AWS Certified DevOps – Professional Exam Learning Path

AWS Certified DevOps – Professional Exam Learning Path

AWS Certified DevOps – Professional exam basically validates the following

  • Implement and manage continuous delivery systems and methodologies on AWS
  • Understand, implement, and automate security controls, governance processes, and compliance validation
  • Define and deploy monitoring, metrics, and logging systems on AWS
  • Implement systems that are highly available, scalable, and self-healing on the AWS platform
  • Design, manage, and maintain tools to automate operational processes

Refer to the AWS Certified DevOps – Professional Exam Blue Print

AWS Certified DevOps - Professional Exam Breakup

AWS Cloud Computing Whitepapers

AWS Certified DevOps – Professional Exam Contents

Domain 1: Continuous Delivery and Process Automation

  • 1.1 Demonstrate an understanding of application lifecycle management:
    • Application deployment management strategies such as rolling deployments and A/B.
    • Version control, testing, build tools and bootstrapping.
  • 1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of infrastructure configuration and automation.
  • 1.3 Implement and manage continuous delivery processes using AWS services.
  • 1.4 Develop and manage scripts and tools to automate operational tasks using the AWS SDKs, CLI, and APIs.

Domain 2: Monitoring, Metrics, and Logging

  • 2.1 Monitor availability and performance.
  • 2.2 Monitor and manage billing and cost optimization processes.
  • 2.3 Aggregate and analyze infrastructure, OS and application log files.
  • 2.4 Use metrics to drive the scalability and health of infrastructure and applications.
  • 2.5 Analyze data collected from monitoring systems to discern utilization patterns.
  • 2.6 Manage the lifecycle of application and infrastructure logs
  • 2.7 Leverage the AWS SDKs, CLIs and APIs for metrics and logging.

Domain 3: Security, Governance, and Validation

  • 3.1 Implement and manage Identity and Access Management and security controls.
  • 3.2 Implement and manage protection for data in-flight and at rest.
  • 3.3 Implement, automate and validate cost controls for AWS resources.
  • 3.4 Implement and manage automated network security and auditing.
  • 3.5 Apply the appropriate AWS account and billing set-up options based on business requirements.
  • 3.6 Implement and manage AWS resource auditing and validation.
  • 3.7 Use AWS services to implement IT governance policies.

Domain 4: High Availability and Elasticity

  • 4.1 Determine appropriate use of multi-Availability Zone versus multi-region architectures.
  • 4.2 Implement self-healing application architectures.
  • 4.3 Implement the most appropriate front-end scaling architecture.
  • 4.4 Implement the most appropriate middle-tier scaling architecture.
  • 4.5 Implement the most appropriate data storage scaling architecture.
  • 4.6 Demonstrate an understanding of when to appropriately apply vertical and horizontal scaling concepts.
    • includes basic understanding of horizontal scaling is scale in/out and vertical scaling is scale up/down

AWS Certified DevOps – Professional Exam Resources
ACloudGuru DevOps Professional
A Cloud Guru Professional Bundle Sale

AWS Certified Developer – Associate Exam Learning Path

AWS Certified Developer – Associate Exam Learning Path

AWS Developer – Associate exam basically validates the following

  • Design, develop and deploy cloud based solutions using AWS
  • Understand the core AWS services, uses, and basic architecture best practices
  • Develop and maintain applications written for Amazon Simple Storage Services (S3), Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF), AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS CloudFormation

Refer to the AWS Certified Developer – Associate Exam Blue Print

AWS Certified Developer - Associate Exam Break Up

AWS Developer – Associate Exam Contents

Domain 1.0: AWS Fundamentals

Domain 2.0: Designing and Developing

Domain 3.0: Deployment and Security

Domain 4.0: Debugging

  • General troubleshooting information and questions
  • Best Practices in debugging

NOTE: I have just marked the topics inline with the AWS Exam Blue Print. So be sure to check the same, as it is updated regularly and go through Whitepapers, FAQs and Re-Invent videos.

AWS Developer – Associate Exam Resources



Udemy AWS Certified Developer - Associate Practice Tests

  • Purchased the acloud guru AWS Certified Developer – Associate course from udemy (should get it for $10-$15 on discount) helps to get a clear picture of the the format, topics and relevant sections
  • Opinion : acloud guru course are good by itself but is not sufficient to pass the exam but might help to counter about 50-60% of exam questions
  • Signed up with AWS for the Free Tier account which provides a lot of the Services to be tried for free with certain limits which are more then enough to get things going. Be sure to decommission anything, if you using any thing beyond the free limits, preventing any surprises 🙂
  • Also, used the QwikLabs for all the introductory courses which are free and allow you to try out the services multiple times (I think its max 5, as I got the warnings couple of times)
  • Update: Qwiklabs seems to have reduced the free courses quite a lot and now provide targeted labs for AWS Certification exams which are charged
  • Read the FAQs atleast for the important topics, as they cover important points and are good for quick review
  • Did not purchase the AWS Practice exams, as the questions are available all around. But if you want to check the format, it might be useful.
  • You can also check practice tests

AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate Exam Learning Path

AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate Exam Learning Path

Lately I have been getting a lot of requests for defining a learning path for the exams, so that it is easy for you to navigate through the topics that are important for the exam as there are lot of blog posts covering a lot of topics which are relevant to all exams. Here is an attempt to define the learning path for AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate Exam. Let me know for any feedback or improvement. Will be doing the same for the other exams.

AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate exam basically validates the following

  • Deliver the stability and scalability needed by a business on AWS
  • Provision systems, services and deployment automation on AWS
  • Ensure data integrity and data security on AWS technology
  • Provide guidance on AWS best practices
  • Understand and monitor metrics on AWS

Refer to the AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate Exam Blue Print
AWS SysOps Administrator - Associate Breakup

AWS Cloud Computing Whitepapers

AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate Exam Contents

Domain 1.0: Monitoring and Metrics

Domain 2.0: High Availability

Domain 3.0: Analysis

  • Optimize the environment to ensure maximum performance
  • Identify performance bottlenecks and implement remedies
  • Identify potential issues on a given application deployment

Domain 4.0: Deployment and Provisioning

  • Demonstrate the ability to build the environment to conform with the architected design
  • Demonstrate the ability to provision cloud resources and manage implementation automation

Domain 5.0: Data Management

Domain 6.0: Security

  • Implement and manage security policies
  • Ensure data integrity and access controls when using the AWS platform
  • Demonstrate understanding of the shared responsibility model
  • Demonstrate ability to prepare for security assessment use of AWS

Domain 7.0: Networking

  • Demonstrate ability to implement networking features of AWS
    • includes topics VPC
  • Demonstrate ability to implement connectivity features of AWS

NOTE: I have just marked the topics inline with the AWS Exam Blue Print. So be sure to check the same, as it is updated regularly and go through Whitepapers, FAQs and Re-Invent videos.

AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate Exam Resources


  • Purchased the acloud guru AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate 2017 course from udemy (should get it for $10-$15 on discount) helps to get a clear picture of the the format, topics and relevant sections
  • Opinion : acloud guru course are good by itself but is not sufficient to pass the exam but might help to counter about 50-60% of exam questions
  • Signed up with AWS for the Free Tier account which provides a lot of the Services to be tried for free with certain limits which are more then enough to get things going. Be sure to decommission anything, if you using any thing beyond the free limits, preventing any surprises 🙂
  • Also, used the QwikLabs for all the introductory courses which are free and allow you to try out the services multiple times (I think its max 5, as I got the warnings couple of times)
  • Update: Qwiklabs seems to have reduced the free courses quite a lot and now provide targeted labs for AWS Certification exams which are charged
  • Read the FAQs atleast for the important topics, as they cover important points and are good for quick review
  • Did not purchase the AWS Practice exams, as the questions are available all around. But if you want to check the format, it might be useful.
  • You can also check practice tests

AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate Exam Learning Path

AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate Exam Learning Path

AWS Solution Architect – Associate exam basically validates the following 2 abilities

  • Identify and gather requirements in order to define a solution to be built using architecture best practices.
  • Provide guidance on architectural best practices to developers and system administrators throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Refer to the AWS Solution Architect – Associate Exam Blue Print

AWS Solution Architect - Associate Exam Break up

AWS Cloud Computing Whitepapers

AWS Solution Architect – Associate Exam Contents

Domain 1.0: Designing highly available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, scalable systems

  1. Identify and recognize cloud architecture considerations, such as fundamental components and effective designs. Content may include the following:

2 Domain 2.0: Implementation/Deployment

  1. Identify the appropriate techniques and methods using Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS CloudFormation, AWS OpsWorks, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to code and implement a cloud solution.
    Content may include the following:

    1. Configure an Amazon Machine Image (AMI)
    2. Operate and extend service management in a hybrid IT architecture
    3. Configure services to support compliance requirements in the cloud
    4. Launch instances across the AWS global infrastructure
    5. Configure IAM policies and best practices

3 Domain 3.0: Data Security

  1. Recognize and implement secure practices for optimum cloud deployment and maintenance. Content may include the following:
  2. Recognize critical disaster recovery techniques and their implementation.
    Content may include the following:

4 Domain 4.0: Troubleshooting

  1. Content may include the following:

NOTE: I have just marked the topics inline with the AWS Exam Blue Print. So be sure to check the same, as it is updated regularly and go through Whitepapers, FAQs and Re-Invent videos.

