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AWS home page account sign-up
ntBy Nick Hardiman
ntSee the original blog post, “How to get started with Amazon’s Simple Storage Service.”
ntIf you are new to AWS, you must create an account before you can use AWS services.
AWS management console
ntThe AWS login page is straightforward one-factor authentication (if you remember your account details, you’re in). After you have created an AWS account you can sign into the management console.
ntAWS also offer safer and more flexible ways of controlling access u2013 IAM (Identity and Access Management) and MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication).
Amazon cloud services list
ntThe list of Amazon’s Web Services is so long doesn’t easily fit on a page. AWS constantly improve and extend their customer services.
ntThe Services link in the top left is always available when you use the console. It displays the full set of services any time.
ntNot all services are available through the management console – some can only be used with the command line interface or a program interface.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) web interface
ntThe S3 management console is a web interface that allows non-technical people to use the S3 service. There is also a programmers’ interface and a set of command line tools for advanced users.
ntUsing S3 means using buckets and objects. An object is a file, along with some background information. A bucket is a container to put them in.
Create a bucket
ntThis modal window u2013 one of many in the AWS management console u2013 allows you to create a bucket. Creating a bucket means typing in a name and choosing a region.
ntEach bucket needs a unique label used to access the objects. That’s unique across the entire AWS S3 service, not just unique to you.
ntYou are here (in terms of web breadcrumbs): Amazon Web Services > Storage & Content Delivery > S3 Scalable Storage in the Cloud > Buckets > Create Bucket.
Naming your bucket
ntAWS highlights things it doesn’t like in red.
ntThis bucket name breaks AWS rules. The characters allowed in a bucket name are pretty limited, and the restrictions vary from region to region.
- nttGood characters: a-z, numbers 0-9 and the special characters period (.), underscore (_ )and dash (-).
- nttBad characters: everything else. No spaces, apostrophe’s, ampersands or umlauts (sorry Gu00fcnter).
- nttRisky characters: The letters A-Z are OK in the US region but aren’t acceptable in Ireland.
ntYour list of buckets appears in the left pane, and objects in a bucket appear on the right.
ntUse the Upload button to add an object to this bucket.
S3 shortcut buttons
ntThe row of buttons are shortcuts for S3 actions. The Properties button opens a third pane in this AWS management console window.
ntUse S3’s Upload window to pick objects for your bucket.
ntThe Add Files button opens a file browser, to help you find what to upload from your computer to AWS S3.
ntThe Start Upload button closes this Upload window and copies your files.
ntMessages about upload progress appear in AWS S3’s Transfers pane.
Copying large files
ntThe transfer pane displays upload speed. Copying a large file from your computer to S3 is usually quick using an business connection and slow using a domestic connection.
ntThis 4GB virtual machine file is being uploaded using a domestic ADSL link. This file will take many hours to copy.
ntThe Actions menu helps you control your S3 objects. The menu pops up when you click the Actions button and when you right-click an object (or Ctrl-click using Mac OS X).
ntIn addition to the Actions menu and a few buttons, there are other control shortcuts dotted around the console. File uploads can be paused and resumed using icons in the Transfers pane.
Permissions to access
ntMake an object public to share it with the world.
ntCheck who can do what by looking at the Permissions tab. By default objects are private. The only Grantee is you – no-one else has access.
ntThe URL for the shared object is displayed in the Details tab. It looks something like this: https://s3-my-region.amazonaws.com/my-bucket/my-object.
ntClick this link to test the download (to make sure you don’t get an Access Denied message) then pass it on to others.
Make sure you understand pricing structure!
ntYour account activity shows how much you will be charged.
ntAWS uses a freemium marketing model u2013 if your activity all falls within their free tier, you won’t pay anything.
ntClean up your S3 account by deleting old objects and buckets. And keep an eye on your bill u2013 you don’t want any nasty surprises just because people like your files.