Passing The AWS Professional Solutions Architect Exam

After passing all the AWS Associate certification exams and daily working with AWS technologies for over two years, I hesitated between the two Professional level exams; AWS DevOps engineer certification exam or AWS Professional Solutions Architect certification exam.

Finally, I passed both: AWS DevOps engineer certification exam was achieved at the end of 2017 and AWS Professional Solutions Architect certification was successfully completed few months ago.

In this post, I will share my experience with the last one in case anybody is planning for it.

Motivations

  • Loving technologies: especially software architecture and in general architecture.
  • The future is the Cloud : I believe that almost all applications will be migrated to the Could, now or later. If not, an hybrid environment would be instead.
  • Architecting Solutions by making the marriage among High Availability, scalability, reliability, durability, performance, fault tolerance, security and cost efficiency.
  • High Availability & Business Continuity : High Availability is not only keeping servers online, it is keeping the Business “online”.
  • “if you pass this I believe you deserve the credentials.” ⁽¹⁾

Challenges

  • Tremendous range of topics and services: CloudFormation, CloudFront, CloudWatch, SNS, EC2, EBS, ELB, ALB, EMR, Data Pipeline, VPC, VPN, Direct Connect, ElastiCache, Elastic Beanstalk, OpsWorks, Elastic Transcoder, AWS Key Management Service, AWS Security Token Service, , CloudHSM, CloudSearch, IAM, Kinesis, RDS, DynamoDB, RedShift, S3, Glacier, Storage Gateway, AWS Import/Export, Route 53, SQS, SWF, SES, ,…almost everything
  • AWS is frequently updating existing services and is continuously releasing new services: Definitely, they don’t assume to know all services, Nevertheless, you feel there is no line of measurement.

Preparation

  • Experimenting with the services themselves: Labs, hands-on
  • Online Course: I watched CSA Professional exam Preparation courses of Linuxacademy.com, cloudacademy.com and acloud.guru. They were all wonderful and they are a set of complementary courses.
  • White papers : Do not ignore this treasure.

Tips

General tips

  • Have a good understanding of all objectives explained in the blueprint and how they interact with each other.

Exam tips

  • Federated access, AssumeRoleWithSAML & AssumeRoleWithWebIdentity know the difference among them.
  • Mobile push notification using SNS.
  • ElasticBeanstalk vs OpsWorks : Smattering is not enough, a deep knowledge and hands-on are crucial.
  • DDoS attacks mitigation.
  • IDS/IPS setup … promiscuous mode is not allowed in AWS VPC. Keep this in mind!
  • Hybrid solutions: VPN IPsec vs Direct Connect : The first is suitable for security and integrity requirements and the last is suitable for network consistency (High and stable bandwidth throughput).
  • Direct connect again: If you feel you cannot understand this technology, deep dive into it by watching courses about AWS advanced networking exam preparation.
  • Implement DR or Disaster recovery : There are 4 models. Deep dive into them.
  • RTO vs RPO in the context of DR.
  • Reach low RTO by: elastic scaling, monitoring scripts.
  • Reach low RPO by: consistent backup tools.
  • Why multi-AZ architecture , Why multi-region architecture ?

Next

References

⁽¹⁾: http://ozaws.com/2015/09/17/aws-professional-solution-architect-certification-tips/

⁽²⁾: Stated by Taqī ad-Dīn Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah before 700 years

Software engineer, Cloud Architect, 5/5 AWS|GCP|PSM Certified, Owner of kubernetes.tn

Software engineer, Cloud Architect, 5/5 AWS|GCP|PSM Certified, Owner of kubernetes.tn