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Gordon Wong's AWS Basics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Newbies


AWS Basics: Beginners Guide for Gordon Wong




Are you interested in learning more about cloud computing and how to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build scalable and reliable applications? If so, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will cover the basics of AWS Cloud, including what it is, how it works, and how you can get started with it. We will also show you some examples of how to use AWS services and tools to create your first application on the cloud. By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of AWS Cloud and be ready to explore more advanced topics.




Aws Basics: Beginners Guide Gordon Wong


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What is cloud computing?




Cloud computing is the delivery of IT resources over the internet on demand. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical servers and data centers, you can access a variety of IT resources such as compute power, storage, databases, networking, analytics, and more from a cloud provider like AWS. You only pay for what you use, when you use it, and you can scale up or down as needed.


Some of the benefits of cloud computing are:


  • Cost savings: You can avoid upfront capital expenses and reduce operational costs by paying only for what you use.



  • Agility: You can quickly provision and release IT resources as your business needs change.



  • Elasticity: You can scale your IT resources up or down automatically or manually depending on the demand.



  • Reliability: You can ensure high availability and fault tolerance by using multiple servers and data centers across different regions.



  • Security: You can protect your data and applications by using encryption, firewalls, access control, and compliance standards.



  • Innovation: You can experiment with new technologies and services without risking your existing infrastructure.



What is AWS Cloud?




AWS Cloud is the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform that offers over 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), media, blockchain, quantum computing, robotics, satellite communications, gaming development etc. Millions of customersincluding some of the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, leading government agenciestrust AWS to power their infrastructure.


Some of the features of AWS Cloud are:


  • Global infrastructure: AWS has 81 Availability Zones within 25 geographic regions around the world, and has announced plans for 21 more Availability Zones and seven more AWS Regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.



  • Wide selection of services: AWS offers a wide range of services that cover almost every aspect of cloud computing. You can choose the service that best fits your needs and budget.



  • Easy to use: AWS provides a user-friendly web interface called the AWS Management Console, where you can access and manage all your AWS services. You can also use the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) or the AWS Software Development Kits (SDKs) to interact with AWS programmatically.



  • Flexible pricing: AWS offers various pricing models to suit different use cases and preferences. You can pay as you go, pay less by using more, pay even less when you reserve, or pay nothing up front.



  • Secure and compliant: AWS follows the highest standards of security and compliance in the cloud industry. You can encrypt your data, control access, monitor activity, and audit your resources. You can also comply with various regulations and certifications such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC, ISO, etc.



  • Customer support: AWS provides 24/7 technical support through phone, email, and chat. You can also access a wealth of online resources such as documentation, tutorials, videos, blogs, forums, whitepapers, etc.



How to get started with AWS Cloud?




To get started with AWS Cloud, you need to follow these steps:


  • Create an AWS account: You can sign up for an AWS account for free and get access to the AWS Free Tier, which lets you try many AWS services for free for 12 months. To create an account, you need to provide your email address, password, contact information, and credit card details.



  • Set up your account and environment: You need to set up some basic configurations for your account and environment, such as choosing a region, creating an IAM user, setting up a billing alarm, etc.



  • Learn to use the AWS Management Console: The AWS Management Console is the web interface where you can access and manage all your AWS services. You need to learn how to navigate the console, search for services, create resources, monitor usage, etc.



  • Learn to control your AWS costs: You need to learn how to optimize your AWS costs by using various tools and techniques, such as choosing the right pricing model, using cost management tools, applying cost optimization best practices, etc.



How to use the AWS Management Console?




The AWS Management Console is the web interface where you can access and manage all your AWS services. To use the console, you need to do the following:


  • Login to the console with your email address and password.



  • Select a region from the top-right corner of the console. A region is a geographic area where AWS has data centers. You can choose a region that is closest to your customers or has the services you need.



  • Search for a service from the top-left corner of the console. You can type the name of the service or browse through categories such as Compute, Storage, Database, etc.



  • Create a resource from the service dashboard. A resource is an entity that you create and manage on AWS, such as an EC2 instance (a virtual server), an S3 bucket (a storage container), or a RDS database (a relational database). Each service has its own dashboard where you can create and manage resources.



  • Monitor your resource usage from the service dashboard or from the CloudWatch service. CloudWatch is a monitoring service that collects metrics and logs from your AWS resources and applications. You can use CloudWatch to view graphs, charts, alarms, dashboards, etc.



How to control your AWS costs?




