7 AWS RDS Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Updated 12 September 2023

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is a web service that helps manage relational databases in the cloud. The knowledge of this service can help you create database (DB) instances and automate administrative tasks such as database set-ups and back-ups. If you are interviewing for a job role involving AWS RDS, learning about commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them can boost your confidence. In this article, we share various AWS RDS interview questions and their sample answers and go through some additional tips to help you in your interview preparation.

7 AWS RDS Interview Questions

AWS RDS interview questions include a mix of situational, general and technical questions that help hiring managers determine if you are a suitable candidate for the role. They use these questions to determine your understanding of concepts, your professional background and your experience. Here are some examples of responses you can use as a guide:

1. What is the difference between Amazon RDS and Amazon EC2?

Both Amazon RDS and Amazon Elastic Compute (EC2) offer different benefits to the users depending on the requirements. Interviewers may ask this question to assess your knowledge of the two services. Briefly describe how the two services differ.

Example answer: 'Amazon RDS is a managed database-as-a-service that handles most of the management tasks and helps in setting up, operating and scaling relational databases on the cloud. Amazon EC2 is a web service that helps run application programs in the AWS public cloud. RDS is easy to set up, manage and maintain along with the automation of security, management and maintenance by AWS. With EC2, the user is responsible for routine maintenance activities, upgrades and patches.

RDS is automated and easily integrated with Amazon's scaling tools for both vertical and horizontal scaling. In EC2, the user requires setting up a scalable architecture manually.'

Related: What Is An AWS Certification? (With Types And Benefits)

2. Is it possible to run multiple databases in a DB instance?

Amazon RDS supports access to different databases. During an interview, interviewers may ask you this question to determine your familiarity with DB instances and database engines. In your answer, provide a list of databases that RDS supports. You can also include an example to support your answer.

Example answer: 'Yes, RDS provides access to SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL and MariaDB databases along with back-ups and regular upgrades. RDS can run up to 100 databases per DB instance for the SQL Server and unlimited databases for MySQL, Amazon Aurora, PostgreSQL and MariaDB. It can also run one database per instance for Oracle and has no limit on the number of schemas per database.'

Related: Difference Between MySQL And SQL (With Definitions)

3. What is an RDS interface?

There are several interfaces available through Amazon RDS to suit different relational database use cases. Hiring managers often ask this question to assess your knowledge of RDS interfaces and how you can use it to automate tasks and manage database instances. Define the term and list its uses.

Example answer: 'An RDS interface helps access RDS services, such as running programs, accessing and uploading data. The interfaces include an AWS API, which helps information pass between two systems and a command-line interface which helps execute database commands. The RDS interface also includes a GUI console that helps users work with RDS services.'

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4. What is the impact of creating an RDS snapshot on performance?

RDS snapshots are important in backing up DB instances and restoring them in the future. An interviewer may ask this question to assess your understanding of how RDS snapshots work and how they affect AWS RDS performance and security.

Example answer: 'When creating manual snapshots, creating a snapshot may affect the performance of other clients connected to the database. In the case of automated snapshots, RDS automatically creates daily snapshots that have no impact on performance. With single AZs, it is possible that creating a DB snapshot can cause a brief suspension of input and output functionalities in RDS instances. Creating a DB snapshot in a Multi-AZ instance would not affect other instances of RDS, since the creation of such snapshots is from a standby instance.

Similarly, there is no impact on performance or interruption with Aurora clusters since they constantly keep backup data.'

Related: What Is Performance Management? A Comprehensive Guide

5. What are the advantages of using AWS RDS?

AWS RDS offers significant benefits over traditional databases. This entry-level question helps interviewers assess your primary knowledge of AWS RDS. In your answer, list the benefits of using AWS RDS.

Example answer: 'AWS RDS is a managed cloud database service that offers various benefits for businesses and individuals. It allows individual allocation of storage and CPU and offers highly available database servers. AWS RDS offers read replicas to enhance performance and both automatic and manual database backups. It also supports a variety of programming languages and frameworks, making it a more versatile database option.'

Related: 8 Popular AWS Certifications To Consider Pursuing

6. What are the differences between RDS, DynamoDB and RedShift?

RDS, DynamoDB and RedShift are three popular database solutions provided by Amazon. Hiring managers ask this question to gauge your knowledge of various Amazon services and whether you can choose a suitable service based on requirements.

Example answer: 'Amazon RDS is a database management service that helps manage database administrative tasks and structured data. It is compatible with database engines, such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MariaDB and Amazon Aurora. It is the only service among the three that supports Microsoft SQL Server. DynamoDB is a key-value database that supports unstructured data and runs on NoSQL engine. It is an enterprise-level solution that is best suited for use cases, such as session data and key-valued cloud services.

Amazon RedShift is a relational database and data warehouse product, which is more powerful and expensive. It is best suited for more complex calculations and mostly used by large corporations.'

Related: All You Need To Know About Data Warehouse Architecture

7. What is the best method for monitoring RDS database disk space usage?

There is a possibility for database instances to run out of storage space. An interviewer may ask this question to ensure you can prevent downtimes and other inconveniences beforehand that can happen because of the lack of free disk space.

Example answer: 'Amazon CloudWatch console is a tool for monitoring disk space usage in RDS database instances. It monitors a wide range of AWS metrics, including disk space usage. Using CloudWatch, users can set up alarms to get notified when the disk space usage of their databases reaches certain levels. Users can also opt for the AWS command-line interface to create alarms and monitor available storage space.'

Related: Different Types Of Virtualisation In Cloud Computing

AWS RDS Interview Preparation Tips

Here are some tips you can follow while preparing for AWS RDS interviews:

Research the role and the company

Make sure you research the role and the company's cloud services before your interview. Check the company's official website, social media platforms and search engine results for mentions of the company. It can help you better understand the company's position in the industry.

Related: How To Manage Interview Fatigue In 5 Steps (Plus Tips)

Review the job description

Consider reading the job description thoroughly to identify concepts and topics that you can include in your preparation. Job descriptions often include specific skills that hiring managers seek. Highlight your accomplishments, milestones and the goals you achieved using these skills.

Related: How To Crack A Job Interview

Have a good understanding of AWS services

AWS interview questions often cover a lot of topics. It is important to understand a broad selection of services that are related to AWS RDS, such as other databases, compute services and storage services. This helps you to gain a competitive advantage over other candidates.

Related: 11 Common Technical Courses To Improve Your Knowledge

Practice mock interviews

Understand the interview process of the companies and conduct mock interviews for better preparation. There are several rounds to an interview that involve basic questions on professional profile, technical skills such as coding expertise, behaviour and past job experiences. You can prepare questions based on these interview rounds.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.


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