AWS Solution Architect – Associate Exam Resources



Udemy AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate Practice Tests

  • Purchased the acloud guru AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate course from udemy (should get it for $10-$15 on discount) helps to get a clear picture of the the format, topics and relevant sections
  • Opinion : acloud guru course are good by itself but is not sufficient to pass the exam but might help to counter about 50-60% of exam questions
  • Signed up with AWS for the Free Tier account which provides a lot of the Services to be tried for free with certain limits which are more then enough to get things going. Be sure to decommission anything, if you using any thing beyond the free limits, preventing any surprises 🙂
  • Also, used the QwikLabs for all the introductory courses which are free and allow you to try out the services multiple times (I think its max 5, as I got the warnings couple of times)
  • Update: Qwiklabs seems to have reduced the free courses quite a lot and now provide targeted labs for AWS Certification exams which are charged
  • Read the FAQs atleast for the important topics, as they cover important points and are good for quick review
  • Did not purchase the AWS Practice exams, as the questions are available all around. But if you want to check the format, it might be useful.

Braincert-AWS-Certified-SA-Associate-Practice-Exam

AWS Elasticsearch – Certification

AWS Elasticsearch

  • Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a managed service that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale Elasticsearch clusters in the AWS Cloud.
  • Elasticsearch is a popular open-source search and analytics engine for use cases such as log analytics, real-time application monitoring, and clickstream analytics
  • Elasticsearch provides
    • real-time, distributed search and analytics engine
    • ability to provision all the resources for Elasticsearch cluster and launches the cluster
    • easy to use cluster scaling options
    • provides self-healing clusters, which automatically detects and replaces failed Elasticsearch nodes, reducing the overhead associated with self-managed infrastructures
    • domain snapshots to back up and restore ES domains and replicate domains across AZs
    • data durability
    • enhanced security with IAM access control
    • node monitoring
    • multiple configurations of CPU, memory, and storage capacity, known as instance types
    • storage volumes for the data using EBS volumes
    • Multiple geographical locations for your resources, known as regions and Availability Zones
    • ability to span cluster nodes across two AZs in the same region, known as zone awareness,  for high availability and redundancy
    • dedicated master nodes to improve cluster stability
    • data visualization using the Kibana tool
    • integration with CloudWatch for monitoring ES domain metrics
    • integration with CloudTrail for auditing configuration API calls to ES domains
    • integration with S3, Kinesis, and DynamoDB for loading streaming data
    • ability to handle structured and Unstructured data
    • HTTP Rest APIs
  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
  1. You need to perform ad-hoc analysis on log data, including searching quickly for specific error codes and reference numbers. Which should you evaluate first?
    1. AWS Elasticsearch Service (Elasticsearch Service (ES) is a managed service that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale Elasticsearch clusters in the AWS cloud. Elasticsearch is a popular open-source search and analytics engine for use cases such as log analytics, real-time application monitoring, and click stream analytics. Refer link)
    2. AWS RedShift
    3. AWS EMR
    4. AWS DynamoDB
  2. You are hired as the new head of operations for a SaaS company. Your CTO has asked you to make debugging any part of your entire operation simpler and as fast as possible. She complains that she has no idea what is going on in the complex, service-oriented architecture, because the developers just log to disk, and it’s very hard to find errors in logs on so many services. How can you best meet this requirement and satisfy your CTO?
    1. Copy all log files into AWS S3 using a cron job on each instance. Use an S3 Notification Configuration on the <code>PutBucket</code> event and publish events to AWS Lambda. Use the Lambda to analyze logs as soon as they come in and flag issues.
    2. Begin using CloudWatch Logs on every service. Stream all Log Groups into S3 objects. Use AWS EMR cluster jobs to perform adhoc MapReduce analysis and write new queries when needed.
    3. Copy all log files into AWS S3 using a cron job on each instance. Use an S3 Notification Configuration on the <code>PutBucket</code> event and publish events to AWS Kinesis. Use Apache Spark on AWS EMR to perform at-scale stream processing queries on the log chunks and flag issues.
    4. Begin using CloudWatch Logs on every service. Stream all Log Groups into an AWS Elasticsearch Service Domain running Kibana 4 and perform log analysis on a search cluster. (AWS Elasticsearch with Kibana stack is designed specifically for real-time, ad-hoc log analysis and aggregation)

AWS Certification Exam Resources, Courses, Quizzes

AWS Certification Exam Courses, Resources, Quizzes

  • Clearing the AWS certification for Solution Architect, SysOps Associate and Solution Architect Professional has been a long journey of over an year now.
  • I always remember starting fresh on AWS with no knowledge and a plethora of resources, courses and documentation can be very confusing, overwhelming and tough
  • So I have just put some resources, courses and deals which might help you get started at a reasonable cost

NOTE: This is my personal recommendations and tried & tested ones.

