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Solutions Architect Professional Level Certification for AWS (3 of 3)

About the exam


This is the final of three Cloud Academy courses preparing you for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional level certification exam. AWS solutions architects are the people who design, manage, and secure the cloud deployments for most of the busiest and most mission-critical applications online today. Those who have achieved professional level certification are at the very top of an industry that's growing as fast as just about anything around.

Besides having already passed the AWS Solutions Architect Associate level certification, a professional architect is expected to be able to use AWS services to successfully and securely design distributed systems and applications. That means being able to incorporate scalability, availability, and reliability into a client's infrastructure.

A Solutions Architect Professional should also know how to effectively and safely migrate multi-tiered applications from local environments to the Amazon cloud, and to build cost-effective deployments that use only those AWS services that will work best for their intended business goals.

This third part, taught by AWS Cloud expert Eric Magalhães, is meant to lead you through the actual exam process, and then discuss some critically important AWS design principles:

  • Security and audit. Use Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM), CloudTrail and CloudWatch to control access to your account services and closely monitor activity.
  • Disaster recovery. Plan for the worst and be prepared to meet your recovery goals.
  • Failover strategies. Anticipate failure of individual resources in your infrastructure and automate the process of switching to backup or alternate compute sources.
  • Self healing techniques and fault tolerance. Design automated healing right into your application.
  • Hybrid clouds. When regulatory or practical considerations require it, you will need to understand how locally hosted services can effectively interact with infrastructure in the cloud.
  • Multi-region deployments. While most AWS services are tightly bound to individual regions, there are times when specific goals require a more global reach.
  • Application migration. Migration to the cloud is more than just copying existing applications in their original state. Learn about performing true lift-and-shift migrations.

Do you have questions on this course? Contact our cloud experts in our community forum.


Hi, and welcome to the final part of CloudAcademy's AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Level preparation course.

In this lecture, we will discuss the things you need to study for the exam by taking a look at the exam's blueprint.

These are the prerequisites for the exam, which I took directly from AWS' blueprint. The only absolute prerequisite is to be an AWS Certified Solution Architect in the Associate Level. However, I would have to agree with AWS about the other recommendations. It will be harder for you to earn this particular certification if you cannot check off the whole list.

On the exam itself, you will face multiple choice and multiple answer questions. You'll get 170 minutes to complete the exam, which will consist of around 80 questions. The exam registration fee is USD 300. AWS does not publish exam passing scores. The domains, which means the larger topics that the exam covers are almost equally split, so you'll need to be comfortable with all the topics in order to pass this exam. My advice is review all topics, but to focus on those with which you are weakest.

You should also be aware that most of the questions are descriptions of fictional situations where you need to solve a problem or determine the best approach to optimize something that already exists.

So you will have to deal with individual questions that demand solid knowledge of more than one domain. More than that, you will also have long questions where you'll have to choose from among four long alternatives. All alternatives will probably be reasonable solutions.

However, you will have to choose the single best answer based on the given scenario. In short, this means that you will have to use your time wisely, not spend too much time on a particularly complicated question, but instead just move on to the other questions and come back to the ones you skipped once you're done with all the others.

Point by point, this is a very good overview of the AWS knowledge that you will need. Many of these topics were covered by the Associate Level Certification. However, this time you will need to show a deeper understanding, which is where those two years of AWS experience will come in very handy.

And, of course, you will also need to bring yourself up to speed on any topics that aren't part of the Associate Level exam.

The Pro exam will cover such AWS core services as EC2, VPC, Route53, load balancing, auto scaling, EBS, S3, Glacier, RDS and CloudFront.

You will also be expected to be familiar with deployment and management issues and security best practices, along with the key cloud principles of elasticity and scalability. You should assume you will face questions touching on all aspects of infrastructure, reliability and connectivity.

In the next videos, we are going to look at some of this in greater detail.

About the Author

Eric Magalhães has a strong background as a Systems Engineer for both Windows and Linux systems and, currently, work as a DevOps Consultant for Embratel. Lazy by nature, he is passionate about automation and anything that can make his job painless, thus his interest in topics like coding, configuration management, containers, CI/CD and cloud computing went from a hobby to an obsession. Currently, he holds multiple AWS certifications and, as a DevOps Consultant, helps clients to understand and implement the DevOps culture in their environments, besides that, he play a key role in the company developing pieces of automation using tools such as Ansible, Chef, Packer, Jenkins and Docker.