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AWS

Train to become a skilled AWS expert for less than $50

The popularity of Amazon’s cloud computing platform continues to grow. That means that opportunities for IT professionals in this sector are likely to be plentiful, but only those with the proper skills will be considered for jobs. So, if you’re trying to climb above the competition, you’d be remiss to look over the AWS Solutions Architect Certification Bundle, currently discounted by over 90% today.

This affordably priced e-training package is ideal for any IT professional who wants to expand their skill set. It includes six courses, facilitated by experts, that introduce students to the platform as well as its more advanced features. And, while students won’t earn a certificate directly, they could easily use this training in pursuit of a recognized credential.

What makes this package so preferable is that the content is delivered entirely via the web. There are no class schedules, assignment deadlines, or exams. You simply log in and train, either from your computer or mobile device, when you have the time to spare. And, since you’ll enjoy lifetime access, you’re completely free to go at your own pace.

And it’s unlikely you could find a better priced offer, either. If you were to take a similar course elsewhere, you could expect to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars just to enroll. The AWS Solutions Architect Certification Bundle, by contrast, is just $49 so this package represents a tremendous value.

 

AWS Solutions Architect Certification Bundle – $49

See Deal

Prices are subject to change.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Train to become a skilled AWS expert for less than $50

The popularity of Amazon’s cloud computing platform continues to grow. That means that opportunities for IT professionals in this sector are likely to be plentiful, but only those with the proper skills will be considered for jobs. So, if you’re trying to climb above the competition, you’d be remiss to look over the AWS Solutions Architect Certification Bundle, currently discounted by over 90% today.

This affordably priced e-training package is ideal for any IT professional who wants to expand their skill set. It includes six courses, facilitated by experts, that introduce students to the platform as well as its more advanced features. And, while students won’t earn a certificate directly, they could easily use this training in pursuit of a recognized credential.

What makes this package so preferable is that the content is delivered entirely via the web. There are no class schedules, assignment deadlines, or exams. You simply log in and train, either from your computer or mobile device, when you have the time to spare. And, since you’ll enjoy lifetime access, you’re completely free to go at your own pace.

And it’s unlikely you could find a better priced offer, either. If you were to take a similar course elsewhere, you could expect to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars just to enroll. The AWS Solutions Architect Certification Bundle, by contrast, is just $49 so this package represents a tremendous value.

 

AWS Solutions Architect Certification Bundle – $49

See Deal

Prices are subject to change.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Blockchain-based storage service takes on Amazon AWS, unveils pricing

A cloud storage service first announced in 2015 that uses the decentralized, peer-to-peer architecture of blockchain to store encrypted data on the computers of users around the globe has unveiled its pricing model and production launch date.

Storj Labs, which operates a beta storage service for developers, businesses and consumers, initially launched the Tardigrade Decentralized Cloud Storage Service in August. Today, it announced its Beta 2 release and pricing, taking aim at Amazon’s AWS S3 cloud service with what it says is a more cost-effective and resilient approach.

The Tardigrade storage service claims 99.97% availability, and said its prices are less than half the starting prices of legacy cloud storage providers. For example, Amazon S3 list prices are currently $23 per terabyte for static storage per month. Amazon S3 also claims uptimes that range from 95% to 99%.

“Across the three main providers, those prices average at $22 per terabyte for static storage and $99 per terabyte for bandwidth,” Storj Labs said in a blog post. “Furthermore, the prices quoted by legacy providers often don’t include features like encryption and multi-zone redundancy, which come standard with Tardigrade at no additional cost.”

Storj’s Tardigrade storage service beta currently has 400 active users.

Users who rent out space on their hard drives earn “Storjcoin X” (SJCX), a form of currency that can be used to purchase capacity on Storj’s “Driveshare” service. (The users earn SJCXs by selling excess space with DriveShare, or use it to purchase space on the Storj Metadisk network via the company’s file sharing app.)

Storj is by no means alone. P2P compute services have grown over the past several years to include a half dozen options.

The Tardigrade service charges $10 per terabyte per month, or 1 cent per gigabyte, for static storage. (Storing 1 terabyte for 30 days, two terabytes of data for 15 days or three terabytes for 10 days would each be the equivalent of 1 terabyte month). The service charges $45 per terabyte, or 45 cents per gigabyte, of download bandwidth consumed. (Storj does not charge for upload bandwidth.)

Storj Labs Tardigrade cloud storage service Storj Labs

“If you choose to take data out, then we charge below our costs to get that data out,” said John Gleeson, Storj’s vice president of Operations. “Unlike others, we don’t want to charge if you want to take your data out.”

Atlanta-based Storj Labs is using blockchain to manage a storage aggregator that rewards those who rent out unused storage on their computers with cryptocurrency or with free storage and network capacity.

The storage service uses what it calls “gates” or performance metrics to track its service level agreements. Those metrics include the total number of vetted storage nodes (currently about 3,000); the number of active Tardigrade users (about 400) and node churn, or the number of nodes that opt out and in of the P2P architecture over time (about 1.5% per month).

The Tardigrade Cloud Service now operates with between 4.3 and 7 petabytes of storage capacity. At production launch in January, it plans to have 6PB available for developers and users.

The Tardigrade Cloud Service breaks up a file into 30 pieces that are stored across 80 drives from a pool of 3,000 distributed throughout any of 183 different countries or territories, Storj Labs’ CEO Ben Golub said.

“This is blockchain at its best, frankly — peer-to-peer networks where underutilized servers are traded,” Avivah Litan, a Gartner vice president of research, said in an earlier interview. “It’s more or less Uber for computers on a blockchain, so by default the design eliminates the Uber-like central authority and operator and replaces it with smart contracts in a system where no one entity is in control.”

The storage service works by first encrypting a file and then breaking that file up and spreading it across 80 or more user drives for redundancy. If one portion of a global network is slow or not maintaining the standard for downloads/uploads, the service automatically chooses different paths with higher bandwidth.

“This is where the power of being decentralized really matters. When we’re trying to serve you a file you stored, we need to get 30 pieces to you, but we can get those 30 pieces from any of 80 or more drives that have those pieces on them,” Golub said. “If one of them is busy or some of them are on a slow network, it doesn’t matter because we’re able to take advantage of the fact that we’re decentralized and can maintain really high availability and really high durability and performance.”

For example, if more than a few thousand users want to view a file stored on the Tardigrade Cloud Service, it can be divided up into 200, 300 or more pieces using dynamic caching and dispersed in a wider global pattern; in the end, only 30 pieces are needed to reassemble the file for use.

blockchain storage Storj Storj Labs/Google Maps

A map showing where Storj farmers and their nodes are located around the world.

“So, if what you want is to store with us this powerful video we can increase the dispersion [for more efficient access],” Golub said. “Initially, we make our best guess as to where to store files so they’re sufficiently dispersed on nodes across different networks. Then we can apply algorithms on top of that based on usage patterns.”

Developers can join a waitlist to try out the platform and use Tardigrade’s Amazon S3 gateway to start using it with existing S3 compatible applications. The site has a native library with several popular bindings, including Go, Python, Swift, Android, .Net and Node.js. for those who want to take advantage of advanced features such as Macaroons.

Users can also upload files through Storj’s IPFS gateway. Non-developers can still benefit by signing up on Storj’s website and receiving an athorization token to run a storage node. The node remains in a probationary status for the first 30 days as the company measures performance for uptime and response time. Over the first nine months, Storj also holds back a portion of a node operator’s earnings until they’ve been fully vetted to become a permanent part of the network.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Become an AWS Certified Cloud Computing Expert With This Exam Prep Bundle

If you want to build a career in IT, learning about cloud computing is a good idea. The technology is spreading fast, and folks with specialist knowledge are in demand. To help you catch the eye of recruiters, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Courses + Tests Bundle prepares you for Amazon’s own cloud computing exams. The bundle has 14.5 hours of content, including video tutorials, quiz questions and mock tests. You can get the lot now for just $9.99 at MakeUseOf Deals.

AWS Certification

Amazon Web Services, or AWS, has quickly become the most popular way to host apps and data in the cloud. From Adobe to Zynga, countless top companies rely on this platform for their daily operations — meaning certified experts are highly sought after.

