SAP-C02 Learning Path Introduction
SAP-C02 Learning Path Introduction

This course introduces the SAP-C02 learning path, which has been designed to help you prepare for and pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional certification exam. The certification itself is broken down into four distinct domains:

  1. Design Solutions for Organizational Complexity
  2. Design for New Solutions
  3. Continuous Improvement for Existing Solutions
  4. Accelerate Workload Migration and Modernization

Hello, and welcome to this learning path that has been designed to help you prepare for and pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional certification exam.

My name is Danny Jessee, and I am one of the trainers here at Cloud Academy, specializing in AWS–Amazon Web Services–and AWS certifications. Feel free to connect with me to ask any questions using the details shown on the screen. Alternatively, you can always get in touch with us here at Cloud Academy by sending an email to, where one of our cloud experts will reply to your question. 

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional certification has been designed for anyone who has knowledge and experience using AWS services to design and implement cloud solutions. This includes solutions architects who are looking to demonstrate their ability to evaluate cloud application requirements and make architectural design and deployment recommendations that extend across multiple applications and projects. AWS recommends that candidates for this exam have at least 2 years of experience with AWS services. This learning path will provide you with the knowledge you need when preparing to take the latest version of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional certification exam, SAP-C02, which was released in November 2022.

The certification itself is broken down into four distinct domains:

  1. Design Solutions for Organizational Complexity,

  2. Design for New Solutions,

  3. Continuous Improvement for Existing Solutions, and

  4. Accelerate Workload Migration and Modernization.

Each of these domains carry a specific percentage weighting within the exam. Each domain also contains a series of task statements that call out specific required knowledge and skills. These are outlined in the official AWS exam guide, which is linked in the Course Material section for this course. Let’s start by taking a look at each of these domains to give you a better understanding of the topics that will be covered on the exam.

We’ll start with Domain 1: Design Solutions for Organizational Complexity. This domain accounts for 26% of the exam content and focuses on 5 key areas:

  • Architect network connectivity strategies,

  • Prescribe security controls,

  • Design reliable and resilient architectures,

  • Design a multi-account AWS environment, and

  • Determine cost optimization and visibility strategies.

This domain will test your understanding of best practices when designing solution architectures for complex AWS environments. And this complexity may come in the form of network architectures that require you to evaluate connectivity options between on-premises environments and the AWS Cloud, or hybrid connectivity options involving multiple VPCs across different regions. You might also see complexity in terms of multiple AWS accounts, where you’ll need to evaluate an organization’s account structure and establish multi-account governance using tools such as AWS Organizations and Control Tower. You should know how to manage all aspects of security, including AWS Identity and Access Management, single sign-on, as well as multi-account and cross-account security strategies. You’ll need to design disaster recovery solutions that can automatically recover from failure while meeting your organization’s RTO and RPO requirements. And of course you’ll need to do all of these things with an eye towards cost optimization, which you’ll see is a recurring theme throughout the entire exam.

Next, we have Domain 2: Design for New Solutions. This domain accounts for 29% of the exam content and focuses on 6 areas of interest:

  • Design a deployment strategy to meet business requirements,

  • Design a solution to ensure business continuity,

  • Determine security controls based on requirements,

  • Design a strategy to meet reliability requirements,

  • Design a solution to meet performance objectives, and

  • Determine a cost optimization strategy to meet solution goals and objectives.

Building on the objectives from Domain 1, this domain will assess your ability to design large-scale, right-sized solution architectures from scratch and ensure they meet all business, security, reliability, and performance requirements, again with cost optimization in mind as well. You should understand the AWS tools and services involved when defining infrastructure as code, configuration and change management processes, and continuous integration/continuous delivery, or CI/CD. You should know how to leverage the AWS global infrastructure to define solutions that are highly available, recoverable in the event of a disaster, and secure while adhering to the principle of least privilege.

Moving on, we have Domain 3: Continuous Improvement for Existing Solutions. This domain accounts for 25% of the exam content and focuses on the following 5 items:

  • Determine a strategy to improve overall operational excellence,

  • Determine a strategy to improve security,

  • Determine a strategy to improve performance,

  • Determine a strategy to improve reliability, and

  • Identify opportunities for cost optimizations.

This domain requires you to identify potential improvements to existing solutions in the realms of operational excellence, security, performance, reliability, and once again, cost. This includes leveraging AWS services such as CloudWatch and Config to automate monitoring, logging, and remediation for existing applications and instances to ensure they stay up and running. You’ll need to know when to leverage auto scaling, instance fleets, and placement groups to improve system performance. You should also be able to identify and eliminate single points of failure to improve the overall reliability of your architecture. And of course, you should understand the costs associated with different architectural options and use this knowledge to inform decisions such as when to leverage Spot, on-demand, or reserved EC2 instances.

And finally, we have Domain 4: Accelerate Workload Migration and Modernization. This domain accounts for 20% of the exam content and will assess you in 4 areas:

  • Select existing workloads and processes for potential migration,

  • Determine the optimal migration approach for existing workloads,

  • Determine a new architecture for existing workloads, and

  • Determine opportunities for modernization and enhancements.

This domain is all about your ability to examine existing workloads and processes to determine which are the best candidates for migration to the AWS Cloud. You should know how to evaluate an organization’s portfolio, conduct migration assessments, and calculate the total cost of ownership for different on-premises, hybrid, and cloud-based architectures. Once you’ve identified candidates for migration, you should know how to leverage tools and services such as AWS DataSync along with the AWS Transfer and Snow Families to migrate your organization’s data into AWS. You should also know how to use services like the AWS Application Discovery Service, Application Migration Service, Server Migration Service, and Database Migration Service as part of these efforts. And finally, you should feel comfortable defining new solution architectures leveraging the appropriate AWS compute, database, and storage platforms. This includes knowing when and how to leverage containers and serverless architectures as well as services that support decoupling application components, such as SNS, SQS, and Step Functions.

Throughout this learning path, you’ll be guided through a series of courses, hands-on labs, hands-on lab challenges, and assessments that cover every element within the domains I just discussed. This will ensure that you have the required knowledge and sufficient hands-on experience to help you pass this certification exam.

Feedback on our learning paths here at Cloud Academy is valuable to both us as trainers and any students looking to take the same learning path in the future. If you have any feedback, positive or negative, or if you notice anything that needs to be updated or corrected for the next release cycle, it would be greatly appreciated if you could email

That brings me to the end of this introduction, now let’s dive in! Best of luck on your certification journey!

About the Author
Learning Paths

Danny has over 20 years of IT experience as a software developer, cloud engineer, and technical trainer. After attending a conference on cloud computing in 2009, he knew he wanted to build his career around what was still a very new, emerging technology at the time — and share this transformational knowledge with others. He has spoken to IT professional audiences at local, regional, and national user groups and conferences. He has delivered in-person classroom and virtual training, interactive webinars, and authored video training courses covering many different technologies, including Amazon Web Services. He currently has six active AWS certifications, including certifications at the Professional and Specialty level.

Covered Topics