AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 2020

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Data Stores Challenge 1

Create an EC2 instant and FTP server. I feel that is not the second best option as its not scalable and when you open it to public with 2 weeks peak period either you need lot of resources, which is not cheaper, or server will be too slow too download in peak period.

S3 is fast and scalable so at least other options would work, but option A would be disaster from performance perspective.


Regarding the best answer, S3 , AWS says: "You can get torrent only for objects that are less than 5 GB in size." That may be confusing.

3 Answers

Hi Sach,

I think you are falling into a trap that will be set for you on the exam.  If you are saying that the other S3 options are better than the FTP option simply because they include S3, then you have fallen into that trap.  

A key point in the question is that it specifies that you must allow the public to download the files.   Option B says use Requester Pays which means that all customers would need to have an AWS account, which does not make sense.  Option C says to use IA storage class, which incurs at least a data retrieval fee that scales relative to the quantity downloaded.

Option A will have a relatively fixed price (assuming egress costs across all options) but we’re not told what class of instances or any special setup we have done.   How many users can an FTP server comfortably handle?  You’re not given that data and trying to infer that from personal experience is a big trap that AWS sets for you.

You should only include what facts are presented.  Because AWS best practice says to not use S3-IA for frequently accessed files, this would put this option below the FTP option, which will work fine.


Matthieu Lienart

Hello Scott, "You’re not given that data" you say it yourself and this is where I hate these certifications questions, is that I still don’t see how the heck we can differentiate which is better between A and C (i.e. which comes 2nd and 3rd in the list). To my opinion without the data to make proper cost calculation, it is a pure random guess.

I said DCAB. No matter what instance type or storage class you use, Option A is not scalable. In reality, you’d have to ask for more information, because you don’t know if scalability or cost is the most important factor. It’s kind of a toss-up in my opinion. Scalability is mentioned first, but the words "should" and "want" increase the vagueness. If I’m running a company though, I wouldn’t want to lose revenue due to an undersized EC2 instance. If you oversize it the cost is higher. It’s also difficult to say whether EC2 would be more or less expensive than S3-IA, because we don’t know how much demand there will be. Good question, makes us think. I’m sticking with my answer for now.

Sorry to hijack the question, but I think the format of the Data Store Challenge 1 is not the same as an exam question, which is either multiple choice or multiple response with exactly three distractors. Topically it’s a good item, and the scenario is ordered correctly.  But I don’t think the “challenge” is standard.

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