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Instructor Training: How to manage Amazon Web Services (AWS) instances 

We have created instructor training for research software engineers. This guide will enable you to facilitate training at your own institution or workplace utilising the Cloud-SPAN learning materials.   

This modules teaches how to manage Amazon Web Services (AWS) instances — each instance being a Linux virtual machine. Using Bash Shell scripts, it is shown how to configure, create, stop, start, and delete, one or multiple instances with a single invocation of a script.

We manage multiple instances with the scripts within the Cloud-SPAN project for hands-on training purposes. When running a workshop, a number of instances are configured with relevant ‘omics data and software analysis tools. Each student is granted exclusive access to such an instance through the use of encrypted login keys.

The login key, the domain name, and the IP address of each instance are created on demand on creating the corresponding instance, and deleted when the corresponding instance is deleted. The scripts receive as input only the names of the instances to be created, deleted, etc. The scripts keep track in local files of the resources’ AWS resourceIDs, which are needed to interact with AWS to, for example, delete and instance and associated resources (domain name, etc.). Creating over 30 instances takes 10-15 minutes. 

Delivery Mode

The educational materials will be taught in person by our Cloud-SPAN instructor at 6-8 institutions based in the UK from January - June 2023. It will be 2-3 hour interactive workshop, we recommend that you invite all of your team members to participate. The workshop will be free of charge. 

If you would like this workshop to be delivered at your institution please use the button below.

Alternatively, if you would like to complete the materials independently you may do so via our self-study option. Please register using the button below. Materials will be available from October 2022 and the course is designed for 6-8 hours of self-study.


The course assumes that learners have no prior experience with the AWS concepts and tools covered in the course. However, learners are expected to have good experience with 

Learners are also expected to use a Linux laptop or desktop machine. Tablets and mobile phones are not suitable for taking the course, as you will be using the keyboard to type to the CLI or editing scripts most of the time. 


Topic 1 Setting up the work environment
Learn how to set up your working environment, your AWS account and your shell terminal configuration, to be able to run the scripts. 

Topic 2 Managing AWS instances
Learn some best practices to deploy and manage AWS instances for a course, for testing software configurations, for creating new AMIs. 

Topic 3 Managing AMIs, Scripts
Learn the blurry bits of the scripts, how to control changes to the scripts with GitHub, the Cloud-SPAN AMIs, when and how to create and control AMI versions, updating an AMI Linux and software tools, and more. 

Target audience

The target audience of the course is anyone in charge of, or interested in, deploying and managing cloud resources. While the module is focused on AWS, and particularly Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, the scripts can be adapted for use with other cloud providers and other types of cloud services.

Learning outcomes

Following completion of this course, learners will be able to