100 Days of Cloud – Day 31: AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials Day 4

Its Day 31 of my 100 Days of Cloud journey, and todays post continues my learning through the next 2 modules of my AWS Skillbuilder course on AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials.

This is the official pre-requisite course on the AWS Skillbuilder platform (which for comparison is the AWS equivalent of Microsoft Learn) to prepare candidates for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exam.

Let’s have a quick overview of what the 2 modules I completed today covered, the technologies discussed and key takeaways.

Module 7 – Monitoring and Analytics

Module 7 deals with the AWS Offerings for monitoring, analytics and best practise optimization of your AWS account.

Amazon Cloudwatch enables you to monitor and manage various metrics and configure alarm actions based on data from those metrics. CloudWatch uses metrics to represent the data points for your resources. AWS services send metrics to CloudWatch. CloudWatch then uses these metrics to create graphs automatically that show how performance has changed over time. With CloudWatch, you can create alarms that automatically perform actions if the value of your metric has gone above or below a predefined threshold.

Image Credit: AWS Skillbuilder

AWS CloudTrail records API calls for your account. The recorded information includes the identity of the API caller, the time of the API call, the source IP address of the API caller, and more. You can think of CloudTrail as a “trail” of breadcrumbs (or a log of actions) that someone has left behind them. Recall that you can use API calls to provision, manage, and configure your AWS resources. With CloudTrail, you can view a complete history of user activity and API calls for your applications and resources. Events are typically updated in CloudTrail within 15 minutes after an API call. You can filter events by specifying the time and date that an API call occurred, the user who requested the action, the type of resource that was involved in the API call, and more. Within CloudTrail, you can also enable CloudTrail Insights. This optional feature allows CloudTrail to automatically detect unusual API activities in your AWS account.

AWS Trusted Advisor is a web service that inspects your AWS environment and provides real-time recommendations in accordance with AWS best practices. Trusted Advisor compares its findings to AWS best practices in five categories: cost optimization, performance, security, fault tolerance, and service limits. For the checks in each category, Trusted Advisor offers a list of recommended actions and additional resources to learn more about AWS best practices.

Image Credit – AWS Skillbuilder

Module 8 – AWS Pricing and Support

Module 8 dives in the different AWS account models that you can choose from. The main options are:

  • AWS Free Tier, which is broken into a range of Always Free services, services that are free for 12 Months, and short-term Trials of different AWS Services.
  • On-Demand Pricing – this is the “Pay as You Use” model.
  • Reserved Pricing – where you pay up front for reserved instances and services at a discounted price
  • Tiered Pricing – this is where you pay less the more you use (for example, the more Amazon S3 storage space you use, the less you pay per GB.

The AWS Billing and Cost Management dashboard gives an overview where you can pay bills, monitor usage, and analyse and control costs.

I mentioned AWS Organizations in a previous post, where you can apply IAM and Policies to multiple AWS accounts. AWS Organizations can also be used for Consolidated Billing across multiple AWS accounts from a central location.

AWS Budgets gives you the option to create budgets to plan service costs and instance reservations, while AWS Cost Explorer helps you visualize and manage costs and usage over time (12 months of historical data).

We then moved to the different support plans available in AWS:

  • Basic Support – which is free for all AWS Customers, and includes a limited selection of Trusted Advisor checks, and the AWS Personal Health Dashboard.
  • Developer Support – includes access to best practice guidance and diagnostic tools
  • Business Support – includes all AWS Trusted Advisor checks and use-case guidance for all AWS offerings, features and services that best supports your business needs.
  • Enterprise Support – includes Architecture Guidance, Infrastructure Event management and a dedicated TAM (Technical Account Manager) who provides expertise in helping you design AWS solutions.

Finally, we looked at the AWS Marketplace which is a catalog of thousands of software listings from multiple third-party vendors that can be used in your AWS Environment.  You can explore solutions by categories (such as IoT and Machine Learning) or by industry and use case.

And that’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed this post, join me again next time for the final part of AWS Core Concepts! And more importantly, go and enroll for the course using the links at the top of the post – this is my brief summary and understanding of the Modules, but the course if well worth taking if you want to get more in-depth.

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