AWS offers various pricing models to suit different use cases and preferences. You can pay as you go (pay only for what you use), pay less by using more (get volume discounts or tiered pricing), pay even less when you reserve (get lower rates by committing for a period of time), or pay nothing up front (get flexible payment options or free trials). To control your AWS costs, you need to do the following:


  • Choose the right pricing model for your needs. For example, if you have predictable and steady workloads that run for a long time, you can use reserved instances or savings plans to get lower rates. If you have short-term or sporadic workloads that run for a few hours or days, you can use on-demand instances or spot instances to get flexible rates.



Use cost management tools such as Cost Explorer (a tool that lets you analyze your spending Continuing the article: How to choose the right AWS service?




AWS offers a wide range of services that cover almost every aspect of cloud computing. You can choose the service that best fits your needs and budget. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to decide which service to use for your specific use case. To help you with this, AWS provides decision guides for some of the common scenarios, such as databases, serverless, and containers. These decision guides will help you ask the right questions, compare different options, and make an informed choice.


Here are some examples of decision guides for AWS services:


  • Databases: Use this decision guide to help you and your organization decide which AWS database service is optimized for your needs. You can choose from relational, key-value, document, in-memory, graph, time series, wide column, and ledger databases.



  • Serverless: Use this decision guide to help you and your organization decide whether to use serverless or Kubernetes on AWS for your modern apps strategy. You can compare the benefits and trade-offs of both approaches and learn how to get started with each option.



  • Containers: Use this decision guide to help you and your organization decide which AWS container service is best suited for your needs. You can choose from Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), AWS Fargate, Amazon Lightsail Containers, or AWS App Runner.



How to launch your first application on AWS Cloud?




Once you have chosen the right AWS service for your use case, you can start building your first application on AWS Cloud. AWS provides a variety of tutorials and getting started guides that will walk you through the steps of creating and deploying your application. You can choose from different topics such as web app, full-stack app, .NET app, etc.


Here are some examples of tutorials and getting started guides for launching your first application on AWS Cloud:


  • Web app: Learn how to choose your infrastructure and launch a web application using Amazon EC2 (a service that provides compute capacity in the cloud), Amazon S3 (a service that provides object storage in the cloud), and Amazon Route 53 (a service that provides domain name system (DNS) service).



  • Full-stack app: Learn how to build a full-stack React application using AWS Amplify (a service that provides tools and services to build mobile and web applications), Amazon Cognito (a service that provides user authentication and authorization), Amazon DynamoDB (a service that provides a key-value and document database), AWS Lambda (a service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers), and Amazon API Gateway (a service that lets you create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs).



  • .NET app: Learn how to get started with .NET development on AWS using Visual Studio 2019 (an integrated development environment (IDE) for .NET developers), AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio (a plugin that enables .NET developers to easily work with AWS services), and AWS Elastic Beanstalk (a service that automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, scaling, and application health monitoring).



How to use developer tools on AWS Cloud?




AWS provides a set of developer tools that help you build, test, deploy, and manage your applications on AWS Cloud. These tools include:


  • AWS CodeWhisperer: A tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate code suggestions based on your comments and existing code. You can use CodeWhisperer to write code faster, fix vulnerabilities, and learn best practices.



  • AWS CodeCommit: A fully-managed source control service that hosts secure Git-based repositories. You can use CodeCommit to store code securely, collaborate with other developers, and integrate with other AWS services.



  • AWS CodeBuild: A fully-managed continuous integration service that compiles source code, runs tests, and produces software packages. You can use CodeBuild to automate your build process, run parallel builds, and integrate with other AWS services.



  • AWS CodeDeploy: A fully-managed deployment service that automates software deployments to a variety of compute services such as Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, AWS Lambda, and your on-premises servers. You can use CodeDeploy to deploy code faster, minimize downtime, and roll back if needed.



  • AWS CodePipeline: A fully-managed continuous delivery service that models, visualizes, and automates the steps required to release your software. You can use CodePipeline to orchestrate your release process, integrate with other AWS services, and monitor your pipeline status.



  • AWS CloudFormation: A service that lets you model and provision your AWS and third-party application resources using code. You can use CloudFormation to create and update your resources in a predictable and consistent way, manage dependencies, and reuse templates.



How to apply infrastructure as code (IaC) on AWS Cloud?




Infrastructure as code (IaC) is a practice of managing and provisioning your IT infrastructure using code or configuration files, rather than manual processes or graphical user interfaces. IaC enables you to automate your infrastructure deployment, configuration, and management, and ensure consistency, repeatability, and reliability across different environments.


Some of the benefits of IaC are:


  • Speed: You can deploy your infrastructure faster and more efficiently by using code instead of manual steps.



  • Scalability: You can scale your infrastructure up or down as needed by using code instead of manual adjustments.



  • Accuracy: You can avoid human errors and inconsistencies by using code instead of manual inputs.



