AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Examination

AWS certification
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Introduction

 In the present day, there is a wild bloom of applications and services that are persisted or maintained on a cloud platform. The use of cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services for designing distributed services and applications is rapidly becoming a necessity for nearly every enterprise which makes its mark in the present world. With this steep rise in the use, there is a dire need for experienced professionals with the ability to perform these tasks. Obtaining a certification in Amazon Web Services, not only defines you as an ace in the newly emerging technologies but also provides confidence in future employers of your prowess.

Why should I become an AWS Certified Associate?

  • A milestone in the process of advancing your career – An AWS Certified Associate is a highly sought after individual in the present market of the Information Technology Industry. Having an AWS Certification is now a benchmark that can set you above the rest when flaunting your competencies and certifications to a possible future employer.
  • A rapidly growing community – Obtaining this certification will make you a part of a growing online community of AWS certified individuals and a part of the AWS family, with access to special events and privileges and a chance to meet and converse with the “Aces” of the profession, and sharpen your own skills

Rising demand for AWS SOlutions Architects

Here are some images to showcase rising demands for AWS SOlutions Architects.

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&q=aws%20solutions%20architect

AWS trends 1

https://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/q-aws-solutions-architect.html

AWS trends 2

 

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Examination

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate examination is aimed at those individuals, who have a fair share of experience in designing and deploying distributed systems and applications on the AWS Cloud platform.

Examination Overview

  • Duration: 80 minutes
  • of Questions: 55
  • Pass Score: 65%
  • Question Type: Multiple Choice Questions
  • Answers Type: Single/Multiple Options Correct Answers
  • Price: 150 USD
  • Languages Available: English,German, Spanish,Russian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese
  • Prerequisite: There are no specific pre-requisites as such, However, anyone who wishes to take this examination is suggested to take certain training in AWS like – Architecting in AWS, and AWS Readiness Workshops

Courses Content

The course content for AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Examination is divided into four domains, with each domain pertaining to a section of designing and implementation using the AWS Cloud Services.

Domain 1:

Designing Systems that are – highly scalable, cost-effective, highly available and fault-tolerant

The sub-topics under this header include:

  • Identification of fundamental components and effective architectural designs
  • Designing Cloud Services
  • Familiarization with best practices for AWS Architecture
  • Taking decisions on Architectural Trade-Offs(High-availability vs cost)
  • Hybrid Architectural Concepts
  • Scalability and Elasticity
  • Designing according to client specifications
  • Logging and Monitoring

Domain 2:

Implementation and Deployment in AWS

The sub topics under this header include:

  • Identification of appropriate methods and techniques using Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, AWS Cloud Formation, AWS OpsWorks, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon VPC, and AWS Identity and Access Management ( IAM ) in the proper implementation of a cloud solution
  • Amazon Machine Image configuration
  • Service Management extension and operation in Hybrid Architectural systems
  • Service configuration to resolve compliance requirements
  • Create and launch instances in AWS Global Infrastructure

Domain 3:

Data Security and Data Recovery 

The sub topics under this header include:

  • Platform compliance on AWS
  • Security Attributes, and Administration and Security Services in AWS
  • Shared Responsibility Model
  • AWS Cloudtrail and Security in AWS IAM
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud and Amazon Cloudwatch
  • Incorporation of common security protocols, design patterns, mitigation of Denial of Service attacks
  • Security in Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3
  • Encryption Techniques, Ingress and Egress filtering
  • Disaster recovery – using Point objective, time objective, and elastic block store
  • Amazon Storage Gateway, Amazon Route53
  • Data import/export and validation

Domain 4:

Troubleshooting

General questionnaire on troubleshooting problems encountered while operating AWS Cloud services.

Weightage of Domains in the Certification Examination

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Examination covers a wide range of topics related to designing solutions using AWS Cloud. Multiple choice questions are framed from all the four domains mentioned earlier. However, some domains are given more weight over the others.

As per official AWS documentation, the weighting of each individual domain in the main Certification Examination is as follows

  1. Designing High available, scalable, fault-tolerant and cost efficient systems – 60%
  2. Implementation/Deployment – 10%
  3. Data Security and Data Recovery – 20%
  4. Troubleshooting – 10%

Eligibility Criteria

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Examination is more action oriented than theoretic, and hence would require more than just studying from books and guides and practice papers. To be sufficiently prepared to take the certification examination, the candidate must be thoroughly experienced. The following criterion is a suitable sample for the level of experience required to successfully obtain this certification.

Eligible candidates are expected to have

  • A Hands on experience of at least 18 months in designing and developing Highly available, cost effective and scalable systems in AWS
  • In depth knowledge of at least one high level and object oriented programming language
  • Ability to define requirements for an AWS based application, post identification.
  • Experience with deployment procedure in AWS
  • Capable of defining the best practices to be used when developing solutions using AWS Cloud platform

Preparing for the Examination

In order to become a certified AWS Solutions Architect – Associate, you must clear the examination with at least 65% of the total attainable score. Therefore, preparation is of utmost importance to ensure that you obtain your certification in the minimum number of attempts.

Training Classes

Instructor guided training and web based training on AWS can be really helpful in preparing an experienced person for the examination. There are quite of few video lectures and study materials available online with complete coverage of AWS examination topics and examination process

Guide and Sample Questions

Books are always a good source of information when learning about something. There is only one book available currently with training material on this examination. The book is “AWS Certified Solutions Architect Study Guide – Associate Exam” can be used as an official guide to clearing the Solutions Architect Associate Examination. It contains sufficient material and lots of sample questions that can keep the candidate engaged and help him/her prepare well for the examination.

Amazon Whitepapers and FAQs 

Amazon Whitepapers are small documented release papers that provide an overview of the services provided by AWS. They are documented by AWS team, partners, and independent analysts. Some of the recommended white papers that you can focus on are:

  • AWS Best Security Practices
  • Development and Testing on AWS
  • Amazon VPC
  • Architecting on Cloud – best practices

Visiting many discussion forums on AWS can help you gain some insight into the frequently raised issues and frequently asked questions on AWS Cloud Platform and find the suitable solutions to those questions, to sharpen your knowledge on the topics discussed.

Practice Examinations

Practice is the best way to ensure that you are ready for the challenge. Study guides contain some mock test papers to review and time yourself. AWS itself organizes a practice exam that works as a pre-test to the main examination. It is charged at 20 USD and is a mock exam with the real probable pattern of questions and against the clock. Practicing papers and taking mock examinations work greatly in making you ready for the big challenge.

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