What’s new for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate SAA-C02?

Versus SAA-C01.

Today, I’m delighted to bring you a HUGE update to my AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate course.

I have updated 4 hours of content and added an extra 4 hours of content dedicated to knowledge for the SAA-C02 exam, bringing the total video time of the course to 22 hours.

Let’s do a deep dive!

In this article, you will find the list of topics I have added to the course to cover the new exam, as well as a FAQ.

Happy reading!

New & Updated Lectures

AWS Fundamentals: IAM & EC2
A deeper dive on Reserved Instances options, as well as how Spot Instances and Spot Fleets work. Finally, a word on what ENI is.

High Availability and Scalability: ELB & ASG
A full refresh of this section to include the latest information on CLB, ALB, and NLB, as well as clearly explain how some advanced features of ELB work. The ASG is also demonstrated to be used with Launch Templates, which are more powerful than Launch Configurations.

EC2 Storage — EBS & EFS
Understanding the IOPS implications of EBS volumes, as well as the IOPS implications of Instance Stores

RDS + Aurora + ElastiCache
A deeper dive into the differences of RDS Read Replicas as well as Multi-AZ, understanding the performance, DR and cost implications. A deeper dive into RDS IAM Authentication. Aurora is now explored in-depth, including some newer deployment options such as Aurora Serverless & Global Databases. In ElastiCache, we do a deeper dive on Redis vs Memcached.

Amazon S3 Advanced
An introduction to the new storage tier Glacier Deep Archive and how S3 lifecycle rules work in depth. A deeper look at S3 performance optimizations, S3 Select & Glacier Select, S3 Lock Policies & Glacier Vault Policies

CloudFront & AWS Global Accelerator
A better introduction to how CloudFront works, as well as the integration of CloudFront with different backends (not just S3), the security implications and advanced features. Finally, an introduction to a new awesome service of AWS called Global Accelerator, that will surely have a bigger place at the exam over the years.

AWS Storage Extras
Here, we discuss Storage Gateway, Snowball, Amazon FSx for Windows and for Lustre, as well as a comparison of all the possible storage options on AWS (because they are many!).

Decoupling applications: SQS, SNS, Kinesis, Active MQ
A deeper dive at how to use an ASG with SQS, and a better way to outline the differences between Kinesis Data Streams and Firehose.

Serverless Overviews from a Solution Architect Perspective
I added a CRON serverless architecture, as well as updating the Lambda limit to 15 minutes in the slide. I talk about DynamoDB Global Tables and on-demand capacity. Finally, I introduce SAM to you.

Databases in AWS
A deeper introduction to Redshift, including the backup options and Redshift Spectrum.

AWS Monitoring & Audit: CloudWatch & CloudTrail
An overview of AWS Config has been added.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) — Advanced
This section has been remodeled and includes clearer lectures on Security Token Service (STS), Identity Federation, Cognito, AWS Directory Services, AWS Organizations, Advanced IAM concepts, AWS Resource Access Manager (RAM), and AWS Single Sign-On (SSO).

AWS Security & Encryption: KMS, SSM Parameter Store, CloudHSM, Shield, WAF
More security services have been included such as CloudHSM, Shield & WAF.

Networking — VPC
Some more updates for NAT Gateways, VPC Peering, Direct Connect, PrivateLink, ClassicLink, VPN CloudHub.

Disaster Recovery & Migrations
Learning how to use Database Migration Service (DMS), On-Premise Strategies with AWS, AWS DataSync, and strategies to transfer large Datasets into AWS

More Solution Architectures
Event Processing in AWS, Caching Strategies in AWS, Blocking an IP Address in AWS, High-Performance Computing (HPC) on AWS.

Other Services
CloudFormation Stack sets and ECS Security.

As you can see, there’s plenty of content and lots of new things to learn!

You can get the course here: https://links.datacumulus.com/aws-certified-sa-associate-coupon

Happy learning!


If I take the SAA-C01 exam before March 22nd, will be my certification expire?

No, if you take the exam before March 22nd, your certification will be valid for 3 years and will be the exam same certification as the people passing the SAA-C02 certification. Therefore, I encourage you if you can to pass the SAA-C01 certification.

Is the SAA-C02 certification harder? Will this course prepare me well?

In my opinion, the SAA-C02 has increased in difficulty and covers a wider range of AWS services. This is why I have refreshed 4 hours of content and add an additional 4 hours of new content. This course will, as usual, prepare you most optimally for the exam. In case you pass the exam and find that some things were missing from this course, please reach out to me.

I am preparing for the SAA-C01. Which lectures should I skip?

You can skip any lecture that starts with “SAA-C02” in the lecture title. Please note that after March 22nd, the SAA-C02 will be the only exam version available, and therefore I will change back the lecture names to their normal form without SAA-C02.

I am preparing for the SAA-C02. Which lectures should I skip?

None. All the lectures in this course are relevant for SAA-C02.

What are the new topics for SAA-C02?

You will find a list below, and you will have the lectures with “SAA-C02” at the beginning of the title.

In the new exam guide, there are only 4 sections for SAA-C02, and before there was 5. Shouldn’t you remove content?

There is indeed a section that has been removed from the SAA-C02 curriculum, but that doesn’t affect this course. This course has never been constructed around these sections, and instead, this course is service-centric. As such, there is no need to remove any lectures.

I already passed my SAA-C01 exam. Should I pass SAA-C02?

While I don’t think you need to repass the exam, unless you really enjoy doing it, I strongly suggest you have a look at the new and updated lectures. There is a lot of new cool content in AWS and it’s never a bad idea to keep yourself updated.

Are you updating the quizzes? What about practice exam questions?

I am updating the quizzes and the practice exam questions this week.

Why not make a separate course?

My goal is to make sure all my past and future students have access to the knowledge they need for their certification. I see this huge update as a gift to all of you, so I would really appreciate if you took the time to leave a review for the course, and recommend it to your colleagues and friends.

How did you know what to include in the new course revision?

In November 2019, I attended the beta exam of the SAA-C02. All the topics I can recollect are now taught in this course.

Should I redownload the slides and code?

Yes, please re-download the slides and code content from the Section 2 — Code and Slides Download.



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