Into Cloud Networking

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After a long break, I went back to my cloud networking studies and invested some time on pursuing the Advanced Networking Specialty from AWS. At first, I thought this would not be a huge undertaking by having a background in networking but I was wrong. This is more than networking, it is also about security controls, load balancing, content delivery, name resolution, computing, automation, monitoring and other related services. I ended up getting a 60% score on my first attempt and realized right after that I needed to focus on other areas I had not explored enough, because again, this is more than networking. If I had passed right away, I would not have learned as much when trying it again.

In the hope my experience may help others as a just cause, I am writing a list of supporting materials which worked for me along the way.

Online Training
I used acloud.guru for the associate exam earlier in the year, and gave it another go for this exam as well. However, it does not have hands-on labs (as of this writing). This udemy training has a few hands-on labs which were very helpful and insightful. I leveraged a business subscription but both providers have affordable options, and one can leverage AWS free tier.

Another must attend online training is the exam readiness provided by AWS. It is a 9-hour training divided into specific modules with associated domains, and very comprehensive.

Documentation
The list is almost endless; it all depends on how much we already know about certain technologies or services. I did not keep track of every single blog or guide I read or revisited, but I bookmarked some of the most important ones I found during the preparation:

Multiple Data Center HA Network Connectivity
Single Data Center HA Network Connectivity
Multiple-VPC VPN Connection Sharing
Multiple Region Multi-VPC Connectivity
Amazon Web Services – A Practical Guide
VPC Peering Scenarios
AWS Direct Connect

This also includes a few deep dive videos from re:Invent on Direct Connect and VPNs (NET402, NET403, NET404), and specific FAQs for VPC, Route53, ELB, DX, and CloudFront.

Practice Tests
I used practice tests from whizlabs and udemy, the later having more descriptive and challenging scenarios. I think one complements the other.

Slack Channel
A few months ago, Daniel Dib created a channel for Cloud and Networking. It is an amazing initiative and while there may be many others out there, this one definitely deserves a follow.

Now I will take some weekends off and catch up on greys anatomy ;=P

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