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philbasford for AWS Community Builders

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AWS Advanced Networking

I recently completed the AWS Advanced Networking Specialism which is focused on core networking principles and the implementation of them on AWS. Here are my notes and also my mega tip for all AWS exams.


For my preparation and training I used and did the following:

  • Took the ACloudGuru course
  • Done the AWS exam readiness training
  • I have 6 years AWS experience and have designed and implemented lots of VPC etc
  • Completed my SA pro (I would say that if you do this your at least 60% on the path to this specialism and the security one)
  • Completed my DevOps pro, helped a lot on automation
  • I had the complete luxury about 5 years ago of actually helping to setup Direct Connect
  • The APN ambassador programme has run some additional training and sessions over the last month and year.
  • Reading the Direct Connect and VPN docs in detail
  • 10 years ago I built a network using VLANs, VPNs etc in our office at the time

“There is no compression algorithm for experience” but training helps.

Main Subjects

Your going to have to know for this certification:

  • VPCs And Subnets
  • Security Groups and NCLs
  • Route 53
  • Routing, BGP and how AWS does it
  • Direct Connect
  • VPN
  • CloudFormation (infrastructure elements)

Odd Ball Questions

Now I always prepare for getting questions I don’t know or even getting some wrong, we are all human and you need to make sure you complete the exam. So here is how I deal with them. If I have a complete blank (the ones I just don’t know), then I take a guess, don’t waste time or worry about it. Any hard or unsure ones that I know will take time I have a quick stab at them, “Flag for review”, and then move on. If I have any time left later I will have a better crack at it.

Also be advised that some questions could be trial questions (you get about 5 per exam that are new questions your not marked on). But you won’t know if they are trail ones or not. So I am not saying they where or are but I did get some questions a little outside of the normal. They where:

  • Transit GW : Most wisdom is that this is too new for the certificate. It is not as it is over 6 months old.
  • Global Accelerator: something I had not covered but knew just enough
  • ipam and how to integrate a 3rd party or build your own.

Mega Tip

In exam centres where you take your exam you can ask for and use a wipeboard and a pen for working outs and notes. For online proctoring and if you use Pearson VUE online then there is online whiteboard feature, a little basic like MS paint but good enough. To use this whiteboard option, then it is located on the top bar next to “chat” with moderator. All handy.

So given I can’t do subnet maths in my head and I got hit with two or three questions in first few minutes. Therefore I decided to crack open the online whiteboard and typed out the following table:

32 1 Remember the first 4, plus boardcast cannot be used
31 2
30 4 Also don’t forget VPCs and Subnets can be only /28. However for security groups, routes and NCL you can use them for non VPC addresses
29 8
28 16
27 32
26 64
25 128
24 256
23 512
22 1024
21 2048
20 4096
19 8192
18 16384
17 32768
16 65536 Remember /16 is the max you can have for VPC or Subnet. However you can use ones up to /8 for security groups, NCL or routes for non VPC addresses

For rest of the exam I was able to answer questions requiring subnet maths quickly and my head hurt a lot less. You can do the same tip
for a confusion metric for the ML specialism.

Enjoy and if doing this certification good luck

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