AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (2018)

I have recently cleared the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (2018).

Based on my preparation and the exam itself, i have compiled some points as per the index below.

Simple Storage Service (S3)

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Elastic Block Storage (EBS)


Relational Database Service (RDS)



AWS Certified Solution Architect – Points to remember (miscellaneous)

  1. Simple Queue Service.
    Use Visibility Timeout parameter to avoid duplication of message being processed.
    By Default AWS uses short polling which could incur unnecessary cost to empty response polling.
    Long polling should be used to avoid this.
    ReceiveMessage call sets WaitTimeSeconds to 0.
  2. Simple Notification Service usage.
  3. Simple Workflow Service Usage.
  4. Redshift is a Database Warehouse service.
  5. Uses block size of 1 MB. Compared to other databases which use 2 KB to 32 KB much more efficient and reduces IO’s.
  6. Kenesis is used for streaming data.

AWS Certified Solution Architect – Points to remember (DynamoDB)

  1. Fully managed NoSQL database service.
  2. You cannot select Availability Zone while creating a DynamoDB table.
  3. No Secondary Indexes created by default. Must be created manually if required.
  4. Provisioned capacity set to 5 reads and 5 writes by default.
  5. Amazon DynamoDB stores three geographically distributed replicas of each table to enable high availability and data durability.
  6. Two Consistency models:
    Eventually Consistent Reads (Default): Maximizes read throughput but change might not reflect immediately.
    Strongly Consistent Reads: Can be request and give read speeds of less quicker.
  7. A single Scan will only return a result set that fits within the 1 MB size limit.

AWS Certified Solution Architect – Points to remember (RDS)

  1. Relational Database Service.
  2. Supported databases (AMMMOP – If it helps!)
    Amazon Aurora
    Microsoft SQL
  3. Contrary to DynamoDB, for RDS you can select the availability Zone for RDS in a region.
  4. There is no easy way to encrypt an all already existing unencrypted RDS instance.
    You will have to make a snapshot add and encryption key to snapshot and restore the session using this encrypted snapshot.
  5. All database backups are automatically deleted once you delete the RDS instance.
  6. Default backup retention period is 1 day and can be extended up to 35 days.
  7. Read replicas are Asynchronous and Multi-AZ is Synchronous.
  8. Anything with read performance improvement points to Read Replicas and Anything with availability points to Multi-AZ Deployments.
  9. Backups are automatically deleted if you delete the RDS instance. May be there is still a snapshot if the person who deleted selected this option.

AWS Certified Solution Architect – Points to remember (CloudWatch)

  1. Memory Usage of EC2 instance is not monitored by default. Custom checks must be created.
    CPU Usage, Disk Read operations, Network In and Estimated charges are monitored by default.
  2. By default, metrics are stored at 1-minute resolution in CloudWatch. Default Granularity is 1 minute.
  3. Cloudwatch store the logs for terminated EC2 and EBS volumes for 15 Months by default.
  4. Retention period of the monitored logs depend on the data points. 

AWS Certified Solution Architect – Points to remember (EBS)

  1. Elastic block storage.
  2. Suitable for block based storage, like running an operating system, database, webserver etc..
  3. Encryption can be enabled on EBS volumes while creating the volume.
  4. You cannot disable or enable encryption on the fly. It will need either a data copy or snapshots.
  5. To increase IOPS, add multiple disks and create Raid arrays.
  6. You cannot attached EBS volumes to multiple instances. You can attach it to only one instance at a time.