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TOTAL: AWS Certified Database Specialty Exam Prep (DBS-C01)

Study for AWS Database - Specialty (DBS-C01) exam today! Learn how to work with databases on AWS.
The purpose of each AWS Database service
All aspects of databases including design, migration, deployment, maintenance, security, monitoring, and disaster recovery
Automation and orchestration of databases using the GUI and command-line interface
Relational databases (RDS), in-memory databases (ElastiCache), key-value (NoSQL) databases (DynamoDB),
Document databases (DocumentDB), graph databases (Neptune), time series databases (Timestream), and ledger databases (QLDB)
Database Management Systems (DBMS)
Database access language (SQL)

The TOTAL Seminars Team brings you one of our most popular Instructors, Tom Carpenter is the Chief Technical Officer at CWNP (Certified Wireless Network Professionals). He’s been in the IT industry for 25+ years, written over 20 books on IT subjects, and is also heavily involved in objectives development and exam creation in the certification industry.

Tom walks you through how Database Administrators (DBAs) move their databases to the cloud using AWS. It is helpful for anyone who deals with any aspect of databases in AWS.

AWS has come out with a BRAND NEW certification exam called the AWS Certified Database – Specialty (DBS-C01). The exam was created specifically for those who are interested in the database aspects of AWS.

Do you know how data has radically changed the landscape of everything in the cloud, the Internet, and your lives? If you’ve ever seen the “Customers also bought” tag on Amazon (that lead you to buy that super cool Bluetooth-enabled R2-D2), or used the databases in your company to better understand where the best places are to invest your profits, or simply used the contacts function of your phone to store all the important information about the people in your lives, you know how crucial data is. All these keep information in databases and most databases are housed in the AWS Cloud.

Although this course is designed with Database Administrators (DBAs) in mind, it is helpful for anyone who deals with any aspect of databases in AWS. This exam covers everything from the AWS Relational Database Service (RDS) to NoSQL databases (DynamoDB) to the AWS Database Migration Tool. It focuses on various aspects, such as design, migration, deployment, maintenance, security, monitoring, and disaster recovery.


· Over 8 hours of content

· 9 downloadable PDFs with notes on every chapter

· 9 white paper PDFs suggested by AWS to study for the exam

· End-of-chapter quizzes to test your knowledge

· Q&A section where you can have your questions answered

· 30-day money-back guarantee

· Lifetime access

· Certificate of completion


· AWS Relational Database Service (RDS) and Aurora

· AWS DynamoDB (document database)

· AWS Database Migration Tool (migrate your existing databases into the cloud)

· AWS Key Management Service (encryption to secure your data)

· Troubleshooting database connection issues

· AWS Neptune (graph database)

· AWS Redshift (data warehousing)

The AWS Certified Database – Specialty exam domains covered are:

· Domain 1: Workload-Specific Database Design 26%

    1.1 Select appropriate database services for specific types of data and workloads

    1.2 Determine strategies for disaster recovery and high availability

    1.3 Design database solutions for performance, compliance, and scalability

    1.4 Compare the costs of database solutions

· Domain 2: Deployment and Migration 20%

    2.1 Automate database solution deployments

    2.2 Determine data preparation and migration strategies

    2.3 Execute and validate data migration

· Domain 3: Management and Operations 18%

    3.1 Determine maintenance tasks and processes

    3.2 Determine backup and restore strategies

    3.3 Manage the operational environment of a database solution

· Domain 4: Monitoring and Troubleshooting 18%

    4.1 Determine monitoring and alerting strategies

    4.2 Troubleshoot and resolve common database issues

    4.3 Optimize database performance

· Domain 5: Database Security 18%

    5.1 Encrypt data at rest and in transit

    5.2 Evaluate auditing solutions

    5.3 Determine access control and authentication mechanisms

    5.4 Recognize potential security vulnerabilities within database solutions


· Exam code: DBS-C01

· Exam voucher cost: $300 USD

· Exam languages: English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese

· Exam format: Multiple-choice, multiple-answer

· Number of questions: 55-65 (estimate)

