Cloud Computing interview questions and answers

The scope of Cloud computing is huge. If you are looking for a cloud-related job, consider learning these cloud computing skills. Cloud computing interview questions will also be based on one or more of those skills.

In this article, I have compiled the most asked Cloud Computing interview questions and answers involving Microsoft Azure. Though AWS is the most used cloud service as of now, Microsoft Azure is catching up and is already the backbone of many organizations. Check out the interview questions on Microsoft Azure among the most asked cloud computing interview questions below. Note that the wording of these questions may vary so you can tweak answers to suit the tone of questions.

Cloud Computing interview questions

Cloud Computing interview questions and answers

This section includes cloud computing interview questions that are generic and apply to all platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Apps, etc.

Q1: How do you explain cloud to a layperson? Or What is cloud computing?

A1: Cloud is the extension of local or on-premise computing. When we say we use cloud computing, we are using someone else’s (generally a cloud service provider’s) resources. These resources can be anything from just external storage space to remote infrastructure. The service provider charges users based on the usage of resources.

Q2: What are the basic traits of cloud computing? -OR- When do you call a service, cloud computing?

A2:  The cloud computing vendor should provide the following basic features that are essential for the service to be called cloud computing service. The service should be scalable. That is, when required, the cloud service provider should able to increase the resources and when the demand reduces, the cloud service provider should be able to release the resources for other customers so that the user is not over charged. Other features are real time backup, high uptime, and security. Logs are also essential, but they are presented on demand only. These logs contain who accessed what service at what time etc. information.

Q3: What is grid computing? Is it same as cloud computing? What are the differences between grid computing and cloud computing?

A3: For a better understanding of the difference between cloud computing and grid computing, please read this article – Grid vs Cloud.

Q4: How many types of clouds are there in practice? -OR- Explain cloud deployment models in use today.

A4: There are three cloud deployment types. First is the public cloud that hosts several tenants’ data. Example of a public cloud is OneDrive as the same servers host many accounts on each. The second deployment model is a private cloud. In this, the resources are hosted on a dedicated cloud. An example of a private cloud could be website hosting with a particular hosting provider. The third and last deployment model is the hybrid cloud. In this, parts of the resources are hosted on the public cloud, and some of them are used exclusively from a private cloud. An example of a hybrid network can be an online store. Part of the website is hosted on the public cloud, and other important artifacts are hosted locally so that they are not compromised. Read the details on cloud computing deployment.

Q5: What are the three service models of cloud computing?

A5: Software as Service, Platform as a service, IaaS (Infrastructure as a service). Please read this article on cloud service models for more details on each type of service model.

Q6: What do you mean by the term “Eucalyptus” in cloud computing?

A6: Eucalyptus stands for “Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking your Programs to useful Systems”. It is basically for AWS (Amazon Web Services).

Q7: What is OpenStack? OR What is the use of OpenStack?

A7: OpenStack is an open source cloud computing element serving IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). For more details, check out OpenStack.org.

Q8: What are the benefits of cloud computing over in-premise computing?

A8: On-Premise computing requires a lot of preparation – in terms of both money and time. If an organization chooses to go for the cloud, it saves much on the initial setup cost. In cloud computing, maintenance is taken care of by the service provider. In On-Premise computing, we’ll need at least one dedicated IT technician to take care of troubleshooting. Cloud provides upgrade and scalability as and when required. One can increase the number of resources or reduce them according to the usage. On-premise computing, on the other hand, will require procurement of more hardware and software and these purchases are permanent so in a way, cloud saves money while providing back-ups, etc. features.

Q9: What is IaaS? What does it do? Give some examples of IaaS

A9: IaaS stands for Infrastructure as a Service. When a cloud offers infrastructure for hire/rental, it is called IaaS. Examples of IaaS are AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, Google Computer Engine, and CISCO Metapod.

Q10: Explain AWS and its components

A10: AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. It is basically infrastructure as a service. The main components of AWS are as follows:

  1. DNS – It offers a service platform that is based on a domain name server; also called route-53
  2. E-mail Service Simple: Other than SMTP (Simple Main Transfer Protocol), the email can also be sent using API calls local to AWS.

Azure cloud computing interview questions

This section covers basic but most asked cloud computing interview questions related to Microsoft Azure, which is Infrastructure as a Service platform.

Question 11: What is Microsoft Azure -OR- What do you know about Microsoft Azure?

Answer 11: Microsoft Azure is a cloud offering from Microsoft. It offers services such as content delivery networks (CDNs), Virtual Machines (VM), and some really good proprietary software that makes it perfect as an IaaS. RemoteApp, for example, helps in using virtual machines to deploy Windows programs. Then there is Active Directory service and SQL server. It also supports open technologies such as Linux distributions that can be contained in virtual machines. For more details, read about Microsoft Azure.

Q12: What is the name of the service in Azure that helps you manage resources?

A12: Azure Resource Manager

Q13: Name some web applications that can be deployed with Azure

A13: Many web applications including open source can be deployed on Azure. Some examples are PHP, WCF, and ASP.NET.

Q14: What are the three types of roles in Microsoft Azure? -OR- What are Roles in Microsoft Azure?

A14:  There are three types of roles in Microsoft Azure. These roles are Web Role, Worker Role, and VM Role. Web Roles help in deploying websites. It is good for running web applications. Worker Role assists Web Role. It runs background processes to support Web Role. The VM Role lets the users customize the servers on which the Web Role and Worker Roles are running.

Q15: What is Azure Active Directory service?

A15: Azure Active Directory Service is a Multi-Tenant Cloud-based directory and identity management service that combines core directory services, application access management, and identity protection.  In other words, it is an identity and access management system. It helps in granting access privileges to users to different resources on the network. It is also used for maintaining information about the network and related resources.

Q16: Are AD and Azure AD same?

A16: No. Active Directory in Windows is an on-premise directory that stores information about the network. Most people confuse Azure AD to be an online version of Windows AD. But that’s not the case. Azure AD is a cloud configuration helper while AD is for local networks

Q17: What do AD and Azure AD do?

A16: Windows AD is a system created for local networks whereas Azure AD is a separate system created only for the cloud. Both keep information about networks, network resources, and help in providing accessing or restricting privileges to different users for different resources on the network. Azure AD is scalable which has been built to support global-scale resource allotments. Azure AD also helps you when you move your on-premise computing to the cloud.

Q18: Is Azure IaaS or PaaS?

A18: Azure offers all three types of services – SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. But it is mostly used as a PaaS. While many developers prefer to deploy their apps on Azure (PaaS model), some are keen on both developing the whole app and hosting it on Azure instead of using local computers (IaaS model). Thus, it serves both as IaaS and PaaS. For more details, read Azure IaaS vs. PaaS.

Q19: What are Azure Storage Queues?

A19: Azure Queue storage is an Azure service that allows messages to be retrieved and accessed from anywhere on the planet. The service uses simple Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP or HTTPS). Read details about Azure Queue Storage on Microsoft.com.

Q20: What is Poison in Azure Storage Queues?

A20: Messages that have exceeded the max number of delivery attempts to the application is called a poison in the language of Microsoft Azure. There can be many reasons why this happens. For details, read about Poison Messages in Azure on Microsoft.com.

The above are some most asked cloud computing interview questions and answers. I wrote the answers with my limited knowledge. Since you may have taken a proper course to learn cloud computing, you can always answer better. I’ve simply given pointers. It is up to the readers to improve upon the pointers using whatever resources they have.

TIP: This Microsoft Azure Interview Questions & Answers PDF released by Microsoft MVPs will interest you.

All the best!

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN

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