AWS documentation

  • Nothing can replace the fantastic AWS documentation that the team has put and maintained
  • AWS documentation includes
    • AWS Developer, User guides
    • AWS FAQs – Very Important to get a quick summary for important questions targeted in the exams
    • AWS Re-Invent Videos – quick way to know details of the services
    • AWS Whitepapers – covers condensed knowledge of important topics and services

Online Courses

Udemy

      • However, they are not sufficient to clear the exams
      • Udemy does not have aCloud Guru professional courses
      • They are listed at a very high price, however, wait for offers from Udemy and you can get the Associate ones for $10-$15
      • I will keep on listing any Udemy offers as belowFor Associate, I started with aCloud Guru courses from Udemy and they provide a nice overview of the exam topics



A Cloud Guru

  • As mentioned above, Associate courses from A Cloud Guru are good to get started and can be purchased from Udemy
  • A Cloud Guru forums have very nice discussion over the topics, highly recommended going through them
  • I had purchased Solution Architect – Professional course from A Cloud Guru site directly
    • Personally, I find it very expensive and it does not cover the topics in great details

Linux Academy

  • I haven’t tried Linux Academy courses for Associate, so any of you have any opinion let me
  • I had purchased the Solution Architect – Professional course and found is detailed and exhaustive with labs
  • Personally, would recommend it over the A Cloud Guru
  • You can try Linux Academy Trail for 7 days and then for monthly $29 which would give you access to everything but limited period

Free Linux Academy, PluralSight and Opsgility courses

  • I started preparing for Azure and was checking for resources, and stumbled upon 3 months Free subscription for LinuxAcademy, PluralSight and OpsUtility.
  • Follow the steps below
    • Navigate to Visual Studio Dev Essentials
    • Click on Join or Access Now
    • Sign up as its free
    • Microsoft would provide 3 months access to the courses as their Education Program
    • Activate the code and you are good to go
    • Enjoy the same till is lasts

Free Subscription for Linux Academy, Opsgility, Pluralsight

Practice Quiz

  • Personally, I have not taken any Practice test either officially from AWS or from any other provider
  • However, there are lot of sites, apart from my blog, which provide AWS questions & Answers, but I had found them to provide incorrect answers. So always research from your side
  • I have got a lot of positive feedback from colleagues taking tests on Whizlabs. Currently they have for Associate exams, but are coming up for Professional ones as well.


Udemy AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate Practice Tests

  • Any other Online Quiz which you found very useful, let me know and I can add the same

Feel free to provide any feedback or any other resources that you found very helpful and help back the community.

AWS Cloud Migration Services – Certification

AWS Cloud Migration Services

  • AWS Cloud Migration services help to address a lot of common use cases such as
    • cloud migration,
    • disaster recovery,
    • data center decommission, and
    • content distribution.
  • For migrating data from On Premises to AWS, the major aspect for considerations are
    • amount of data and network speed
    • data security in transit
    • existing application knowledge for recreation

NOTE: Topic mainly for Professional Exam Only

VPN

  • connection utilizes IPSec to establish encrypted network connectivity between on-premises network and VPC over the Internet.
  • connections can be configured in minutes and a good solution for an immediate need, have low to modest bandwidth requirements, and can tolerate the inherent variability in Internet-based connectivity.
  • still requires internet and be configured using VGW and CGW

AWS EC2 VM Import/Export

  • allows easy import of virtual machine images from existing environment to EC2 instances and export them back to on-premises environment
  • allows leveraging of existing investments in the virtual machines, built to meet compliance requirements, configuration management and IT security by bringing those virtual machines into EC2 as ready-to-use instances
  • Common usages include
    • Migrate Existing Applications and Workloads to EC2, allows to preserve software and settings that configured in the existing VMs
    • Copy Your VM Image Catalog to Amazon EC2
    • Create a Disaster Recovery Repository for your VM images

AWS Direct Connect

  • provides a dedicated physical connection between the corporate network and AWS Direct Connect location with no data transfer over the Internet.
  • helps bypass Internet service providers (ISPs) in the network path
  • helps reduce network costs, increase bandwidth throughput, and provide a more consistent network experience than with Internet-based connection
  • takes time to setup and involves third parties
  • are not redundant and would need another direct connect connection or a VPN connection
  •  Security
    • provides a dedicated physical connection without internet
    • For additional security can be used with VPN

AWS Import/Export (upgraded to Snowball)

  • accelerates moving large amounts of data into and out of AWS using secure Snowball appliances
  • AWS transfers the data directly onto and off of the storage devices using Amazon’s high-speed internal network, bypassing the Internet
  • Data Migration
    • for significant data size, AWS Import/Export is faster than Internet transfer is and more cost-effective than upgrading the connectivity
    • if loading the data over the Internet would take a week or more, AWS Import/Export should be considered
    • data from appliances can be imported to S3, Glacier and EBS volumes and exported from S3
    • not suitable for applications that cannot tolerate offline transfer time
  •  Security
    • Snowball uses an industry-standard Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that has a dedicated processor designed to detect any unauthorized modifications to the hardware, firmware, or software to physically secure the AWS Snowball device.

