Master AWS SNS: Key Interview Questions for Cloud Professionals
I can provide you with the top 10 AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS) interview questions and answers that a professional cloud developer with experience in AWS cloud services might be asked:
- Q: What is AWS SNS, and what are its main use cases?
A: AWS SNS (Simple Notification Service) is a fully managed messaging service that enables the decoupling of microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications. It supports various types of messages, including email, SMS, and application notifications. The main use cases are to send notifications to users, trigger Lambda functions, and communicate between services in a distributed system.
- Q: How does SNS differ from SQS?
A: SNS is a publish-subscribe (pub-sub) messaging service, whereas SQS is a message queue service. SNS supports multiple subscribers, allowing messages to be sent to multiple recipients, while SQS supports only one consumer per message. SNS enables fan-out architecture, while SQS is used for decoupling components in a system.
- Q: What are SNS topics, and how do they work?
A: SNS topics are communication channels that act as message routers, allowing messages to be sent to multiple subscribers. Subscribers can be AWS services like Lambda, SQS, or even external applications. To use SNS, you create a topic and then add subscribers that want to receive messages published to that topic.
- Q: How do you ensure message delivery in SNS?
A: SNS provides at-least-once message delivery by default. To ensure delivery, you can configure retries and set up dead-letter queues (DLQs). You can also monitor the SNS message delivery status by enabling CloudWatch metrics and CloudTrail logging for auditing purposes.
- Q: What are SNS message attributes, and how are they used?
A: Message attributes are metadata added to messages in the form of key-value pairs. They can be used to filter messages, route messages to specific subscribers, or provide extra context about a message. They don’t affect the actual message content.
- Q: How do you secure messages in SNS?
A: SNS provides multiple security mechanisms, including encryption in transit (using SSL/TLS) and at rest (using AWS Key Management Service). You can also use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to set up granular access control policies for publishing and subscribing to SNS topics.
- Q: What are the different message formats supported by SNS?
A: SNS supports various message formats, including raw, JSON, and email formats. You can also use message structure to publish a single message with multiple formats for different protocols (e.g., SMS, email, Lambda).
- Q: Can you fan-out messages to multiple AWS services using SNS?
A: Yes, SNS enables message fan-out by allowing you to subscribe multiple AWS services (e.g., Lambda, SQS, or even external applications) to a single SNS topic. When a message is published to the topic, all subscribers receive a copy of the message.
- Q: How do you filter messages in SNS?
A: You can use subscription filter policies to filter messages based on their attributes. This allows subscribers to receive only messages that meet specific criteria. For example, you can set up a filter policy to receive only high-priority messages or messages related to a specific product.
- Q: How are you billed for using SNS?
A: SNS uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model. You’re billed based on the number of messages published, the number of notifications delivered, the number of messages delivered over SMS, and the amount of data transferred. There are no upfront costs or long-term commitments required. Free tier usage is available for new AWS customers, which includes a specific number of free messages and notifications per month. For detailed pricing information, you can refer to the AWS SNS pricing page.