AWS Certified Database – Specialty Exam Study Guide

The global cloud adoption trend will continue to accelerate in the coming years and that will include the proliferation of deploying and managing purpose-built databases. Companies from all industries will look for talents that can manage the challenges of migrating their data and securing them in the cloud.

The AWS Certified Database – Specialty (DBS-C01) exam is the latest addition to the AWS Specialty Certifications. This exam validates your comprehensive understanding of AWS database services’ breadth, including the concepts of design, migration, deployment, access, maintenance, automation, monitoring, security, and troubleshooting.

This Specialty exam is recommended for people who have acquired extensive real-world experience in database administration and AWS cloud management. However, with commitment, determination, and ample preparation, an individual can aspire to succeed in passing this exam. AWS Support – Knowledge Center, Blogs, and Documentation will serve you well in studying for it. Check out the official AWS Certified Database – Specialty (DBS-C01) Exam Guide for more details on preparing for the exam.

Study Materials

This Specialty exam is very challenging. We recommend checking the materials below before taking the exam:

  1. AWS Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Database – Specialty – a 3.5 hour-course available for FREE in AWS Training and Certification. It will give exam takers a better breakdown of the exam guide and helps you create a structure for preparing for the exam.

  2. AWS Documentation and FAQS – The AWS Documentation has everything. If you can consume them entirely, then you should be very confident about your theory. AWS FAQs have always been a reliable source for exam preparation. It is easy to read and gives you an idea of whether you missed a concept or area of knowledge.

  3. Tutorials Dojo’s AWS Cheat Sheets – an alternative to the lengthy FAQs is Tutorials Dojo’s collection of AWS cheat sheets that are presented in bullet points to help you easily digest the information. This page summarizes all the database-related cheat sheets that are published on the site.

  4. AWS Support – Knowledge Center – This is the gold mine, the Eureka moment, the Nirvana. Many questions from the exam will be based on how well you understand the body of thought surrounding the questions posted here. Particular focus on the Database section, Amazon Redshift, AWS CloudFormation, Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS CloudTrail.

  5. AWS Whitepapers – good source of information. Several useful whitepapers are located in the AWS Certification Exam Preparation page

  6. AWS Well-Architected Framework – digest this framework when going through the examination.

  7. Tutorials Dojo’s AWS Certified Database Specialty Practice Exams – simulate the actual exam environment with scenario questions that are patterned after the real test.

Core AWS Services to Focus On:

1. Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) – Special mention on Amazon Aurora

  • Architecture
  • High Availability (Multi-AZ and Replicas)
  • Database Engines (MySQL, MariaDB, Microsoft, Oracle, PostgreSQL)
  • Deployment & Connection Management
  • DB Cluster/Instance Management
  • Scaling (Storage, Compute, Read)
  • Network Management (VPC, Security Groups, DB Subnet Groups)
  • Aurora Serverless
  • Cloning
  • Aurora Backtrack
  • Aurora Multi-Master
  • Amazon Aurora Global Databases
  • Cross-Region Replication
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  • Backup and Restore (PITR, Copy, Share, Migrate, Automatic, Manual)
  • Database Activity Streams
  • Enhanced Monitoring
  • Performance Insights
  • Event Notifications
  • Amazon EventBridge
  • Data Protection
  • IAM Database Authentication
  • Audit
  • Integration with AWS Services (e.g. CloudWatch, CloudTrail, Lambda, KMS)
  • Migration strategies (e.g. Snowball Edge)
  • Best Practices

2. Amazon DynamoDB

  • Architecture
  • Deployment & Connection Management
  • Scaling (RCU, WCU)
  • DynamoDB Global Tables
  • Cross-Region Replication
  • On-demand Backup and Restore
  • DynamoDB Streams
  • DynamoDB Accelerator
  • Contributor Insights
  • Data Protection
  • Audit
  • Integration with AWS Services
  • Migration strategies
  • Best Practices

3. AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS)

  • Architecture
  • Deployment
  • Migration Assessments
  • Migration Task Settings
  • Integration with AWS Schema Conversion Tool

4. AWS CloudFormation

  • Templates
  • Integration with AWS Services (e.g. Secrets Manager, Systems Manager)

5. Amazon Redshift

  • Architecture
  • Deployment & Connection Management
  • Cluster Management
  • Scaling
  • Cross-Region Replication
  • Workload Management
  • Redshift Spectrum
  • Data Protection
  • Audit
  • Integration with AWS Services
  • Migration strategies
  • Best Practices

6. Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility)

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  • Architecture
  • Deployment
  • Migration Best Practices
  • Monitoring
  • Security Best Practices

7. Amazon Neptune

  • Architecture
  • Deployment
  • Migration Best Practices
  • Monitoring
  • Security Best Practices

8. Amazon ElastiCache (Redis and Memcached)

  • Architecture
  • Deployment
  • Migration Best Practices
  • Monitoring
  • Security Best Practices

9. Amazon QLDB

  • Architecture
  • Deployment

Validate Your Knowledge

The first resource you should check after you’ve reviewed the materials above is the FREE AWS sample questions for AWS Database Specialty. It has ten questions patterned similarly to the real exam, and AWS has provided the answers with great explanations for each item at the end of the file. Be sure to check the sample questionnaire often since AWS may upload a new version of it.

You can use Tutorials Dojo’s high-quality AWS Certified Database Specialty Practice Exams to get you prepared for a full-on exam simulation. Our practice exams contain multiple sets of questions covering almost every area you can expect from the real certification exam. We also include detailed explanations after each item to understand why one choice is better than the others, which is the value you get from our course. Practice exams are a great way to know which AWS topics you need to focus on, and they also highlight the critical information that you might have missed during your reviews.

AWS Certified Database Specialty Practice Exams

Final Remarks

Hands-on experience helps a lot in preparing for this exam. Many of the questions try to validate whether you have seen a particular error or issue during your practice. However, it is not every day that you have access and resources to build an Amazon Aurora cluster or an Amazon Redshift cluster. Nevertheless, we recommend trying it out with an AWS free-tier account and creating an RDS DB instance for free. The experience of creating the DB instance will help you a lot already.

During the exam, keep in mind the AWS Well-Architected Framework as you read the questions. You will notice keywords that separate two or more possible answers to the problem. Good luck, and if you have any questions, join the Tutorials Dojo Slack channel to exchange knowledge with fellow IT professionals.

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