· Length of exam: 180 minutes

· Passing grade: Score is from 100-1000, passing grade of 750

· AWS certifications are valid for 3 years, after which you must recertify (you get a 50% off voucher for your recertification exam from AWS)

How to take the exam:

· Sign up for a free AWS Training and Certification account***

· Once logged in, select “Schedule New Exam”

· Exam can be taken at your local Pearson-VUE testing center and is given via computer


Tom Carpenter is the Chief Technical Officer at CWNP (Certified Wireless Network Professionals). He’s been in the IT industry for 25+ years, written over 20 books on IT subjects, and is also heavily involved in objectives development and exam creation in the certification industry. Tom uses AWS daily to run several business websites and operate test labs used for content creation and management, among other things. Tom’s teaching style is casual; he wants you to have fun while you learn practical applications of AWS. Join our class now and let us know how you plan to use AWS in your personal or professional life!

Introducing Databases

AWS Database – Specialty Recommended Knowledge

When preparing for any certification, it is always best to start with the objectives. A solid understanding of exam objectives is the first step to success.

Databases Defined

Before working with databases in AWS, it is important to understand databases in general. This episode introduces the concept of a database and several important database terms.

Relational Databases

Historically, the most popular kind of database has been the relational database, at least for the past 20 years or so. Before that, flat databases were more popular and NoSQL databases are growing in popularity today. This episode introduces relational databases and their concepts.

Database Management System (DBMS)

In the cloud, AWS can provide a fully managed DBMS, but what is a DBMS? This episode explains the concepts to help you understand what AWS is providing to you with the AWS Relational Database System and other managed databases.

Cloud-Based vs. Local Databases

Beyond basic description, important performance differences exist between most local, networked and cloud databases systems. With faster Internet connections, the differences are minimized, but must be considered and this episode explains those differences.

Database Applications

Database applications are the clients of database management systems. This episode explores database applications and the various types available.

Database Access Languages

Database access languages are used to query, modify, and even create databases. This episode explains the common database access languages available.

Introducing SQL

SQL is the most popular language used to access databases. It is supported by all major relational databases and this episode introduces the components of the SQL language.

Reading Data with SQL

Storing data is not extremely useful if you cannot read that data later. This episode covers the SELECT statement used to read data from your databases.

Writing Data with SQL

Just as you can read data with SQL, you can write data. This is performed with the change capable DML statements and they are covered in this episode.

Working with Database Objects

When you need to create objects in the database, you will use DDL SQL statements. These include CREATE and DROP as primary commands and they are covered in this episode.

Introducing Databases Quiz

Database Services

AWS Database Services

To begin understanding specific AWS database services, you must first understand the concept of managed vs. hosted database services. This episode explains these concepts and how AWS addresses them.

Relational Databases (Aurora, Redshift, RDS)

AWS supports several relational databases and this episode introduces these databases and their capabilities. This information will help you select the best database for your needs.

Key-Value (NoSQL) Databases (DynamoDB)

NoSQL databases are those that do not adhere to traditional relational database structures and instead use a key-value pairing data storage methodology. This episode explains these databases with examples of available solutions in AWS.

In-Memory Databases (ElastiCache)

Sometimes, the performance requirement of a database system is such that disk-based access is not sufficient. For this, in-memory databases can be used and this episode introduces and explains the concept.

Document Databases (Document DB)

Document databases introduce some confusion to the newly initiated as they sound like a database used to store Word documents, PDF files, and other document types. However, in a document database, the term document carries a different meaning and this episode explains that

Graph Databases (Neptune)

Graph databases are specialized databases optimized for storing and navigating relationships (graphs). This episode explores Neptune, the AWS graphing database.

Time Series Databases (Timestream)

Tracking values over time is becoming increasingly important with the massive growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) market and other use cases. Time series databases are specifically designed for this kind of tracking and this episode explains Timestream, the AWS time series database.

Ledger Databases (QLDB)

Financial tracking and compliance are important issues in modern business. Ledger database systems, such as AWS QLDB, are useful in achieving compliance and this episode explains this AWS database solution.

Instance-Based Database Servers

At times, you may be required to implement a hosted database management system (instance-based database server) to meet application or other compatibility requirements. This episode lays the foundation for this requirement by addressing the creation of a Linux instance.

