How to pass the AWS Certified Advanced Networking exam as a traditional Network Engineer

How to pass the AWS Certified Advanced Networking exam as a traditional Network Engineer

Why did I pursue this certification?

As cloud computing continues to become the dominant platform for businesses of all sizes, the demand for network professionals with expertise in cloud networking is increasing. As a traditional network engineer transitioning to the cloud, obtaining the AWS Advanced Network Specialist certification was a crucial step to increase my technical expertise into hybrid networking and cloud networking on the AWS platform.

What resources did I use?

I had heard this certification was one of the most difficult exams AWS offers so I did not take my studies lightly. I used multiple books and training courses to prepare myself for what I expect to be a very difficult exam. I’ve listed the resources and the order in which you might review the material if you have little to no networking knowledge in the cloud.

In my experience I had a lot of traditional network experience but I found that was inadequate to pass this exam. Traditional network knowledge alone will not get you a passing score on the certification. You must know traditional networking concepts and then apply them to the AWS platform.

Quite honestly, one of the biggest challenges is remembering all the services by name and what they do. As I mentioned before, this is an exam on AWS services that support networking. So you must memorize and try to get hands on experience yourself with their technologies.

Without further ado below are the resources I used and the order I would suggest them.

  1. Tim McConnaughy’s book “The Hybrid Cloud Handbook for AWS: AWS Cloud Networking for Traditional Network Engineers”
    — I found this book a MUST due to the elegant way he contrasted traditional networking concepts with cloud technologies.
    — This book will give you a solid foundation into the most important network technologies in a way that a traditional engineer would understand.
    — Find the book HERE
    — I extensively documented the book as I prepared for this exam find my notes HERE

2. The next step you might take is a nice video course that ties a lot of the concepts together. I would recommend either a highly rate course on Udemy or the ACG (acloudguru) platform. Both platforms have an offering for the Advanced Network Specialty.
— I had both platforms made available to me by my employer, but chose ACG due to the layout of the platform. I enjoy how neat and orderly the ACG platform looks. I and I like how concise the video series are, being fairly short and to the point.
— Another benefit of ACG is the playground feature. You can get similar functionality with the business edition of Udemy but I found that ACG gives you more flexibility in the playground, it seems you can build more services and have more granular control over your playground.
— Lastly the one downside I found with ACG over Udemy are the practice tests. They are a little too easy (compared to the actual test) and I think they will give you a false sense of confidence. For testing you’re better off going with a Udemy test or something like

3. Reinforce your knowledge and go deeper. Now that you’ve got a much better understanding of AWS networking I would recommend you read the book “AWS Advanced Networking Exam Guide: ANS-C01” by Kam Agahian. With this book you’ll get a much deeper dive into AWS network concepts along with practical examples to further illustrate optimal network deployments.
— Find the book HERE

4. Lastly you need a great test bed of questions as you prepare for your exam. As I previously mentioned I believe Udemy and both offer superior test questions. In my studies I utilized both, you can’t go wrong with either one.


In conclusion, I would say that this was a very difficult exam for me. Even having lots of networking experience. If you’re going to pursue this certification I would highly suggest you expect at least 3 months of prep time. Again, this was a very difficult exam but it was totally worth it if you’re a network engineer looking to take your career to the next level and have an extremely deep understanding of networking on AWS.

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