The AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate certification can increase the market value of your skills. It's also a good way to fill in the gaps in your domain knowledge of the Amazon ecosystem of tools and capabilities. The program is ideal for anyone involved in running, managing or building enterprise architecture programs on AWS.
It is an intermediate certification for those wanting to specialize in becoming a solutions architect. If you have not done so yet, you may want to start with AWS' Cloud Practitioner certification to build a foundation and familiarize yourself with the certification process. You can master these basics in about six hours and build a bit of momentum before diving into a deeper program.
The key AWS Solutions Architect preparation is to focus on understanding the key concepts for the five pillars of Well-Architected cloud solutions that are resilient, performant, secure, cost-optimized and operationally excellent. You should be familiar with the core services and how to design things.
It is a good idea to review all the questions and start by eliminating the known bad answers or those that seem outside of the current domain. It's also important to pay close attention to the language used. For example, distinctions like fault-tolerant versus high availability have important ramifications on some of the tradeoffs. A fault-tolerant solution may require overprovisioning at increased cost compared to a high availability solution, which can suffer some reduction in performance during peak loads.
Also, as part of your AWS Solutions Architect preparation, you want to master the key distinctions that relate to some of these tradeoffs across the various domains. Resilience requires thinking through some of the ways AWS services can be configured to compensate for failed services, networks or availability zones. Performance needs to consider some of the tradeoffs between different classes of services relating to storage, networking and IOPS. For security, it's important to master the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, principle of least privilege and identities. Operational excellence addresses metrics, automations and alerts. Cost management explores the tradeoffs between instance types and storage classes.
Here are some sample questions to test your knowledge.