This bundle helps you master AWS and prove your skills, with 106 video tutorials and over 600 practice exam questions. The videos provide a beginner-friendly explainer of all the key features in AWS, and you can play around in a sandbox lab to figure things out for yourself.

Every student gets full support on anything relating to certification, and you can prepare for the test with seven full mock exams.

Full Prep for $9.99

Order now for $9.99 to get lifetime access to this prep bundle, worth $59.90.



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Protect Your Home Minecraft Server From DDOS Attacks with AWS

The Minecraft logo.

Want to run a Minecraft server from home without revealing your IP address? You can! Just set up a free proxy with Amazon Web Services to protect your server from denial-of-service attacks. We’ll show you how.

This guide will work for any game server, not just Minecraft. All it does is proxy traffic on a specific port. You just have to change Minecraft’s port 25565 to whichever port your game server runs on.

How Does This Work?

Let’s say you want to host a Minecraft server and have it open to the internet. It’s not that hard to run one. They’re easy to install, only use one processing thread, and even the heavily modded servers don’t take more than 2 to 3 GB of RAM with a few players online. You could easily run a server on an old laptop or in the background on your desktop computer rather than paying someone else to host it for you.

But for people to connect to it, you have to give out your IP address. This presents a few problems. It’s a major security risk, especially if your router still has the default admin password. It also leaves you open to distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks, which would not only stop your Minecraft server but could shut off your internet, as well, until the attack subsides.

You don’t have to allow people to connect directly to your router. Instead, you can rent a small Linux box from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure—all of which have free tiers. This server doesn’t have to be strong enough to host the Minecraft server—it just forwards the connection for you. This allows you to give out the IP address of the proxy server instead of your own.

Say someone wants to connect to your server, so she types the IP address of your AWS proxy into her Minecraft client. A packet is sent to the proxy on port 25565 (Minecraft’s default port). The proxy is configured to match port 25565 traffic and forward it to your home router. This happens behind the scenes—the person connecting doesn’t even know.

Your home router must then be port-forwarded to forward the connection further to your actual PC. Your PC runs the server and responds to the client’s packet. It forwards it back to the proxy, and then the proxy rewrites the packet to make it look like the proxy is the one responding. The client has no idea this is happening and simply thinks the proxy is the system running the server.

It’s like adding another router in front of the server the same way your home router protects your computer. This new router, though, runs on Amazon Web Services and gets the full transport-layer DDOS mitigation that comes free with every AWS service (called AWS Shield). If an attack is detected, it’s mitigated automatically without bothering your server. If it isn’t stopped for some reason, you can always turn off the instance and cut the connection to your house.

To handle the proxying, you use a utility called sslh. It’s intended for protocol multiplexing; if you wanted to run SSH (usually port 22) and HTTPS (port 443) on the same port, you’d run into issues. sslh sits in front and redirects ports to the intended applications, solving this problem. But it does this at the transport layer level, just like a router. This means we can match Minecraft traffic and forward it to your home server. sslh is, by default, nontransparent, which means it rewrites packets to hide your home IP address. This makes it impossible for anyone to sniff it out with something like Wireshark.

Create and Connect to a New VPS

To get started, you have set up the proxy server. This is definitely easier to do if you have some Linux experience, but it isn’t required.

Head to Amazon Web Services and create an account. You have to provide your debit or credit card info, but this is only to prevent people from making duplicate accounts; you aren’t charged for the instance you’re creating. The free tier does expire after a year, so make sure you turn it off after you’re finished with it. Google Cloud Platform has an f1-micro instance available for free all the time if you’d rather use that. Google also offers a $300 credit for a year, which you could actually use to run a proper cloud server.

AWS does charge a bit for bandwidth. You get 1 GB free, but you’re taxed $0.09 per GB for anything over that. Realistically, you probably won’t go over this, but keep an eye on it if you see a 20-cent charge on your bill.

After you create your account, search for “EC2.” This is AWS’s virtual server platform. You might have to wait a bit for AWS to enable EC2 for your new account.

