data transfer solution for delivering real time streaming data to destinations such as S3, Redshift, Elasticsearch service, and Splunk.
is a fully managed service that automatically scales to match the throughput of your data and requires no ongoing administration
is Near Real Time (min. 60 secs) as it buffers incoming streaming data to a certain size or for a certain period of time before delivering it
supports batching, compression, and encryption of the data before loading it, minimizing the amount of storage used at the destination and increasing security
supports data compression, minimizing the amount of storage used at the destination. It currently supports GZIP, ZIP, and SNAPPY compression formats. Only GZIP is supported if the data is further loaded to Redshift.
supports out of box data transformation as well as custom transformationusing Lambda function to transform incoming source data and deliver the transformed data to destinations
uses at least once semantics for data delivery.
supports multiple producers as datasource, which include Kinesis data stream, KPL, Kinesis Agent, or the Kinesis Data Firehose API using the AWS SDK, CloudWatch Logs, CloudWatch Events, or AWS IoT
does NOT support consumers like Spark and KCL
supports interface VPC endpoint to keep traffic between the VPC and Kinesis Data Firehose from leaving the Amazon network.
Kinesis Data Streams vs Kinesis Data Firehose
Kinesis Data Analytics
helps analyze streaming data, gain actionable insights, and respond to the business and customer needs in real time.
reduces the complexity of building, managing, and integrating streaming applications with other AWS service
is made up of all of the columns listed in the sort key definition, in the order they are listed and is more efficient when query predicates use a prefix, or query’s filter applies conditions, such as filters and joins, which is a subset of the sort key columns in order.
Interleaved sort key
gives equal weight to each column in the sort key, so query predicates can use any subset of the columns that make up the sort key, in any order.
Not ideal for monotonically increasing attributes
Column encodings CANNOT be changed once created.
supports query queues for Workload Management, in order to manage concurrency and resource planning. It is a best practice to have separate queues for long running resource-intensive queries and fast queries that don’t require big amounts of memory and CPU
is a very fast, easy-to-use, cloud-powered business analytics service that makes it easy to build visualizations, perform ad-hoc analysis, and quickly get business insights from their data, anytime, on any device.
delivers fast and responsive query performance by using a robust in-memory engine (SPICE).
“SPICE” stands for a Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory Calculation Engine
can also be configured to keep the data in SPICE up-to-date as the data in the underlying sources change.
automatically replicates data for high availability and enables QuickSight to scale to support users to perform simultaneous fast interactive analysis across a wide variety of AWS data sources.
Excel files and flat files like CSV, TSV, CLF, ELF
on-premises databases like PostgreSQL, SQL Server and MySQL
SaaS applications like Salesforce
and AWS data sources such as Redshift, RDS, Aurora, Athena, and S3
supports various functions to format and transform the data.
supports assorted visualizations that facilitate different analytical approaches:
Comparison and distribution – Bar charts (several assorted variants)
Elasticsearch Service is a managed service that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale Elasticsearch clusters in the AWS Cloud.
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. Scaling Elasticsearch Service domain by adding or modifying instances, and storage volumes is an online operation that does not require any downtime.
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
enhanced security with IAM, Network, Domain access policies, and fine-grained access control
storage volumes for the data using EBS volumes
ability to span cluster nodes across multiple AZs in the same region, known as zone awareness, for high availability and redundancy. Elasticsearch Service automatically distributes the primary and replica shards across instances in different AZs.
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
supports encryption at rest through KMS, node-to-node encryption over TLS, and the ability to require clients to communicate of HTTPS
Amazon Redshift is a fully managed, fast and powerful, petabyte scale data warehouse service
Redshift automatically helps
set up, operate, and scale a data warehouse, from provisioning the infrastructure capacity
patches and backs up the data warehouse, storing the backups for a user-defined retention period
monitors the nodes and drives to help recovery from failures
significantly lowers the cost of a data warehouse, but also makes it easy to analyze large amounts of data very quickly
provide fast querying capabilities over structured data using familiar SQL-based clients and business intelligence (BI) tools using standard ODBC and JDBC connections.
uses replication and continuous backups to enhance availability and improve data durability and can automatically recover from node and component failures.
scale up or down with a few clicks in the AWS Management Console or with a single API call
distribute & parallelize queries across multiple physical resources
supports VPC, SSL, AES-256 encryption and Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) to protect the data in transit and at rest.
