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AWS Certified Solutions Architect Study Guide: Associate SAA-C01 Exam 2nd Edition

This book goes beyond what is needed to pass the current AWS SAA-C01 Exam. It does an excellent job teaching you AWS, even if you’re not planning on taking the certification exam. In fact, it seemed to me that this was the primary goal of this book. After-all, what good is it to be certified and not know the technology in extremely depth.

One of the reasons why I love buying and reading certification books even if I’m not planning on taking the exams, are the questions at the end of each chapter that challenge your knowledge on what was covered. This book goes to the extreme, the questions at the end of each chapter are incredibly difficult. I’ve been using AWS professionally for a number of years, and feel like I have a good firm grasp on Amazon’s core cloud services, however the questions on this book made me seriously questioned my capabilities of passing the exam. Fortunately, browsing through the Amazon reviews for this book, I wasn’t alone, and to my benefit, many reviewers mentioned that the official exam was nowhere as difficult as questions in this book.

So having taken the exam a few days ago, I can also reassure that the exam is not as difficult as this book! In fact, I was pleasantly surprised how easy the exam was, with a score of 909/1000 I passed the exam rather comfortably thanks to this book and other online training resources. My only regret was purchasing this book as an e-book. This made it extremely annoying having to toggle between chapter questions and their respective answers. Thus said, this book is really good, and I’m even considering repurchasing it in its physical form and reread it, to prepare for the harder Professional level exam.

Rating: 4/5

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Study Guide: Associate SAA-C01 Exam 2nd Edition

Chapter 1: Introduction to Cloud Computing
Chapter 2: Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Amazon Elastic Block Store
Chapter 3: Amazon Simple Storage Service and Amazon Glacier Storage
Chapter 4: Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
Chapter 5: Databases
Chapter 6: AWS Identity and Access Management
Chapter 7: CloudTrail, CloudWatch, and AWS Config
Chapter 8: The Domain Name System and Network Routing: Amazon Route 53 and Amazon Cloudfront
Chapter 9: The Reliability Pillar
Chapter 10: The Performance Efficiency Pillar
Chapter 11: The Security Pillar
Chapter 12: The Cost Optimization Pillar
Chapter 13: The Operational Excellence Pillar

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The CompTIA Cloud Essentials Certification Study Guide

The CompTIA Cloud Essentials Certification Study Guide by McGraw-Hill Education has been the most simplistic technical certification book that I’ve ever read. Just under 200 pages, this book covers just about everything needed to pass the CompTIA Cloud Essentials exam. Given that the certification it self is mostly high level theoretical cloud computing and not a technical problem solving, it makes sense why this book was fairly short and easy to read. Thus said, the exam itself was a little more difficult than anticipated. Comparing with it the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam, the CompTIA Cloud Essentials exam was far more difficult in my opinion.

I took the exam (CLO-001) a few days, and successfully passed it only using this book as my study material! Like any other McGraw-Hill Education certification guide, each chapter ends with sample questions which help you reassure your knowledge of the topic that was covered. The only thing this book lacked of was more content regarding The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is heavy mentioned in the exam. This book only tells you how cloud computing affects ITIL, it does not fully explain to you what ITIL is to start with.

The only draw back of this book is not necessarily its fault. There were many instances where certain content was mentioned that wasn’t quite accurate if we don’t take Amazon Web Services into consideration. Which is kind of scary to see how AWS has shapped cloud computing from the time this book was published in 2012.

Rating: 4/5

The CompTIA Cloud Essentials Certification Study Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction to Cloud Computing
Chapter 2: Business Perspectives
Chapter 3: Technical Perspectives
Chapter 4: Adapting Cloud Computing
Chapter 5: Operating Cloud Computing
Chapter 6: Governing Cloud Computing

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Resilience and Reliability on AWS

Although somewhat outdated (originally published in 2013), this book will definitely teach you good systems architectural techniques and procedures. A very important key aspect I got from reading this book is to always assume that your application will have problems. So, of the bat the application will need to be architected to mitigate the problems it can potentially have. This book covers the main components of a typical modern application.

Obviously, this book is focused using the Amazon Web Services as the cloud infrastructure platform, however the concepts can be applied with any cloud provider. This is a good thing, and a bad thing. A good thing is because you’re not limited to just AWS; the bad thing is that most of the architectural examples described in this book are no longer best practices since Amazon has built-in services that make most of the content described in the book be fault tolerant and highly available. This sounds like an oxymoron, and it is. Effectively, it is a good thing that this book is mostly outdated and deprecated, since it’s a lot more easier in 2018 to design an application in AWS that is reliable and resilience to problems.

Rating: 3/5

Resilience and Reliability on AWS

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Road to Resilience and Reliability
Chapter 3: Crash Course in AWS
Chapter 4: Top 10 Survival Tips
Chapter 5: Elasticsearch
Chapter 6: Postgres
Chapter 7: MongoDB
Chapter 8: Redis
Chapter 9: Logstash
Chapter 10: Global (Content) Delivery
Chapter 11: Conclusion

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