AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate

Following are some high level details about  AWS Certified Solutions Architect- associate certification and exam learning path.

I completed the certification Mar 2018 , it required me to spend 2 hours a day for 3 weeks , which included hands on , watching videos and reading whitepapers and blogs. It was overwhelming to see so many services from AWS, but you would love the way AWS has delivered to customers need . I was amazed to know that AWS has snowball (big secure hard drive sent to your home) ,  snowmobile (trucks to export and import whole customer datacenter)  and many other ways to help customer to upload their data to cloud.  Certificate will require you to cover all the important areas .

Links to the resources are provided at the end. Veritas data gateway development experience  helped me at multiple levels.


Overview :

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate,  examination is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect role. This exam validates an examinee’s ability to effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies.

It validates an examinee’s ability to:

  • Define a solution using architectural design principles based on customer requirements.
  • Provide implementation guidance based on best practices to the organization throughout the life cycle of the project.


There are 2 version of this exam

  1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate   – This is what I cleared

  2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (Released February 2018)


Most of the eligibility and exam format can be found on following link – /


Following are the areas of importance from preparation point of view :-

  • Certification covers a wide range of services offered by AWS
  • Networking , VPC , subnet , security group and ACL are covered in depth
  • Share security model
  • Distributed and highly resilient deployments
  • SLAs and what instance and storage to select for cost effective requirement meeting SLAs
  • Route53, cloud front  and Load balancing
  • EC2 and Container service
  • API gateways and Lamdas
  • SQS and SNS
  • Cross account access , tagging and billing
  • EFS, RDS and S3
  • Reserved  and spot instances


  • Fast pace changes in AWS . e.g. can we change Security group of a running instance ? earlier it wasn’t allowed . Number of regions , number of instances allowed per region , all these numbers are keep changing , and exam material are not able to keep up with them.
  • Keeping hands on cost limited to the free tier of personal account (I have been giving a lot of money to AWS every month for my personal account , sometimes due to some resources which I forgot to delete)
  • Networking and VPC was the most challenging area
  • Pricing strategy changes – Strategy of billing incase of Spot and reserved instances

Exam format –

80 mins , 55 multiple choice questions , passing percentages are not pre defined , no negative marking

Preparation resources –

  • /
  • /
  • /


Certification badge –

Public link to the Certification badge:-




What if I move to some other place , who will change my address on all the websites and services?

Problem Statement : I have recently changed my home address and now I am trying to update the address to new one at all the places where I have provided my old address and I don’t have any track of those websites.


Solution: Provide a globally remotely accessible reference to the addresses and let all the different applications use the global identifier for the address , in a secure and dynamic manner .


Example :


Global address hosting by John Doe – \\address_hosting_site\JohnDoe\addressid=12345?securityToken=<sts>



Street Address – 123, Mary Ave ,

Sunnyvale , CA, 94085

Email#1 for lower priority –

Email#2 for job search      –



Consumer Website : – – Ship scheduled item every month to John Doe‘s address (this is a global secure reference to the address_hosting website of Rohan Kayan) – Send job emails to John Doe’s email#2



Online service to make sure purchaser gets best price for online purchases

Problem Statement : Once we buy something online , there is no automatic way which will keep track of any price drop for the items and make sure that if there is any price drop from any other retailer , it will take care of price adjustments.


Solution: Online service will work as human representation while interacting with any online retailer , it will keep all the payment information , receipt and purchased item information with it once purchase is done. It will periodically check the price of purchased item on other retailers website and if there is any price drop , it will contact previous retailer to do the price match ( will provide all the relevant details) , just like purchaser is walking to the store with receipt and asking for price adjustment.

(320) 403-4820

Problem Statement : Major population in India, do some religious service e.g. Puja , Paath , Havan ,visit to temples, donation to temples , Vastu …, to find solution of their personal problems e.g. health , financial , agricultural , marital issues. Most of the time these service choices are driven by word of mouth and local suggestions. Why can’t we use machine learning to suggest religious service with higher success rate for given problem.


Solution : Use learning data, which is collected from a large population, and using classification machine learning algorithm create a predication model , which will suggest the religious service suggestions based on the user problem.


Diversifying Stock portfolio using machine learning

Problem Statement – Investor wants to diversify his stock investment and before investing in new stocks , he/she wants to know  whether he/she has already invested in similar type of stocks or not . 

He feels that current stock classifications are not sufficient, and wants classification based on the stock price movement pattern.

Some of the existing stock classifications are

  1. Based on market cap e.g. small cap , large cap
  2. Based on daily volatility e.g. high low
  3. Based on industry e.g. Oil , Tech , Pharma


Proposed classification – Stock class based on past price movement and trade volume pattern