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Getting Started with Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Topic: System Administration
Chad Smith

Amazon Web Services is a rich collection of compute, storage, database, security, analytics, and other services. This course provides an introduction to many of these services, helping you understand terminology, enabling you to identify key services, and providing the foundational knowledge necessary to make informed decisions critical to your business needs.

Fortune 500s, government agencies, and startups alike are migrating to AWS by the hundreds, which leaves thousands of IT professionals in need of in-depth training on this new environment and paradigm in software development and operations. Learn AWS today so you can get ahead of the curve.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • What Amazon Web Services is and how it benefits their organization
  • The advantages of treating infrastructure as software
  • Recognize terminology and concepts
  • Understand key services like EC2, S3, DynamoDB, Auto Scaling, Elastic Load Balancing, RDS and more

Participants will be able to:

  • Create an account, and apply important first steps to securing that account
  • Identify key services offered for compute, storage, database, and other solutions
  • Make informed decisions about IT infrastructure planning

This training course is for you because...

  • You are a solutions architect designing systems deployed to Amazon Web Services
  • You are a systems or network administrator responsible for network security
  • You are a developer writing applications that use AWS services like DynamoDB, or S3
  • You are a SysOps or DevOps engineer responsible for deploying applications to AWS


  • A basic understanding of general networking concepts, cloud computing, and multi-tier architectural design

Course Set-up:

(github link)https://github.com/arpcefxl/getting-started-with-aws Access to an AWS account

Recommended Follow Up:

Certification path: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate)

About your instructor

  • Chad Smith has worked in IT for 25 years, starting out as a Linux administrator, progressing through operations, network and security in various roles. He is now the Principal Cloud Architect at Brightkey.cloud. Chad is a Certified Architect for both Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. He brings a wealth of personal experience in cloud adoption, infrastructure design, cloud operations and cloud security. He holds current AWS certifications in Architecture, SysOps, Security and Networking, as well as Google Professional Cloud Architect and Associate Cloud Engineer credentials.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Day One

Introductions (10 mins)

  • Name, role, what you hope to get out of this class

Foundational Concepts (10 mins)

  • We start by discussing the challenges and limitations of traditional on-premises or customer-managed data center approach and why cloud computing is so appealing. The rest of the class then follows the architecture and implementation of migrating an application while preparing for new features to be built as “cloud native”

Identity and Access Management (20 mins)

  • Management of our account or multiple accounts as the case may be is of paramount importance. In this lesson we review managing users, information critical to the security and organization of our AWS account and access credentials, and the Identity and Access Management service.

Break (10 mins)

Networking (20 mins)

  • For applications running on EC2 the architecture begins with the network. In this lesson we review how creating networks with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) help create a highly-available, fault-tolerant, and secure environment. We also review DNS with Route53.

Compute Services (40 mins)

  • Whether application run on virtual machines, in a shared or dedicated tenancy, or they run in a serverless environment, applications require compute and memory. In this lesson we review Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and AWS Lambda.

Break (10 mins)

Storage (45 mins)

  • Data comes from many places. From application logs, user-generated content, vendors, event tracking, etc etc. In this lesson we review Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS

Data Stores (45 mins)

  • From relational to nosql or even in-memory databases and search, different data stores serve different needs, and many applications use multiple stores. In this lesson we review Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), Amazon DynamoDb, and Elasticsearch.

Q&A / Wrap Up (10 mins)

Day Two

Reliability (45 mins)

  • To maintain customer satisfaction, and our bottom line, our applications need to be available as much as possible. Fault tolerance, failover, durability, scaling, and self-healing are all techniques we can use to achieve higher degrees of availability. In this lesson we review auto scaling, Elastic Load Balancing, RDS options and other practices.

Security (45 mins)

  • A secure application leads to high availability as well as improved customer trust and satisfaction, all of which leads to an improved bottom line. In this lesson we cover concepts and techniques to apply to our account, to our network, our applications, and managed services.

Break (10 mins)

Deployments (45 mins)

  • The software development life cycle (SDLC) is a key process for application developers. Given the right tools used in the right way, the SDLC can be smooth and efficient, leading to decreased time-to-market, improved customer satisfaction and developer morale. In this lesson we review Elastic Beanstalk, Ops Works, CloudFormation, Docker and EC2 Container Service, Code Commit, Code Deploy and more.

Monitoring and Logging (30 mins)

  • Instrumentation is critical to the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a cloud-based environment. In this lesson we review CloudWatch Logs, and CloudTrail.

Break (10 mins)

Analytics (45 mins)

  • Data is most valuable when you can use it to derive meaning. Deriving meaning often requires looking at vast amounts of data, which requires ingestion, storage, and processing. Then of course the question becomes: are we deriving meaning now, in real-time or from the past? In this lesson we review Amazon Elastic Map Reduce, Kinesis, Redshift, and Athena.

Course Wrap Up (10 mins)