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How to Learn Cloud Architecture: Training to Help You Reach New Career Heights

Jacqueline Renouard - December 29, 2020

Are you ready to take your learning to the cloud? Learn about Microsoft Azure , Amazon Web Services, SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS, by taking some of the exciting courses in this article.

Cloud architecture has revolutionized how complex business problems can be solved by designing solutions using a cloud platform. If you want to help a company develop its cloud computing strategy, then you should start by learning cloud architecture.

Businesses are moving toward cloud computing to save money, for easier access, and to improve scalability. Therefore job opportunities are increasing, as are the paychecks for experienced cloud architects. Take a look through this comprehensive guide to explore what you will need to know about becoming a cloud architect.

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What Is Cloud Architecture?

Cloud computing architecture is the task of designing the skeleton of a cloud software, much like the way the architecture of a building is designed. It involves the combined knowledge of networks, data centers, applications, cloud management, and security.

Cloud architects will also look into how they can use different clouds, such as hybrid clouds, public clouds, and private clouds. Cloud architects are essentially consultants for a business or organization, and must stay up to date with the latest trends.

A cloud architect is responsible for including the requirements of a project in the design of the final product. Cloud architects come up with solutions to any difficult issues that a business may be facing.

They also work alongside technology team members such as DevOps developers and engineers to ensure that a project is being executed correctly.

What Is Cloud Architecture Used For?

Cloud architecture is the understanding of how all the components within a cloud software work together. This ensures that the environment of a cloud platform is functional, easy to use, and shareable online.

Below is a quick overview of what a cloud architect does, and some of the skills they must have. Since the inception of cloud computing in the late 1990s, the required skills have evolved a lot.

  • Infrastructure design. The central aspect of a cloud architect’s duties will involve designing cloud infrastructure to meet a company’s needs.
  • Manage clouds. The architect will also coordinate cloud architecture across areas such as network management, application development, identity and access management, and data management. They often work with employees from other departments to perform changes to the cloud.
  • Cloud security. Basic knowledge of firewalls, network security, and other security elements are key to working as a cloud architect.
  • Solutions architecture. As a solutions architect, you will be more focused on using architecture to solve business problems and will lead a team to implement these solutions.

Types of Cloud Architecture

Below are the three types of cloud architecture that will be at the core of your studies. Learning about SaaS , IaaS, and PaaS are essential, as they are the most popular types of architecture used by businesses.

Software as a Service

Let’s look at the cloud computing basics starting with SaaS. The cloud allows organizations easy access to computing resources, and improves data storage and computer performance.

The most popular cloud system is SaaS, which is used to host applications. You may be familiar with SaaS applications such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Salesforce, Slack, Dropbox, and Zen Desk.

Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS provides the infrastructure necessary for network operating systems. This includes data storage and virtual servers. In IaaS, providers manage the hardware for cloud-based servers and network infrastructure.

Platform as a Service

PaaS allows vendors to give their clients the same server space and flexibility. A PaaS vendor handles things like middleware, runtime, operating system, virtualization, and storage. This infrastructure and software model allows cloud developers and to create Web applications.

Learning Cloud Architecture

You do not need to have a formal degree to learn cloud architecture, although it does require a wide range of knowledge. You will need to know about cloud technologies, operating systems, and programming , and have an understanding of network and security.

The most efficient way to learn about cloud architecture is to research the different types and pick the course that matches the service you want to work in. Below you will find a whole host of great cloud architect training.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Cloud Architecture?

It takes around five years to learn cloud architecture from scratch with no programming or IT skills . For those already familiar with different operating systems, and with some knowledge of Java and other coding languages, learning cloud architecture can take two to six months.

How to Learn Cloud Architecture: Step-by-Step

Below is a list of the steps you should take if you are trying to learn cloud architecture with no skills. Once you have completed these steps, you will have a good fundamental understanding of cloud architecture components, operating systems, languages, networks, and cloud service models.

  1. Learn operating systems. The consensus among cloud architects is that Linux operating system is the best. However, it is a good idea to get an understanding of all the different Linux systems and other operating systems such as Unix, Solaris, Ubuntu, and Windows.
  2. Understand networking. Working with networks is a critical part of a cloud architect’s job, so you should brush up on computer networking courses to learn about IP addresses, TCP/IP, HTTP, and DNS.
  3. Learn programming languages. It may be confusing to figure out which coding language you should learn first. But rest assured, you will not need a great deal of programming knowledge to work in the cloud, although learning the basics of Java, Python, and C# is a good idea.
  4. Learn public and private cloud platforms. As an architect, you should know your cloud platforms, including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud , AWS, and Alibaba. This will help you determine what kind of cloud architect you want to become, and what coding language you should focus on.
  5. Attend a cloud architecture course. Now, it’s time to attend courses and receive certifications. Below, we have put together a comprehensive list of trustworthy and exciting cloud architecture training that you will want to look into.

The Best Cloud Architecture Courses and Training

person in a green shirt with a black beany looking at a large monitor
Learn how to build cloud architecture systems one brick at a time with the courses listed below.

There are some great free and paid online training options for those looking to study cloud architecture. There are also many individual courses offered in AWS , Azure, Alibaba, and Google Cloud.

Online Cloud Architecture Courses

Below are two paid online courses if you’re ready to invest in your learning. Students can choose between a short course covering all the cloud platforms, or a three-month AWS course, since that platform is one of the most popular.


