AWS Fundamentals

The Building Blocks of AWS

  • Region vs availability zones: availability zone can be thought of as a data center (it may be multiple but grouped into one).
  • A region is a geographical area that consists of availability zones.
  • Edge locations: endpoints for AWS used for caching content. Typically consists of CloudFront.

Who Owns What In The Cloud?

Analogy initially used that speaks about the responsibility for whom when renting a car.

The "Shared Responsibility Model" is a model that is used by AWS to determine who owns what in the cloud.


  • Custom data
  • Platform, Applications, IAM
  • Operating System Network & Firewall Configuration
  • Client-Side Data Encryption & Data Integrity Authentication
  • Server-Side Encryption (FS and/or data)
  • Networking traffic protection (encryption, integrity, identity)


  • Software: Compute, Storage, Database, Networking
  • Hardware/AWS Global Infra: Regions, AZs, Edge Locations

Question: can you do this yourself in the AWS Management Console? If yes, you are likely responsible. Otherwise, AWS is likely responsible (ie. their data centers, etc.).

Encryption is a shared responsibility.

Compute, Storage, Databases

  • Compute (things to crunch the data): EC2, Lambda, Elastic Beanstalk.
  • Storage (safe place to save data): S3, EBS (Elastic Block Store), EFS (Elastic File Service), FSx, Storage Gateway.
  • Database (reliable way to store and retrieve info): RDS, DynamoDB, Redshift (database warehousing tech).
  • Networking (how the others communicate with each other): VPCs, Direct Connect, Route 53, API Gateway, AWS Global Accelerator.

What is the Well-Architected Framework

AWS has hundreds of whitepapers available.

Each piller of the Well-Architected Framework has its own whitepaper.

  • Operational Excellence
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Performance Efficiency
  • Cost Optimization

Read the white paper before the exam.

Exam Tips

AWS Building Blocks Tips

  1. Region is a physical locations that consists of two or more AZs.
  2. AZ is one or more discrete data centers - each with redundant power, networking and connectivity - housed in separate facilities.
  3. Edge locations are endpoints for AWS that are used for caching content. Typically consists of CloudFront.

Shared Responsibility Model Tips

  • "Can you do this yourself in the AWS Management Console?"

Compute, Storage, Databases Tips

Review the section - it has all the tips required to know.

Well Architected Model Tips

Read the white paper before the exam.