Access Control and Authentication

One of the most important steps in DBMS deployment is proper security implementation. Access control and authentication are managed differently depending on whether the database is hosted or managed and this episode shows how they differ.

Database Services Quiz

Database Design

Designing Databases

All quality databases begin with good design. The design ensures that the database implemented meets the requirements of the project. This episode introduces the database design concept.

Using an ERD Tool

Database design tools are an important part of the DBA’s toolkit. Such tools allow the DBA to model the database and show its relationships. This episode explains and demonstrates such tools.

Designing Database Solutions

While the database itself is important, the environment in which it is made available is just as important. This episode provides guidance related to the building of an entire database solution.

Designing for Performance

Optimizing a database solution for performance may be important for a heavily used database or a large database that runs intensive tasks. This episode provides guidance on designing a well-performing database.

Designing for Scalability

It is quite common that a DBA is required to “grow” a database solution. This scalability allows the system to meet increasing demands and this episode explains how scalability is accomplished in AWS.

Designing for Compliance

In some organizations, compliance is a legal requirement. In others, it is a policy requirement. In either case, AWS helps you to achieve compliance with their database solutions and this episode shows you where eto find information on the compliance requirements you may face.

Planning for Recovery

Recovery begins with backup. This episode explains the backup processes and options related to Amazon RDS and instance-based database solutions in AWS.

Planning for High Availability

Many database solutions require high availability, which indicates that the solution is available more often than a low- or standard-availability solution. This episode explains AWS high availability options.

Planning for Encryption

Encryption is important for both security and compliance within database systems. This episode explains both at rest encryption and in transit encryption.

Database Design Quiz

Database Deployment

Creating RDS Databases

With a solid plan for a database, you’re ready to begin creating actual database solutions. This episode addresses important pre-creation tasks and then provides a hands-on experience creating an RDS database

Connecting to an RDS Database (MySQL Workbench)

After creating a database in RDS, the first thing you should do is connect to it to ensure that everything is working as expected. This episode walks you through the process.

Creating DynamoDB Databases

When you require a NoSQL database, in AWS, DynamoDB is the primary database to use. This episode walks you through the quite simple process of creating a DynamoDB database.

Creating RedShift Databases

Redshift is the AWS data warehousing solution. It requires a cluster configuration to implement it. This episode walks you through the basic process

Creating DocumentDB Databases

As you learned previously in this course, DocumentDB is a database for storing documents in JSON format. In this episode, you will see how to create a DocumentDB table.

Creating Instance-Based Databases

In this episode, you will see the database ready and OS ready AMIs in the AWS Marketplace. These AMIs can be used to quickly launch and instance-based database solution.

Creating Databases from the CLI

The AWS CLI (Command Line Interface) is a set of commands that can be installed on a local computer or AWS instance and used to manage AWS services, including database. This episode provides references you can use to learn the CLI.

Automation of Database Creation

When large numbers of databases must be created or you desire to script the creation of databases, automation can be used. A primary method of automation in CloudFormation and it is explained in this episode.

Orchestration of Database Creation

The primary difference between automation and orchestration is the number of objects created. This episode explores orchestration through multiple templates use in CloudFormation.

Database Deployment Quiz

Database Migration

Migration Strategies

Any database migration process should begin with a good strategy. Formulating an effective strategy requires knowing what you have now and what you need in the end. This episode explains both.

Preparing Data for Migration

Before migration can occur, the source data should be prepared. This may include archiving older data, exporting data, and backing up data. This episode explains the importance of these processes.

Preparing the Cloud to Receive Data

The next step, after preparing data for migration, is to prepare the destination – in this case the AWS cloud. This episode explains the basic steps required to prepare for migration in AWS.

Executing Data Migration

Now that we’ve discussed the planning process, in this episode, we will demonstrate a data migration using a SQL Server database as an example

Validating Data Migration

After the data migration, you should not assume that the process was successful. Instead, you should validate the migration and this episode discussed the methods that may be used.

Migrating using DMS

The Database Migration Service (DMS) is used to migrate data. This episode explores the process.

