Obtain an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Account

Before we begin on our journey to cloud computing ecstasy, we need to first create an Amazon account. If you have yet to create an Amazon account, then you can do so here while enjoying the Amazon Prime Student program benefits (e.g. 2 day free shipping on orders AND ondemand video + music library). This is a shameless plug.

Once you have an Amazon account, we can use that to enable Amazon Web Services (AWS). To do so, go to the AWS Console page.

AWS Console Login

From there, you will be asked to provide your contact information: AWS Contact Info

Then, you will be prompted to supply a payment mechanism. This payment mechanism will be used. Please disregard the notion of the AWS Free Tier. The reason being is that when working with large data, the EC2 instances that we need to use do not fall within the free tier (e.g. t2.micro). Note, we are working to secure a 100$ promotional credit per student for 1 year via AWS Grants.

AWS Add Payment Method

From there, you will be prompted to confirm your identity via a phone call. I censored my phone number here:

AWS Confirm Identity

You are required to provide a PIN on the phone call that is randomly generated. You can provide the PIN via saying it out loud slowly or by using your numeric entry keys.

AWS Confirm Identity PIN

After a successful confirmation, the page will auto update and prompt you to move on:

AWS Confirmed Identity

Once that’s done, you’re on your way to select a support plan. In this case, you want the basic support plan.

AWS Select Support Plan

After that, you’re done! Welcome to AWS.

AWS Welcome Splash