AWS Solution Architect Professional (SAP)

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On Flying Time

It has been a busy year. A lot of time was spent actually working with AWS and a good many of their offerings. So much time that the whole year flew by and I almost didn’t have the time to take the certification I had been working on for so long.

Another issue was that test centers were still not open in my area so the testing had to be proctored. Once you actually begin the test you will quickly forget you are being proctored. You won’t have any time to worry about people half-way around the world staring at you as you take your test.

Jumping to the end of the story, I passed and it was a hard test.

Important Areas for the SAP

The associate level certification concentrated on the core services and where they might be used. The professional level deals more with architecture and more complex engineering issues. A lot of the situations are those that you would encounter in a large enterprise.

This should be no surprise because these are the same areas that the AWS Well Architected Framework concentrate on.

  • Connecting VPCs/sub-netting using VPNs, Direct Connect with some BGP thrown in for good measure
  • All types of gateways including Transit, API, plus public and private endpoints
  • Network optimization
  • Adjusting cost based on service types, and purchase options
  • Migration scenarios for databases and file systems with varying parameters of time and money
  • Backup, recovery, and disaster recovery scenarios with some specifying RTO/RPO requirements
  • Choosing the correct database service for the job paying special attention to availability and fail-over options
  • General asynchronous solution patterns and how SQS, SMS, Kinesis, and Kafka might fit in
  • Data analysis methods depending on what type of data and where it sits; knowing when to use specific analytical data stores and when to leave the data in place
  • Organizational and account options along with how to apply the different policy types
  • Cost reporting options

I can definitely emphasize hands-on work before you take this test. You may pass by taking a Bootcamp Cram Session but it will be doubtful that your certification will be applicable in the real world.


There are a couple of books and several classes you can use as resources. Here are three main areas that I used.

  • AWS SAP Exam Guide, don’t let if fool you, there are a lot of AWS reference materials
  • Training by Adrian Cantrill, He has some great material and I can’t recommend this enough
  • Hands On Keyboard - use the console, use the command line, write scripts, create things and connect things


No doubt this was the most difficult exam I have studied for or taken. It has definitely helped me make better decisions along with just knowing more options.

If you have any questions drop me a note @scmunk

Good luck!