Hands-On with AWS Systems Manager
AWS Training Architect II
AWS Systems Manager is your one-stop shop for a single view of your hybrid infrastructure. It is a versatile service that allows for managing, patching, maintaining, and keeping in compliance (among other features) all of your infrastructure.
This course is intended to be a hands-on dive into the features and functionality of AWS Systems Manager (SSM).
Some experience with AWS services — such as EC2, AWS CLI, EC2 Auto Scaling, and other related services — is expected, along with Linux CLI and JSON manipulation.
In this course introduction, learners are taken through an overview of what to expect from this course.
About the Training Architect
This video introduces the Training Architect, Moosa Khalid, who will take students through this course.
AWS Free Tier: Usage Tracking and Billing Widget
This video takes the student through the AWS Billing widget and how to use it to keep an eye on costs if you are using your own AWS account in following along with the course.
This quick video serves to make the student aware of some of the course's prerequisites. Now, there's no set bar, and this is definitely not to discourage anyone from going through the course. These are merely suggestions to set the expectations of what knowledge would best help you (the learner) get the most out of the course's lessons and hands-on labs. Happy learning!
Systems Manager Introduction and Setup Requirements
Introduction to AWS Systems Manager
This lesson will help you understand the basics of the AWS Systems Manager service, how it works, and some of its use cases. Recommended ReadingInstalling and Configuring SSM Agent on Amazon EC2 Linux Instances Use Cases and Best Practices
AWS Resource Groups
AWS resource groups are massively useful and beneficial for organizing your resources across AWS accounts and organizations. It helps in getting better visibility into resources with similar purpose by using tags assigned to resources. Additionally, AWS resource groups can be leveraged by AWS Systems Manager by allowing one to run automation against resource groups. In this lesson, we go through the benefits of using AWS resource groups and provide a demo.
AWS Systems Manager — Shared Resources
Documents and Parameter Store
AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store is at the heart of Systems Manager. It provides the logic for SSM to interact with other AWS services (via SSM Automation-type documents) or run commands and actions against your SSM-managed instances. It is ever-present in a lot of other SSM features. In this lesson, we dissect SSM documents and Parameter Store. It is another capability that allows us to store configuration and sensitive information as parameters that are accessible inherently in services like ECS and Lambda and can be encrypted with your own customer-provided keys.
Instances and Nodes
Session Manager and Hybrid (Infrastructure) Activations
Session Manager is a robust feature of AWS Systems Manager that allows us to establish shell sessions with managed instances without having to go through SSH (Linux) or RDP (Windows) clients. Combined with SSM hybrid activations, it offers a single console/API to manage access to your hybrid infrastructure regardless of where it resides. In this lesson, we explore Session Manager, how it ties in with hybrid activations, and its benefits as well as some cautions. Finally, we run through a demo of this feature on the AWS Management Console.
Run Command and State Manager
Run Command and State Manager are two essential components of AWS SSM. Run Command helps in executing commands against your managed instances, while State Manager helps maintain a persistent configuration on your instances either on a schedule or as a one-time configuration deployment. In this lesson, we go over the definition and requirements of both of these features as well as some of their benefits.
Inventory Tracking and Patch Manager
SSM Patch Manager helps automate the selection and deployment of system software patching across your multi-platform hybrid infrastructure. Users can use preconfigured patch configurations called patch baselines or create new custom ones. SSM Inventory helps collect metadata across your hybrid IT estate and can help enforce better software update and version check policies across the board. In this lesson, we go through the capabilities of both of these features. Lesson Link: AWS Systems Manager: Patch Manager prerequisites
AWS Systems Manager Distributor
The AWS Systems Manager Distributor is a versatile software packaging and shipping tool for hybrid environments. It combines very well with other AWS services. Here are some notable features of Distributor:Multi-platform package creation and shipping (Linux/Windows) Version control, and enables you to restrict access to creation and installation using IAM policies Can auto-generate software deployment commands and scripts on your behalf or give you the option to provide custom ones Software packages created in one account can be shared with other AWS accountsIn this lesson, we look into some features of SSM Distributor and run through a quick demo on the AWS Management Console to demonstrate its basic functionality.
Automation and Change Management
Automation and Systems Manager Maintenance Window
In this lesson, we go through the salient features of Systems Manager Automation, its use cases, and how organizations can benefit from it. We also discuss Systems Manager Maintenance Windows and how they can help schedule disruptive tasks in an automated way.
This lesson sets the stage for learners to further explore and leverage the knowledge they've gained from this course.
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