AWS Storage Gateway

  • connects an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage to provide seamless and secure integration between an organization’s on-premises IT environment and the AWS storage infrastructure
  • provides low-latency performance by maintaining frequently accessed data on-premises while securely storing all of the data encrypted in S3 or Glacier.
  • for disaster recovery scenarios, Storage Gateway, together with EC2, can serve as a cloud-hosted solution that mirrors the entire production environment
  • Data Migration
    • with gateway-cached volumes, S3 can be used to hold primary data while frequently accessed data is cached locally for faster access reducing the need to scale on premises storage infrastructure
    • with gateway-stored volumes, entire data is stored locally while asynchronously backing up data to S3
    • with gateway-VTL, offline data archiving can be performed by presenting existing backup application with an iSCSI-based VTL consisting of a virtual media changer and virtual tape drives
  •  Security
    • Encrypts all data in transit to and from AWS by using SSL/TLS.
    • All data in AWS Storage Gateway is encrypted at rest using AES-256.
    • Authentication between the gateway and iSCSI initiators can be secured by using Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP).

S3

  • Data Transfer
    • Files up to 5GB can be transferred using single operation
    • Multipart uploads can be used to upload files up to 5 TB and speed up data uploads by dividing the file into multiple parts
    • transfer rate still limited by the network speed
  •  Security
    • Data in transit can be secured by using SSL/TLS or client-side encryption.
    • Encrypt data at-rest by performing server-side encryption using Amazon S3-Managed Keys (SSE-S3), AWS Key Management Service (KMS)-Managed Keys (SSE-KMS), or Customer Provided Keys (SSE-C). Or by performing client-side encryption using AWS KMS–Managed Customer Master Key (CMK) or Client-Side Master Key.

AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions

  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
  1. Your must architect the migration of a web application to AWS. The application consists of Linux web servers running a custom web server. You are required to save the logs generated from the application to a durable location. What options could you select to migrate the application to AWS? (Choose 2)
    1. Create an AWS Elastic Beanstalk application using the custom web server platform. Specify the web server executable and the application project and source files. Enable log file rotation to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). (EB does not work with Custom server executable)
    2. Create Dockerfile for the application. Create an AWS OpsWorks stack consisting of a custom layer. Create custom recipes to install Docker and to deploy your Docker container using the Dockerfile. Create custom recipes to install and configure the application to publish the logs to Amazon CloudWatch Logs (although this is one of the option, the last sentence mentions configure the application to push the logs to S3, which would need changes to application as it needs to use SDK or CLI)
    3. Create Dockerfile for the application. Create an AWS OpsWorks stack consisting of a Docker layer that uses the Dockerfile. Create custom recipes to install and configure Amazon Kinesis to publish the logs into Amazon CloudWatch. (Kinesis not needed)
    4. Create a Dockerfile for the application. Create an AWS Elastic Beanstalk application using the Docker platform and the Dockerfile. Enable logging the Docker configuration to automatically publish the application logs. Enable log file rotation to Amazon S3. (Use Docker configuration with awslogs and EB with Docker)
    5. Use VM import/Export to import a virtual machine image of the server into AWS as an AMI. Create an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance from AMI, and install and configure the Amazon CloudWatch Logs agent. Create a new AMI from the instance. Create an AWS Elastic Beanstalk application using the AMI platform and the new AMI. (Use VM Import/Export to create AMI and CloudWatch logs agent to log)
  2. Your company hosts an on-premises legacy engineering application with 900GB of data shared via a central file server. The engineering data consists of thousands of individual files ranging in size from megabytes to multiple gigabytes. Engineers typically modify 5-10 percent of the files a day. Your CTO would like to migrate this application to AWS, but only if the application can be migrated over the weekend to minimize user downtime. You calculate that it will take a minimum of 48 hours to transfer 900GB of data using your company’s existing 45-Mbps Internet connection. After replicating the application’s environment in AWS, which option will allow you to move the application’s data to AWS without losing any data and within the given timeframe?
    1. Copy the data to Amazon S3 using multiple threads and multi-part upload for large files over the weekend, and work in parallel with your developers to reconfigure the replicated application environment to leverage Amazon S3 to serve the engineering files. (Still limited by 45 Mbps speed with minimum 48 hours when utilized to max)
    2. Sync the application data to Amazon S3 starting a week before the migration, on Friday morning perform a final sync, and copy the entire data set to your AWS file server after the sync completes. (Works best as the data changes can be propagated over the week and are fractional and downtime would be know)
    3. Copy the application data to a 1-TB USB drive on Friday and immediately send overnight, with Saturday delivery, the USB drive to AWS Import/Export to be imported as an EBS volume, mount the resulting EBS volume to your AWS file server on Sunday. (Downtime is not known when the data upload would be done, although Amazon says the same day the package is received)
    4. Leverage the AWS Storage Gateway to create a Gateway-Stored volume. On Friday copy the application data to the Storage Gateway volume. After the data has been copied, perform a snapshot of the volume and restore the volume as an EBS volume to be attached to your AWS file server on Sunday. (Still uses the internet)
  3. You are tasked with moving a legacy application from a virtual machine running inside your datacenter to an Amazon VPC. Unfortunately this app requires access to a number of on-premises services and no one who configured the app still works for your company. Even worse there’s no documentation for it. What will allow the application running inside the VPC to reach back and access its internal dependencies without being reconfigured? (Choose 3 answers)
    1. An AWS Direct Connect link between the VPC and the network housing the internal services
    2. An Internet Gateway to allow a VPN connection. (Virtual and Customer gateway is needed)
    3. An Elastic IP address on the VPC instance
    4. An IP address space that does not conflict with the one on-premises
    5. Entries in Amazon Route 53 that allow the Instance to resolve its dependencies’ IP addresses
    6. A VM Import of the current virtual machine

