Starting a 24TB 448 core virtual machine for your testing is all on you and not the most efficient idea. Better yet, make sure you use mainly AWS Free Tier objects and you will be very happy with a zero dollar bill most months.
I do a lot of demos in a specific account and run at least 4-5 large labs a month over days and I usually only pay $20 a month at most. That isn’t a guarantee, but it means that if you pay attention you can keep your AWS bill low. Set an overall AWS Budget up for your account.
Having an account and managing it is one of the best ways to get hands-on with AWS.
Second, The following is a list of free resources. I am not adding other paid resources because they are few, but nothing is better than an AWS account. The list is:
- Amazon QwikLabs – sign up for a free account and note that there are 14 free labs you can take as of this article in Q1 2021. If you want more advanced labs you can sign up for $55 per month. This uses AWS on the backend. Oh, and did I mention that this is the official lab provider for AWS and has been since 2016?
- Hands-On Tutorials for Amazon Web Services – This requires an AWS account in most cases, but this will allow you to walk through specific scenarios in your AWS account with screen-by-screen instruction.
- Amazon EC2 Spot Workshops:: EC2 Spot Workshops – This requires an AWS account and will teach more about Spot instances than most of the cloud practitioners I know. This includes advanced topics like Spot Instances and Sagemaker so only do the labs that you need if you are just getting started.
- AWS Workshops – This also requires a free account, but this also includes a lot of third-party software like Jenkins or New Relic. A great site that also will allow you to focus on what matters most to you around AWS.
Third, do a project on AWS. Pick something that you want to do, something you are really interested in, something that stumped you are work and go for it.
Want to host an Anime Wiki site or do you love Rogues in Dungeons and Dragon? Then create a site for it. Do it in AWS in the most efficient way possible and maybe even monetize it to pay for your AWS labs.