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Amazon Web Services (AWS)


A cloud computing platform.


Why use AWS?

While it would be cheaper to deploy your new web app on a cloud VM you configure on your own, or easier to use an intermediate layer like Heroku, AWS allows you to deploy and massively scale with ease for money.

As a developer, AWS skills are currently in high demand, and those with AWS skills can earn big and be snapped up by prestigious organizations.

Common AWS services and their use cases:

  1. VPC - Private network within AWS, EC2s exist within VPCs
  2. EC2 - Elastic compute cloud allows you to create containers to run web applications or other programs
  3. RDS - Relational database service, runs SQL of some sort
  4. Route 53 - Manages DNS queries, can redirect based on region, latency, etc.
  5. Lambda - Run one-off computations instead of using an EC2
  6. S3 - Simple Storage Service, for keeping user data like profile pictures or miscellaneous files
  7. Glacier - Long term data archival service for compliance or backups
  8. CloudWatch - Monitor all AWS services and set up automated actions

Compared to other cloud providers, AWS has the following advantages:

  1. It’s the largest and most mature vendor by a large margin (~1/3 of the market)
  2. Very competitive pricing due to scale

Getting certified with AWS is a popular way to advance your career as a software engineer. The most popular certification to get is AWS Certified Solutions Architect which validates that you can deploy a secure and scalable app on AWS.

This set of notes will draw heavily from this AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate SAA-C02 [2022] course which I was able to access for free while working at IBM.


This is the AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification exam.

To pass you’ll need to know how to design the following:

  1. Resilient architectures, including highly available, multi-tier, fault-tolerant solutions with decoupling mechanisms and the appropriate resilient storage
  2. High-performance architectures including correct scaling compute, scaling storage, networking, and high-performance databases
  3. Secure applications + architectures to secure application tiers and data
  4. Cost-optimized architectures to minimize the cost of storage, compute, and networking

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