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Amazon Web Services (AWS) Interview Questions

Amazon Web Services is the hottest topic in the tech world at the moment. If you’re looking for any incredibly well paid tech job then look out for AWS which offers candidates at least a 30% increase on the average tech salary.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that AWS is something you can learn overnight though because it’s certainly not. Amazon offer a large number of web services that stretch across many areas such as compute, database, storage, content delivery and networking. The list is also constantly evolving with new services added all the time.

At it’s core, AWS offers EC2 virtual machines for hosting all manner of applications and services, which are supported by the wider infrastructure of content delivery (S3,CloudFront), storage (Glacier, EB), databases (Amazon RDS, DynamoDB) and many others.

The questions below include a variety of AWS topics that are perfect for anyone due for a technical interview in the coming days. Enjoy and good luck!

Interview Questions

1. Which database service would you choose if you wanted complex querying capabilities like joins or transactions but didn't want a data warehouse?

  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon RDS
  • Amazon Redshift
  • Amazon ElastiCache

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2. Choose the correct AWS database service for the following requirements:
> Large volumes of structured data to persist and query using standard SQL and existing business intelligence tools
> High performance at scale as data and query complexity grows

  • Amazon Redshift
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon ElastiCache
  • Amazon RDS

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3. Amazon RDS detects and automatically recovers from the most common failure scenarios for Multi-AZ deployments so that you can resume database operations as quickly as possible without administrative intervention. Amazon RDS automatically performs a failover in the event of which of the following:

  • Loss of availability in primary Availability Zone
  • Compute unit failure on primary
  • Loss of network connectivity to primary
  • All of these

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4. In some cases, Multi-AZ deployments utilize synchronous physical replication to keep data on the standby up-to-date with the primary. In other cases a synchronous logical replication is used to achieve the same result, Which technology below uses logical replication?

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Oracle
  • SQL Server

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5. When you create an encrypted EBS volume and attach it to a supported instance type, which types of data are encrypted:

  • All of these
  • Data at rest inside the volume
  • All snapshots created from the volume
  • All disk I/O

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6. You're configuring a new Security Group for your EC2 instance and want to follow security best practice. Under the Inbound rules tab which Rule Type would you commonly use with a Custom IP range?

  • HTTP
  • FTP
  • RDP

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7. This question relates to S3: If the object named photos/1.jpg is stored in the johnsmith bucket, then authorized users could access the object with which URL?

  • http://s3.amazonaws.com/johnsmith/photos/1.jpg
  • http://s3.johnsmith.amazonaws.com/photos/1.jpg
  • http://johnsmith.amazonaws.com/s3/photos/1.jpg
  • http://johnsmith.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/1.jpg

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8. Which version of Amazon Kinesis would you use if you wanted multi-stage processing using specialized algorithms, for example in building a recommendations engine?

  • Amazon Kinesis Streams
  • Amazon Kinesis Firehose
  • Amazon Kinesis Analytics
  • None of these options would suffice

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9. You have an existing website called example.com that points to a specific IP address. You now want to create three subdomains that point to the same IP address. To reduce maintanance which domain record type should you choose?

  • A
  • MX
  • TXT

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10. A Hadoop cluster contains one master instance group that contains one master node, a core instance group containing one or more core node and an optional task node instance group, which can contain any number of task nodes.

Which type of node can you remove from a running job flow?

  • core node
  • task node
  • None of them
  • master node

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11. A load balancer is a combination of a DNS name and a set of ports, which together provide a destination for all requests intended for your application

Is the following statement TRUE or FALSE?

Load balancers can span multiple Availability Zones and also multiple regions.

  • TRUE

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12. Which of the following is the correct statement regarding Availability Zones?

  • A collection of regions that together make up an Availability Zone.
  • A distinct location within a region that is insulated from failures in other Availability Zones.
  • Another name for an entire region which contains AWS instances.
  • The timeframe a particular service is available for use by authorized users

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13. A secret access key is used in conjunction with the access key ID to cryptographically sign programmatic AWS requests. Signing a request identifies the sender and prevents the request from being altered. What can you generate secret access keys for?

  • AWS account
  • All of these
  • Temporary sessions
  • Individual IAM users

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14. Which of the following is NOT part of security group?

  • List of protocols
  • List of usernames
  • Ports
  • IP address ranges

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15. Which DB deployment type has a synchronous standby replica in another Availability Zone?

  • Multi-AZ
  • Single-AZ

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16. Which approach would you use if you wanted an EC2 instance that matched a particular configuration but wanted to avoid dependencies to configuration services or third-party repositories?

  • Golden Images
  • Bootstrapping

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17. Which Amazon service would you use for content delivery?

  • ELB
  • CloudFront
  • SQS
  • SES

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18. Which of the following redundancy types uses failover as it's recovery process?

  • standby redundancy
  • active redundancy

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19. Data replication is the technique that introduces redundant copies of data. It can help horizontally scale read capacity, but it also increase data durability and availability. Replication can take place in a few different modes.

You want to use replicas to horizontally scale the system’s data storage but you cannot tolerate any replication lag. Which type of repliaction should you use?

  • Asynchronous replication
  • Synchronous replication

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20. What fault-isolating technique is described below:

Instead of spreading traffic from all customers across every node, you can group the instances together. For example, if you have eight instances for your service, you might create four groups of two instances each (two instances for some redundancy within each group) and distribute each customer to a specific group. In this way, you are able to reduce the impact on customers in direct proportion to the number of groups you have.

  • Stack Sharding
  • Shuffle Sharding
  • Fault Sharding
  • Split Sharding

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21. One way you can save money with AWS is by taking advantage of the platform’s elasticity. Plan to implement Auto Scaling for as many Amazon EC2 workloads as possible, so that you horizontally scale up when needed and scale down and automatically reduce your spend when you don’t need all that capacity anymore.

Which of the following DOES require capacity decisions?

  • Amazon EC2
  • ELB
  • CloudFront
  • AWS Lambda

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22. Your company wants to reduce expenditure by optimizaing the spend on Amazon EC2 instances. Which one would reduce the cost the MOST?

  • On-Demand instance
  • Reserved Instances

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23. Which AWS would you use if you wanted to store data that requires encrypted archival storage with infrequent read access with a long recovery time objective (RTO)?

  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Amazon EC2 Instance Storage
  • Amazon Glacier

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24. You have decided to store some data in the cloud via AWS. Which service would you choose to store archive data, with low cost and immediate access?

  • Amazon Glacier
  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Amazon EC2 Instance Storage
  • Amazon S3

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25. Amazon Glacier is an extremely low-cost storage service that provides highly secure, durable, and flexible storage for data archiving and online backup.

Which of the following will you NOT be charged for when using Glacier?

  • Storage (per GB per month)
  • Data transfer in (per GB per month)
  • Requests (per thousand UPLOAD and RETRIEVAL requests per month)
  • Data transfer out (per GB per month)

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26. Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes provide durable block-level storage for use with Amazon EC2 instances (virtual machines). Amazon EBS volumes are off-instance storage that persists independently from the running life of a single Amazon EC2 instance.

Which type would you choose for I/O-intensive workloads, relational databases,and NoSQL databases?

  • Amazon EBS Magnetic
  • Amazon EBS ZX1
  • Amazon EBS General Purpose
  • Amazon EBS Provisioned IOPS

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