References

AWS Automated Backups – Certification

AWS Automated Backups

  • AWS allows automated backups for
    • RDS
    • ElastiCache – Redis only
    • Redshift
  • AWS does not perform automated backups for EC2 EBS volumes and needs to be manually scripted
  • AWS stores the backups and snapshots in S3

RDS Backups

  • RDS supports automated backups as well as manual snapshots
  • Automated Backups
    • enable point-in-time recovery of the DB Instance
    • perform a full daily backup and captures transaction logs (as updates to your DB instance are made
    • are performed during the defined preferred backup window and is retained for user-specified period of time called the retention period (default 1 day with a max of 35 days)
    • When a point-in-time recovery is initiated, transaction logs are applied to the most appropriate daily backup in order to restore the DB instance to the specific requested time.
    • allows a point-in-time restore and an ability to specify any second during the retention period, up to the Latest Restorable Time
    • are deleted when the DB instance is deleted
  • Snapshots
    • are user-initiated and enable to back up the DB instance in a known state as frequently as needed, and then restored to that specific state at any time.
    • can be created with the AWS Management Console or by using the CreateDBSnapshot API call.
    • are not deleted when the DB instance is deleted
  • Automated backups and snapshots can result in a performance hit, if Multi-AZ is not enabled

ElastiCache Automated Backups

  • ElastiCache supports Automated backups for Redis cluster only
  • ElastiCache creates a backup of the cluster on a daily basis
  • Snapshot will degrade performance, so should be performed during least bust part of the day
  • Backups are performed during the Backup period and retained for backup retention limit defined, with a maximum of 35 days
  • ElastiCache also allows manual snapshots of the cluster

Redshift Automated Backups

  • Amazon Redshift enables automated backups, by default
  • Redshift replicates all the data within your data warehouse cluster when it is loaded and also continuously backs up the data to S3
  • Redshift retains backups for 1 day which can be extended to max 35 days
  • Redshift only backs up data that has changed and are incremental so most snapshots use up a small amount of storage
  • Redshift also allows manual snapshots of the data warehouse

EC2 EBS Backups

  • EBS does not provide automated backups
  • EBS snapshots can be created by using the AWS Management Console, the command line interface (CLI), or the APIs
  • Backups degrade performance
  • Stored on S3
  • EBS Snapshots are incremental and block-based, and they consume space only for changed data after the initial snapshot is created
  • Data can be restored from snapshots by created a volume from the snapshot
  • EBS snapshots are region specific and can be copied between AWS regions

AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions

  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
  1. Which two AWS services provide out-of-the-box user configurable automatic backup-as-a-service and backup rotation options? Choose 2 answers
    1. Amazon S3
    2. Amazon RDS
    3. Amazon EBS
    4. Amazon Redshift
  2. You have been asked to automate many routine systems administrator backup and recovery activities. Your current plan is to leverage AWS-managed solutions as much as possible and automate the rest with the AWS CLI and scripts. Which task would be best accomplished with a script?
    1. Creating daily EBS snapshots with a monthly rotation of snapshots
    2. Creating daily RDS snapshots with a monthly rotation of snapshots
    3. Automatically detect and stop unused or underutilized EC2 instances
    4. Automatically add Auto Scaled EC2 instances to an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer

AWS Billing and Cost Management – Certification

AWS Billing and Cost Management

  • AWS Billing and Cost Management is the service that you use to pay AWS bill, monitor your usage, and budget your costs

Analyzing Costs with Graphs

  • AWS provides Cost Explorer tool which allows filter graphs by API operations, Availability Zones, AWS service, custom cost allocation tags, EC2 instance type, purchase options, region, usage type, usage type groups, or, if Consolidated Billing used, by linked account.

