AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate

( Brief summary off the course material because I read the FAQs )

The true guidance of what you need to do and what you need to know can be found here.

I've used this useful image with this blog post. It helped me out a lot during the exam! :D



The AWS Well-Architected Framework

The Pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework

Pillar Name Description
Operational Excellence The ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures.
Security The ability to protect information, systems and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.
Reliability The ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfiguration or transient network issues.
Performance Efficiency The ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements, and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolved.
Cost Optimization The ability to run systems to deliver business value at the lowest price point.

General Design Principles

  • Stop Guessing your capacity needs
  • Test systems at production scale
  • Automate to make architectural experimentation easier
  • Allow for evolutionary architectures
  • Drive architectures using data
  • Improve through game days

Operational Excellence

  • Perform operations as code
  • Annotate documentation
  • Make frequent, small, reversible changes
  • Refine operations procedures frequently
  • Anticipate failure
  • Learn from all operational failures


  • Implement a strong identity foundation
  • Enable traceability
  • Apply security at all layers
  • Automate security best practices
  • Protect data in transit and at rest
  • Keep people away from data
  • Prepare for security events


  • Test recovery procedures
  • Automatically recover from failure
  • Scale horizontally to increase aggregate system availability
  • Stop guessing capacity
  • Manage change in automation

Performance efficiency

  • Democratize advanced technologies
  • Go global in minutes
  • Use serverless architectures
  • Experiment more often
  • Mechanical sympathy

Cost optimization

  • Adopt a consumption model
  • Measure overall efficiency
  • Stop spending money on data center operations
  • Analyze and attribute expenditure
  • Use managed and application level services to reduce cost of ownership