Amazon Lightsail
Amazon Lightsail
1h 21m

This course covers the core learning objective to meet the requirements of the 'Designing Compute instances solutions in AWS - Level 1' skill

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand there are different Amazon EC2 compute families
  • Understand the different services that provide compute resources, such as AWS Lambda compared to Amazon EC2, or the Amazon Elastic Container Service, etc
  • Understand that elasticity can be achieved through AWS Auto Scaling
  • Understand the purpose of AWS Elastic load balancers



Resources referenced within this lecture:

Amazon Lightsail dashboard



Hello and welcome to this short lecture covering Amazon Lightsail. This is another compute service that in some respect closely resembles EC2 out of all the other compute resources we have covered so far. Amazon Lightsail is essentially a virtual private server, A VPS, backed by AWS infrastructure, much like an EC2 instance but without as many configurable steps throughout its creation. 

It has been designed to simple, quick, and very easy to use at a low cost point for small-scale use cases by small business or for single users. With its simplicity and small-scale use, it's commonly used to host simple websites, small applications, and blogs. You can run multiple Lightsail instances together, allowing them to communicate. And it's even possible if required to connect it to other AWS resources and to your existing VPC, running within AWS via a peering connection. 

To deploy a Lightsail instance, it's easy to do all from a single page with just a few configuration options. Amazon Lightsail can be accessed either via the AWS console under the compute category, or you can go directly to the homepage of AWS Lightsail, which sits outside of the Management Console and can be found here. 

If you want to launch a new instance, select create instance, where you can then create your instance all from just one page of options. Nice and simple. Firstly, you need to select your region and availability zone as required as to where you'd like to provision your Lightsail instance. Next, you can select your platform, Linux or Windows based, and then additional blueprint if required. If you didn't need a blueprint, you can simply select to use the operating system only. Next, you have the option to add a launch script and a different key pair. The launch script can be a shell script that will run at the time of the launch, much like user data for an EC2 instance. By default, you are provided with a key pair to connect to your instance. However, you can select to choose an alternative one if required. Following this, you must then select your instance plan. This section defines the resources of your instance and how much you're going to be paying on a monthly basis. The price per month option shows preset configurations based on memory, processing power, storage, and data transfer. However, you can tab through the corresponding tabs and customize the values of each to meet your needs. As you can see, it's very clear, simple, and obvious as to what you will be paying and the resources you will get in return. The instances are charged as an on-demand price, so you'll only pay for the resource when you're using them. The dollar per month price is based on having the instance on continuously, which AWS calculates as 31.25 days multiplied by 24 hours. 

The configuration options requires you to provide a unique name for your Lightsail instance. In addition to this, you're also prompted to add key-value tags to help organize your resources. Now all of your configuration is complete. Simply click on create instance. As you can see, it's very easy and simple to create your Lightsail VPS compared to number of different screens and configuration options required when deploying an EC2 instance. Once your Amazon Lightsail service is up and running, you then have a number of management and monitoring options, which are clear and easy to use. Connect. This option allows you to connect to your newly created instance using SSH either via inline SSH software provided by Lightsail or with your own SSH software using the key pair provided. The instance is given a public IP to allow you to connect. Storage. This provides an overview of your current storage, showing the capacity and the disk path. For example, /dev/sda1. You also have the ability to attach additional disks to your instance. Metrics. This allows you to view graphical metrics of your instance, such as CPU utilization, network in, network out, StatusCheckFailed, StatusCheckFailed_Instance, and StatusCheckFailed_System. These graphs can be viewed over a number of different time periods, from one hour through to two weeks. Networking. The networking tab allows you to view your IP address information along with a very simple virtual file, allowing you to control which ports your instance can accept connections from. You can also gain additional information on load balancing your traffic between instances. Snapshots. This provides a simple way to backup your instance. Tags. Here you can configure additional or edit existing tags to help you filter and organize your resources. Key-value tags can also be used to help manage your billing and control access. History. This provides simple order information of your instance, such as the date and time the instance was created or when configuration changes occurred. Delete. When you have finished with your instance, this tab allows you to delete your instance along with any data that was stored in it. 

As you can see, Amazon Lightsail provides a lightweight solution for small projects and use cases which can be deployed quickly and cost effectively in just a few clicks. That brings us to the end of this lecture. Coming up next, I'll provide a summary of the key points and topics that we've learned throughout this course.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.