It’s important to know the details of what each service is.  But at the same time, it helps to know a simple phrase to trigger your memory as a complete newbie.  So I’ve created this AWS Mnemonics page to help you remember key features and facts.

Especially when there are half a dozen services that begin with the word “Cloud.”

Here are some mnemonics that I’ve come up with for each service that come up in exams.  I’ll be adding to this page as I progress through my own studies and certification exam preparations.

Mnemonics for Certified Cloud Practitioner

For Cloud Practitioner exam, it’s more important that you can identify and know the use case scenarios of core services, rather than knowing gritty details about every service offered by AWS.


  • VPC: virtual network (your “corner” of the cloud)
  • EC2: virtual server
  • Elastic Load Balancing: “balance” incoming traffic “loads”
  • Elastic Beanstalk: automatically “grow” your app to meet demands like Jacks’ beanstalk
  • S3: object storage
  • CloudFront: speedy websites (imagine “front” of race) -uses Edge Locations
  • CloudFormation: templates to “form” cloud services
  • CloudTrail: track “trails” of action (audit logs)
  • CloudWatch: “watch”/monitor AWS
  • Route 53: “route” domains to services/IPs
  • Elastic Block Store: block storage; virtual drive
  • RDS: relational database
  • Aurora: relational database (runs on RDS)
  • DynamoDB: non-relational database (NoSQL)
  • Redshift: business intelligence
  • Lambda: serverless code
  • IAM: provide access
  • WAF: web app firewall
  • Shield: DDoS protection
  • Inspector: automated security assessment for EC2
  • Trusted Advisor: optimize infrastructure (performance, cost optimization, security, fault tolerance)

Billing: BDBE-TAM

  • Basic (Free)
  • Developer ($29/mo)
  • Business ($100/mo)
  • Enterprise ($15,000/mo; TAM)

Cloud Computing: SIP PHO

Slurp slurp slurp…. I love Phở! (Vietnamese noodle soup)


Cloud Computing Models: SIP

  • Software as a Service
  • Infrastructure as a Service
  • Platform as a Service

Learn more about Cloud Computing Models here: Basics of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Deployment Models: PHO (yum!)

  • Public (Cloud)
  • Hybrid
  • On-Premise/Private

Learn more about Cloud Computing Deployment Models here: Basics of Cloud Computing

Design Principles: CROPSS

  • Cost Optimization
  • Reliability
  • Operational
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Sustainability

Relational vs Non-Relational Databases

Relational Database: SQL

Data with “meaning”

  • RDS
    • Aurora (MySQL, PostgreSQL-compatible)
  • Redshift (data warehouse, business intelligence)

Non-Relational Database: NoSQL

LOTS OF DATA but no links between the data

Self-Managed Database

Host on EC2 for complete control over database engine and underlying infrastructure

CloudWatch vs CloudTrail

CloudWatch dynamically monitors and can react to changes/triggers.  Need to know how much CPU an EC2 instance is using? CloudWatch.

CloudTrail is audit logs.  Need to know how someone got into an app? CloudTrail for access logs.

Mnemonics for Certified Solutions Architect – Associate


8 thoughts on “AWS Mnemonics: Simple Flash Cards

  1. Love your website!!!! Everything a newbie needs in one place. Also written in an interactive easily digestible way.

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