept in mind that Q2 2021 was impacted by a significant outage that resulted in customers removing traffic from Fastly’s platform and delaying the launch of new projects. Fastly’s current revenue growth is off a relatively easy comparable period due to this outage issue.
Fastly increased full-year revenue guidance by 5 million USD in the first quarter of 2022 and by 10 million USD in the second quarter. While guidance is improving, Fastly are still only guiding 19% revenue growth for the year at the mid-point.
While Fastly’s revenue growth has been fairly stable and guidance has been improving, Fastly are reducing CapEx and slowing their pace of hiring rapidly, which may indicate the business is not performing as well as they had initially hoped internally. In the second quarter, Fastly reduced their guided CapEx range from 12-14% of revenue to 10-12% of revenue.
The pandemic related boost to Fastly’s business can clearly be seen from their DBNER, where their usage-based business model resulted in additional revenue growth while internet traffic was elevated during lockdowns. These figures have now stabilized as the impact of the pandemic is in the rear-view mirror, but their current level could be viewed as disappointing in the light of the Signal Sciences acquisition and the launch of Compute@Edge, which provide the opportunity for cross-sell / upsell.
Given Fastly’s small customer base and focus on massive enterprise customers, the ability to expand usage within existing customers is critical to the company’s success.
Attracting new customers, both large and small, continues to be an issue for Fastly. The customer base continues to grow, although at a low rate given the company's limited market penetration. Improving customer acquisition is a key goal for Fastly and they are investing in their sales team and trying to Excellerate lead generation and brand awareness in support of this. Churn is low though (< 1%), indicating that Fastly has no problems retaining existing customers.
Average spend per enterprise customer continues to increase at a modest pace as traffic continues to expand, but this growth is disappointing given the potential for security and edge compute upsell.
Enterprise customers continue to dominate Fastly’s revenue, with close to 90% of revenue coming from enterprise customers. As a result, the customer base also remains somewhat concentrated, with Fastly’s top 10 customer’s contributing 34% of total revenue in the second quarter of 2022.
Fastly’s gross margins have been under pressure over the past 18 months, raising questions around the competitive environment. Management continues to reiterate that pricing dynamics have not materially changed and that recent margin declines are being caused by network costs.
Fastly avoids the commodity streaming business, choosing instead to focus on high-value areas, like the streaming of live events where quality is important. This strategy should be supportive of Fastly’s margins, but it is not apparent in the financial data. The architecture of Fastly’s network should also be supportive of Fastly’s margins, but it is difficult to see the benefit in the company’s performance.
Assuming Signal Sciences’ gross margins are around 80%, Fastly’s gross margins are now in the low 40s, which is extremely poor, regardless of any utilization or duplication issues. Longer-term Fastly believe that once the network upgrade and utilization issues are behind them, they can return gross margins to the high 50s, with potential upside as security and Compute@Edge grow in importance. Cloudflare has stated that their Workers service is margin-accretive, even with 78% gross margins.
Fastly’s operating margins are also poor and have so far shown no tendency to Excellerate as the business scales. This appears to be in large part due employee compensation expenses, with SBC sitting at around 35-40% of revenue. Given the dismal performance of the business, this is inexcusable. At a strategic, product development and sales level, Fastly is underperforming.
Fastly has now put in place additional cost controls and as a result, operating expenses are expected to decline in the second half. Combined with continued revenue growth and an improvement in gross margins, this should lead to a significant bottom line improvement in the second half.
Fastly continues to invest in their sales organization and are bringing in executives with relevant enterprise experience. Fastly has historically not been a partner or channel-based organization, but this is changing. Security products have traditionally been sold through channel partners and the acquisition of Signal Sciences strengthened Fastly’s capabilities in this area. Fastly plans on leveraging these capabilities to sell delivery, security, and compute.
While Fastly’s stock now appears relatively inexpensive given the size of the opportunity ahead of it, but this is a reflection of the company’s inability to execute. Based on a discounted cash flow analysis, I estimate that Fastly is worth approximately 16 USD per share. With the current macro environment, Fastly will need to achieve significant improvements in profitability before the stock moves higher.
How much of Fastly’s problems stem from offering a product with niche appeal versus a go-to-market problem is unclear. The company is trying to address these issues through acquisitions, increased velocity of product development and investments in the sales organization. Fastly is relatively inexpensive given the size of the opportunity ahead of it, but so far, the company has given no indication it can live up to its potential, and the gap between Fastly and Cloudflare appears to be becoming insurmountable.
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 17:34:00 -0500entext/htmlhttps://seekingalpha.com/article/4544300-fastly-stock-staggering-one-issue-nextKillexams : Online Quizzes and Exams FAQsKillexams : Online Quizzes and Exams FAQs | Center for Academic Success and Engagement | Baylor University
Online Quizzes and Exams Questions and Information
• How do I study for exams/tests online?
