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Top 15 AWS Solution Architect Interview Questions and Answers for 2020


According to a Forbes report, AWS solution architect certification leads the 15 top-paying IT certifications. Today, AWS is considered as one of the most sought-after positions amongst IT jobs. We at JanBask training are committed to upgrading your career in sync with the latest industry requirements. This is the reason we created a list of top AWS architect interview questions and answers that probably can be asked during your AWS interview.

We will start our discussion with the basics and move our way forward to more technical questions so that concepts can be understood in the sequence.

Top AWS Solution Architect Questions and Answers

Q1). How will you compare two popular cloud service providers – AWS and Azure?

To understand the difference between the two most popular cloud service providers i.e. AWS and Azure, let us refer to the table given below.

Parameters AWS Azure
Initiation 2006 2010
Market Share 4X X
Implementation Less Options More Experimentation Possible
Features Widest Range of Options Good Range of Options
App Hosting AWS Not as Good as Azure Azure is Better
Development Varied & Great Features Varied & Great Features
IaaS Offerings Good Market Hold Better Offering Than AWS

Q2). I have a few private servers and I distributed some of the workloads on the public cloud too. Which type of architecture is this?

When you use both services like private and public cloud together then it’s the hybrid cloud. it is easier to understand a hybrid architecture when private or public clouds are hosted on the same network virtually.

Q3). There is a video transcoding application to process videos in a queue. If the processing of a video is interrupted in between then it is resumed by another instance. Currently, there is a huge backlog of videos that needs to be processed and we require more instances for the same. But we need these instances until the backlog is not clear. So, what would be the most efficient way to achieve the purpose?

You should use on-demand instances for this purpose. You must be wondering why? Firstly, you need instances immediately to process the videos. Secondly, you don’t need them when the backlog is clear. Reserved instances are out of the picture here because instances are needed for a certain time span only. Spot instances are also not suitable because work is urgent and you cannot stop the work just because of the spot price spiked. Hence, on-demand instances are the right choice in this scenario.

Q4). How are stopping and terminating an instance two different processes?

  • Stopping an Instance: When an instance is stopped, it performs a normal shutdown. However its Amazon EBS volume remains attached and you can start the same instance later when needed. The benefit of stopping an instance is that you are not charged anything for that particular instance, once it is stopped.
  • Terminating an Instance: When an instance is terminated, it performs a normal shutdown and all Amazon EBS volumes attached to the instance are deleted at the same time. Once an instance is terminated, you cannot start it over again.

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Q5). If I want to run my instance on single-tenant hardware, which option I have to set for the instance tenancy attribute?

instance on single-tenant hardware

The instance tenancy attribute should be set to the Dedicate instance here to run the instance on single-tenant hardware. Rest of the options are invalid.

Q6). What are the costs associated with an Elastic IP address (EIP)? You don’t have to pay anything when only one IP address is attached with your running instance. But you need to pay in the following conditions:

  • When more than one EIPs are associated with your running instance.
  • When EIP is attached to the stopped instance.
  • When EIP is not attached to any instance.

Q7). Can we use reserved instances for multi-AZ deployments in AWS?

Reserved Instances are the pricing models available for all Amazon EC2 Instances.

Q8). How is a Spot Instance different from the Reserved or On-demand Instance?

Spot instances, Reserved instances, and On-demand instances all are pricing models. Spot instance gives the flexibility to the users to buy compute capacity with no upfront investment but at the same time you have to pay hourly that is lower than on-demand instance rate in each region.

Spot instances are similar to bidding, and the bidding price for these instances is called the Spot Price. The price may fluctuate based on the supply and demand curve for instance but you never pay more than maximum price as specified. When spot prices move higher than the maximum price, the EC2 instances shut down automatically in that case. But the reverse is not true, if spot prices come down, EC2 Instances are not launched automatically. It can be done manually.

For Spot and On-demand instances, there is no commitment from the user side. However, in case of Reserved Instances, one has to stick to the time period that was chosen earlier.

Q9). What are the network performance parameters when you launch an instance in the cluster placement group?

The network performance parameters depend on the instance type and network specifications. If an instance is launched in cluster placement group then you can expect the following performance parameters:

Read: AWS Certifications Guide: Know Everything About one of the Highest-Paying IT Certification
  • For a single flow, 10 Gbps speed
  • For multi-flow, 20 Gbps speed
  • For the network traffic outside the placement group, speed is limited to 5Gbps.

Q10). Which instance type can be used to deploy a 4-node Hadoop cluster in AWS?

Each Hadoop cluster is based on the master-slave concept where master machine processes the data and slave machine stores the data like data nodes. Since all the processing is done at the master machine, a high capacity CPU and RAM is needed here and as all the storage is done at the slave machine, a high capacity hard disk is needed.

You are free to decide the configuration of the machine based on the workload. If you are not interested in configuring machine manually then you can straight away launch an Amazon EMR instance that configures the server automatically for you. You dump the data to be processed in S3, EMR picks the data from there, processes it, and dumps it back to the S3.

Q11). When you are designing an architecture for a solution, where do you think AMI fits?

AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) are like templates for the virtual machine or an instance derived from an AMI. Aws offers pre-ready AMIs that you can choose to launch an instance. A few of them are not free that you can buy from the AWS marketplace.

You are free to create your own custom AMI that helps you to save space on the AWS as it is more cost effective and suitable for your project.

Q12). How to decide on the best availability zone?

To choose the best availability zone, you should first compare the prices for different regions. But price is not the single factor to make the final decision; you also need to consider the performance. Let us look at the latency as well. It’s the time taken by a server to respond to your requests.  Based on these factors, it is easier to decide on the best availability zone from different regions.

Q13). Is one Elastic IP address enough for every running instance?

Each instance has its own private and public address. A private address is associated exclusively with an instance and it is returned when an instance is stopped or terminated. Similarly, a public address is also associated exclusively with an instance until it is stopped or terminated. However, one can assign an EIP (Elastic IP address) to an instance that stays longer till the time the user does not detach it manually. In case, you are hosting multiple websites on your EC2 server then you need multiple EIP addresses in that scenario.

Q14). How to maintain the security for Amazon EC2 instances?

There are multiple best practices to secure an Amazon EC2 instance. They are given as below.

Read: What is AWS Fargate? Amazon EC2 vs. Amazon Fargate
  • To control the access of AWS resources, you should use IAM (Identity and Access Management) protocol.
  • To give access to trusted users or networks, you should restrict unwanted access by following certain security principles.
  • To maintain secure access, review the rules of security groups regularly and only open up permissions that are required.
  • To manage the security risks, disable the password-based logins for instance launched from an AMI.

Q15). Can we use S3 bucket with EC2 Instances too?

Yes, it can be used with the root devices backed by local instances storage. With Amazon S3, developers have access to reliable and expensive data storage infrastructure that used by Amazon to run its global websites.

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When you appear for an interview, avoid giving Yes/No type answers but you have to be creative here. Preferably, a descriptive answer can help you that shows you are familiar with concepts and able to identify the best solution as an AWS architect. Sometimes, interviewers give you a scenario to check your behavior against the situation. Be prepared and get AWS solution architect certification today to be hired by the Best Companies.

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