  • Visibility: You can track and audit your infrastructure changes by using code instead of manual records.



  • Collaboration: You can share and reuse your infrastructure code with other developers by using code instead of manual instructions.



To apply IaC on AWS Cloud, you can use AWS CloudFormation, a service that lets you model and provision your AWS and third-party application resources using code. You can use CloudFormation to create and update your resources in a predictable and consistent way, manage dependencies, and reuse templates. You can also use other tools such as AWS CDK (a framework that lets you define your cloud resources using familiar programming languages), AWS SAM (a framework that lets you define serverless applications using a simple YAML or JSON syntax), or third-party tools such as Terraform, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, etc.


How to design well-architected infrastructure on AWS Cloud?




To design well-architected infrastructure on AWS Cloud, you need to follow the AWS Well-Architected Framework, a set of principles and best practices that help you build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for your applications. The framework consists of five pillars:


  • Operational Excellence: The ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures.



  • Security: The ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.



  • Reliability: The ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues.



  • Performance Efficiency: The ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements, and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve.



  • Cost Optimization: The ability to avoid or eliminate unneeded cost or suboptimal resources.



To apply the framework, you need to use the AWS Well-Architected Tool, a service that helps you review the state of your workloads and compare them to the latest AWS architectural best practices. The tool provides you with a report that identifies high-risk issues (HRIs) and improvement plans based on the five pillars. You can also use the tool to measure your progress and track improvements over time.


How to secure your AWS Cloud?




To secure your AWS Cloud, you need to follow the security essentials, which are a set of practices that help you protect your data and applications on AWS. These practices include:


  • Identity and access management (IAM): Use IAM to create users, groups, roles, policies, and permissions that control who can access what on AWS. You can also use IAM features such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), password policies, access keys rotation, etc. to enhance security.



  • Encryption: Use encryption to protect your data at rest (stored on disks or databases) and in transit (moving between servers or clients). You can use AWS services such as AWS Key Management Service (KMS), AWS Certificate Manager (ACM), Amazon S3 encryption, etc. to encrypt your data easily and securely.



Firewalls: Use firewalls to filter network traffic based on rules that you define. You can use AWS services such as security groups (firewalls for Amazon EC2 instances), network access control lists (firewalls for subnets), AWS WAF (firewall Continuing the article: What are the resources for learning more about AWS Cloud?




If you want to learn more about AWS Cloud, you can access a wealth of online resources such as documentation, tutorials, videos, blogs, forums, whitepapers, etc. Here are some examples of resources for learning more about AWS Cloud:


  • AWS Training and Certification: This is the official website where you can find digital and classroom training, certification exams, learning paths, and more to advance your skills and knowledge of AWS Cloud.



  • AWS Ramp-Up Guides: These are downloadable guides that offer a variety of resources to help build your skills and knowledge of the AWS Cloud. Each guide features carefully selected digital training, classroom courses, videos, whitepapers, certifications, and more to remove the guesswork of learning AWS.



  • AWS Educate: This is a global initiative that provides students and educators with access to free cloud learning content and AWS services. You can join AWS Educate to access courses, hands-on labs, badges, job board, and more.



  • AWS Skill Builder: This is a subscription-based service that provides you with unique AWS digital training. You can access role-playing games, self-paced labs, open-ended challenges, practice exams, and more to learn and practice cloud skills in real time.



  • AWS Documentation: This is the official source of technical information about AWS services and features. You can find user guides, developer guides, API references, tutorials, samples, release notes, etc.



  • AWS Developer Center: This is a website where you can find resources and tools for developers who want to build applications on AWS Cloud. You can find SDKs, IDE toolkits, code samples, blogs, podcasts, videos, etc.



  • AWS Blog: This is a website where you can find the latest news and announcements about AWS services and features. You can also find tips and tricks, best practices, customer stories, case studies, etc.



  • AWS YouTube Channel: This is a video platform where you can watch various types of content related to AWS Cloud. You can find webinars, demos, tutorials, interviews, events, etc.



  • AWS Forums: These are online communities where you can ask questions and get answers from other AWS users and experts. You can also share your feedback and suggestions with the AWS team.



  • AWS Whitepapers: These are technical documents that provide in-depth analysis and guidance on various topics related to AWS Cloud. You can find whitepapers on architecture, security, compliance, best practices, etc.



Conclusion




In this article, we have covered the basics of AWS Cloud for beginners. We have learned what cloud computing is and what are its benefits. We have also learned what AWS Cloud is and what are its features. We have explored how to get started with AWS Cloud by setting up an account and environment, using the AWS Management Console, controlling your costs, choosing the right service,


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