Type "EC2" in the search bar on AWS's virtual server platform.

From the “Instances” tab, select “Launch Instance” to bring up the launch wizard.

Click "Instances," and then select "Launch Instance."

You can select the default “Amazon Linux 2 AMI” or “Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS” as the OS. Click next, and you’re asked to select the instance type. Select t2.micro, which is the free tier instance. You can run this instance 24/7 under AWS’s free tier.

Select "t2.micro."

Select “Review and Launch.” On the next page, select “Launch,” and you see the dialog box below. Click “Create a New Key Pair,” and then click “Download Key Pair.” This is your access key to the instance, so don’t lose it—place it in your Documents folder for safekeeping. After it downloads, click “Launch Instances.”

 Click "Create a New Key Pair," and then click "Download Key Pair." After it downloads, click "Launch Instances."

You’re brought back to the instances page. Look for your instance’s IPv4 Public IP, which is the address of the server. If you’d like, you can set up an AWS Elastic IP (which won’t change across reboots), or even a free domain name with dot.tk, if you don’t want to keep coming back to this page to find the address.

Look for your instance's IPv4 Public IP.

Save the address for later. First, you need to edit the instance’s firewall to open port 25565. From the Security Groups tab, select the group your instance is using (probably launch-wizard-1), and then click “Edit.”

Click the "Security Groups" tab, and then select the group (probably "Launch-Wizard-1") your instance is using.

Add a new Custom TCP rule and set the port range to 25565. The source should be set to “Anywhere,” or 0.0.0.0/0.

Add a new Custom TCP rule and set the port range to 25565. The source should be set to 0.0.0.0/0 (or "Anywhere").

Save the changes, and the firewall updates.

We’re now going to SSH into the server to set up the proxy; if you’re on macOS/Linux, you can open up your terminal. If you’re on Windows, you have to use an SSH client, like PuTTY or install the Windows Subsystem for Linux. We recommend the latter, as it’s more consistent.

The first thing you should do is cd to your documents folder where the keyfile is:

cd ~/Documents/

If you’re using Windows Subsystem for Linux, your C drive is located at /mnt/c/, and you have to cd down to your documents folder:

cd /mnt/c/Users/username/Documents/

Use the -i flag to tell SSH you want to use the keyfile to connect. The file has a .pem extension, so you should include that:

ssh -i keyfile.pem [email protected]

Replace “0.0.0.0” with your IP address. If you made an Ubuntu server rather than AWS Linux, connect as user “ubuntu.”

You should be granted access and see your command prompt change to the server’s prompt.

Configure SSLH

You want to install sslh from the package manager. For AWS Linux, that would be yum, for Ubuntu, you use apt-get. You might have to add the EPEL repository on AWS Linux:

sudo yum install epel-release
sudo yum install sslh

Once it’s installed, open the config file with nano:

nano /etc/default/sslh

Change the RUN= parameter to “yes”:

A "RUN=yes" command in a terminal window.

Below the final DAEMON line, type the following:

DAEMON_OPTS="--user sslh --listen 0.0.0.0:25565 --anyprot your_ip_address:25565 --pidfile /var/run/sslh/sslh.pid

Replace “your_ip_address” with your home IP address. If you don’t know your IP, search “what is my IP address?” on Google—yes, seriously.

This configuration makes the sslh proxy listen on all network devices on port 25565. Replace this with a different port number if your Minecraft client uses something different, or you play a different game. Usually, with sslh, you match different protocols and route them to different places. For our purposes, though, we simply want to match all possible traffic and forward it to your_ip_address:25565.

Press Control+X, and then Y to save the file. Type the following to enable sslh:

sudo systemctl enable sslh
sudo systemctl start sslh

If systemctl isn’t available on your system, you might have to use the service command instead.

sslh should now be running. Make sure your home router is port forwarding and sending 25565 traffic to your computer. You might want to give your computer a static IP address so this doesn’t change.

To see if people can access your server, type the proxy’s IP address into an online status checker. You can also type your proxy’s IP into your Minecraft client and try to join. If it doesn’t work, make sure the ports are open in your instance’s Security Groups.





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