Budgets

  • Budgets can be used to track AWS costs to see usage-to-date and current estimated charges from AWS
  • Budgets use the cost visualization provided by Cost Explorer to show the status of the budgets and to provide forecasts of your estimated costs.
  • Budgets can be used to create CloudWatch alarms that notify when you go over your budgeted amounts, or when the estimated costs exceed budgets
  • Notifications can be sent to an SNS topic and to email addresses associated with your budget notification

Cost Allocation Tags

  • Tags can be used to organize AWS resources, and cost allocation tags to track the AWS costs on a detailed level.
  • Upon cost allocation tags activation, AWS uses the cost allocation tags to organize the resource costs on the cost allocation report making it easier to categorize and track your AWS costs.
  • AWS provides two types of cost allocation tags,
    • an AWS-generated tag AWS defines, creates, and applies the AWS-generated tag for you,
    • and user-defined tags that you define, create,
  • Both types of tags must be activated separately before they can appear in Cost Explorer or on a cost allocation report

Alerts on Cost Limits

  • CloudWatch can be used to create billing alerts when the AWS costs exceed specified thresholds
  • When the usage exceeds threshold amounts, AWS sends an email notification

Consolidated Billing

Refer to My Blog Post about Consolidated Billing

AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions

  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
  1. An organization is using AWS since a few months. The finance team wants to visualize the pattern of AWS spending. Which of the below AWS tool will help for this requirement?
    • AWS Cost Manager
    • AWS Cost Explorer (Check Cost Explorer)
    • AWS CloudWatch
    • AWS Consolidated Billing (Will not help visualize)
  2. Your company wants to understand where cost is coming from in the company’s production AWS account. There are a number of applications and services running at any given time. Without expending too much initial development time, how best can you give the business a good understanding of which applications cost the most per month to operate?
    1. Create an automation script, which periodically creates AWS Support tickets requesting detailed intra-month information about your bill.
    2. Use custom CloudWatch Metrics in your system, and put a metric data point whenever cost is incurred.
    3. Use AWS Cost Allocation Tagging for all resources, which support it. Use the Cost Explorer to analyze costs throughout the month. (Refer link)
    4. Use the AWS Price API and constantly running resource inventory scripts to calculate total price based on multiplication of consumed resources over time.
  3. You need to know when you spend $1000 or more on AWS. What’s the easy way for you to see that notification?
    1. AWS CloudWatch Events tied to API calls, when certain thresholds are exceeded, publish to SNS.
    2. Scrape the billing page periodically and pump into Kinesis.
    3. AWS CloudWatch Metrics + Billing Alarm + Lambda event subscription. When a threshold is exceeded, email the manager.
    4. Scrape the billing page periodically and publish to SNS.
  4. A user is planning to use AWS services for his web application. If the user is trying to set up his own billing management system for AWS, how can he configure it?
    1. Set up programmatic billing access. Download and parse the bill as per the requirement
    2. It is not possible for the user to create his own billing management service with AWS
    3. Enable the AWS CloudWatch alarm which will provide APIs to download the alarm data
    4. Use AWS billing APIs to download the usage report of each service from the AWS billing console
  5. An organization is setting up programmatic billing access for their AWS account. Which of the below mentioned services is not required or enabled when the organization wants to use programmatic access?
    1. Programmatic access
    2. AWS bucket to hold the billing report
    3. AWS billing alerts
    4. Monthly Billing report
  6. A user has setup a billing alarm using CloudWatch for $200. The usage of AWS exceeded $200 after some days. The user wants to increase the limit from $200 to $400? What should the user do?
    1. Create a new alarm of $400 and link it with the first alarm
    2. It is not possible to modify the alarm once it has crossed the usage limit
    3. Update the alarm to set the limit at $400 instead of $200 (Refer link)
    4. Create a new alarm for the additional $200 amount
  7. A user is trying to configure the CloudWatch billing alarm. Which of the below mentioned steps should be performed by the user for the first time alarm creation in the AWS Account Management section?
    1. Enable Receiving Billing Reports
    2. Enable Receiving Billing Alerts
    3. Enable AWS billing utility
    4. Enable CloudWatch Billing Threshold

References

AWS_Billing_&_Cost_Management – User_Guide

AWS RDS Monitoring & Notification – Certification

AWS RDS Monitoring & Notification

  • RDS integrates with CloudWatch and provides metrics for monitoring
  • CloudWatch alarms can be created over a single metric that sends an SNS message when the alarm changes state
  • RDS also provides SNS notification whenever any RDS event occurs

