Practice Test

True/False: High-cardinality partition keys are suggested for DynamoDB because they allow for uniform distribution of data across multiple partitions.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: High-cardinality keys help in evenly distributing the data across multiple partitions, promoting balanced access and improving the performance.

Multiple Select: Which of the following are potential benefits of using high-cardinality partition keys in DynamoDB?

  • A. Increased read/write capacity
  • B. Improved table performance
  • C. Reduction of hot keys
  • D. Increased storage cost

Answer: A, B, C

Explanation: High-cardinality keys allow for a more even distribution of data, reducing hot keys, and improving read/write capacity and overall table performance. They do not inherently increase storage cost.

Single Select: For a DynamoDB table with high read and write traffic, which of the following partition key would be ideal?

  • A. Low-cardinality partition key
  • B. High-cardinality partition key
  • C. Any partition key

Answer: B. High-cardinality partition key

Explanation: A high-cardinality key ensures that the reads and writes are spread out across many different partitions, reducing the likelihood of throttling.

True/False: High-cardinality partition keys result in unbalanced partition access.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: High-cardinality partition keys result in balanced partition access because they allow more even data distribution across multiple partitions.

Multiple Select: What factors should be considered when choosing a partition key for a DynamoDB table?

  • A. Data size
  • B. Data type
  • C. Uniform data distribution
  • D. Number of tables in the database

Answer: A, B and C

Explanation: The size and type of the data, as well as the need for uniform data distribution, should be considered when choosing a partition key. The number of tables in the database is unrelated.

True/False: In DynamoDB, the goal is to achieve a balanced partition access so that all the request traffic doesn’t overwhelm a single partition.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Balanced partition access is desired to avoid overwhelming a single partition and to optimize data access speed.

Single Select: In terms of high-cardinality partition keys, what is a hot key?

  • A. A key that is frequently written to
  • B. A key that is hardly ever accessed
  • C. A key that is frequently read
  • D. A key that is both frequently read and written to

Answer: D. A key that is both frequently read and written to

Explanation: A hot key is a key that is accessed frequently, be it for both reading or writing. High traffic on a hot key can lead to unbalanced partition access.

True/False: When using high-cardinality partition keys, it is important to avoid using keys that have a large number of items associated with them.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Keys with a large number of items could lead to partitions that are larger than others, resulting in unbalanced partition access and potential throttling.

Multiple Select: What are the negative impacts of unbalanced partition access in DynamoDB?

  • A. Slower data read/write
  • B. Increased cost
  • C. Throttling
  • D. Smoother data distribution

Answer: A, B and C

Explanation: Unbalanced partition access can lead to slower data read/writes, increased costs due to inefficient usage of provisioned throughput, and even throttling. It does not result in smoother data distribution.

True/False: The high-cardinality partition keys in DynamoDB do not ensure consistent performance even with heavy traffic.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: High-cardinality partition keys ensure a more even data distribution, enabling DynamoDB to maintain consistent performance even under high traffic conditions.

Single Select: Which data modeling concept in DynamoDB can help to distribute reads and writes evenly across your table’s partition space?

  • A. Hot keys
  • B. Low-cardinality keys
  • C. High-cardinality keys
  • D. Sequential keys

Answer: C. High-cardinality keys

Explanation: High-cardinality keys allow you to distribute the workload evenly across the entire partition space, ensuring balance in read/write operations and improving performance.

True/False: High-cardinality partition keys are an important aspect of NoSQL databases, including DynamoDB.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: High-cardinality partition keys are a key feature in NoSQL databases, including DynamoDB, that help in evenly distributing the data across multiple partitions, thereby promoting balanced access and improving performance.

Multiple Select: What are the methods to combat unbalanced partition access in DynamoDB?

  • A. Introducing random elements in partition keys
  • B. Using lower-cardinality partition keys
  • C. Spreading traffic across more partitions
  • D. Increase in the number of partitions

Answer: A, C, and D

Explanation: Introducing random elements in partition keys, spreading traffic across more partitions, and increasing the number of partitions, can help combat unbalanced partition access. Using lower-cardinality partition keys may actually exacerbate the problem.

True/False: Sequential keys lead to high-cardinality partition keys in DynamoDB.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Sequential keys may actually create hotspots in DynamoDB as they may lead to strong write traffic towards a single partition, thereby creating low-cardinality partition keys.

Single Select: What is the benefit of using a composite primary key in DynamoDB?

  • A. It increases the cost of data storage
  • B. It leads to hotspotting
  • C. It helps to create high-cardinality keys
  • D. It reduces the table performance

Answer: C. It helps to create high-cardinality keys

Explanation: A composite primary key, which consists of a partition key and a sort key, allows for a large number of distinct key combinations, leading to high-cardinality keys.

Interview Questions

What does high-cardinality mean in the context of AWS DynamoDB?

High-cardinality refers to the unique values of a set of data. In DynamoDB, a high-cardinality partition key means a partition key with a large number of unique values.

Why is high-cardinality partition key important for balanced partition access in DynamoDB?

High-cardinality partition key ensures that data is evenly distributed across multiple partitions, which helps to prevent hot spots in your database.

In AWS DynamoDB, what is a hot spot?

A hot spot is a part of a database where a large number of read or write activities are concentrated. This can lead to uneven distribution and increased latency.

How can high-cardinality partition keys help to alleviate hot spots in DynamoDB?

High-cardinality partition keys can help to distribute data evenly across multiple partitions, which reduces the likelihood of creating hot spots, and thereby improving the database performance.

What can be a downside of using low-cardinality partition keys?

Using low-cardinality partition keys can lead to an uneven distribution of data, which can cause hot spots and negatively affect database performance.

How can you ensure a high-cardinality for your partition keys?

To ensure high-cardinality, you can use unique identifiers (UUIDs) or combine attributes to create unique combinations.

What does the term ‘partition access’ refer in the context of DynamoDB?

Partition access refers to the process of reading or writing data in a partition.

What happens if there is an imbalance in partition usage in DynamoDB?

If there’s an imbalance, it can lead to hot spots, increasing the latency of database operations. This can cause performance-related implications in your applications.

What is the purpose of using a composite key in DynamoDB?

A composite key, consisting of a partition key and a sort key, is used to increase uniqueness, which helps in better distributing data across partitions.

How does DynamoDB ensure data distribution for a single partition key?

For a single partition key, DynamoDB uses the hash value of the partition key for distributing data across different physical storage parts.

What can be a suitable use case for high-cardinality partition keys in DynamoDB?

High-cardinality partition keys are suitable for use cases where huge amount of data is accessed frequently and evenly, such as in a gaming application where millions of users are accessing and updating their score simultaneously.

What are the two types of keys in DynamoDB and why are they important?

DynamoDB supports two types of keys: the partition key and the sort key. The partition key is used for distributing data across partitions, and the sort key is used for sorting data within a partition. These key types are essential for ensuring efficient access and optimal performance of the DynamoDB database.

Can you still have hotspots with high-cardinality partition keys?

Even with high-cardinality, if a particular key is accessed much more frequently than others, it could still lead to hot spots. This is why it’s equally important to design access patterns carefully, to ensure even access distribution.

In case of high traffic data, apart from using high-cardinality partition keys, what other methods can you apply to maintain balanced access?

Besides using high-cardinality partition keys, you can use DAX (DynamoDB Accelerator) for read-heavy applications, or set up auto-scaling to add more capacity as per requirement.

What is the default max write capacity for a single DynamoDB partition?

The default max write capacity for a single DynamoDB partition is 1,000 write capacity units.

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