AWS Quick Start


Amazon Web Services is now available at Illinois for research, instruction, and administrative use. You can request access or log into an account at the University of Illinois AWS service gateway:

Amazon will be on campus regularly to provide guided labs and consultation. More information is available in our Fall 2018 Lab Schedule.

You can contact the Illinois AWS team at We’re always available to sit down and discuss whether AWS is a good fit for your unit’s needs, design solutions, or take feedback on how we can improve the service.

AWS Backup and Fargate Price Drop

Amazon announced AWS Backup yesterday. Backup provides a central interface to manage backup strategies for:

  • Elastic Block Store
  • Elastic File System
  • Relational Database Server
  • DynamoDB
  • Storage Gateway volumes

Backed up data is securely stored in Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, and configurable to cycle into Glacier if you prefer.

Automating and verifying backups has been a common need on campus, and now it’s built in for free. I expect the service to incorporate additional services in the future.

Earlier this month Amazon announced a price reduction for Fargate. I’ve worked with a number of groups who weren’t sure how to balance convenience and costs. The new pricing is between 35% and 50% less expensive, depending on your configuration, which makes it more attractive to run your containers without any management of the underlying infrastructure.

C-U AWS User Group Meeting This Friday

The Champaign-Urbana AWS User Group will hold its first meeting this Friday (9/28) at noon at Research Park. Miha Kralj from Accenture will be presenting on cloud platform selection. Full details are available on the event Meetup.

This is a community-hosted event which I hope will be interesting and useful to our adoption of cloud technologies here at the University.

Fall 2018 Lab Schedule

Welcome to the new school year. We’ve scheduled AWS training opportunities through the end of the calendar year:

  • Wednesday, September 12: 9:00 – 11:00 am, 28 Illini Hall
  • Wednesday, October 10: 2:30 – 4:30 pm, 27 Illini Hall
  • Thursday, October 25: 9:00 – 11:00 am, 27 Illini Hall
  • Wednesday, November 14: 9:00 – 11:00 am, 27 Illini Hall

These are hands-on labs open to University of Illinois faculty, students, and staff. We have a range of lab topics currently available:

  • AWS 101: Putting a web server on the internet
  • Relational Database Service: Databases you don’t have to manage
  • Identity and Access Management: Safely managing permissions
  • S3 and CloudFront: Storing and distributing static web content
  • CloudFormation: Automating AWS with infrastructure as code
  • Lamba: Using function-as-a-service to process images
  • Alces Flight: Building your own personal HPC cluster
  • Elastic MapReduce: Getting started with big data in AWS

Participants may select any lab and work at their own pace with guidance from University of Illinois and Amazon staff. Lab computers are provided, but you’re welcome to bring your laptop if you prefer.

Register here to reserve your seat.