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Cloud Engineer Interview

20 Questions and Answers by William Swansen
| William Swansen is an author, job search strategist and career advisor who assists individuals from all over the world.

Question 1 of 20

How are APIs used in the cloud?

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Cloud Engineer Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    How are APIs used in the cloud?

      This is a hybrid technical and operational question. It requires you to be familiar with the technology used in this profession and how it is employed. When responding to this type of question, you should continue to keep your answers brief and to the point. The interviewer will ask a follow-up question if they need additional information or want to explore the topic in more detail.

      William's Answer

      "Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, are used in a cloud environment the same way they are in software applications. Their primary purpose is to eliminate the necessity to write programs that connect the cloud services to applications, tools, and utilities. This facilitates communication between these resources and the services provided by the cloud. The availability of APIs also increases the number of applications users can access through the cloud."

  2. 2.

    What are the main services provided in a cloud computing environment?

      Identifying and discussing the key services provided in a cloud computing environment is a fundamental qualification for this role. When answering this type of question, you should identify each service and briefly define it. Your answer should be brief and to the point. The interviewer will ask a follow-up question if they need additional information.

      William's Answer

      "There are three main services provided in a cloud computing environment. These are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS,) Platform as a Service (PaaS, ) and Software as a Service (SaaS.) Infrastructure as a service refers to the environment managed by the cloud service provider. This includes the building, power, cooling, and management services. Platform as a service refers to the computing hardware. This may be dedicated to the client or shared by several clients. Software as a service is the applications, operating systems, and tools provided by the cloud service provider or a third party. Clients rent these rather than purchase them."

  3. 3.

    What are some other major cloud database providers you have worked with, and why do you prefer their products?

      An interviewer will ask this type of question to determine if you are familiar with some of the technologies they currently use or are considering. If they're looking to upgrade, they may be seeking recommendations based on your experience. If you have done your research, you will be familiar with the technologies the organization is currently using or may be considering. This will allow you to align your answer with their specific needs.

      William's Answer

      "I have worked with most of the main cloud database suppliers. These include Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Oracle and Google. Of these, I prefer the Google Big Table and Oracle SQL. These are flexible, reliable, and they are effective in processing SQL queries. Of course, you may select one that has been recommended and is supported by the cloud service provider you choose to use."

  4. 4.

    What are some of the main service components offered by AWS?

      This is a follow-up to a previous question. During an interview, you can anticipate follow-up questions whenever you provide the interviewer a response to their question. This indicates that the interviewer has a specific interest in this topic or wants to explore it in more detail. When answering follow-up questions, keep your response brief and to the point. The interviewer may continue to ask additional questions about this topic, indicating a special interest in it, or they will move on to a new subject.

      William's Answer

      "AWS offers several different service modules, making it easy for their hosted customers to access resources within the cloud. Most of these will replace the services the hosting clients used to provide themselves. They include DNS, Simple E-mail Service, Simple Storage Device, Elastic Compute Cloud, Elastic Block Stores, and CloudWatch. Additional services include identity and access management as well as user authorization."

  5. 5.

    What are some of the benefits offered by cloud computing that would induce an organization to adopt it?

      An interviewer may ask this question for two reasons. The first is to test your knowledge of cloud computing and confirm that you know some of the benefits it offers. The second is that they may be considering adopting this technology and want to get your opinion of its benefits and why they should move in this direction. Since you are interviewing for a cloud engineer's role, your answer should promote the use of cloud technologies.

      William's Answer

      "Cloud computing offers many benefits compared to hosting an IT infrastructure on-premise. First, it is cost-effective in that you only invest in the IT infrastructure you need. Since cloud computing scales easily, you can increase or decrease the infrastructure in real-time. Cloud computing also offers organizations access to IT resources they may not be able to afford to either purchase or manage themselves. Another advantage is that the cloud service provider is responsible for the data backup and recovery, which is a key requirement for any organization's disaster recovery plan."

  6. 6.

    What are the three types of clouds individuals or organizations can use?

