AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty Exam Study Guide

The AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty certification exam is a part of the AWS Specialty learning path and is a highly in-demand certificate among AWS Specialty certifications. The Advanced Networking path focuses on designing and maintaining network architectures in AWS, and using core AWS services to perform networking tasks. You are also tested on your technical skills in implementing hybrid network solutions that span multiple locations for both on-premises and in AWS. Since networking in AWS is quite intricate, companies need individuals like you who meet the competency level in designing complex network solutions.

Primarily, this certification exam is recommended for people who have experience with AWS networking. A Specialty exam can be as difficult as a Professional-level exam, so ample preparation is needed. You can know more about your exam through the official exam guide here. It breaks down the different domains that you can expect from the exam, with each domain discussing the different scenarios and services that you should have knowledge of.

Study Materials

The best things in life are free. With that said, the primary study materials we recommend for the AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty exam are:

  1. Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty – This is a 9-hour course that is FREE to take in the aws.training portal. It is a great way to get started on your review.
  2. AWS Whitepapers – This will be listed below
  3. AWS Documentation and FAQs
  4. AWS Blogs – This is also important since blogs often contain scenarios or architecture diagrams that might appear as questions in your exam.
  5. AWS Re:Invent videos – The same goes with Re:Invent videos. AWS usually features sample architectures for new features or services to give a better idea of how to use them.

There are also some paid content that are worth checking out if you are eager to pass the exam confidently:

  1. AWS Certified Advanced Networking Official Study Guide: Specialty Exam – There is a kindle version of this and a paperback version.
  2. Advanced Architecting on the AWS training site – A classroom-type setting that discusses architectures using multiple AWS networking services such as Direct Connect and Storage Gateway.

Whitepapers:

  1. AWS Direct Connect Deep Dive
  2. Amazon Virtual Private Cloud Connectivity Options
  3. Building a Scalable and Secure Multi-VPC AWS Network Infrastructure
  4. Hybrid Cloud DNS Options for Amazon VPC
  5. Integrating AWS with Multiprotocol Label Switching

Blogs:

  1. Reviewing DNS Mechanisms for Routing Traffic and Enabling Failover for AWS PrivateLink Deployments
  2. IT Certification Category (English)728x90
  3. Connecting a Single Customer Router to Multiple VPCs
  4. How to Set Up DNS Resolution Between On-Premises Networks and AWS by Using Unbound

Core AWS Services to Focus On

For this exam, you should have a thorough understanding of the following services:

1. Amazon VPC

  • AWS Regions and Availability Zones
  • IPv4 and IPv6 operations and supported service
  • Elastic IP
  • Amazon PrivateLink, VPC Endpoints
  • VPC Peering and other VPC connectivity options
  • DHCP Options Set
  • Secondary CIDR Blocks
  • IPv4 CIDR block association restrictions
  • NAT Gateway Troubleshooting
  • Ephemeral ports
  • Managed prefix list for VPC Endpoints
  • VPC Flow Logs
  • Transit VPC

2. VPN on AWS

  • VPN termination in AWS
  • VPN + Direct Connect, Routing preferences
  • VPN high availability, fault-tolerance and scalability
  • Site-to-Site VPN tunnel options
  • Customer gateway options

3. AWS Direct Connect

  • Direct Connect Provisioning
  • Virtual Interface Types (Public, Private, Transit and Hosted)
  • Link Aggregation Group
  • Direct Connect Gateway
  • AWS Direct Connect Resiliency Types

4. AWS Transit Gateway

5. Route 53

  • DNS management
  • Traffic routing policies with health checks
  • Subdomain Delegation
  • Public vs Private Hosted Zone

6. Elastic Load Balancers

  • ALB, NLB and CLB
  • TCP Passthrough
  • Request Headers (X-Forwarded-For, Proxy Protocol v2)
  • ALB Listener Rule condition types

7. Amazon CloudFront

  • Components of a CloudFront distribution
  • CloudFront for caching, CloudFront for streaming
  • Lambda@Edge

8. AWS VPN CloudHub

9. Amazon GuardDuty

  • How to automate monitoring of potential network threats

10. AWS Shield (Advanced)

  • How to guard against DDoS and other infrastructure layer attacks
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11. AWS WAF

  • How to guard against network layer DDoS, SQL injection, XSS, and other common security exploits
  • IP-based and Geo-based Blocking

12. AWS Firewall Manager

  • How to centrally manage firewall rules across multiple accounts

13. Amazon Workspaces

Important networking topics

  1. OSI model
  2. Traffic encryption
  3. IP VPN, MPLS (multi-protocol label switching), VPLS (virtual private LAN service)
  4. Transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6
  5. Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU)
  6. Types of Scope BGP community tags
  7. Types of Local preference BGP community tags
  8. Multi-exit discriminators (MEDs)
  9. Autonomous System (AS) prepending
  10. Public and Private Autonomous System Number (ASN)
  11.  IP Protocol 50 – Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)
  12. BGP routing and static routing
  13. DHCP in VPC
  14. IPS/IDS, WAF, DDoS protection, EDoS protection
  15. Hybrid architectures involving private networks and AWS network
  16. How to troubleshoot network issues

Validate Your Knowledge

The first resource that you should check after you’ve reviewed the materials above is the FREE AWS sample questions for Advanced Networking specialty. It has 10 questions that are patterned similarly to the real exam, and AWS has provided the answers with great explanations for each item at the end of the file. Be sure to check this sample questionnaire often since AWS may upload a new version of it at any time.

For a full-on practice test course, you can use Tutorials Dojo’s high-quality AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty practice exams to get you prepared. Our practice exams contain multiple sets of questions that cover almost every area you can expect from the real certification exam. We also include detailed explanations after each item to help you understand why one choice is better than the others, which is the value that you get from our course. Practice exams are a great way to know which AWS topics you need to focus on and they also highlight the important information that you might have missed during your reviews.

AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty Practice Exams

Unfortunately, for this Specialty certification exam, as of writing this guide, AWS has yet to release an official practice exam in the aws.training portal. If you have purchased the AWS Certified Advanced Networking Official Study Guide: Specialty Exam book, it includes two sets of practice questions that you can read through and answer, as well as sample exercises that you can implement in your AWS account.

Final Remarks

In a real-world setting, it can be difficult to gain hands-on experience with deep, technical, network-related AWS tasks. Not everyone uses a Direct Connect or links multiple VPCs together, and these situations are not easily doable on a personal account. This is also why some exam takers consider the AWS Advanced Networking exam to be more difficult than both the Solutions Architect Professional exam and the DevOps Professional exam. If you are also in a similar situation, the next best way to study is to “simulate” using these services via pen and paper. List down the steps and details you need to provision a resource, for example, and create a diagram of how your network should look like at the end. This way, you’ll at least have the theoretical experience needed in designing and troubleshooting complex network systems, which will really help you out in your actual exam.

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