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What Should I study to get AWS Certified

by anshuman@thinkcerti.com
AWS certified

AWS certification has been named as one of the top high paying certifications by Forbes. However, AWS (Amazon Web services) has many services and multiple certification options. Which one should you be targetting? Well, a study by Forbes has found that AWS certified solutions architect associate is the most popular. AWS certification itself is based around scenarios and hence needs good knowledge and experience to crack.

Here is what you need to study to get AWS certified for Solutions Architect Associate.

Basics of AWS

AWS documentation mentions that one needs at least one year of experience using AWS services however we have seen multiple instances where many have been able to ace their certification examination with learning the following and gaining some practical exposure. 

AWS solution architect associate does not evaluate a candidate on all the services available. 

The following areas are covered

  • AWS Global infra
  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Database
  • Network and Content Delivery
  • Identity and security
  • Migrate and Transfer

There is a subset of the sea of services available. 

  • IAM
  • Cloud Watch
  • Cloud Front
  • Compute
  • Networking
  • Database
  • Storage
  • VPC
  • High availability
  • Microservices – Lambda (Serverless), SQS, SNS, SWF

Let’s Dig deeper and understand what is expected

The basics of certification in solution architecture are very simple, one must understand basic services that will help someone navigate through AWS dashboard and be able to design a solution with AWS services which will ensure a highly available and scalable application. A solution which is elastic and self-healing, which means that a solution which will never go down and be able to handle massive loads. 

Understanding AWS infrastructure

One needs to understand various AWS terminologies around their global infrastructure. 

AWS certified- Global Network

Regions, Availability zone (AZ) and Edge location. One needs to understand how services are distributed around these.
If AWS Solutions Architect is not your career path then check out the list of different certification paths in AWS.

Understanding AWS Compute offerings

AWS offers EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) with multiple OS options, both open-source, and licensed ones. Understanding of basics of these, how to connect, secure and run.

AWS storage options

AWS offers multiple storage options, block storage (EBS), network storage (EFS) and object storage (S3). Understanding the basics, the features and the use cases are important. 

Snapshot and backup are an important aspect for any solution architecture and the same applies here too.

AWS Database options

AWS offers multiple RDS and NoSQL options. Understanding RDS, DynamoDb and AWS’s own Aurora are important. Needless to say one needs to focus on backup and business continuity aspects.

With the latest trends, data warehousing is also becoming an important aspect and hence AWS offering on the same needs to be studied too. 

Migration and Backup

A very important aspect of any solution architecture is data migration and backup. Hence one is expected to understand deeply the backup and migration options around database and storage services on AWS. 

VPC and Security

Virtual Private cloud is an important aspect of a cloud-based secure architecture. One needs to have basic knowledge of networking and subnets etc. Within a VPC there are security aspects like Security Groups and ACL’s.

Small network components like Internet Gateway, NAT gateway, etc are important too.

Routing and Load Balancing

Route53 is an amazing virtual routing service by AWS, which is highly advanced but very easy to deploy and manage. One needs to understand the various routing options available. 

Amazon offers some extremely sophisticated load balancers. One needs to have an understanding of what each type of load balancer can do.

aws certification path
Source aws.amazon.com

Highly Available Architecture- Basis of getting AWS Certified

The most important aspect of being a solutions architect is being able to design a highly available solution. One needs to have deep knowledge of how auto-scaling groups with launch configurations and cloud watch function. Applied knowledge of AZ and region concepts need to be applied to understand how data flows and how a user would always be serviced with any part of the infrastructure going offline.

Seems this is up your sleeves? Check out the latest AWS jobs here.

Serverless and Microservices

Serverless solutions like AWS Lamda and its other microservices like SWF, SQS, and SNS.

Summary to get AWS Certified

To summarize one needs to understand and design solutions that will cover the following aspects.

Designing a solution that is highly available and scalable and is secure and is highly cost-optimized.

AWS certification exams are very focused on implementation experience rather than just understanding what the basics are. Hence the questions in the exam are scenario-based.

To top it all one might need a bit of knowledge to understand how remote machines are accessed, either over SSH or RDP. In the case of SSH with Linux machines, one will need to understand and learn the Linux command line. However, most of the Linux commands are available in the documents in easy to understand and exhaustive detail. 

Sounds interesting? Find out a class where you can learn AWS in Pune here.

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1 comment

What is AWS and how can it boost your Career in the Digital world February 26, 2020 - 11:43 am

[…] Solution Architect […]

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