Getting certified for Amazon Web Services in 2019 is becoming a very attractive prospect. With more than a hundred unique services available under the hood, and a lot of top Fortune 500 companies utilizing those services — AWS certification is a line item on a resume that will set you apart from other candidates when it comes to getting a new job.

If you’re interested in Amazon Web Services, here are the critical things you need to have to get started.

1. Access to Free Tier

The great thing about AWS is that they have a free tier that you can sign up for. No upfront fees required.

Just register for AWS under the free tier and you’ll have up to 750 hours of use per month during your first year with them. You’ll also be able to store up to 25 gigabytes during that first year.

Not that you need that whole time to learn AWS. Once you get access to the free tier, you’re able to try out the different tools you might need and test your skills.

Start sample projects of your own so you can get a good feel of the tools that your business might need. You can upload your own code or hire a professional for it – in either way, you won’t have to pay for getting started with AWS.

2. Basic Understanding

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by AWS. But, you need not be a techie or an IT professional to learn it.

You just have to learn the basics such as understanding the difference between public and private cloud computing.

AWS offers plenty of white papers that beginners can use to get familiarized with their tools. There’s also a handful of forums and YouTube videos online that shows you step-by-step instructions for using these tools.

It also helps to learn about their most popular services. These are the essentials most businesses need in their infrastructure to run an efficient system.

AWS most-used services are the following:

  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service
  • Amazon Relational Database Service
  • AWS Identity and Access Management

3. Billing Reminders

Certain services in AWS are either by the gig or hour. You don’t want to get any surprises in your credit card bill so make sure to set up a billing alarm.

The great thing about AWS is they’re able to set this up for you. You can make it so you get notifications every time costs have exceeded your allotted budget.

It also helps to set up a schedule for deleting data you no longer need. That way, your cloud frees up more space that you can still be using without the added charge.

4. Access Management

If you’re using AWS, your organization probably consists of more than one person besides you. This means multiple people will have access to the database. It’s very convenient but it also means you need to manage each member’s level of access.

Make sure you have assigned appropriate access to each staff member. You’ll also want to enable CloudTrail which logs every action each member took in your cloud infrastructure. This just ensures that you know who made changes to what.

5. A Preferred Region

AWS has data centers all over the globe. You’ll have a choice where in the world you want to house your data. Again, this requires some deliberation.

Some things you need to consider include the region’s availability of your desired services, its proximity with your customers and costs (regions have different pricing, and jurisdiction).

6. A Trusted Advisor

On top of managing a business, you will also be managing the services you get from AWS. You may want to consider hiring a trusted consultant who will ensure your AWS infrastructure is running cost-effectively.

Not only will they ensure there’s cloud conformity, they’ll also optimize your current system as well as making sure your database is secure.

Did We Miss Anything?

We hope this guide helps you to move forward with using AWS. Which of these items will you be prioritizing first? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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