Use the same techniques you used for face-to-face exams.
Tell yourself it is still an exam. The only difference is that you are now taking the test online via a computer versus on paper in class.
• Can I use notes on my online quizzes or exams in Canvas?
Professors should let students know if they can use notes on quizzes or exams in Canvas.
• How do I take exams online?
Go to a quiet room.
Set up workspace so that it is free of distractions.
You should only have items you are allowed to use during test with you.
Login to Canvas and follow instructions given by professor for how to start exam.
If taking test on laptop, make sure you have a laptop charger handy.
Use similar test taking strategies you used in face-to-face classes for taking exams:
Read through entire test (if allowed).
Answer questions you know the answer to first.
Don’t leave answers blank unless stated you can.
Take deep breaths and try to relax during exam.
Try not focus on the timer on the test but give yourself enough time to answer all questions on exam.
Double check your work before submitting.
• How do I take exams online if I live with multiple people or have pets?
Let people in your household know that you are taking an test during a specific timeframe and ask that they be quiet and courteous during that time.
Consider putting pets outside or in another room.
Go to a quiet room.
Set up workspace so that it is free of distractions.
You should only have items you are allowed to use during test with you.
• How do I take exams online if they are in a set time frame (only available from Monday at 8am to Wednesday at 11:59pm)?
Take the test as early as possible after it opens.
Make sure you budget enough time to take the exam.
If the test is timed, do not wait until the very last minute to launch the test online.
If you have any issues with the timeframe, contact your professor.
• What if I have to take an exam/test using a lockdown browser?
Professors should post instructions for how this feature will work.
Fri, 04 Jun 2021 22:21:00 -0500en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.baylor.edu/case/index.php?id=978527Killexams : What the GRE Test Is and How to PrepareNo result found, try new keyword!Aspiring graduate students who tend to put off studying for tests should not attempt to cram for the Graduate Record Exam, or GRE, because achieving an impressive score on this graduate school ...Mon, 25 Jun 2018 03:17:00 -0500text/htmlhttps://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/what-the-gre-test-is-and-how-to-prepareKillexams : 7 tips for scoring your way to test successNo result found, try new keyword!Many people, however, are afraid of them. The truth is, if you are well prepared, exams really aren’t that scary. In fact, with proper study habits and strategies, they can even be a breeze.Sat, 08 Oct 2022 03:42:00 -0500en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2022/10/08/7-tips-for-scoring-your-way-to-exam-success/Killexams : Anxiety of success: Why students are forced to handle so much of pressure
Indian society, by large, has a classical notion of success. The first part of it involves clearing the toughest engineering or medical exams like IIT-JEE and NEET, respectively. Then comes enrollment to the top management schools such as IIMs. And if one clears UPSC-CSE, commonly called the civil services, that is success 3.0, which gives you a cushy place in India’s bureaucratic setup. The stakes are high, and so is the pressure involved. However, at times, this pressure is too much to cope with.
“Year after year, we see youngsters, preparing for ultra-competitive exams such as UPSC, in OPD struggling with stress and depression,” says Dr Jyoti Kapoor, senior psychiatrist and founder of Manasthali, an organisation that deals with mental health. Fresh out-of-school students preparing for IIT and NEET, too, suffer from burnout due to long preparation hours and uncertainty about the future. In several cases, they need counseling and medicines to deal with stress,” she added.
Although test pressure is experienced by everyone, do some of the most ultra-competitive exams have a role to play in damaging an aspirant’s mental health?
‘Without a doubt’
“Two years into preparation, I started feeling depressed,” says Shakir S (name changed), a commerce student who prepared for multiple government exams, including UPSC, for four years. “It was this realisation that I had given two years of my life for this. There was loneliness too,” says Shakir, who could clear the written papers, but came short in interviews.
According to Pragati Goyal, a clinical psychologist at Lissun, a Gurugram-based mental health setup, students preparing for these exams are more vulnerable to experiencing mental health issues. “A recent study showed that among those preparing for medical entrance exams, 72.2 % experienced high levels of stress interfering with their day-to-day functioning. As health practitioners, we are also seeing a rise in the cases of depression and anxiety in students attributed to the competitive, rigorous, and target-oriented nature of these examinations,” she says.
Another issue is the high expectations students set for themselves. “In our practice, we have seen a rise in the number of students, preparing for these, coming to us with mental health issues. Among the common complaints are poor work efficiency, attention span, along with a lack of focus. However, these are not problems but are perceived as such. Students, at times, set unrealistic expectations and end up getting disappointed for not meeting. It is not humanly possible for anyone to continuously study and expect 100% efficiency throughout. Yet, sadly, everyone is chasing these unrealistic norms,” Goyal explains.
