The AWS SysOps Administrator exam is arguably the most difficult AWS exam.
It requires extensive knowledge and experience in managing and operating AWS services and system monitoring, deployments, and troubleshooting.
The exam questions are designed to challenge your ability to think critically and apply your knowledge in practical scenarios.
Passing the exam and earning the certification proves you are a valuable asset to any organization lucky enough to hire you.
This certification helps you stand out in the competitive job market and opens up opportunities for higher-level roles and responsibilities.
Get the Guide
A huge list of SysOps exam learning resources is at the bottom of this article.
- The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam validates your skills in deploying, managing, and operating infrastructure on AWS.
- The exam tests your knowledge across 6 domains: Monitoring, Reliability, Deployment, Security, Networking, and Optimization.
- Use the Domain table below for a list of AWS products you should know for the exam.
- Use the Resource List below for exam training, labs, and practice tests links.
Key Benefits of AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate Certification
The SysOps Admin certification is difficult, so the question should be answered: Is it worth it?
Salary Benefits of Certification
According to data gathered from Indeed.com, job listings that don’t mention certification pay $73K to $190K per year. Listings that require certification pay $60K to $242K a year.
Will certification in AWS SysOps help you get the interview, get the job, and make more money?
Opinion is mixed on whether it helps getting the interview or the offer.
One would expect it would help with both, but some people don’t think it matters.
The salary data indicates that certification gives you a higher top end to your salary range.
The job market for AWS SysOps admins is pretty small.
That means competition is high, and certification should give you preference over competitors.
It also means that the dataset for sysadmin salaries is not too robust.
Certification Proves Your Expertise
Obtaining the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification opens up a world of career opportunities and recognition as an expert in operating and managing AWS environments.
This highly regarded certification validates your skills in deploying, managing, and operating workloads on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, giving you a competitive edge in the job market.
This certification demonstrates your commitment to professional development, and employers recognize the value of hiring individuals with the skills and knowledge to manage AWS environments efficiently and securely.
Table: Key Benefits of AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate Certification
|Career Opportunities||Develop a comprehensive understanding of AWS services and best practices, enabling you to deploy and manage workloads on the platform effectively.|
|Industry Recognition||Gain recognition as a certified expert in operating and managing AWS environments, enhancing your professional reputation.|
|Expanded Skill Set||The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification can lead to higher salaries due to the demand for skilled cloud operations and management professionals.|
|High Earning Potential||The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification can lead to higher salaries due to the demand for skilled professionals in cloud operations and management.|
By investing in the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification, you position yourself for long-term career growth and success in the ever-evolving field of cloud computing.
Start your journey today and reap the benefits of becoming a certified AWS SysOps Administrator Associate.
Exam Overview and Format
The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam consists of 65 multiple-choice and multiple-response questions and has a time limit of 130 minutes.
This exam is designed to validate your skills in deploying, managing, and operating workloads on AWS.
It targets system administrators with experience in AWS technology and on-premises IT.
The exam content is divided into six domains, each focusing on different AWS operations and management aspects.
These domains include Monitoring, Logging, and Remediation; Reliability and Business Continuity; Deployment, Provisioning, and Automation; Security and Compliance; Networking and Content Delivery; and Cost and Performance Optimization.
To successfully pass the exam, you must demonstrate your knowledge in areas such as the AWS Well-Architected Framework, AWS networking, and security services, and implementing security controls and compliance requirements.
