AWS and Azure – A tour of signing up for free to Public Clouds, Free Training, and Interfaces / Tools / Services within them!


Snagged this stock photo from which is a great short read, if like me you learned about the types of clouds in school before they were the place you stored pictures, it was a nice trip down memory lane so wanted to post that link here for others nostalgia 🙂

This has nothing (necessarily) to do with my Cisco Studies, but DevOps in General

During my DevNet 8 week boot-camp style live class session today, the teacher did some demo’s of triggering Automation and the technologies he used for his own pet projects that he did just for fun and learning a new skill – And I had to check it out.

I always thought AWS was some big shot Enterprise Solution, as working with their Enterprise Interface / Engineers, they are definitely highly technical with how businesses connect to their Platform / Services – However I never actually logged in until I saw a demo using an AWS Tool called “Lambda” and “Elastic Container Services” and I thought I have to try this at some point (which turned out to be now).

The first reason to sign up for a Personal AWS Account – Its Free! And Free Training!

I have yet to see how “free” it is, but it does use the common pay as you play cost model that both AWS and Azure charge based on consumption of resources – But wait! :


When I logged into my Free Personal Account I was greeted with all this Training!

Even just basic tutorials, its specific to this platform, so you can get started running labs in AWS for pennies a month depending on usage, and the training to do it is FREE!

I have to admit, when I saw the “Launch a WordPress Site” I had a good laugh, but all joking aside look at those Topics – Linux VM / Deploy Docker Containers / Serverless Python Scripting / Cloud Storage – All free and sounds a lot like DevNet to me!

Though it does require a valid CC to sign up, so I am not sure how “Free” it is once I start actually consuming resources, but my instructor went over his bill statements over months (who is a Cisco DevOps Engineer) and each month was $0.00/month he spent.

He advised it is by far the cheaper between AWS and Azure to perform the same tasks, so this where he hosts his own personal DevOps projects and labbing, it was really a pleasure to watch him play with Alexa to trigger Automated work flows.

To register visit: – You will be doing yourself a huuuge favor!

Azure is equally important to work in – Fortunately it is also equally free (I think)!


When they say Free – They mean it!

This also requires a CC to sign up, and did feel honestly a bit more gimmicky signing up for a free account, trying to slip in ad agreements in the sign up process – Though as demonstrated here it does offer enough free training and a 30-day $200 credit to resources upon signing up then pay-as-you-go from there.

But the free training from the link above – Serverless Applications / Cloud Containers / Automation of Workflow using GitHub (CI/CD labbing) – This is awesome stuff!

Now that I’ve gotten signed up and past training / tours – Lets compare Consoles!

The AWS Management Console (for a free / pay as you go account):


All my geek bells are whistling and blowing steam, I am in labbing overload mode, API Gateways / Building Web Apps / Serverless Microservices / Lambda / (see more)!

Then even more training / free mock labs right below the main dashboard!


Its like built in training to use their platform just signing up for a free account!

I feel like AWS had a more robust, professional, and straight forward feeling to the sign up process in the way it didn’t try to sneak in spam emails during sign-up / give me “$x for 30 days free” / any kind of gimmicky feeling things like Azure did.

The crisp dashboard, the training videos, then more training with labs – Way cool!

That and I’ve seen great Automated Workflow demo’s with a hilarious accidental Alexa workflow that was triggered during the class lecture, so there may be some bias here.

And then there is the Azure Portal (for a free / pay-as-you-go account):


Which its Microsoft and if you’ve ever worked with Microsoft, you know they kind of nickel and dime customers for Licensing, so it didn’t surprise me to hear that AWS is the cheaper alternative – Though I must say I do like how it integrates with GitHub and uses OAuth to secure the account (and to be used with RESP API Authentication labbing).

It also hosts O365 and PaaS and SaaS platforms for Businesses, so its something that you will need to learn to work in, but the huge benefit is that you can lab in either one you prefer and then apply that knowledge to the other – Because if you compare the dashboards they both offer almost the exact same services on different platforms!

So you can literally learn an entire set of skills in one platform, then just figure out how to apply them to the other – And you now have practical experience in the two most popular Public Cloud solutions for about any business on the Planet Earth!

I didn’t want to lab it up tonight too much, but I did want to just get some basic exposure to both the interfaces and sign up, as I do plan to create some Meraki WebHooks / APIs / CI/CD Automated Work-Flows / Learn Azure / Learn AWS / Learn Everything in the near future – or as much of everything that I can handle! 🙂

So that was my night off of labbing was this demo, so I am going to go sit on my hands so I stop labbing for the night – Hope this demo encourages others to go check out these Portals if for absolutely nothing else 20 hours or so of great free training!


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