Redshift only supports Single-AZ deployments and the nodes are available within the same AZ, if the AZ supports Redshift clusters
Redshift provides monitoring using CloudWatch and metrics for compute utilization, storage utilization, and read/write traffic to the cluster are available with the ability to add user-defined custom metrics
Redshift provides Audit logging and AWS CloudTrail integration
Redshift can be easily enabled to a second region for disaster recovery.
Massively Parallel Processing (MPP)
automatically distributes data and query load across all nodes.
makes it easy to add nodes to the data warehouse and enables fast query performance as the data warehouse grows.
Columnar Data Storage
organizes the data by column, as column-based systems are ideal for data warehousing and analytics, where queries often involve aggregates performed over large data sets
columnar data is stored sequentially on the storage media, and require far fewer I/Os, greatly improving query performance
Columnar data stores can be compressed much more than row-based data stores because similar data is stored sequentially on disk.
employs multiple compression techniques and can often achieve significant compression relative to traditional relational data stores.
doesn’t require indexes or materialized views and so uses less space than traditional relational database systems.
automatically samples the data and selects the most appropriate compression scheme, when the data is loaded into an empty table
Redshift Single vs Multi-Node Cluster
single node configuration enables getting started quickly and cost-effectively & scale up to a multi-node configuration as the needs grow
Multi-node configuration requires a leader node that manages client connections and receives queries, and two or more compute nodes that store data and perform queries and computations.
provisioned automatically and not charged for
receives queries from client applications, parses the queries and develops execution plans, which are an ordered set of steps to process these queries.
coordinates the parallel execution of these plans with the compute nodes, aggregates the intermediate results from these nodes and finally returns the results back to the client applications.
can contain from 1-128 compute nodes, depending on the node type
executes the steps specified in the execution plans and transmit data among themselves to serve these queries.
intermediate results are sent back to the leader node for aggregation before being sent back to the client applications.
supports Dense Storage or Dense Compute nodes (DC) instance type
Dense Storage (DS) allow creation of very large data warehouses using hard disk drives (HDDs) for a very low price point
Dense Compute (DC) allow creation of very high performance data warehouses using fast CPUs, large amounts of RAM and solid-state disks (SSDs)
direct access to compute nodes is not allowed
Redshift Availability & Durability
Redshift replicates the data within the data warehouse cluster and continuously backs up the data to S3 (11 9’s durability)
Redshift mirrors each drive’s data to other nodes within the cluster.
Redshift will automatically detect and replace a failed drive or node
If a drive fails, Redshift
cluster will remain available in the event of a drive failure
the queries will continue with a slight latency increase while Redshift rebuilds the drive from replica of the data on that drive which is stored on other drives within that node
single node clusters do not support data replication and the cluster needs to be restored from snapshot on S3
In case of node failure(s), Redshift
automatically provisions new node(s) and begins restoring data from other drives within the cluster or from S3
prioritizes restoring the most frequently queried data so the most frequently executed queries will become performant quickly
cluster will be unavailable for queries and updates until a replacement node is provisioned and added to the cluster
In case of Redshift cluster AZ goes down, Redshift
cluster is unavailable until power and network access to the AZ are restored
cluster’s data is preserved and can be used once AZ becomes available
cluster can be restored from any existing snapshots to a new AZ within the same region
Redshift Backup & Restore
Redshift replicates all the data within the data warehouse cluster when it is loaded and also continuously backs up the data to S3
Redshift always attempts to maintain at least three copies of the data
Redshift enables automated backups of the data warehouse cluster with a 1-day retention period, by default, which can be extended to max 35 days
Automated backups can be turned off by setting the retention period as 0
Redshift can also asynchronously replicate the snapshots to S3 in another region for disaster recovery
Redshift allows scaling of the cluster either by
increasing the node instance type (Vertical scaling)
increasing the number of nodes (Horizontal scaling)
Redshift scaling changes are usually applied during the maintenance window or can be applied immediately
Redshift scaling process
existing cluster remains available for read operations only, while a new data warehouse cluster gets created during scaling operations
data from the compute nodes in the existing data warehouse cluster is moved in parallel to the compute nodes in the new cluster
when the new data warehouse cluster is ready, the existing cluster will be temporarily unavailable while the canonical name record of the existing cluster is flipped to point to the new data warehouse cluster
Redshift vs EMR vs RDS
RDS is ideal for
structured data and running traditional relational databases while offloading database administration
for online-transaction processing (OLTP) and for reporting and analysis
Redshift is ideal for
large volumes of structured data that needs to be persisted and queried using standard SQL and existing BI tools
analytic and reporting workloads against very large data sets by harnessing the scale and resources of multiple nodes and using a variety of optimizations to provide improvements over RDS
preventing reporting and analytic processing from interfering with the performance of the OLTP workload
EMR is ideal for
processing and transforming unstructured or semi-structured data to bring in to Amazon Redshift and
for data sets that are relatively transitory, not stored for long-term use.
