Amazon Web Services (AWS) is too much. If you’re new to AWS, you know what it’s like to feel lost and not know where to begin. But that will be different today. We’ll answer all of your questions and talk about everything you need to know to start learning about AWS.
The day of the game was great. The event’s organisers set up different AWS accounts with different services for the teams to try out. The goal was for each team to make services and use the services made by the other teams.
As I sat there with the junior developer on our team, I was reminded (again!) of how complicated AWS can be. We went back and forth between pages in AWS to check on our running servers, set up new lambda functions, and debug application logs and system logs.
It’s hard to see how anyone could keep track of everything.
I told the junior developer that I would go back and explain everything, but we just didn’t have time. At the end of the whole thing, I started to think about how I would learn AWS all over again. When I got home, I started writing this article to get everything down.
Today, I’m going to talk about three things that will help you make the most sense of AWS’s chaos. If you like the sound of that, let’s start at the beginning and talk about what AWS is.
WHAT IS AWS?
Amazon Web Services is what AWS means. AWS is a set of computer services that let you run tasks on-demand in the cloud. And right now, AWS has the most services on the cloud market. You can use it for everything from databases to event queues to simple website hosting.
But AWS is meant to be very simple. It’s not made for people who just want to build a website for fun. AWS is made so that big businesses can build their entire businesses on it. Because of this, it’s not very easy to get started with.
AWS is not only easy to use, but it also has a lot of different services, many of which are similar to each other. All of these options are only useful if you know enough about the services and how they work.
It looks like we have our work cut out for us. You might be wondering, with all these different AWS services, where do I even begin? If you are, it’s a good question that most people who are new to AWS have. Let me break this puzzle down a little more so it makes more sense…
LEARN CORE AWS SERVICES FIRST
AWS has a core set of services that many other services are built on or around. What do I mean when I say “core services”? And how is it that one service can be “built on” another? Taking an example is the best way to understand how services build on each other, so let’s do that.
Before I give you this example, I want to make a very important point: try not to get too caught up in the details, like how the services are shortened or how they work. It’s easy to get confused by all of these details. Just try to understand what it means. But—I’m getting off topic—get let’s back to it.
ECS is a service offered by AWS (Elastic Container Service). ECS lets you run services that are based on containers. When you use ECS to run services, you can set up the host on which your containers will run. And one option is for your host to run on EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute). In this case, the main service is EC2. And if you don’t know EC2 well, it will make it harder for you to work with ECS.
Do you get it? Once you know how to use certain services, it’s easier to use these other services. Many, many AWS services are just these kinds of side services that build on and complement the others.
So, if you want to learn AWS, it’s very important to start with the core services. If you spend too much time learning about side services, you won’t be able to see how everything fits together. This will make learning AWS much slower and more frustrating.
So, I guess you’re probably wondering now: what are those core services? And let me get right to the question and answer it. EC2, IAM, and S3 are the main services. But I said we’d get into the details, so let’s go through each service and figure out what it does and why it’s a core service.