      This is another variation of a question asked earlier in the interview. The unique aspect of this question is that it brings up the personal use of clouds. This indicates that the interviewer is interested in the types of clouds you have been involved with and what your role and these were. You could answer this question by first describing each type of cloud and then discussing your role.

      William's Answer

      "The three main types of clouds I have been involved with include professional, personal, and performance. The professional cloud is the one most organizations are familiar with. This usually involves utilizing resources in commercial environments such as AWS or Microsoft Azure to supplement or replace their organization's current IT environment. A personal cloud may be an individual's website or off-site computing environments. An example of this is Google, which can provide a range of services, including computing, applications, and data storage. The third type of cloud environment is performance-based. This enables organizations to reduce the time it takes to access resources by placing them closer to the users, increasing the bandwidth, and providing resources which the organization itself can't provision."

  7. 7.

    Can you define the components of a PaaS architecture?

      This is an example of a technical question. These types of questions test your knowledge of the subject matter associated with the job for which you are interviewing. As a cloud engineer, you can anticipate that most of the questions you will be asked will be similar to this. The best way to prepare for these is to review the terms, concepts, processes, and operations used in your job.

      William's Answer

      "There are three main layers of the platform as a service or PaaS architecture. The first of the cloud controller. This is used to create virtual machines, deploy applications, and connect services. The second layer is storage. This is where data and applications reside. It manages relational databases and SQL queries. The final layer is applications. These provide the services needed by the users. It is the one component of cloud computing which is managed by the client organization."

  8. 8.

    Can you define the 'Cloud' and discuss some of its features?

      This is a general question which the interviewer will use to get you talking, learn more about your background, and collect information they can use throughout the interview. This provides you the opportunity to direct the interview towards an area that you are knowledgeable in and comfortable discussing.

      William's Answer

      "The cloud consists of IT infrastructure that is hosted off-site, typically by a third-party provider. It consists of hardware, software, storage, networking, and IT services. The cloud is managed by a service provider and accessed by users through various devices from virtually any location in the world."

  9. 9.

    Who are the main cloud service providers, and which ones have you worked with?

      This is a very basic general question that can be asked that any time during the interview. Many hiring managers have not been trained in interview techniques and will ask various types of questions at different times during the interview. This unstructured interview style may be distracting, so you need to stay flexible throughout the interview. As always, keep your answer to this question brief and to the point and anticipate a follow-up question or two.

      William's Answer

      "I have worked with all three of the main cloud service providers, including AWS, Google, and Microsoft Azure. Each of these has unique advantages and disadvantages. The one I prefer the most is AWS. This is due to their offering's robustness and the number of different service modules available to hosted customers. The service modules make it easy for any organization to access the cloud services, regardless of their experience working in the cloud."

  10. 10.

    Can you discuss the different types of clouds and how they are used?

      If an organization is new to cloud computing, they will be looking to learn about the different features, benefits, and options available within the cloud computing environment. As a prospective employee, they want to test your knowledge of these to determine if you can assist them in selecting the appropriate cloud type for their organization. When responding to this question, keep your answer brief and to the point. The interviewer will ask a follow-up question if they need additional information or explore the topic in more depth.

      William's Answer

      "There are four main types of cloud environments. These include private cloud, public cloud, community cloud, and hybrid cloud. A private cloud is dedicated to the organization and may be hosted by a third party or maintained by the organization. A public cloud is hosted by a third party, with resources dedicated to individual clients. A community cloud is hosted but shares the resources among multiple clients. The hybrid cloud is a combination of any of these three and offers organizations options and flexibility."

  11. 11.

    What is an AMI, and how is it implemented in a cloud computing environment?

      This is a question about a specific technology you use with cloud computing. When preparing for an interview for a cloud engineer role, you should ensure that you are familiar with the latest technologies used in this field. Employers look for candidates who maintain their currency in the most recent technologies introduced in those fast-moving segment of the computing industry. It would be best if you also were prepared to discuss how you stay current and the resources you utilize to do this.

      William's Answer

      "AMI is an acronym for the Amazon Machine Image. This is a copy of your root file system and is required to launch a computing instance on a virtual machine within the Amazon Web Services cloud computing environment. You only need one version of this to launch multiple instances unless you're using a different root file system configuration. Am I also controls which AWS accounts can launch the instances."