It is essential to thoroughly prepare for the exam by utilizing additional resources such as practice exams, digital training, webinars, and whitepapers.
|Table: AWS SysOps Admin Exam Specifications|
|Number of Questions||Time Limit||Target Audience|
|65||130 minutes||System administrators with experience in AWS technology and on-premises IT|
Exam Domains and Topics
The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam assesses your knowledge and skills in six domains, covering various aspects of operating and managing AWS environments.
|Table: AWS SysOps Administrator Certification Domains|
|Domain 1 – Monitoring, Logging, and Remediation||AWS Well-Architected Framework, CloudWatch, Cloud Trail, AWS Config, AWS Systems Manager, Amazon Inspector, AWS Config, AWS Systems Manager, AWS infrastructure|
|Domain 2 – Reliability and Business Continuity||Identity Access Management, Network Security Groups, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)|
|Domain 3 – Deployment, Provisioning, and Automation||Elastic Beanstalk, CloudFormation, OpsWorks, Lambda, AWS System Manager, Identity Access Management, AWS Systems Manager|
|Domain 4 – Security and Compliance||Identity Access Management, Network Security Groups, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)|
|Domain 5 – Networking and Content Delivery||Virtual Private Cloud, AWS Direct Connect, CloudFront, Access Control Lists, Virtual Private Networks, Domain Name Systems (DNS), Route 53, VPC Flow Logs, CloudTrail, Subnets, Routing Tables|
|Domain 6 – Cost and Performance Optimization||AWS Lambda, Caching, Auto Scaling, Usage Patterns, Performance Monitoring|
Domain 1 – Monitoring, Logging, and Remediation
The Monitoring, Logging, and Remediation Domain evaluates your understanding of AWS monitoring and logging services and your ability to implement remediation techniques in response to identified issues.
Key topics covered include CloudWatch, CloudTrail, and Amazon Inspector.
Key Concepts Tested in Domain 1
- Understand the AWS Well-Architected Framework
- Use Amazon CloudWatch to monitor and gather metrics
- Collect and analyze logs with Amazon CloudTrail
- Implement automated remediation with AWS Systems Manager
- Ensure compliance with AWS Config
Domain 2 – Reliability and Business Continuity
The Reliability and Business Continuity Domain tests on your knowledge of ensuring the reliability and continuity of AWS services.
This domain ensures that your AWS environment is highly available, fault-tolerant, and can handle unexpected disruptions.
Topics include disaster recovery, backup, restoration, and high availability.
You will demonstrate your knowledge of Elastic Load Balancing, Route 53, and Cloudfront.
You will also explore using Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) and Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) for decoupling and asynchronous processing.
You will be tested on Amazon S3 for durable object storage, Amazon Glacier for long-term archival storage, and Amazon EBS for reliable block-level storage.
You will also answer questions about AWS Database services like RDS and DynamoDB for data durability and replication.
Key Topics Tested in Domain 2
- Deploy resources across multiple Availability Zones
- Use Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing to architect highly available applications
- Monitor and manage resources to ensure fault tolerance using CloudWatch, CloudTrail, and AWS Config.
- Create data backup and recovery strategies using AWS Storage Gateway and Snowball.
- Replicate data across regions using S3 cross-region replication
- Ensure business continuity using AWS Database Migration Service, Server Migration Service, and Import/Export Snowball.
Domain 3 – Deployment, Provisioning, and Automation
The Deployment, Provisioning, and Automation Domain focuses on your expertise in deploying, provisioning, and automating infrastructure resources on AWS.
This domain covers various topics related to efficiently managing and scaling your infrastructure in the AWS cloud.
One of the key areas you should focus on is understanding the different deployment methods available on AWS, such as Elastic Beanstalk, AWS CloudFormation, and AWS OpsWorks.
You will be assessed on your understanding of AWS CloudFormation, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS OpsWorks.
You should have a solid understanding of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles and policies, which help you control and manage access to your AWS resources.
Knowledge of AWS CloudFormation templates and AWS Elastic Beanstalk environments will be essential for provisioning and managing your infrastructure as code.
Key Topics for Domain 3
- Deploy and scale web applications using Elastic Beanstalk.
- Provision and manage resources using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) templates
- Configure the deployment and management of applications and infrastructure using Chef and Puppet.
- Run your code without provisioning or managing servers using AWS Lambda.
- Scale resources for patching, automation and configuration management using AWS Systems Manager.
Domain 4 – Security and Compliance
The Security and Compliance Domain tests your knowledge in identity and access management, data encryption, and AWS compliance programs.
