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AWS Design Fundamentals

Prepare for Amazon Web Services Solutions Architect - Associate certification

Topic: System Administration
Mark Wilkins

Join Mark Wilkins for a thorough review of AWS design fundamentals for deploying applications in the AWS cloud. This is the third in a series of three courses designed to help you prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect - Associate certification exam. Each infrastructure design covered in class will begin with a “Cheat Sheet” of essential concepts followed by several design scenarios based on the AWS Well-Architected Framework, and sample test questions. Designs will be based on Terra Firma, a company that was moving their applications to the AWS cloud. You’ll learn how to design for scale, reliability, and high availability using the core components of compute, storage, and networking.

This is the second in a series of three courses designed to help you prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect - Associate certification exam.

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

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

  • Best practices for designing cloud solutions at AWS
  • The AWS Well-Architected Framework basic concepts
  • The types of questions asked on the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam

And you’ll be able to:

This training course is for you because...

  • You’re a system administrator moving to AWS
  • You’re a cloud architect responsible for AWS design
  • You’re an IT professional who needs to develop AWS technical knowledge and skills
  • You’re working toward the AWS Solutions Architect - Associate certification


Recommended preparation:

Recommended follow-up:

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

Day 1 - There will be a 10 minute break at the top every the hour

Discussion: Introduce Terra Firma case study: the case study will be used throughout the class in discussions and demonstrations

Regions and Availability Zone Concepts

  • Discussion: VPC Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: Choosing a region
    • Hands-on review: Choose a region based on compliance, location, and service needs
  • Discussion: Choosing availability zones
    • Hands-on review: Design a solution for Terra Firma’s Fitness Tracker SaaS app
  • Review sample exam questions

Virtual Private Clouds Concepts (VPCs) (55 minutes)

  • Discussion: VPC Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: How many VPCs do you need?; designing with patterns; designing with subnets—size and type
  • Discussion: Controlling VPC traffic: Route tables, Internet gateways,Security groups, Network ACLs
    • Hands-on review: Design a VPC, across availability zones
  • Discussion: Services that integrate with a VPC; services that are hosted
  • Discussion: Sharing VPCs
    • Hands-on review: Design with multiple VPCs

Subnet Concepts

  • Discussion: Subnets Cheat Sheet
  • Subnets: Best practices
    • Hands-on review: Designing with private and public subnets
  • Review sample exam questions

Security Group Concepts

  • Discussion: Security groups Cheat Sheet
    • Hands-on review: Security Group design for 3 tier application stack
    • Hands-on review: Security Group design for a bastion host
  • Review sample exam questions

EC2 Instances Concepts

  • Discussion: EC2 Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: EC2 Instance Families, Deployment options
  • Discussion: AMI review, Golden images, Security groups
  • Discussion: EC2 pricing: On-demand, Reserved, Spot, Spot fleets
    • Hands-on review: Designing with Instance types
  • Review sample exam questions

Load Balancing Concepts

  • Discussion: Elastic load balancing (classic, application, and network load balancer)
  • Discussion: ELB features; Health checks, Sticky sessions, Connection draining, Cross AZ load
  • balancing
  • Demo: Order an Application load balancer
    • Hands-on review: Design a web server tier with high availability
  • Review sample exam questions

Day 2 - There will be a 10 minute break at the top every the hour

Auto Scaling and CloudWatch Concepts

  • Discussion: Auto scale Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: Scaling options, Step scaling
  • Discussion: ELB, Auto Scale and CloudWatch
    • Demo: Setup auto scaling components
    • Hands-on review: Designing with auto scale, and load-balancing
  • Discussion: Auto Scaling with CloudWatch
  • Discussion: CloudWatch alarms and metrics
    • Hands-on review: Use Auto Scaling with CloudWatch metrics
  • Review sample exam questions

Multi-Tier Design Concepts

  • Discussion:Multi-Tier Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion:Design toolbox
    • Hands-on review: Multi-tier design

CloudWatch Monitoring Concepts

  • Discussion: CW Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: Autoscaling with CloudWatch events
    • Demo: CloudWatch alarms and alerts

Database Concepts

  • Discussion: RDS Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: Selecting the right database, Scalability, Database options, Understanding Durability
  • Discussion: RDS, Aurora, Dynamo DB
    • Hands-on review: Database design with resiliency
  • Review sample exam questions

Application Caching Concepts

  • Discussion: Application Caching Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: ElastiCache, Operation
    • Hands-on review: ElastiCache read replicas
  • Discussion: Edge caching with CloudFront
    • Hands-on review: ElastiCache read replicas
  • Discussion: Session State Caching

External Connectivity Concepts

  • Discussion: Connectivity Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: Connectivity options: Hardware VPN, Cloud Hub, Direct Connect
  • Review sample exam questions

Storage Concepts

  • EBS Storage Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: EBS workflow
  • Review sample exam questions
  • S3 Storage Cheat Sheet
    • Hands-on review: S3 storage
  • Review sample exam questions

Stateless Design Concepts

  • Discussion: Stateless Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: Stateless apps, Asynchronous integration, Loose coupling
    • Hands-on review: Image management, Voting
  • Discussion: Scaling Cheat Sheet

Lambda Concepts

  • Discussion: Lambda Cheat Sheet
    • Hands-on review: Design project
  • Discussion: Automation Cheat sheet

Solving Single Points of Failure Concepts

  • Discussion: High Availability Cheat Sheet
  • Discussion: Designing with redundancy
    • Hands-on review: Pilot light, Low capacity standby, Active -active
  • Wrap-up and Q&A