About Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate Certification
Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is the most sought-after and popular IT certification that can be earned if you are an individual who performs the Solution Architect role or a person who wants to become such a specialist. This is a certificate that is suitable for the professionals in this position because it verifies all the required skills for the job. There are various certifications available in the public Cloud space but the Amazon certificates are the most respected and searched in the market.
This associate-level certification is intended for the Solution Architects who have at least one year of hands-on experience in the field. It requires that you demonstrate your skills in defining a solution using architectural design principles, which are based on customer requirements, and providing the implementation guidance based on best practices throughout the lifecycle of the project.
As a person who wants to pass the qualifying exam and get the certificate, you need to fulfill certain requirements before starting your certification process. Thus, it is recommended that you have the following knowledge of the AWS technology:
- Solid knowledge of the global AWS infrastructure;
- Understanding of network technologies;
- One year of experience in designing AWS cost-efficient and scalable distributed systems;
- Experience in utilizing storage, networking, compute, and database AWS services;
- Practical experience in AWS deployment & management;
- Ability to identify which services meet the given technical requirements;
- Complete understanding of the fundamental engineering standards of expanding on AWS Cloud;
- Ability to determine and characterize the technical prerequisites for an AWS-based application;
- Understanding of security highlights and devices that AWS provides and how they relate to the traditional services;
- Good knowledge and research on best practices for establishing secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform.
The Amazon SAA-C02 exam includes 65 questions and you will be given 130 minutes to deal with all of them. The format of questions can vary, which means that you can face with multiple choice with one correct answer from 4 options or multiple response with two or more correct answers from 5 or more options. All the questions are based on some real-life scenarios where you may be asked to select the most cost-effective, best architecture, most secure, or least complex option.
The minimum passing score that you have to get is 720 points out of 100-1000. For you to be aware, the pass marks are set by utilizing statistical analysis. As a result, they can be changed, relying upon the difficulty level of the exam. The charge for taking Amazon SAA-C02 is $150. Besides that, you can pay additional $20 to take the official practice test. Both the actual exam and the mock test are available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese.
Amazon SAA-C02 contains several main domains, which form the whole exam content that should be mastered by the candidates. It is important to know all the details of each section to have an idea of what you can expect during the very test. They are:
Design Cost-Optimized Architectures – 18%
This the smallest area that you can see in the test. The domain covers the skills that you will need to be able to identify or design cost-effective storage solutions, cost-optimized network architectures, as well as cost-effective compute and database service. All in all, you have to know how to deploy apps on AWS and work with them.
Design Secure Applications and Architectures – 24%
In this section, you will run into the key subtopics that include your ability to design secure application tiers and secure access to AWS resources as well as your skills in selecting the appropriate data security options. This means that you need to understand how to utilize native AWS technologies to develop secure apps. Your proficiency in configuring security controls for authorization, authentication, and access, as well as applying encryption to data is also important.
This topic also covers the details of AWS KMS, Amazon VPC, AWS IAM, AWS CloudHSM, AWS Directory Services, Amazon Route 53, Amazon Cognito, Amazon CloudFront, and AWS Auto Scaling. The students should also understand how to implement logging and monitoring by using AWS CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch.
Design High-Performing Architectures – 28%
The main subtopics of this objective include selecting scalable and high-performing storage solutions for a workload, choosing high-performing database solutions for a workload, identifying elastic compute solutions for a workload, and selecting of high-performing networking solutions for a workload.
You should also know about certain technologies, such as Amazon CloudFront, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon DynamoDB DAX, and particular services, including AWS Auto Scaling and EC2 Auto Scaling.
Design Resilient Architectures – 30%
This is the biggest part of the whole exam content that you need to pay the most of your attention to. This domain is all about the design of fault-tolerant and highly available architectures, creation of decoupling mechanisms using AWS services, and developing multi-tier architecture solutions. It also covers the skills you need to be able to choose the appropriate resilient storage when required.
The learners have to understand how to use and what to do with Amazon EFS, Amazon SQS, Amazon SWF, Amazon EBS, Instance Store, Amazon S3, and Amazon FSx. Besides that, they also need to understand Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon Route 53, Amazon RDS Read Replicas, Multi-AZ, and AWS Global Infrastructure.
Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is an industry recognized certificate that will lead you to the right path of growing your career. After mastering all the topics and passing the certification exam, you will become a certified specialist who can try to apply for various positions. Thus, eventually, you can qualify for a Solution Architect, a Technical Cloud Architect, an Enterprise Architect, an AWS Cloud Architect, a Cloud Operations Engineer, a DevOps Engineer, a Cloud Native Engineer, etc. The average salary that you can earn ranges from $100,000 to $190,000 per annum.