This domain evaluates your understanding of implementing security controls, managing access, and meeting compliance requirements in the cloud.
When securing AWS environments, it’s crucial to implement a defense-in-depth approach, which involves multiple layers of security controls to protect your resources.
These controls include identity and access management (IAM), encryption, network security groups (NSGs), and security groups.
Familiarize yourself with various compliance frameworks, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Key Topics for Domain 4
- Manage user access and permissions to AWS resources using IAM
- Implement robust authentication mechanisms like multi-factor authentication (MFA) to enhance security using user authentication.
- Encrypt your data at rest and in transit using AWS encryption services
- Utilize NSGs and security groups to control inbound and outbound traffic and protect your network.
- Demonstrate adherence to compliance requirements to protect sensitive data and ensure regulatory compliance.
Domain 5 – Networking and Content Delivery
The Networking and Content Delivery Domain assesses your knowledge and expertise in designing and implementing scalable and secure network architectures.
This domain focuses on the networking and content delivery services offered by AWS that play a crucial role in building highly available and performant applications in the cloud.
One essential service covered in this domain is Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), which allows you to create isolated virtual networks within the AWS cloud.
You will be tested on your ability to design and configure VPCs, including subnets, routing tables, and network access control lists (ACLs).
Understanding VPC peering, transit gateways, and VPN connections is also important.
Additionally, you must demonstrate your knowledge of AWS Direct Connect, which enables you to establish a dedicated network connection between your on-premises data center and the AWS cloud.
This ensures a secure and reliable connection, bypassing the public internet.
Other topics included in this domain are content delivery through CloudFront, Domain Name System (DNS) management using Amazon Route 53, and network traffic monitoring and analysis with AWS services such as VPC Flow Logs and AWS CloudTrail.
Key Topics for Domain 5
- Secure and configure virtual cloud subnets, routing tables, and access control lists using Amazon VPC.
- Connect a data center to the cloud using DirectConnect
- Securely distribute traffic using CloudFront
- Route end-users to their applications using Route 53
- Monitor cloud connections using VPC Flow Logs and AWS CloudTrail
Domain 6 – Cost and Performance Optimization
The Cost and Performance Domain evaluates your understanding of AWS cost management tools, performance monitoring, and optimization techniques.
The final domain focuses on optimizing costs and performance in AWS environments.
The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam covers a wide range of topics, ensuring that successful candidates have a comprehensive understanding of operating and managing AWS environments.
|Table: AWS SysOps Exam Domain Percentages|
|Exam Domain||Percentage of Exam|
|Monitoring, Logging, and Remediation||20%|
|Reliability and Business Continuity||16%|
|Deployment, Provisioning, and Automation||18%|
|Security and Compliance||20%|
|Networking and Content Delivery||16%|
|Cost and Performance Optimization||10%|
How to Prepare for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate Exam
Here are some strategies and tools to ensure success in passing the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam.
One of the most effective ways to prepare for the exam is by taking practice exams.
These exams simulate the actual test environment and help you familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions you’ll encounter.
They also provide an opportunity to assess your knowledge and identify areas that require further study.
Another valuable resource for exam preparation is the digital training offered by AWS.
These online courses cover the exam domains in detail and provide hands-on experience with AWS services.
The training materials help you build a solid understanding of the topics and reinforce your knowledge through practical exercises.
Webinars and Whitepapers
Attend webinars and read whitepapers provided by AWS to gain deeper insights into specific exam domains and industry best practices.
These resources offer valuable information and real-world scenarios to help you enhance your problem-solving skills and broaden your understanding of AWS services.
Study Groups and Forums
Join study groups or online forums to connect with other exam candidates and AWS professionals.
These communities provide a platform for knowledge sharing, discussing exam topics, and seeking guidance from experienced individuals.
Engaging in discussions and collaborative learning can significantly enrich your exam preparation experience.
By following these preparation strategies and utilizing the available resources, you can increase your chances of success in the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam.
