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AWS Certified Solutions Architect Prep Session

How to prepare for the AWS Architect Associate exam certification

Topic: System Administration
Mark Wilkins

Certification can be a valuable distinguishing feature for your resume, and if you’re looking for credibility as an AWS professional, there’s no better place to start than Amazon’s AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a rich collection of compute, storage, database, security, analytics, and other services. For organizations, from SMBs to enterprises, leveraging cloud computing with AWS requires considerable knowledge of many features across numerous services. Furthermore, to leverage AWS in a way that provides security, high availability, cost savings, and other benefits, architects and developers need to understand several key principles and techniques.

This course provides an in-depth review of the topics you’ll find on the AWS Solutions Architect exam as well as a deep dive into technical details, and architectural design considerations for architecting and implementing IT solutions with AWS. This course is fully updated for the exam released February 2018.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, hands-on, online course, you’ll understand:

  • The exam structure, domains of knowledge covered by the exam, and how to approach answering exam questions
  • AWS Global infrastructure, network technologies, and security features
  • Key services like Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), the Simple Storage Service (S3), DynamoDB, Auto Scaling, Elastic Load Balancing, Relational Database Service (RDS) and more
  • Best practices for architecting on AWS
  • Design principles as described in AWS’ “Well-Architected Framework” whitepaper

And you’ll be able to:

  • Identify and define technical requirements for an application deployed to AWS
  • Manage accounts, users, groups, and credentials
  • Leverage core services offered for compute, storage, database, and other solutions
  • Plan and implement deployments of multi-tier systems into AWS

This training course is for you because...

  • You want to get certified
  • You are a solutions architect designing systems deployed to Amazon Web Services
  • You are a systems or network administrator responsible for network security
  • You are a developer writing applications that use AWS services like DynamoDB, or S3
  • You are a SysOps or DevOps engineer responsible for deploying applications to AWS
  • You are in a technical role responsible for design and/or implementation of AWS services


  • A basic understanding of general networking concepts and cloud computing
  • An in-depth understanding of multi-tier architectural design

Recommended preparation:

  • No materials are required up front

Recommended follow-up:

Attend any of the following live training courses by Mark Wilkins:

About your instructor

  • Mark Wilkins has more than 20 years’ experience designing, deploying, and supporting software and hardware technology in the corporate and small business world. Currently, Mark provides training and consulting services to corporate customers throughout North America. Previously, as course director for Global Knowledge, Mark developed and taught technical seminars and developed courseware for the 2008 Microsoft official curriculum stream.

    Since 2010, Mark has focused on cloud services, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and IBM SoftLayer. Mark holds Amazon Web Services Architect - Associate and AWS Sys-Ops - Associate as well as certifications in MCSA (2012) He is the author of Learning AWS which has been published in 2019 by Pearson Education.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

AWS Global Infrastructure (15 minutes)

  • Presentation: Regions, availability zones, and edge locations
  • Demonstration: Review regions and availability zones
  • Exercise: Design global infrastructure for three-tier application
  • Q&A

AWS Network Infrastructure (20 minutes)

  • Presentation: VPC, Internet Gateway, Route tables, IP addresses, Security groups, Network ACLs
  • Demonstration: Review NACL creation
  • Q&A

AWS Security Features (20 minutes)

  • Presentation: Identity and Access Management; users, groups, roles, permission policy, password policy, password management tools, credential report, AWS config, Cloud Trail, Trusted Advisor, CloudWatch
  • Demonstration: Create IAM policy, Role policy
  • Exercise: Choose correct answer for supplied design criteria
  • Q&A

Break (10 mins)

AWS EC2 (15 minutes)

  • Presentation: EC2 instances, Amazon machine images, pricing, tenancy options
  • Demonstration: Review configuration options for EC2 instance
  • Exercise: Decide on configuration options based on supplied design parameters
  • Q&A

AWS S3 (15 minutes)

  • Presentation: Object storage, definitions, durability, storage classes, access control, bucket policies, versioning, notifications, lifecycle policies. Glacier, storage: archives, vaults, vault policy
  • Demonstration: Create bucket, enable versioning, create lifecycle policy
  • Exercise: Define lifecycle policy based on required parameters
  • Q&A

AWS RDS (10 minutes)

  • Presentation: RDS platforms and features, DB instances and snapshots, read replicas, high-availability, Aurora DB
  • Demonstration: Create Aurora database
  • Exercise: Create, read replicas based on provided design requirements
  • Q&A

AWS DynamoDB (10 minutes)

  • Presentation: Tables, auto scaling, backups, primary and secondary indexes, caching
  • Demonstration: Create DynamoDB table
  • Q&A

Break (10 mins)

AWS Auto Scaling (15 minutes)

  • Presentation: EC2 auto scaling, lunch configuration, auto scaling groups
  • Demonstration: Create auto scaling
  • Exercise: Design lunch configuration and autoscale group based on provided parameters
  • Q&A

AWS Elastic Load Balancing (15 minutes)

  • Presentation: Classic, Application, Network load balancers, target groups, ELB features
  • Demonstration: Create application load balancer
  • Exercise: Choose the appropriate load balancer for listed scenario
  • Q&A

AWS Well Architected Framework (10 minutes)

  • Presentation: Well architected tool, Well architected pillars (Operations, Security, Reliability, Performance efficiency, Cost optimization
  • Demonstration: Well architected tool
  • Q&A

AWS Design Principals (5 minutes)

  • Presentation: Stop guessing capacity needs, Test systems at production scale, Automate to make architectural experimentation easier, Allow for evolutionary architectures
  • Q&A

AWS Architecture Best Practices (10 minutes)

  • Presentation: Best practices for high-availability, failover, redundancy, security, compliance, costs, and migration
  • Q&A