Learning Path Introduction to SysOps
SysOps Introduction

This introductory video will outline what you will cover and learn in the SysOps Learning Path from Cloud Academy.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the key areas of knowledge that AWS will test upon
  • To become aware of the different domains and controls of the certification and what they mean
  • To understand how the domains reflect your overall percentage score on the exam

Intended Audience

Those looking to take the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate certification.


There are no prerequisites to this course.

Related Training Content

If you are interested in another certification then you can find the corresponding Learning Path within our library



Hello, and welcome to this Learning Path focused on the AWS SysOps Administrator Associate Certification. My name is Stuart Scott and I'm the AWS Content Lead for Cloud Academy and I've created this Learning Path which is packed full of technical courses, hands on labs and assessments to ensure you have a solid understanding across all domains and the confidence to navigate the AWS environment giving you the required preparation needed to pass this certification. 

This is one of the three Associate-level certifications available with AWS and it's guided to those with a systems administrator or operations role background. The aim of this certification is to validate your knowledge across a number of different key areas which have been defined by AWS as being able to deploy, manage, and operate scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant systems, implement and control the flow of data to and from AWS, select the appropriate AWS service based on compute, data, or security requirements, identify appropriate use of AWS operational best practices, estimate AWS usage costs and identify operational cost control mechanisms, and, finally, migrate on-premises workloads to AWS.

 As a means of demonstrating this knowledge, you'll be tested across seven different domains within the certification with each domain contributing to a percentage of your overall score. These domains have been broken down as follows. Domain one, Monitoring and Reporting, which is 22%. Domain two, High Availability, at 8%. Domain three, Deployment and Provisioning, at 14%. Domain four, Storage and Data Management, at 12%. Domain five, Security and Compliance, at 18%. Domain six, Networking, 14%, and, finally, domain seven, Automation and Optimization, which is at 12%. Each of these domains can be broken down into defined areas of knowledge. Let's take a look at each domain. Domain one, Monitoring and Reporting. This domain contributes the highest percentage of mark towards your end score in your exam, and, so, requires additional attention. It concentrates on your ability of being able to implement the correct monitoring, reporting, and alerting solutions to enable you to successfully manage your resources, performance, and availability while identifying any potential issues. Here you will be required to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of how to implement and operate monitoring solutions, for example, through the use of Amazon CloudWatch, and Amazon Simple Notification Service, SNS. 

Knowing how to create monitoring solutions is one thing, but being able to comfortably configure different metrics based on different requirements is another. You'll need to be able to demonstrate you are aware of different metrics allowing you to monitor performance aspects of your resources as well as monitor fully availability of resources running within your infrastructure. Once you have implemented the correct monitoring solutions with the appropriate metrics, you must have the knowledge to correctly respond to any alerts and information, accordingly, to resolve any potential issues that may be arising. Domain two, High Availability. Questions in this domain will exam your ability to architect and implement solutions that are highly available and resilient across a range of different services within different scenarios. Having a clear understanding of high availability and the AWS Global Infrastructure will help within this domain. This point refers to assessing your understanding of one of the main cloud advantages, that being scalability and elasticity. It will test your ability of implementing a successful scaling solution to meet demands surrounding specific scenarios. Being able to architect a highly resilient solution is key when looking at DR and business continuity. Understanding different methods of fulfilling these requirements will be measured across different services. Domain three, Deployment and Provisioning. This domain focuses on and highlights the main knowledge requirements you'll be required to demonstrate when deploying and provisioning a range of different services and features within you solutions. You'll need to show an understanding of prerequisites and processes to resource deployment. 

This control measures your knowledge when it comes to being able to deploy and provision a range of different AWS services, from compute, storage, network, and databases. Familiarity of these services will significantly help you meet this requirement. Not everything always goes to plan, and as a SysOps Administrator, you'll be expected to know how to resolve incidents and issues that may arise from resource deployments across your AWS infrastructure. Domain four, Storage and Data Management. This domain will test your awareness and ability to retain, protect, and manage data that is being stored within AWS. You must show working knowledge of a variety of different methods to maintain data. Storing your data is a simple process on AWS, but you must be able to show how you intend on retaining this data and preventing it from being deleted other through intentional misuse or loss of availability to AWS infrastructure. 

Protecting your data is key when storing it within the cloud. You must be able to demonstrate you have the knowledge of how to protect and encrypt your data using a variety of different mechanisms and services, such as the Key Management Service, KMS. In addition to this, you must be able to verify you have a sound understanding of managing capacity for your data within a number of different scenarios. Domain five, Security and Compliance. This domain is all about being able to demonstrate your awareness of security controls that allow you to control access to resources through a variety of policies, controls, and authentication mechanisms. This will be tested from both a single AWS account and cross-account perspective. There are a range of different security policies that are used throughout AWS services, from IAM policies, to S3 bucket policies, and KMS key policies. You must know the core construct and syntax of how these policies are created to meet the criteria of this point.

 Security can be difficult to implement effectively and, therefore, you must show your knowledge and ability when it comes to controlling access across a wide range of access controls that are available. All security concepts and boundaries are defined from within the AWS shared responsibility model from an infrastructure, container, and abstract perspective. You must understand the differences between these models and be able to define which security element is managed by the customer and which is managed by AWS. Domain six, Networking. This domain focuses heavily on the Virtual Private Cloud service, VPC, and all the networking components that are linked with the service. I recommend you gain some hands on experience creating a number of different VPCs using on hands on labs to help familiarize you with the service. Here you'll be required to show your awareness of different networking components and features such as network access controllers, NACLs, net gateways, CIDR blocks, et cetera. Ensure you have a full comprehension of the VPC service. You must be able to demonstrate an understanding of different connectivity options for different scenarios. 

Some connectivity options are for greater speeds, reliability, and security than others, so be sure you to know the difference. As a part of becoming a SysOps Administrator, you should be able to demonstrate how you gather the appropriate data and information needed to resolve networking incidents such as VPC flow logs. Domain seven, Automation and Optimization. This final domain will assess your ability to optimize your AWS resources from both a cost and performance perspective. You must also demonstrate your level of understanding of automation methods when it comes to managing and controlling your infrastructure. This point refers to you being able to use different services and solutions to monitor and manage your resources consumption across a range of metrics. Optimizing cost for your infrastructure will always be an ongoing requirement within any organization and so you must show that you are aware of the different cost optimization techniques that are available. This will assess your level of understanding of utilizing AWS services to provide an automated process to assist with different managed controls of maintaining your AWS infrastructure and resources. 

Okay, so that's the exam details covered as to what's required from a knowledge perspective. So, what is involved within the learning path. The learning path has been created in such a way that for each domain covered, there is a number of technical courses and hands on labs which will provide you with all the information you need to become prepared to master each domain control point discussed. In total, there are over 30 courses and 30 labs providing you with all the knowledge and practical experience to help you prepare for this certification. At the end of the learning path, there is a mock exam simulation to highlight any weak areas that may need further attention in the study. I recommend you review some of the AWS Whitepapers when you've completed your learning path to help solidify your understanding of the services, features, and methodologies. For this particular certification, it would be beneficial to look at the following, Architecting for the Cloud: AWS Best Practices, AWS Security Best Practices, Amazon Web Services: Overview of Security Processes, AWS Well-Architected Framework, Development and Test on AWS, Backup and Recovery Approaches Using AWS, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud Connectivity Options, and How AWS Pricing Works. Now we have a clear understanding of what is required by a certified AWS SysOps Administrator, let's get started with the training. If you have any questions throughout this learning path, please contact us at

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.