  12. 12.

    What technologies are used to ensure that cloud computing is secure, and the organization’s information is protected?

      Security is one of the major concerns organizations have when considering the use of cloud computing. There are several different technologies and techniques to ensure that cloud computing is as safe as on-premise computing. As a cloud engineer, you should be able to discuss several of these and provide in-depth information if asked follow-up questions about them.

      William's Answer

      "Technologies used to protect information within a cloud computing environment are the same ones used when securing an organization's data on-premises. These include identity management, access control, authentication, and authorization. Also, data transmitted across the Internet between users and the cloud computing environment can be encrypted, adding an additional layer of security."

  13. 13.

    What are the steps used to design and deploy a cloud architecture?

      By asking this question, the interviewer indicates that they are interested in deploying a cloud architecture but may not have the experience or resources needed to do this. This probably is one of the main reasons they are looking to hire a cloud engineer. This may have even been disclosed in the job description. When interviewing for this role, a good strategy may be to create a pro forma plan to develop a cloud architecture and present it to the interviewer. This would be especially effective if this requirement was mentioned in the job description.

      William's Answer

      "When I am designing and deploying a cloud architecture, I use three distinct steps in the process. The first is to develop a reference architecture. This is based on how the cloud resources will be used and what services the users would like to access. The next step was to create a technical architecture. This involves all the hardware, software, network, and applications required to provision the reference architecture. The final step is the deployment operation architecture. This describes how the technical architecture will be deployed and what resources will be required to keep it functioning. These resources involve the cloud provider's services and those managed by the organization's IT personnel."

  14. 14.

    How are Data Centers deployed or transitioned to the cloud?

      This question seeks to understand your knowledge of how data centers can move from their on-premise location into the cloud. This is a complex operation that involves many steps and coordination of a great number of resources. The timing is also critical so that the move does not impact an organization's operations or result in any data loss. Knowing how to perform this operation is a key qualification for a cloud engineer.

      William's Answer

      "Transitioning an organization's IT resources into the cloud can take many forms. It can be a complete move of the data center, a partial move, or simply replicating the resources at a cloud hosting site. Each of these requires a great deal of planning and coordination. The objective is to relocate the resources into the cloud without any disruption in the organization's operations or any data loss. When planning a data center move, I pay close attention to which resources will be transitioned, how the move will be executed to maintain continuity of operations, ensuring all the data is backed up to prevent loss, and executing the move when the company's activity is at its lowest, typically on a weekend or during a holiday. I also provision for contingencies just in case issues crop up."

  15. 15.

    Can you discuss the major differences between the cloud and a traditional data center?

      As the interview progresses, the interviewer may switch between the different types of questions. These can include general, technical, operational, behavioral, and situational questions. Being familiar with each type of question and knowing how to respond to them is critical to a successful interview. This is a general question, so your response should be general in nature. Keep your answer brief and to the point to include the interviewer to move on to a new question or explore this topic in more detail by asking a follow-up question.

      William's Answer

      "There's very little difference between a cloud environment and a traditional data center from an infrastructure standpoint. The key differences are how the resources are accessed and who is responsible for managing them. In a traditional data center, the organization is responsible for all aspects of the IT environment. These include acquiring the resources, managing them, updating them, and maintaining them. In a cloud environment, the organization purchases the services on an as-needed basis. This reduces their initial investment, allows them to scale up or down as needed, and provides them access to resources they may not be able to afford. The tradeoff between the two environments is that the cloud is often less expensive, whereas the traditional data center provides the organization with more control and better security."

  16. 16.

    Please describe the layers used within a cloud computing architecture.

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  17. 17.

    What is Eucalyptus, and how is it used in Cloud Computing?

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  18. 18.

    Please talk about how cloud computing can help with the reliability and availability of an organization's IT resources.

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  19. 19.

    Why would an organization use a hybrid cloud rather than one of the three other types?

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  20. 20.

    Please discuss the differences between Cloud and On-premise Computing.

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