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New AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty for ACG

April 30, 2023

The AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty (ANS-C01) exam is by far one of the most difficult exams that AWS currently offers. Ask anybody who has taken it! And even though there hasn't been an "official" update to the exam, we all know AWS does their best to include newer technologies, services, and quotas roughtly six months post release or service update.

As a result, the current version of the AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty course on offer by A Cloud Guru is lacking some of the newer technologies and concepts that are features on the exam. But not to worry! We are currently in the process of refreshing this content where it needs some tender love and care. This includes:

  • Breaking existing lessons down into a way that allows for more efficient means of learning, by segmenting them into more digestible chunks
  • Adding brand-new content and lessons where we think it will benefit you as learners
  • Updating the actual content within existing lessons where required
  • Adding new hands-on labs, so you can get practical experience

We know countless people are taking lessons during short periods of “free” time, whether it be a lunch hour, right after putting kids to bed, or maybe a short 30-minute break from personal obligations during the day. In other words, we know your time is valuable, and we want to optimize the learning experience for you.

To learn a bit more about what else you can look forward, keep scrolling! If not, the most important thing you need to know is we are doing our best to listen to the public feedback about our existing ANS-C01 exam prep content, and this will be addressed very soon.

Sneak Peek at What’s New

On to the good stuff! Here's a glimpse of what you can look forward to as far as new lessons and content go. A quick disclaimer before continuing: this is a shortened and generalized overview of what is coming, and is subject to change slightly.

Design and Implement AWS Networks

During this section, you will see that we are adding quite a bit of new content! We are going to cover things like the following:

  • Deep dives into public and private AWS services

  • ‘Bring Your Own IP’ designs

  • Discussions on when to use Private NAT Gateways

  • Demos and hands on labs regarding complex VPC interconnectivity

  • Real-time logging of VPC Flow Logs

We are really doing our best to cover everything ranging from overall design considerations for your AWS networks, to actually implementing the designs mentioned. Knowing things is great, but we love to do our best to reinforce your learning via hands-on activities! 

Configure Network Integration with Application Services

Let’s move on to the next section! This section is slated to receive a TON of new updates and lessons. Things you can expect to see that are new here would be the following:

  • Break down and deep dive into Route 53 designs (zones, records, delegation)

  • Talking about the VPC Route 53 resolvers in depth

  • Examples of using AWS Global Accelerator

  • Coverage of all types of AWS ELBs with architecture examples and considerations

  • More concise content regarding Amazon CloudFront (OAIs, TLS, Custom Origins, Lambda@Edge use cases, restricting viewer access)

  • Brief coverage of what it takes to leverage EKS from a networking standpoint

  • Securely implementing API Gateway with custom domains

  • Very in-depth discussion about EC2 networking considerations like Elastic Fabric Adapter, Placement Groups, and Enhanced Networking capabilities

Of course, in addition to the list above, you can definitely expect to see some new and updated hands-on labs for you to partake in.

Hybrid Networking Basics and VPNs in AWS

Hybrid networking! Let’s just say this might be one of the most critical sections to understand for this exam. There will be plenty of questions regarding some type of hybrid networking on your exam, I can almost guarantee it.

The primary focus for brand new and updated content on this section will be regarding AWS VPN designs. We intend to break down the many options available to you when wanting to implement a hybrid network using a VPN connection. There are several specific aspects to each VPN that can help you decipher which option to go for when taking the exam.

We will be getting in-depth talking about Accelerated Site-to-Site VPN, AWS Client VPN, AWS VPN CloudHub, and even third-party solutions! 

AWS Direct Connect and Hybrid DNS

Let’s continue on the Hybrid networking train! In this critical section, you can expect us to build on the existing material by adding and updating the following pieces of content:

  • Updates to the Direct Connect connection process (including the GUI design)

  • Updated coverage of VIF types when using Direct Connect connections, as well as Link Aggregation Groups

  • Brand-new coverage about MACSec when leverage Direct Connect

  • Updated Well-Architected decision-making

Transitive Networking

More interconnectivity fun stuff! The majority of this section will be focused on updating the existing lessons to contain some more recent information. However, in addition to that, we will also be adding in a handful of new labs so that you can get some relevant experience with using Transit Gateway and attachments for complex routing and networking architectures. 

Some key areas of focus here will be:

  • Centralized egress traffic flows

  • Using TGW for a shared services VPC

Design and Implement for Security and Compliance

What is networking without security? Compromised. 🙂

In this all important section, you can expect to see new content about updates to traffic protection methods like AWS Network Firewall, implementation of new traffic awareness services and concepts, and even VPC Traffic Mirroring. In addition to those, you will see coverage of things like:

  • Using Amazon GuardDuty for IDS

  • Inspecting network reachability and vulnerability with AWS Inspector

  • Considerations for CloudHSM from a networking standpoint

  • Central management using AWS Firewall Manager

Continuing with the themes from the other sections, we will be including updated labs here as well.

Automate AWS Tasks

The last main section of the course! Here is what you can look forward to:

  • Updated CloudFormation demo lessons for more complex solutions

  • Leverage AWS CloudMap for resource mapping

  • All new lab for implementing a full pipeline regarding AWS networking infrastructure as code templates

This will be a fun update to the course, and we think you will really enjoy it!

Wrapping Up

Wow! Lots of reading and lists! The main point to focus on is we will be updating this course based on public feedback very soon. Of course, we appreciate everyone’s patience during this process. Everyone involved is very excited about the update, and we all think you will thoroughly enjoy the brand-new content. We did our best to plan a refreshed course that is more future-proof, and one that further enables you to pass your difficult AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty (ANS-C01) exam. In the meantime, keep being awesome!

Andru Estes

Andru is an experienced architect and engineer who has had many years of hands on experience with numerous cloud and virtualization technologies. Learning the newest technologies is what really drives him, and it is icing on the cake that he has the ability to teach others how to use what he has learned. Teaching the skill sets he has acquired can have lasting impacts on students, and that to him is amazing.