As the company I work for moves forward, we need to start looking at how to easily scale, which invariably means having a presence in one of the major cloud providers, such as Azure or AWS. We tried Azure though and while I am sure it has become far more stable than when we tried it a few years ago, the frequent downtime due to maintenance meant we were not going down that particular route again. So, AWS is the natural path. As such, I need to study for (and hopefully pass) the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam. The AWS Certified Advanced Networking Speciality exam will follow on from this, but let’s not run before we can walk.
I have a little experience with AWS. I have set up a couple of VPNs into varying VPCs, I have been through the console a few times, set up a Palo Alto VM in EC2, along with VPC subnets, elastic IPs and the such, but much of it is new and therefore requires a decent study plan.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam objectives
Here are the exam objectives (you can find them here):
Domain 1: Design Resilient Architectures
1.1 Choose reliable/resilient storage.
1.2 Determine how to design decoupling mechanisms using AWS services.
1.3 Determine how to design a multi-tier architecture solution.
1.4 Determine how to design high availability and/or fault tolerant architectures.
Domain 2: Define Performant Architectures
2.1 Choose performant storage and databases.
2.2 Apply caching to improve performance.
2.3 Design solutions for elasticity and scalability.
Domain 3: Specify Secure Applications and Architectures
3.1 Determine how to secure application tiers.
3.2 Determine how to secure data.
3.3 Define the networking infrastructure for a single VPC application.
Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures
4.1 Determine how to design cost-optimized storage.
4.2 Determine how to design cost-optimized compute.
Domain 5: Define Operationally-Excellent Architectures
5.1 Choose design features in solutions that enable operational excellence.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect study plan
There is a wealth of video courses available, however, me and study videos don’t get on that well. I get bored and distracted. So I will be primarily using the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide.
I might give the videos a go later on, but for the moment, it’s just me, my AWS official study guide and my trusty Lenovo Yoga tablet for taking notes in OneNote and converting them to text.
After the official study guide, there is a wealth of PDFs available to download for free: https://aws.amazon.com/whitepapers/. If you have a Kindle, then there are loads free as well. You can find them listed for the UK using this link, or for the USA using this link.
I downloaded them and put them into their corresponding folders, and now have this handy folder:
So now I have the book and a whole bunch of PDFs and Kindle books, my Yoga tablet is juiced up and ready to go, it’s time to start studying for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam!
I shall start with all of the introductory stuff first, then move on to the storage. Naturally, I will pop it all here as well in case you too are on this journey.