AWS is currently the most popular platform for cloud computing services. But what is this "cloud computing" thing? Well, think about an app that lets people shop online. How can it remember the shipping address of each user? It stores it in a database. And how can the user order a product? His app contacts some server. How is the user notified his order will arrive tomorrow? Through an email.
Database, server, email -- these are just a few examples of things the app needs to use. And AWS gives you access to such resources and services.
So how can we sum up cloud computing? It's almost like you build your own datacenter in the cloud. You go to the AWS website and add anything that your app, service, or website needs. It's your custom-made datacenter, in the cloud. You don't care about the hardware that is required. You just buy and configure your cloud services. Amazon takes care of the hardware stuff.
AWS has a huge list of services you can buy. If you've never used a cloud computing platform before, this can be overwhelming. What do you start with? What is EC2? A virtual server? How do you configure it and connect to it? How do you create a Kubernetes cluster on AWS?
We know how hard it is to understand with theory alone. That's why we created the AWS Playground. With a simple click, you get quick access to the AWS platform. You can test things out and learn by doing. All of this without even having to create an account there. There's no risk of breaking anything. If you mess up, you can just launch a new playground.
For a smooth experience, please read the guide below. Pay close attention to the stuff highlighted with bold text.
The regions supported in our AWS playground are:
And here are the AWS services you can currently test in our playground:
Elastic Compute instances, also called EC2, are basically virtual servers. They're called elastic because they are easy to scale up or down. For example, you can scale up from 4 CPU cores to 8 cores with a few mouse clicks. Or you can scale down from 8 CPU cores to 4, as easily. Same goes for RAM, or storage space.
After you create your instance, you might not see it displayed. In that case, just press the refresh button in your web browser.
An S3 bucket is a convenient place to store files. Apps or users can easily push files there (upload). And apps, or users can also easily pull them (download).
Configuration is straightforward, but there is one tricky part. Make sure the bucket name is unique. It must be something that no one else on AWS uses. If it's hard to find a unique name, just add a random number in there, e.g., "mybucket4884796837".
NoSQL is no good? Well, if you need a relational database instead, AWS has you covered. RDS supports the following database engines:
The quickest way to get started is to pick the Free tier in the Templates section. This works with MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL.
If you want to use a different engine, with custom settings, this will be trickier. You need to:
If you need to work with MongoDB types of databases, you can use AWS' DocumentDB. Make sure to:
If you want to create a Kubernetes cluster yourself, it can be a pretty long process. You need to launch a couple of Linux servers, then configure each one. And the configuration steps can be quite long. EKS lets you get such a cluster much faster, in mere minutes.
This is a service that can run Docker containers (or compatible container formats). It's basically an alternative to EKS. If unsure, use EKS instead.
If you want to use ECS, don't click on "Get started" on this page:
Here, you can create your own container repositories. Then you can upload/download container images just like you do on Docker Hub.
If you want to test other AWS services, just type their name in the top search bar.
Here are the other services that you can test in our playground:
Extra services we've enabled recently: