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Passed AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate

I passed my “AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate” exam on Friday.

If you’re interested in AWS Certification, this AWS Certification Roadmap gives an overview of the certifications available, and this post from New Relic has details on the order you may want to take the exams in.

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam I started with is a tough exam. I’d estimate I spent over 100 hours preparing, and I used every one of the 130 minutes available in the exam to answer all 65 questions.

I’ve included a few exam prep tips below.

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How long to transfer a file of size X over a Y Mbps line?

How long does it take to transfer a file of size X over a Y Mbps line?

A 1 MB file over a 1 Mbps line takes 8 seconds. Not 1 second, due to MegaBytes over MegaBits

1 GB over 1 Mbps = 8192 secs (8*1024; 2.2755 Hours)

1 TB over 1 Mbps = 8388608 secs (2,330 Hours = 97 days)

So a good rule of thumb to remember is:

1Tb over 1Mbps takes ~100 days (8 * 1,000,000 secs)

There are also good online calculators for this. For example:

Convert Megabits Per Second to Terabytes Per Month

 

 

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AWS approximate storage costs

This post covers some high-level cost approximations for data storage in AWS. I find this a useful rule of thumb, and please see the long list of caveats and notes below, but as a rough approximation of ballpark costs…

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Setting up a VPC in AWS

In the previous blog post, we created a simple HelloWorld example in AWS. We did the bare minimum (as any HelloWorld example should!) by taking advantage of a default VPC, Subnet, NACL, and Internet Gateway but, by necessity for our example, creating a custom Security Group.

In this tutorial, we will shy away from defaults and create a VPC from scratch. Again, this is done in the guise of HelloWorld.

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HelloWorld on an AWS EC2 instance

This is a basic “HelloWorld” tutorial for AWS EC2. We create an EC2 instance, enable the required access, and install Apache to serve a trivial HelloWorld html file.

 

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AWS Best Practices Architecting for the Cloud – Concise Summary

The following is a concise summary of Architecting for the Cloud: AWS Best Practices. The original is about 13,000 words; There is an abridged version of about 4,000 words, and this is an even more concise version, at about 1,500 words.

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AWS Best Practices Architecting for the Cloud – Abridged

The following is an abridged version of Architecting for the Cloud: AWS Best Practices.This is essentially a cut and paste of the most salient parts (the original is about 13,000 words; this is about 4,000). For an even more concise version, see the concise summary (about 1,500 words).

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AWS Well-Architected Framework – Abridged

This is an abridged version of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. It is essentially a cut and paste of the most salient parts (the original is about 18,000 words; this is about 4,000).

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Kubernetes HelloWorld

This tutorial covers how to deploy a simple HelloWorld app on Kubernetes, and expose it externally (as you might for a UI service, for example).

I found setting up the Kube cluster deployment very straightforward, but making it externally accessible much trickier, however it boils down to just two commands:

    $ kubectl create -f boothello-deployment.yaml

    $ kubectl expose -f boothello-service.yaml

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Why use containers?

Containers, and the supporting orchestration platforms, are increasingly popular tools for deploying applications. This article focuses on why you would want to use a container ecosystem. While there are many reasons, including portability and reduced boot times (compared to VMs), this article concentrates on security and cost.

We will focus on Docker, since it is by far the most dominant container, and on Kubernetes, since it seems to have “won” against alternatives such as Swarm and Mesos.

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