Lack of experience
Since such exams require one to study for most of the day, it leaves little to no room for recreation. “There is no scope for it,” says Shakir. What is in store, instead, is almost the same routine every day, constant competition with peers, fear of failure, parental pressure, along with a sliver of hope of success, a hope that keeps you going.
“Such kinds of preparations are tedious and prolonged and often pupils hold everything else in their lives back to prepare for one test. And when results are not in their favour, they have to go back to the same routine. It is quite frustrating and most people feel they are stuck while the world is going ahead,” says Dr Kapoor.
At the same time, Goyal highlights the flaw in glorification of being busy or studying continuously for hours, which makes students more vulnerable to mental health issues. “The human brain is not designed to work at such a fast-moving pace, where there is hardly any time to take a break,” she adds.
Away from family
Many Kota-based coaching institutes offer courses to students as young as 10. Students in their teens leave their hometowns and flock to this Rajasthan city with the hope of getting into India’s top engineering and medical colleges. Many stay away from their families, hence, miss out on a major support system. Alone, they also have to micro-manage every aspect of their lives.
“Mental health stands on multiple pillars, and one of the pillars is emotional support. It is the safety net that ensures healthy growth of the mind and body,” says psychologist Goyal. “ Since many students live away from home, they might not get the emotional support they want,” she adds.
Reeling under pressure, students develop all kinds of coping mechanisms—some beneficial, others harmful. For Shakir, he fell into the latter category and involved smoking and drinking, some things he had never done before starting preparing for these exams, he told FE. “Stress builds up over the years, and after a certain point of time, you start feeling lonely. You do not have any way to express yourself, and you fall behind peers, so you just try to distract yourself,” he shares.
“Often students with chronic stress try to manage it with unhealthy behaviours, which includes excessive alcohol consumption, gambling, overeating, participating compulsively in sex, shopping or internet browsing, smoking and doing drugs,” warns Dr Kapoor.
Tyranny of failure
“I went through hell,” says Shakir on how he felt after he decided to pursue the exams no longer. “More than anything, it was societal pressure, where everyone thought that they had the right to inquire about you, that impacted me,” he says.
Lakhs of students appear for some of India’s toughest exams making the success rate extremely low. Take the case of UPSC. About 10 lakh aspirants appear for this test every year, and just 1,000 or even fewer are successful. The rest fail.
“Unfortunately, we do not prepare people for failure. No one tells them that if A did not work out, there can always be a plan B. There is so much investment on this one exam, one day that the tyranny of failure haunts for a long time,” says Dr Sudipto Chatterjee, a NIMHANS-trained psychiatrist. “When they are exposed to failure, they get exposed to an enormous amount of stress both physically and mentally.”
The problem is worse in the case of those who start preparing for such exams at a very young age. “Nobody asks them if they really want to do this. Nobody informs them that the pyramid of success is really narrow at the top,” says Dr Chatterjee. “All their lives, these young kids have known that their whole lives depend on this one exam. There is no time for sports, extra-curricular, or socialisation, which gives no space for their personalities to grow,” he adds.
Pushing too far
Around 8.2% of students in India die by suicide, as per NCRB’s Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) report, 2020. Although there are multiple reasons behind it, the impact of academic pressure cannot be ruled out.
After scoring low in Class XII exams, an 18-year-old girl from Patna, who was preparing for IIT-JEE, allegedly died by suicide in Kota in July. A month earlier, 28-year-old Blesson Puddu Chako, too, took the extreme step after failing at clearing the UPSC exam, as per media reports. Every year, we come across such grim reports.
Tyranny of success?
Failing in these exams harms, but does success certain a life of prosperity and happiness? When the UPSC 2020 results were announced last year, a tweet by an IRS officer, who had cleared the test almost two decades earlier, garnered much attention. “I secured AIR 66 in the 2001 test (and AIR 171 in the 2000 exam), and still ended up with #depression and #Anxiety Disorder. There is life, and then there is life. Just make the best of it – after all, we only have one life, this life,” wrote IRS officer Shubhrata Prakash.
As many as 122 students of IITs, IIMs, central universities, and other centrally funded higher educational institutions allegedly died by suicide from 2014-21, the Lok Sabha was informed earlier this year. Not just that, 85% of students surveyed by a student magazine Insight said that mental health problems were common at IIT-Bombay. About 71% of the 450 students surveyed said academic pressure was the reason.
What’s the way out?
Here are some mental health tips for students preparing for high-pressure exams
Develop a schedule that helps your body and mind to function better
When studying, take short breaks and rejuvenate. Just 5- 20 minutes of break after every 1-2 hours can refuel your body
Eat healthy food and sleep well at least for 7-8 hours daily
Long study hours leave less time for physical activity. As a result, the body develops lethargy and the mind starts responding negatively. Engage in some physical activity
Find a relaxation exercise that works for you. It can be simply going out for a walk
Try to strike a balance
Talk to your friends and family regularly for an emotional support