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Guided Lab: Exploring Instance Metadata

Description

Instance metadata is a service provided by AWS that allows EC2 instances to access data about themselves. This data can be used to configure or manage the running instance. It’s divided into categories, such as host name, events, and security groups.

You can also use instance metadata to access user data that you specified when launching your instance. For example, you can specify parameters for configuring your instance, or include a simple script. You can build generic Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and use user data to modify the configuration files supplied at launch time.

Although you can only access instance metadata and user data from within the instance itself, the data is not protected by authentication or cryptographic methods. Therefore, you should not store sensitive data, such as passwords or long-lived encryption keys, as user data.

Prerequisites

This lab assumes you have experience creating EC2 instances and are familiar with its basic components.

If you find any gaps in your knowledge, consider taking the following labs:

  • Creating an Amazon EC2 instance (Linux)

Objectives

In this lab, you will:

  • Understand the concept of instance metadata
  • Learn how to retrieve instance metadata.