I love to eat buffets. I’m a consumer, and I enjoy having things prepared and managed for me. This is why cloud computing is so appealing to me. It’s not like being charged for hidden fees. Nothing is worse than getting billed for extra services. Womp womp.
IT can be challenging. It requires a lot of experimentation, lab time, and a lot of missteps. As they say, you must learn to walk before running. SPOTO wants that learning experience to be as profitable and productive as possible for our learners. To help you get up-to-speed with AWS Lab Tools, I created a free AWS Lab Tools training. This 6-video training will show you how to set up AWS accounts so that you can begin learning how to use AWS services.
What are AWS Labs tools from SPOTO?
What are AWS Labs Tools exactly? It is a CloudFormation Template that installs and configures your AWS account. These templates can be written by an admin/developer such as myself and AWS will follow the instructions. This greatly simplifies the “deployment” process for learners such as yourself. The template creates the following:
A limited permissions lab user

Only the most popular AWS Associate-level services are available
Single-region limit
Management of permissions simplified
Free-tier limits

T2.nano and t2.micro, as well as t3.nano and t3.micro-EC2 instances
Volumes of standard & gp2 EBS up to 15GB
db.t2.micro RDS instances

Email-based billing alerts (optional).
AWS command line and development environment
Non-Default VPC with private and public subnets

It sounds pretty good, right? The deployment process is simple at a high level.
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Sign up for an AWS account to get started (credit card required).
Manual configuration steps

For your AWS account, create an alias
Set up billing alerts
Create an EC2 Key Pair

Use the CloudFormation template to deploy SPOTO AWS Labs Tools
Run the provided AWS CLI configuration script

Ready? Let’s get it deployed.
Step 1: Create a new AWS account
Head over to https://portal.aws.amazon.com/billing/signup and follow the on screen prompts to get your new AWS account created.
Be sure to choose a unique, descriptive and easy-to-remember AWS Account Name. This name is also known as your account alias. It serves as an alternative to the AWS assigned numeric number.

AWS offers a step-by-step guide to account creation.
Step 2: Create a First-Time Account
Set/Confirm Account Alias. Look over to IAM Homepage and you will see a link for IAM users to sign in. If the URL contains a string of numbers (your account number), then you can use the link on the page to create a new account. Once you are done, make sure to take a note of the sign-in link and the alias.

Set/Confirm cost alerts. Navigate to Billing, and ensure that Receive Free Tier Usage Alerts is enabled. Also, specify a preferred email address. Make sure that Receive Billing Alerts is enabled.

Create EC2 Key Pair. Check out the EC2 Key Pair Dashboard to ensure that you have created an EC2 Key Pair and downloaded it. Also, make sure you know where the key was stored. If you don’t have an EC2 key pair, create one. Give it a descriptive name. Also note the location where the key file was saved (.pem for Mac/Linux,.ppk for PuTTY on Windows).

Step 3: Deploy AWS Labs Tools
While you are still logged in to the management console, switch the region you intend to use the most (typically the one nearest to where you live/work).

Once you have confirmed that you are in the region you prefer, you can browse to the CloudFormation Quick-Create Lii