The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is the first and the main one on the Architect path. This designation proves one’s abilities to design and apply distributed systems on AWS. It is intended for candidates with at least 1 year of practical experience in solving issues and implementing solutions in the AWS Cloud. In addition, it’s recommended to have some experience in deploying, operating tasks on AWS Cloud and using security controls before taking the certification exam. Having skills to utilize the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) and AWS Management Console will also be beneficial to you as well. Besides, you should be knowledgeable of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, AWS security services, networking, and AWS global infrastructure. On top of that, candidates should be able to define the necessary technical requirements for an AWS-based app.
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate designation can be gained by passing the SAA-C02 exam. The exam contains 65 questions of multiple choice and multiple response types, which are to be solved within 130 minutes. Note, that only 50 items will be scored, the rest 15 are unscored. This AWS test will cost you $150.
Being an AWS Certified Solutions architect of the associate level means that you are able to perform all the tasks given to you in this role. It means that you are proficient enough in designing secure and durable solutions by implementing AWS technologies. Thus, in particular, you should possess skills to use AWS services and consider architectural principles to design a solution as well as come up with the guidelines based on best practices to the organization considering the workload lifecycle.
Speaking of the exam domains, there are 4 of them included in the exam:
- design resilient architectures
- design high-performing architectures
- design secure apps & architectures
- design cost-optimized architectures
The first domain spins around the design of a multi-tier architecture solution and highly available and fault-tolerant architectures. For that, candidates should be well-conversant with ways to define a solution based on access patterns as well as a scaling strategy regarding components utilized in a design. In addition, they should be able to mitigate single points of failure through choosing a HA configuration, apply AWS services to design decoupling mechanisms, and use a corresponding resilient storage.
The second domain is all about defining scalable and elastic compute solutions, selecting high-performing and scalable storage solutions, high-performing networking solutions, and high-performing database solutions to perform the given tasks. That’s why candidates should possess skills to choose the corresponding architecture and services to meet performance requirements, select a suitable configuration and storage service to meet performance demands, choose the corresponding features to optimize connectivity related to AWS public services, and select a corresponding database service to meet performance needs.
The third domain checks candidates’ skills in creating secure access to AWS resources and secure application tiers. This implies your proficiency in selecting suitable techniques to secure a root account, corresponding services for tracking the access to AWS resources, selecting the AWS services to secure apps from external threats. In addition, test-takers should be able to choose the correct data security options.
The fourth domain deals with validating candidates’ skills to recognize cost-effective storage solutions, cost-effective compute and database services, as well as create cost-optimized network architectures. Thus, considering the given requirements, exam-takers should find the most cost-effective data storage options, use automated processes to minimize costs, use the most cost-effective Amazon EC2 billing options for each part of the task, find the most cost-effective connectivity options between AWS and on-premises environments.
Having skills to gain the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification, you can earn $115,000 per annum as indicated on the PayScale website.