I passed AWS Certified SysOps Administrator exam last week, thus completing the trifecta of AWS associate certifications. I took AWS Solutions Architect associate 3 months back, Developer associate 2 months back which really helped me in increasing my expertise in AWS and my confidence, which is key for this certification.
As expected, Sysops is the hardest one of all 3 associate exams. It tests your in depth knowledge of core services.
You should have an in depth knowledge of VPC, EC2/EBS, IAM, Cloudwatch, ELB/Autoscaling etc., There are many questions where you have to choose multiple answers 2/3/4, so pay attention how many answers need to be selected for the qn.
In my opinion, Linux Academy aced this one. The videos are not only in exam pov, also in depth on topic, gives you a good feel of learning. Their final quiz is really upto the exam standard and I highly recommend it.
Cloud Guru is a big letdown . Their Solutions Architect Associate course is top notch, but Sysops course is not updated for the latest syllabus and no efforts in improving the content after concerns raised by multiple users in the discussion forums. Their quizzes are a joke. You can still refer their Solutions Architect course for this exam preparation due to overlapping of materials.
Pluralsight offers a very detailed course for AWS Sysops, which you can check it out in 10-day free trial. Pluralsight – AWS Sysops
- Documentation, FAQs, whitepapers
Usually people suggest to read FAQs primarily, but here FAQs have less scope since they don’t cover the topics in depth.
For Cloudwatch, Cloudformation, Opsworks, ELB go through their documentation to understand their different functionalities/features.
Whitepapers will definitely help you in solving questions on AWS audits, responsibility which is crucial to the score.
- Practice tests
I used Whizlabs quizzes for practice tests and they’re really hard with lot of mistakes.
But as expected it will give you a good practice before appearing for the exam.
If you pass all their tests and understand which questions you got wrong and where you’re lacking, then you can pass the exam.
- Know VPC in and out.
- Use cases of Subnets, Route tables, NACLs, Security groups, IGW, Virtual private GW.
- Know what are the causes if a instance is not reachable., if the instance is not pinging. NACL vs SG.
- How you block an IP from accessing your network. Where to fix the issue for given scenario
- Scenarios involves public, private subnets.
- One question on VPC dedicated tenancy. Know how to enable the dedicated tenancy after launching instance with default tenancy
- Couple of Qs on Route53 involves which failover policy to choose, Alias record/Cname.
Monitoring and Metrics
- Expect lots of in depth questions on Cloudwatch. Plotting two different CW metrics in one graph. Custom metrics scenarios.
- Use case of Consolidated billing
- Lot of tricky questions – Resolve the issue which involves Autoscaling & ELB, ELB health checks, etc., Volumes, snapshots on EBS. Encrypting EBS. Scenario involves EBS, instance stores
- Complicated qn- Instance type to choose for given requirement (cg2.8, m3.2,
- Some simple questions like – System/instance status checks and fix, Dedicated Instance monitoring, Elasticache performance improvement
- Multiple qs on RDS multi AZ, Read replicas
- HA on Bastion hosts. ELB stickiness scenarios
- When to use reserved instances, cost savings
- Qns on Services that have root access and automated backups
- Failover for applications with hard coded ips
- Qs on RDS read replicas, Dynamodb performance improvement
- ELB,EBS prewarming. Resizing EBS volume
- Two questions on AWS audits
Deployment and Provisioning
Couple of in depth qs on Opsworks and Cloudformation. Read both services faqs and documentation.
- Qs on Disaster recovery, scenarios based on Pilotlight, Multi site. Read the whitepaper.
- Many people attempted the exam scored less in this section. So pay special attention
- Qs involves AWS audits, AWS/customer responsibilities
- Security on S3 buckets. One or two qn on Cloudfront, Glacier.
- Variety of IAM security concepts, STS, federation etc.,
- What given IAM policy does
I hope you find this post helpful.
Use the comments section below to post your doubts, questions and feedback.
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