AWS Whitepapers part 1 – Overview of Amazon Web Services

I recently passed AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam aka CCP aka CLF-C01. This was a first step and a part of my extensive learning plan for the nearest future. I still want to do a separate blog post on overall CCP exam taking experience and preparation and hopefully I’ll manage to do that before my AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam which I have scheduled for January 2021. In 2021 I also plan to take Linux Professional Institute LPIC-1 exam and will be doing 5 months university course in DevOps and Cloud – so you can expect some interesting content and posts as I’m working on that.

In this post I just wanted to talk about “Overview of Amazon Web Services” AWS whitepaper. This whitepaper is definitely qualifies for must read free preparation resource both for CCP exam takers and anyone who starts to learn AWS (and even if you started quite some time ago it is never too late too late to review some basics 🙂 ). Actually as a part of your CCP preparation, as well as preparation to subsequent AWS exams, you supposed to go through quite a few whitepapers, here is a list of those which are relevant for CCP exam (obviously you supposed to know their content if you taking more advanced AWS certifications too):

Overview of Amazon Web Services

How AWS Pricing Works

AWS Well-Architected Framework

Cost Management in the AWS Cloud

As I’ve already mentioned, there are more whitepapers but those should be on your reading list for CCP exam. Although Overview of Amazon Web Services whitepaper is very useful or even mandatory for AWS CCP exam takers, I did passed my exam without reading it and only read it afterwards. You might wonder how can I say that this whitepaper is a must read if I didn’t use it? In my case I used DigitalCloud training CCP preparation course and (as any other good CCP course) it served me with right extracts from all required whitepapers, and this one was featured prominently. Honestly I sit my exam with 80% training completion and after taking some of practice tests – that, and 14+ years of experience with Microsoft technology stack and certifications with a bit of exposure to Azure and AWS, was sufficient to pass an exam. But I’m reading all these whitepapers and reviewing CCP preparation materials now before dive in into materials dedicated to AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam topics.

After reading through Overview of Amazon Web Services my conclusions are the following:

  • Do read it before your CCP exam and revisit/review before taking other AWS exams
  • Being “overview” it is not deep on details but be sure that “scope” will be overwhelming as AWS nowadays is BIG – 175 services available in 190 countries (heck I even thought we had slightly less number of countries in the world before reading this whitepaper 🙂 )
  • Don’t try to read this whitepaper for the first time in the very last moment – unless you are super focused and quick reader it may take you entire day or more to read it
  • My recommendation is to read all required whitepapers 3 times – can be dull and time consuming but it will serve you well on exam and for your learning in general, read it when you start your exam preparation then re-read in the middle of the process and finally revisit again shortly before exam
  • It contains right wording in which AWS speaks about their services and their intended use cases – so you will see the same wording on exam
  • You do need to have some idea about all 175 services available – really you do 🙂 I was warned in my online training to read through all services descriptions (and this white paper contains those) and neglected that. As someone who took an exam I can tell you that it was very good advice. Roughly speaking you will be directly quizzed on around 60% of core AWS services but remaining 40% will show up on the test as distractors/wrong answers – knowing what they are will help you to discard wrong answers
  • Beyond brief description of all 175 services which comprise the bulk of this whitepaper another important chunks to read and digest there are the following: cloud computing definition, 6 advantages of cloud computing, types of cloud computing, global infrastructure and security and compliance.
  • If you have experience with pre-cloud IT certifications you should keep in mind that these days whitepapers and exam content gets renewed more regularly so be sure to read the latest version of white paper available. TIP: Some of the AWS whitepapers available in Kindle format but I noticed that Kindle whitepaper versions are often outdated so you need to opt out for PDF download to get the latest version at times.

If you about to take CCP exam be sure to read this whitepaper (more than once if you can) – it has 100% relevance for exam and as well as exam itself introduces you to AWS building blocks and power of this cloud platform. I’m going to read all the others mentioned above soon and will write up a post dedicated to each of the whitepapers.

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