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  • 1.  Study Jam Discussion for IBM Cloud Financial Services Specialty 2022

    Posted Fri June 10, 2022 10:15 AM
    Edited by M. Dee Starliper Tue June 20, 2023 09:35 AM

    The study material is now available! Since IBM employees' training is tracked internally, there are a few areas where links for the material below differs depending upon whether you are an employee at IBM or not. Please use the appropriate links.

    External Cloud Enthusiast Links

    Internal Cloud Enthusiast Links

    IBM Cloud for Financial Services Specialty Learning Plan

    IBM Cloud for Financial Services Specialty Learning Plan

    IBM Cloud Prep Web App – flash cards and study guides  

    IBM Cloud Prep Web App – flash cards and study guides

    Study Jam Materials 

    Study Jam Materials 

    Free Sample Test - Scroll down to the link on right side of page  

    Free Sample Test - Scroll down to the link on right side of page

    Assessment Exam - Scroll down to the link on right side of page (NOTE: There is a $30 USD fee to take the assessment exam.)    

    Assessment Exam – Click on Assessment Exam link on left side of page (NOTE: There is a $30 USD fee to take the assessment exam.)


    Let's use this thread to discuss and ask questions about the IBM Cloud for Financial Services Specialty certification and curriculum. You can ask questions for our subject matter experts and crowdsource answers too. 

    Be sure to share your certification journey on your social channels. Use the hashtags:  #IBM #IBMCloud #ibmcloudcertified.  



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    Myra Zeno
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  • 2.  RE: Study Jam Discussion for IBM Cloud Financial Services Specialty 2022

    Posted Mon June 13, 2022 10:14 AM
    Here are some of the great questions (with answers) that were posed during Day 1 of the IBM Cloud for Financial Services study jam!

    How do you adapt compliance reporting to regulator requirements?

     

    There is an IBM subsidiary, Promontory, which has a team who has reviewed the Financial Services Regulations in North America, the European Union (EU), several country specific regulations in Europe as well as in the Far East. They match these to the FS Cloud Control Framework to ensure the Framework stays current and stays in line with major regulations.

     

     

    Does the IBM FS Cloud provide 4 9's SLA's? 

     

    Yes, the IBM Cloud for Financial Services can meet 99.99% SLAs. However, to do so, you will need to architect and deploy your solution accordingly, using the services available. This includes deploying services over multi-zone regions, including the replication of data, for example.  

     

    What does GRC stand for?

    "Governance, Risk, and Compliance"

     

     For client's data migration to IBM Cloud for FS environment, what data security controls are put in place?  Data encryption?  What are the actual data migration services/options that are available for clients to use?

     

    It's important to consider the 3 primary areas where data can be exposed, in-transit, at-rest, and in-use (memory). For data security "controls", investigate the NIST 800-53 "SC" or Systems Communication Protection controls family which addresses this. The actual services involved include (but not limited to) Hyper Protect Crypto (HPCS) cloud HSM, KeyProtect, Hyper Protect Virtual Machine, and Hyper Protect Database as a Service.

     

    Do IBM Cloud and IBM Cloud for Financial Services share same data centres? If yes, how are the general workloads segregated from the FS workloads? Does the hypervisor layer do this?

     

    Yes they do share the same data centres. It's important to note that IBM Cloud for Financial Services isn't a physically separate Cloud from IBM Public Cloud – rather, it's a program on top of IBM Cloud that includes the control framework, implementation of the framework for Cloud services ("FS Validated"), various reference architectures, and a Financial Services validated ISV ecosystem.

     

     

    Has FS Cloud been approved the UK regulators and which other global regulators have approved the use of IBM Cloud for Financial Services?

     

    IBM Cloud for Financial services is not 'approved' for use by individual regulators. There are literally hundreds of Financial Services Regulators across all the countries where IBM does business, and it would be impractical for FS Cloud to try and get a formal "stamp" of approval from each one.

     

    Compliance posture involves more than just the Cloud platform and reference architectures. Many of the NIST controls (and other compliance frameworks) involve operational elements or other internal practices which the Cloud consumers must implement. The IBM Cloud for Financial Services provides the necessary tools to enable our customers to successfully evidence to their regulators, especially for the bits that are typically outside of a customer's control in a public Cloud ("below the line").

     

    Can we say any application migrated to the IBM Cloud for Financial Services needs modernization if it doesn't meet security and regulatory compliance? If so, does IBM lead those efforts and charge to the customer?  Does IBM allow customers to migrate a non-compliant application to IBM Cloud for Financial Services?

     

    First of all, IBM doesn't deny a customer workload access to the IBM Cloud for Financial Services based on insufficient security controls, however we will raise any concerns we have about compliance to standards or regulations as part of a workload assessment. It's the customer's responsibility for their applications to meet regulatory compliance, where it is needed and IBM Cloud for Financial Services does not 'force' compliance (nor does it automatically make an application compliant) but we provide the tools needed by a customer to evidence compliance to their auditors. If an application does not meet the compliance standards required by a regulator, then the customer can engage with IBM services to help them meet compliance but this is not done automatically.

     

    Are there benefits to lift n'shifting workloads to a cloud environment aside shutting down data centers?

     

    There are lots of  benefis beyond simply evacuating non-strategic data centers. These include the Cloud-enabled placement of workloads in geo's where a customer may not have a DC presence as well as being an enabler for refactoring legacy applications. Once you lift and shift to cloud, you can start incremental refactoring toward cloud native. An example here is leveraging DBaaS with a workload shifted to Cloud followed by creating microservices to enhance and replace a monolithic application.

