We know the best way to retain what is learned — practice! Although anyone can set up a free tier account in AWS to follow along with lessons, your business account has the option for members to utilize our free AWS Sandbox environment. This will help your members practice along for AWS courses, in-course labs and standalone Hands-On Labs!
What are Sandbox Labs?
Sandboxes are dynamic environments that replicate the AWS console, allowing you to do course lab work without having to create an AWS account.
Sandboxes are completely free to your team members and can be used for lab lessons as long as you need - remember to extend your time if you need longer than 2 hours! They will be limited as to the features available, but you will have everything needed to reproduce the lab work.
1. Click on “Start a Sandbox Session” from the right hand side of the course dashboard or AWS Hands-On Lab.
The Sandbox Lab option will be only available on the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate and AWS Certified Developer Associate to begin with. As we grow the Sandbox environment out we will incorporate the Sandbox Labs into all remaining AWS courses. We appreciate your patience while we roll out this amazing feature!
Confirm that you won’t do anything out of terms and conditions in the Sandbox...
Once confirmed, a new tab will open, allowing you to access and use the AWS Console without risk to your own infrastructure.
2. Keep in mind, certain features within the Sandbox environment will not be available for use.
Some services you may use as part of your course may have restrictions, such as IAM and Route 53, which have been limited to prevent excessive costs, and keep our sandbox accounts safe.
Other services may be disabled entirely, such as DirectConnect, Snowball, and DeepRacer, which are not covered as part of hands-on labs to be completed in our courses.
When you attempt to access these features you will be greeted with an authorization error.
For the purpose of completing your labs, the sandbox is already configured with:
- Access Keys for Command Line Interface (CLI) access to your sandbox.
- An IAM role (acg-role) – your role for EC2 instance profiles and other services such as your Lambda execution role.
- An EC2 key pair (vockey) for authenticating to EC2 instances.
3. You’ll now find the Sandbox Labs modal is active and located in two areas; on the left hand side of your lesson and on the right hand side of the course dashboard.
The key information loads automatically, so you don’t have to worry about filling that in! Whew!
When setting up your CLI access, you will need to use the session token along with the usual Key ID and Secret Access Key.
There is an SSH key pair provided for you! Just download PEM at the bottom of the window and remember to select vockey as your keypair when launching the instance. Use the PEM key in the same way as you would your own key pair.
Sandbox Live Session Options:
“Launch AWS Console” - Opens another tab of your AWS console. If you’ve already done work in one tab, it will keep that same information and pull it to the new tab.
“Extend Session” - Each session is limited to two hours. However, if you’re deep in the middle of a problem simply click on this button to extend your session by another two hours. There is no limit to how many times you can extend.
** Note - If you extend your sandbox session, you will be issued with a new access key, secret key and session token. Be sure to update these three fields in order to continue accessing the sandbox via CLI.
“Close sandbox” - This will terminate your current sandbox session. Keep in mind, once you close your sandbox environment, all of your work and data will be lost. Make sure you’re completely done!
You’re closer to being a true guru and creating a serverless world for your own company!