Remember to allocate time for studying, practice, and revision, and stay updated with the latest AWS announcements and services.
AWS SysOps Administrator Exam RESOURCE LIST
|Table: AWS SysOps Administrator Exam Training Guides and Resources|
|AWS Operations Training||Certification-specific training, exam resources, role-play training, exam preparation courses|
|AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate||Certification-specific training, exam resources, role-play training, and exam preparation courses|
|AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (SOA-C02) Exam Guide||Understand test grading, domains, and tools|
|AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (SOA-C02) Sample Exam Questions||Static questions (not in the interactive exam environment), very detailed|
|AWS Documentation||Certification-specific training, exam resources, role-play training, and exam preparation courses|
|Exam Prep Official Practice Question Set: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (SOA-C02 – English)||SysOps Admin course, free to enroll, hands-on labs, full-length practice exam, overview, and some depth on 6 domains|
|AWS Power Hour: SysOps||6 webinars (one for each domain) recorded March 2022|
|Explore AWS Training and Certification Events||Compute, Machine Learning, Analytics, Storage, Security, Identity, Compliance, Database, Migration, Mobile, Networking, Content Delivery, Application Integration, Financial Management, Customer Engagement, Business Productivity, Developer Tools, Streaming, Management Tools, Internet of Things, Game Development, Media Services, Payments and Billing, Support, Customer Enablement Services, Artificial Intelligence, Satellite, Cloud computing, Cloud tool comparisons, AWS Free Tier.|
|AWS Skill Builder (SysOps specific topics)||Certification and application training for SysOps and all AWS cloud topics|
|AWS Ramp-Up Guide: System Operator||Digital training, classroom training, white papers, labs, tutorials, workshops|
|AWS FAQs||Compute, Machine Learning, Analytics, Storage, Security, Identity, Compliance, Database, Migration, Mobile, Networking, Content Delivery, Application Integration, Financial Management, Customer Engagement, Business Productivity, Developer Tools, Streaming, Management Tools, Internet of Things, Game Development, Media Services, Payments and Billing, Support, Customer Enablement Services, Artificial Intelligence, Satellite, Cloud computing, Cloud tool comparisons, AWS Free Tier|
|AWS Community||Forums, discussions, and community help|
SysOps Admin Questions and Answers
What is the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?
The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam is a certification exam offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that validates the technical skills and knowledge required to perform the duties of a SysOps Administrator in an AWS environment.
What are the main topics covered in the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?
The main topics covered in the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam include AWS management console, security concepts, AWS services, AWS CloudFormation, billing and pricing, troubleshooting and monitoring, and deployments and automation.
What is the exam code for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?
The exam code for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam is SOA-C02.
How many questions are there in the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?
There are a total of 65 questions in the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam.
What is the pass mark for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?
The pass mark for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam is not disclosed by AWS. However, it is recommended to aim for a score of 70% or above to increase your chances of passing.
What are some tips to help prepare for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?
Some tips to help prepare for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam include studying the official AWS exam guide, using practice questions and sample exams, gaining hands-on experience with AWS services, and utilizing online study resources and tutorials.
Where can I find an exam lab for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?
You can find an exam lab for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam by visiting the official AWS certification website and searching for authorized testing centers in your area.
How long is the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification valid for?
The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification is valid for 3 years from the date of certification. After 3 years, you will need to recertify to maintain your certification status.
Is a new version of the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam coming in 2023?
As of the current information available, AWS has not announced any new version of the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam for 2023. It is recommended to regularly check the official AWS certification website for any updates or announcements.
Can the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam help you become a certified Solutions Architect?
While the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam focuses on the skills and knowledge required for SysOps Administrator roles, it can provide a foundation and understanding of AWS services that may benefit individuals pursuing the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification.
How long should I prepare before taking the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam?
The preparation time for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate exam may vary depending on your prior experience and knowledge of AWS services. Dedicating a few months of consistent study and hands-on practice is recommended to thoroughly understand the exam topics and increase your chances of success.