     

     

    Is IBM Cloud for Financial Services certification a scenario-based exam?

     

    No, it features multiple choice questions based on the training and study materials.



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    James Belton
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  • 3.  RE: Study Jam Discussion for IBM Cloud Financial Services Specialty 2022

    Posted Mon June 13, 2022 10:48 AM
    And these are questions which appeared during day 2...

    Is IBM Cloud for Financial Services certification a scenario-based exam?

     

    The questions are all multiple choice. Some of the question might pose a scenario but there's no general scenario running through the whole exam.

     

    You mentioned Application load balancers and Network load balancers. Are these physical or virtual devices? 

     

    Under Virtual Private Cloud, these are dedicated, virtual devices.

     

     

    Is IBM Cloud managed Red Hat OpenShift analogous to IKS (IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service)?

    Red Hat OpenShift is a container management system that is built on a version of Kubernetes and in terms of container management capabilities, the two are very similar. However, OpenShift has a wealth of management tools and security services built into it, which is why enterprises trust OpenShift to run their container workloads and why it's an integral part of IBM Cloud for Financial Services.

     

     

    Is Hyper Protect Crypto Services the same as a Key Management Service?

    Yes, Hyper Protect Crypto Services is a key management service. However, it's built on System z hardware and LinuxONE, making it extremely secure. It's the only cloud HSM service to meet FIPS 140-2 Level 4 certification.

     

    Is the Hyper Protect Crypto Service HSM a usb stick or a specialized computer?

    It's actually a PCI card.

     

    Does Direct Link allow you to connect to one VPC and then route to others VPC's in our account?

    No, not directly. You use Direct Link to connect from one location (normally on-premises) to the IBM Cloud private network, using a private link. Once in the IBM Cloud network, you can access your VPCs, though if you want to connect from one VPC directly to another, then you would use a Transit Gateway. Transit Gateways also allow VPCs to route traffic to IBM Cloud Classic Infrastructure and vice-versa.

     

     

    Would the HSM be with client or IBM?

    The HSM remains in the IBM Cloud environment. It's an IBM Cloud service, where the module is supported by IBM but configured and managed by the customer.

     

    Is there an IBM Cloud certification related with Red Hat OpenShift?

    No, while we talk about Red Hat OpenShift if many of our certifications and associated learning, if you want to learn about OpenShift in particular, please visit the Red Hat website.



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    James Belton
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  • 4.  RE: Study Jam Discussion for IBM Cloud Financial Services Specialty 2022

    Posted Thu June 16, 2022 12:17 PM
    Next Steps to Certification Banner, white text on dark background

    Prepare for your certification examination by following these steps: 

    1. Create an account with Pearson VUE.
      • If you already have an account, go to step 2.
      • IBMers should use their IBM email when creating a Pearson VUE account.
    1. Schedule your certification exam.
    1. Study Smart – Prioritize your efforts based on the percentage of questions from each section:
      • Section 1: Motivation for IBM Cloud for Financial Services – 18% 
      • Section 2: Customer Workload Environment – 20% 
      • Section 3: Frame Technical Environment – 27% 
      • Section 4: Implementation – 23% 
      • Section 5: Evaluate Success – 12% 
    1. Review the available study materials
    1. Take the exam!

     

    Review frequently asked questions* for more information: 

     

    Good luck! Be sure to share your certification success on your social channels. Use the hashtags: #IBM #IBMCloud #ibmcloudcertified. 

    *Since IBM employee training is tracked internally, there are a few links that differ depending upon whether you are an IBM employee. Please use the appropriate links.



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    Millie Starliper
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  • 5.  RE: Study Jam Discussion for IBM Cloud Financial Services Specialty 2022

    Posted Thu June 23, 2022 12:27 PM

    We hope you got a lot out of the recent ICCT Study Jam! Now for the next step.

    As you prepare for certification, we suggest a study plan.

    Here are some practices that have worked for other participants.

    1. Set aside 15 minutes a day to prepare for the certification exam.
    2. Use the IBM Cloud Prep App to determine your readiness:
      • Review the study guides to learn concepts.
      • Use the flash cards to test your comprehension.
      • Take the quiz to test your knowledge.
    3. Go over the Study jam materials:
      • Replays
      • Slides
      • Questions/answers
    4. Take the free sample test - link on right hand side
    5. Complete the assessment exam - link on right hand side (NOTE: There is a $30 USD fee to take the assessment exam.)

    Review the Next Steps to Certification post for detailed certification exam registration steps.

     

    Good luck! Be sure to share your certification success on your social channels. Use the hashtags: #IBM #IBMCloud #ibmcloudcertified.

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    Millie Starliper
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  • 6.  RE: Study Jam Discussion for IBM Cloud Financial Services Specialty 2022

    Posted Sat October 29, 2022 09:07 AM
    Edited by Sadique Mohamed Tue November 01, 2022 02:05 AM
    Thanking you all for valuable learning content and certification materials, I'm super happy to inform you that I passed Cloud4FS exam today, exam was slightly tight, but concept gained through learning path and rest of certification contents ​help me lot.

    Once again appreciating all of you from bottom of my heart for your valuable efforts and assistance ​

    Best wishes,


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    Sadique Mohamed
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  • 7.  RE: Study Jam Discussion for IBM Cloud Financial Services Specialty 2022