How is taking AWSCSA in 2021 different?

There have been a number of updates of which examinees need to be aware.

Ten years of Architecting for the Cloud

Republished these days as the Well-Architected Framework, the original “Architecting for the Cloud: Best Practices” by Jinesh Varia was published in January 2011; it remains incredibly relevant & insightful today, even though the number of services available at that time was miniscule (I make it fifteen… what’s your tally?) compared to the mind-boggling ecosystem of infinitely customisable tools we enjoy in 2021.

Domains

The multiple areas of expertise needed by a AWS certified solutions architect, can be seen as fundamental principles, pillars, concepts… whatever metaphor helps hammer home the fact they’re each well-defined and indispensable.

  • Design Performant Architectures: down, from 28% to 24%
  • Design Secure Applications & Architectures: up, from 24% to 26%
  • Design Cost-Optimised Architectures: down, from 18% to 10%
  • [NEW] Define Operationally Excellent Architectures is introduced, at 6%

Amazon EC2 R5B Instances certified for SAP

R5B instances can utilize up to 60 Gbps of Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) bandwidth and 260K IOPS (I/O operations per second), when you need to run those large relational database workloads. That means significantly higher EBS performance (10 Gbps EBS bandwidth on small instances up to 60 Gbps on large). Based on the “next generation” AWS Nitro System, R5Bs deliver that bandwidth capability without your having to resort to using custom drivers or recompiling your applications. So, finally, AWS is performant on large/demanding SAP Netweaver/HANA database workloads.

Increased support Oracle

Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports the Oct-2020 Patch Set Updates (PSU) for Oracle Database 11.2.0.4 Enterprise Edition (PSUs contain bug fixes and other critical security updates, so the news is hugely welcome).

Console

It never seems a month goes by without some enhancement in the console, whether that’s an improved Search experience or Redshift enjoying a flashy new, increasingly navigable, sidebar and dashboard view… before taking the exam, ensure you’re up-to-date with each service as it appears in the browser.

Conclusion

If you’re taking the exam this year, best of luck! To keep abreast of changes be sure to check the official maintained list at whats-new/2021.

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