IT certifications are often hard to prepare. Sometimes the extensive explanations inside the official documentation (must cover every aspect) and the small amount of time for preparation bring the candidate to search essential and practical documentation as a starting point for his preparation.
The AWS Certification, like VMware and Microsoft, has different paths and levels depending specialization focus. More specific, the Solution Architect is what is needed for solution or service provider, to demonstrate the company skill in implementing systems and solutions in AWS.
Surfing the Packt bookstore I noticed (and bought) an interesting book: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Guide by Gabriel Ramirez and Stuart Scott, a great starting read to prepare for the AWS Solution Architect exam and at the same time, a good reference on how things work in the AWS world.
After an introduction on AWS Architecture and Infrastructure, the book covers in 600 pages several important concepts like Elasticity and Scalability, Hybrid Cloud, Encryption, IAM and Security, DR and Data/Service Protection strategies, Data Storage, Web Application scaling, Infrastructure as Code, Cost Calculation and more.
What’s cool on this book is the by-example approach, that really helps the student to learn and practice directly in AWS. In fact, every example is reproducible using a Free-tier account, available for 365 days after the first subscription.
Another important part of the book is dedicated to security: a complete description of how to design user access and permissions using Multi-Factor authentication and discovering every aspect on AWS IAM.
The chapters focused on EC2 show how instances are working and scale and how to apply the correct resiliency pattern to ensure their protection across the regions. The reading ends with notions of infrastructure automation, how to create an environment with CloudFormation and DevOps practice in AWS (CI/CD pipelines)
In summary, the book is well written and the reading ends with some test questions useful to assess the knowledge.
This book is available on Packt here: https://www.packtpub.com/virtualization-and-cloud/aws-certified-solution-architect-associate-guide