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.
With which AWS services CloudHSM can be used (select 2)
You have recently joined a startup company building sensors to measure street noise and air quality in urban areas. The company has been running a pilot deployment of around 100 sensors for 3 months. Each sensor uploads 1KB of sensor data every minute to a backend hosted on AWS. During the pilot, you measured a peak of 10 IOPS on the database, and you stored an average of 3GB of sensor data per month in the database. The current deployment consists of a load-balanced auto scaled Ingestion layer using EC2 instances and a PostgreSQL RDS database with 500GB standard storage. The pilot is considered a success and your CEO has managed to get the attention or some potential investors. The business plan requires a deployment of at least 100K sensors, which needs to be supported by the backend. You also need to store sensor data for at least two years to be able to compare year over year Improvements. To secure funding, you have to make sure that the platform meets these requirements and leaves room for further scaling. Which setup will meet the requirements?
Add an SQS queue to the ingestion layer to buffer writes to the RDS instance (RDS instance will not support data for 2 years)
Ingest data into a DynamoDB table and move old data to a Redshift cluster (Handle 10K IOPS ingestion and store data into Redshift for analysis)
Replace the RDS instance with a 6 node Redshift cluster with 96TB of storage (Does not handle the ingestion issue)
Keep the current architecture but upgrade RDS storage to 3TB and 10K provisioned IOPS (RDS instance will not support data for 2 years)
Which two AWS services provide out-of-the-box user configurable automatic backup-as-a-service and backup rotation options? Choose 2 answers
Your department creates regular analytics reports from your company’s log files. All log data is collected in Amazon S3 and processed by daily Amazon Elastic Map Reduce (EMR) jobs that generate daily PDF reports and aggregated tables in CSV format for an Amazon Redshift data warehouse. Your CFO requests that you optimize the cost structure for this system. Which of the following alternatives will lower costs without compromising average performance of the system or data integrity for the raw data?
Use reduced redundancy storage (RRS) for PDF and CSV data in Amazon S3. Add Spot instances to Amazon EMR jobs. Use Reserved Instances for Amazon Redshift. (Spot instances impacts performance)
Use reduced redundancy storage (RRS) for all data in S3. Use a combination of Spot instances and Reserved Instances for Amazon EMR jobs. Use Reserved instances for Amazon Redshift (Combination of the Spot and reserved with guarantee performance and help reduce cost. Also, RRS would reduce cost and guarantee data integrity, which is different from data durability)
Use reduced redundancy storage (RRS) for all data in Amazon S3. Add Spot Instances to Amazon EMR jobs. Use Reserved Instances for Amazon Redshift (Spot instances impacts performance)
Use reduced redundancy storage (RRS) for PDF and CSV data in S3. Add Spot Instances to EMR jobs. Use Spot Instances for Amazon Redshift. (Spot instances impacts performance and Spot instance not available for Redshift)