Database Migration Quiz

Managing Databases

General Maintenance Processes

Creating a database is just the start. Managing that database throughout its lifecycle is just as important. This episode explains the basic processes used in database management.

Specific Maintenance Tasks

In this episode, you will learn to extract and load data as well as archive data. All three are demonstrated.

Backup and Restore Strategies

Planning for backups is a key component of database management. You should always understand the backup options available to you so that you can select the best backup methods. This episode is all about developing strategies for backups.

Performing an Unmanaged Database Backup

In this episode, you will see how to backup an unmanaged database, such as one hosted in an EC2 instance within AWS.

Performing a Managed Database Backup

In this episode, you will see how to perform manual backups on a managed database, such as one hosted in AWS RDS.

Performing a Restoration

In this episode, you will learn about the final important component in database backups: restoration. Both managed and unmanaged database restorations are addressed.

Managing Databases Quiz

Managing Database Services

Managing RDS

In this episode, you will explore the basic management practices related to RDS managed databases. These practices include modifying an RDS instance and working with Option and Parameter groups.

Managing DynamoDB

Managing DynamoDB is about creating and managing clusters and working with the data in the database. This episode explores creating a DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX) cluster.

Managing Redshift

Amazon Redshift is designed to scale to very large databases, up to the petabyte scale. For this reason, it depends heavily on clustering technologies. This episode explores the ways in which clusters interact with other AWS services.

Managing Other Databases

Unmanaged databases are instance-based databases. This simply means that they are not managed automatically. This episode explores the ways in which you manage an unmanaged database.

General Operational Environment Management

As with local systems, cloud systems also require general operational environment management. The users, groups, servers, and security must be managed and this episode explores these concepts in the context of the AWS cloud.

Managing Database Services Quiz

Monitoring Database Solutions

Introduction to Monitoring

Monitoring database operations is essential to effective management and security. This episode introduces the monitoring concepts that are addressed throughout this chapter.

AWS Alert Services

AWS alert services can be used to notify you when something is improperly configured, or improper actions are taken. To achieve this, you must first log the appropriate events and CloudTrail is the tool for this.

Using CloudWatch

CloudWatch can monitor and report on events logged by CloudTrail and other events as well. This is your actual alerting service within AWS and this episode explains its use.

Using Third-Party Monitoring Tools

In addition to the AWS and DBMS monitoring tools, some third-party companies develop tools for cloud monitoring. These tools will not be covered on the AWS Database exam, but it would not be a complete course without mentioning them.

Auditing through Monitoring

Auditing is important to security and compliance and monitoring can be helpful. This episode introduces auditing concepts and monitoring’s role in auditing.

Special Security Auditing Tools

AWS includes specific tools that can be helpful for security auditing. This episode describes several of these tools.

Improving Database Performance

One of the end goals of monitoring is the improvement of performance with databases. To wrap up this chapter, we will explore several tips for performance enhancement.

Monitoring Database Solutions Quiz

Troubleshooting Database Solutions

Data Access Issues

The most important thing to the users is the ability to access their required data. This episode starts the final chapter of the course focusing on troubleshooting data access issues.

Database Availability Issues

Database availability troubleshooting requires an awareness of RDS and other database service functionality. This episode covers some of the common issues that cause availability problems with AWS databases.

Database Performance Issues

Troubleshooting performance issues is always a challenge because the performance you achieve is a combination of many factors. This episode explores where you can go for performance metrics and provides guidance for troubleshooting high CPU utilization.

Data Corruption Issues

Data corruption is a serious problem if it occurs in databases. This episode explores three potential causes of data corruption and reveals the least likely cause in most implementations.

Database Size Issues

All systems have storage limits. Some are very large, but limits still exist. This episode addresses the process of troubleshooting database size issues in an AWS environment.

Security Issues

Troubleshooting security issues includes both resolving problems when users cannot perform a required function due to security constraints and ensuring proper security is in place. Both are addressed in this episode.

General Troubleshooting Best Practices

This final episode of the chapter and course is focused on general troubleshooting. You will learn of the importance of a troubleshooting methodology and general guidelines for troubleshooting efficiently.

Troubleshooting Database Solutions
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