AWS Academy Cloud Computing Architecture

Start date: May 12, 2018
End date: June 16, 2018
Schedule: 9:00 – 5:30 on Saturdays and some Sundays
Dates: May 12, May 13, May 26, May 27, June 2, June 9, June 10, June 16
Duration: 60 hours

This course is open to all students who meet the admission requirements below.

Next group starts

May 12, 2018

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Cloud Computing Architecture is an AWS Academy curriculum designed to help students develop technical expertise in cloud computing and prepare them for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification exam. The curriculum is delivered through instructor-led classes, hands-on labs, and project work. Students have access to course manuals, online knowledge assessments, hands-on labs, a free practice certification exam, and a discount voucher for the certification exam.

Cloud Computing Architecture teaches students how to:

  • Identify the value and benefits of cloud computing and AWS
  • Understand methods and tools to maintain security and protect data
  • Explain the financial advantages of the AWS cloud
  • Navigate the AWS Management Console
  • Differentiate between AWS storage options
  • Understand AWS compute and networking options
  • Describe and use AWS database options
  • Identify deployment and management options
  • Make decisions based on recommended architectural principles and best practices
  • Create a cloud migration roadmap and plan
  • Use AWS to make infrastructure scalable
  • Create a business continuity plan and achieve high availability
  • Create event-driven scaling
  • Automate the deployment of cloud resources
  • Design architectures to decouple infrastructure and reduce interdependencies
  • Optimize data storage for static content
  • Identify best practices prescribed in the Well-Architected framework
  • Identify and solve common configuration and design issues
  • Differentiate between architectures for data processing and analytics, mobile back-ends, and video transcoding
  • Understand the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam structure and questions

Delivery Method
This curriculum is delivered using a blend of:

  • Instructor-led training
  • Hands-on Labs

Learning Progress
Student progress will be assessed using:

  • Knowledge assessments – 20 online knowledge assessments across the curriculum
  • Hands-on labs – 15 online labs across the curriculum
  • Group discussions
  • Projects – scenario-based exercises consisting of written and lab requirements reinforcing
    topics within the curriculum

Admission Requirements

Cloud Computing Architecture requires a strong foundation in IT concepts and skills. For details of curriculum pre-requisites, see below:

Data Center Concepts

Basic concepts of data center design philosophies, architecture, and operation of modern data centers, including:

  • Hardware (servers, racks, storage, and networking devices)
  • Software (virtualization)
  • Connectivity (backbones and peering)
  • Offsite backup services


  • Understand typical networking devices (e.g., switches, routers), protocols (e.g., Ethernet, IPv4 protocol stack, HTTP), and services (e.g., DNS, DHCP)
  • Know how to configure IP settings on common operating systems and devices
  • Understand networking subnetting
  • Describe common network appliances (e.g., firewall, load balancer, and proxy) and their functions

Servers and Systems Administration

  • Install and manage Windows or Linux operating systems, manually or unattended
  • Install applications, manually and via packaged deployments (e.g., RPM, MSI or yum)
  • Manage system security by administering users and groups, assigning permissions to resources, and configuring personal firewalls
  • Preferred: Understand distributed systems concepts including fault tolerance, high availability, configuration management, and automation


  • Understand common storage architecture and concepts related to servers and application environments (e.g., RAID, clustering)
  • Differences between types of storage (e.g., file, block)
  • Preferred: How file systems work (e.g., NTFS or ext4)


  • Understand common methods used to secure data centers, including:
    • Access control and identity management
    • Securing data in transit (e.g., SSH, SSL or TLS) and at rest (e.g., AES or SHA)


  • Conceptual understanding of common database technologies and solutions, including:
    • Relational (e.g., MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle SQL)
    • NoSQL (e.g., Cassandra or MongoDB)
    • Preferred: Distributed frameworks (e.g., Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark or Presto)

Preferred: Scripting and Configuration Management

  • Comfortable reading scripts in one or more scripting languages (e.g., Bash, Python, Java, C#, Ruby or PowerShell)
  • Conceptual knowledge of configuration management solutions (e.g., Puppet or Chef)

Preferred: Application Development

  • Conceptual understanding on how applications are built, and the tools and methods used to manage development, such as:
    • Version control solutions (e.g., Git, Perforce or BitBucket)
    • Development tools (e.g., code review solutions and development collaboration solutions)


UNIT 1: Introduction to Cloud Computing

  • What is Cloud Computing?
  • Leveraging Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Economics and Total Cost of Ownership

UNIT 2: Getting Started with AWS

  • AWS Compute, Storage, and Networking
    • Lab: Working with Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)
    • Lab: Creating Amazon EC2 instances with Microsoft Windows
    • Lab: Build Your Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Launch a Web Server
  • AWS Security, Identity, and Access Management
    • Lab: Introduction to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • AWS Database Options
    • Lab: Build Your Database Server and Interact with Your Database using an Application
  • AWS Elasticity and Management Tools
    • Lab: Scale and Load Balance Your Architecture

UNIT 3: Architecting on AWS

Part 1: Introduction to System Design

  • AWS Essentials Review
  • Designing Your Environment
    • Lab: Deploy a Web Application on AWS
    • Group discussion: Forklift an Existing Application onto AWS
  • System Design for High Availability (Part I & II)
    • Lab: Making Your Environment Highly Available

Part 2: Automation and Serverless Architectures

  • Event-Driven Scaling
    • Lab: Using Auto Scaling with AWS Lambda and Lifecycle Hooks
  • Automating Your Infrastructure
    • Lab: Creating an Amazon VPC with AWS CloudFormation

Mid-curriculum project

  • Decoupling Your Infrastructure
  • Designing Web-Scale Storage
    • Lab: Caching Static Files with Amazon CloudFront
    • Lab: Implementing a Serverless Architecture with AWS Managed Services
    • Group discussion: Build an Environment for a New Web Application

Part 3: Well-Architected Best Practices

  • Introducing the Well-Architected Framework
  • Well-Architected Pillar 1: Security
  • Well Architected Pillar 2: Reliability
    • Lab: Multi-Region Failover with Amazon Route 53
  • Well Architected Pillar 3: Performance Efficiency
  • Well Architected Pillar 4: Cost Optimization
    • Lab: Launching EC2 Spot Instances with Auto Scaling and Amazon CloudWatch

Part 4: Deployment and Implementation

  • Troubleshooting
  • Design Patterns and Sample Architectures
    • Lab: Using AWS Services to Enhance a Web Application

Final project



  • 2,800$ (or 2,600$ for Champlain graduates and current students)