CloudWatch RDS Monitoring

  • RDS DB instance can be monitored using CloudWatch, which collects and processes raw data from RDS into readable, near real-time metrics.
  • The statistics are recorded for a period of two weeks, so that you can access historical information and gain a better perspective on how the service is performing.
  • By default, RDS metric data is automatically sent to Amazon CloudWatch in 1-minute periods
  • CloudWatch RDS Metrics
    • BinLogDiskUsage – Amount of disk space occupied by binary logs on the master. Applies to MySQL read replicas.
    • CPUUtilization – Percentage of CPU utilization.
    • DatabaseConnections – Number of database connections in use.
    • DiskQueueDepth – The number of outstanding IOs (read/write requests) waiting to access the disk.
    • FreeableMemory – Amount of available random access memory.
    • FreeStorageSpace – Amount of available storage space.
    • ReplicaLag – Amount of time a Read Replica DB instance lags behind the source DB instance. Applies to MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL Read Replicas.
    • SwapUsage – Amount of swap space used on the DB instance.
    • ReadIOPS – Average number of disk I/O operations per second.
    • WriteIOPS – Average number of disk I/O operations per second.
    • ReadLatency – Average amount of time taken per disk I/O operation.
    • WriteLatency – Average amount of time taken per disk I/O operation.
    • ReadThroughput – Average number of bytes read from disk per second.
    • WriteThroughput – Average number of bytes written to disk per second.
    • NetworkReceiveThroughput – Incoming (Receive) network traffic on the DB instance, including both customer database traffic and Amazon RDS traffic used for monitoring and replication.
    • NetworkTransmitThroughput – Outgoing (Transmit) network traffic on the DB instance, including both customer database traffic and Amazon RDS traffic used for monitoring and replication.

RDS Event Notification

  • RDS uses the SNS to provide notification when an RDS event occurs
  • RDS groups the events into categories, which can be subscribed so that a notification is sent when an event in that category occurs.
  • Event category for a DB instance, DB cluster, DB snapshot, DB cluster snapshot, DB security group or for a DB parameter group can be subscribed
  • Event notifications are sent to the email addresses provided during subscription creation
  • Subscription can be easily turn off notification without deleting a subscription by setting the Enabled radio button to No in the RDS console or by setting the Enabled parameter to false using the CLI or RDS API.

AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions

  • Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
  • AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
  • AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
  • Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
  1. You run a web application with the following components Elastic Load Balancer (ELB), 3 Web/Application servers, 1 MySQL RDS database with read replicas, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for static content. Average response time for users is increasing slowly. What three CloudWatch RDS metrics will allow you to identify if the database is the bottleneck? Choose 3 answers
    1. The number of outstanding IOs waiting to access the disk
    2. The amount of write latency
    3. The amount of disk space occupied by binary logs on the master.
    4. The amount of time a Read Replica DB Instance lags behind the source DB Instance
    5. The average number of disk I/O operations per second.
  2. Typically, you want your application to check whether a request generated an error before you spend any time processing results. The easiest way to find out if an error occurred is to look for an __________ node in the response from the Amazon RDS API.
    1. Incorrect
    2. Error
    3. FALSE
  3. In the Amazon CloudWatch, which metric should I be checking to ensure that your DB Instance has enough free storage space?
    1. FreeStorage
    2. FreeStorageSpace
    3. FreeStorageVolume
    4. FreeDBStorageSpace
  4. A user is receiving a notification from the RDS DB whenever there is a change in the DB security group. The user does not want to receive these notifications for only a month. Thus, he does not want to delete the notification. How can the user configure this?
    1. Change the Disable button for notification to “Yes” in the RDS console
    2. Set the send mail flag to false in the DB event notification console
    3. The only option is to delete the notification from the console
    4. Change the Enable button for notification to “No” in the RDS console
  5. A sys admin is planning to subscribe to the RDS event notifications. For which of the below mentioned source categories the subscription cannot be configured?
    1. DB security group
    2. DB snapshot
    3. DB options group
    4. DB parameter group
  6. A user is planning to setup notifications on the RDS DB for a snapshot. Which of the below mentioned event categories is not supported by RDS for this snapshot source type?
    1. Backup (Refer link)
    2. Creation
    3. Deletion
    4. Restoration
  7. A system admin is planning to setup event notifications on RDS. Which of the below mentioned services will help the admin setup notifications?
    1. AWS SES
    2. AWS Cloudtrail
    3. AWS CloudWatch
    4. AWS SNS
  8. A user has setup an RDS DB with Oracle. The user wants to get notifications when someone modifies the security group of that DB. How can the user configure that?
    1. It is not possible to get the notifications on a change in the security group
    2. Configure SNS to monitor security group changes
    3. Configure event notification on the DB security group
    4. Configure the CloudWatch alarm on the DB for a change in the security group
  9. It is advised that you watch the Amazon CloudWatch “_____” metric (available via the AWS Management Console or Amazon Cloud Watch APIs) carefully and recreate the Read Replica should it fall behind due to replication errors.
    1. Write Lag
    2. Read Replica
    3. Replica Lag
    4. Single Replica