In this post, we share a list of beginner-friendly AWS essentials hands-on labs. By spending just a few hours working through these labs, you can go from little-to-no AWS experience to picking up skills you can apply to your first cloud project.
This introductory-level playlist of my favorite labs will help you get hands-on practice with several key services and practice fundamental concepts for working with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Why get hands-on with AWS if you’re a cloud newcomer? Because success with AWS requires hands-on experience. But don’t worry. We’re not just tossing you in the deep end and expecting you to learn to swim.
The five labs below are designed to provide you with hands-on practice while exploring the Amazon Web Services (AWS) fundamental tools and services.
This playlist of AWS Essentials is the recommended first set of labs for the AWS learner. Follow this playlist and you can start with little or no prior cloud knowledge and come out with practical experience that you can apply to your first AWS project in just a few hours.
Suggested music pairings:
- “Chill or Be Chilled” by The Polish Ambassador & Nitty Scott
- “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
- “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys
- “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff
Note: To get started with the hands-on labs below, you’ll need to have an ACG account or start a free trial. You can also sign up for a free account and start learning with this month’s free courses.
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1. Access and Tour the AWS Console
This lab environment is set up as a “sandbox” for you to use and explore the AWS console. You’ll use the provided credentials to log in to AWS when prompted and learn how to access the AWS Console sign-in page, navigate the AWS Console, and access various AWS services.
No need to worry about setting up an AWS account or incurring additional costs. ACG’s Cloud Playground will provide you with a safe space in real cloud environments to sharpen your skills without security risks or surprise bills. (Already an ACG member? Jump to the lab here.)
2. Introduction to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a service that allows AWS customers to manage user access and permissions for their accounts, and available APIs/services within AWS. IAM can manage users, security credentials (such as API access keys), and allow users to access AWS resources.
In this 45-minute lab, we’ll walk through the foundations of IAM. We’ll focus on user and group management as well as how to assign access to specific resources using IAM-managed policies. We’ll learn how to find the login URL where AWS users can log in to their account and explore this from a real-world use case perspective.(Already an ACG member? Jump to the lab here.)
3. Introduction to EC2
AWS EC2 is one of the core services of the AWS ecosystem that you absolutely must know to be successful in a cloud-related career. Even if your app doesn’t run on EC2, utilizing EC2 instances for development and to perform other tasks is critical to a well-architected AWS solution.
In this 30-minute hands-on lab, we’re going to create an EC2 instance, create and customize a security group to allow access, and create a key pair in order to ensure our access is secure.(Already an ACG member? Jump to the lab here.)
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4. Create and Configure Basic VPC Components in AWS
AWS Networking consists of multiple components. Understanding the relationship between the networking components is a key part of understanding the overall functionality and capabilities of AWS.
In this 30-minute hands-on lab, you’ll gain hands-on practice by creating a VPC with an Internet Gateway. You’ll also create subnets across multiple Availability Zones.(Already an ACG member? Jump to the lab here.)
5. Intro to Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service)
Amazon S3 runs on the world’s largest global cloud infrastructure and is designed from the ground up to deliver 99.999999999% of durability. Data in Amazon S3 Standard, S3 Standard-IA, and Amazon Glacier storage classes is automatically distributed across a minimum of three physical Availability Zones (AZs) that are typically miles apart within an AWS Region.
This 45-minute hands-on lab will give you a basic introduction to Amazon S3. You’ll create both public and private Amazon S3 buckets and upload a file to each. We’ll walk you through how to enable versioning on the public bucket, and validate access to different versions of files with the same name.(Already an ACG member? Jump to the lab here.)
Recommended next steps
When you’ve finished with the hands-on labs, validate your knowledge with the AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification! Our recently reimagined AWS CCP course will level up your AWS game by making you an active participant in the learning process.
From there, you’ll be all set to take on my new-and-improved AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (CSA-A) course.
Cloud-learning resources for AWS beginners
Looking to begin your AWS career or take your skills to the next level? ACG’s AWS learning paths offer customized paths to excel your cloud journey!
You can also check out the following for more details on getting started in your cloud career.
- What’s the best AWS training for beginners?
- 7 ways to jump-start your cloud career
- 4 steps for students to get from the classroom to a cloud career
- The best way to find a cloud job
- What are the top-paying cloud certifications and jobs?
Develop AWS-some AWS skills
Ready to level up your AWS skills? Get started with ACG for free. A Cloud Guru’s learn-by-doing approach will help you master the cloud and advance in your career.