This course will make you an expert in cloud applications and architecture. It is a fantastic course for anyone looking to learn multiple cloud services in one class, such as Azure, AWS, EC2, Route53, and Google Cloud.


Cloud Academy offers hundreds of different classes on cloud computing classes. They also have courses on Azure, AWS, VMware, Google, Alibaba, and some specifically on cloud architecture. This is an all-around excellent place to look for lessons, cloud resources, and labs.

Free Cloud Architecture Courses

Below are some highly regarded free courses offered on Azure and a range of other cloud networks. These are perfect for beginners and advanced students alike, as there are many options to choose from.

Linkedin Learning

Prepare for AWS Solutions Architect: Professional Certification

  • Where: Online
  • Time: 3 to 11 hours
  • Price: One-month free trial

LinkedIn offers training on cloud-based infrastructure in line with the CompTIA and AWS solutions architect certifications. These two courses are great for beginners who are preparing for a certification exam.


Architect storage infrastructure in Azure

Architect compute infrastructure in Azure

Architect infrastructure operations in Azure

Architect a data platform in Azure

  • Where: Online
  • Time: 4 to 8 hours each
  • Price: Free

These and many more free courses are available to anyone on Microsoft’s website. They will seamlessly guide you through cloud architecture with Azure and prepare you for Microsoft’s certification exams.

These classes are ideal for anyone looking to become an Azure architect. They offer many lessons, so it is worth browsing the company’s website to find a specific course or professional certificate that appeals to you.

Cloud Academy

Alibaba Cloud Library

Microsoft Azure Training Library

Google Cloud Platform Training Library

  • Where: Online
  • Time: Varies
  • Price: Free

Cloud Academy has hundreds of classes on cloud computing, so we have selected a few of the best. They also have courses on exam preparation for Azure, AWS, Google, and Alibaba, as well as several other cloud architecture courses. This is an all-around excellent website for courses, cloud resources, and hands-on training labs.

Cloud Architecture Books

Now that you have started with cloud architecture courses, it’s time to stick your nose in a book to learn more about best practices.

Multi-Cloud Architecture: Leverage Azure, AWS, GCP, and VMware vSphere to build effective multi-cloud solutions , Jeroen Mulder

This is a comprehensive guide to cloud architecture, as well as implementation, management, and control of cloud environments. It will guide you through Azure, AWS, GCP, and VMware vSphere. The lessons will help you learn how to keep an eye on the cost, governance, development, and security of your cloud solutions.

Cloud-Native Architectures: Design high-availability and cost-effective applications for the cloud , Tom Laszewski

This book is great for those looking into cloud architecture and applications, and how to migrate a business to the cloud. The text will cover the core design elements that will help you create scalable systems.

It will help you learn how to plan technology stacks effectively for more efficient security, and will provide you with real-world examples that explore core architectural principles in detail.

Cloud Architecture Certifications

These are the most popular cloud architecture certifications available. Take a peek at which one could boost your career.

CompTIA Cloud+

This is a good first step certification for IT professionals or complete cloud beginners. It will prove your ability in networking, security, applications, databases, workflows, and maintaining cloud infrastructure services.

The exam consists of 110 questions and takes 160 minutes to complete. It costs $329.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

This examination is for solutions architects who have more than one year of experience designing distributed systems on AWS. This is a highly sought-after certificate that has led some recipients to reach salaries of up to $149,446, according to the Global Knowledge Report in 2020.

The 180-minute includes multiple choice questions and costs $300.

Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

This certification will help you gain an understanding of cloud architecture, particularly the Google Cloud Platform. It will enable you to design, develop, and manage dynamic solutions to drive business objectives, and can lead to an estimated salary of $175,761 per year.

The exam is a two-hour, multiple-choice exam can be taken remotely, in person, or at a test center. It costs $200.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

This exam covers cloud principles, Azure services, solutions, and management tools on Azure. It also includes questions on general security and network security features, identity, governance, privacy, compliance, and cost management. This exam costs $99.

Online Cloud Architecture Resources

Read on to find some great resources for learning cloud architecture. These will help you better understand specific aspects of cloud services.

CompTIA Cloud+ Certification Study Guide

The first handy resource comes from CompTIA, but you can choose to study on the website of any of the cloud certification guides. The CompTIA site offers great insight into what you need to do to prepare to get your certification. It also has tips to help complete beginners.

You can find excerpts from cloud architecture courses, such as the Simplilearn course mentioned above, on YouTube. There are videos containing cloud architect interview questions, and how to learn cloud computing . This free video content is an ideal place to start if you are still unsure of what cloud architects do.

Should You Study Cloud Architecture?

a cityscape seen above the clouds
Learning cloud architecture can open you up to a world of employment opportunities.

As more and more companies use the cloud to host their applications and services, more exciting work opportunities will continue to arise. Consider whether you would love to learn front end, back end, cloud-based delivery, or network components as you help a company develop its cloud computing strategy.

If you’re interested in these aspects, then taking a cloud architecture course could take your career to new heights. We at Career Karma hope this guide has given you all the information you need to get started. If you still want to read more, check out our articles on Azure interview questions , or browse the CK website and blog for more tips.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Jacqueline Renouard

About the author: Jacqueline is a writer at Career Karma, where she draws on her skills as a wordsmith to cover topics like higher education, technical skills, and occupations. After earning her BA in Television and Film Production from the University of Portsmouth, she worked for Wellbe, where she wrote extensively about health, wellness, and fitness. She joined the Career Karma team in September 2020, bringing expertise in digital marketing and content creation.

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