Important!!! Bring your own system configured according to these instructions!!!
A properly configured system is required to fully participate in this course. If you do not carefully read and follow these instructions, you will likely leave the class unsatisfied because you will not be able to participate in hands-on exercises that are essential to this course. Therefore, we strongly urge you to arrive with a system meeting all the requirements specified for the course.
Students must be in full control of the network running the VM. The VM communicates with several external services (AWS, Docker Hub, Terraform, Azure, etc.) over HTTPS, SSH, and other non-standard ports. Running the course virtual machine on a host with a VPN, intercepting proxy, or egress firewall filter may cause connection issues communicating with these services. Students must be able to configure or disable these services for the lab environment to function properly.
!!! IMPORTANT NOTICE !!!
MANDATORY: Students must bring their own AWS and Azure accounts to complete the cloud exercises, see below for more detail.
Please ensure you have done the following before class starts:
- Register for a personal free-tier account.
- Activate your new account.
- Log in to the AWS Console with your root account.
- Browse to the EC2 Service and verify that you see the dashboard (not an activation screen).
- In the top right-hand corner of the page, select one the following supported regions (preferably the region closest to where the course is running or you live - see bulleted list below)
- From the left navigation bar, select "Limits."
- Verify that you have at least 10vCPUs for On-Demand Standard (A, C, D, H, I, M, R, T, Z) instances.
- If your limits are less than 10 vCPUs, please start by creating a new t2.micro instance. Creating a new instance often causes the limits to increase automatically. If your limits do not automatically increase (wait 30 minutes to check again), request an increase to open a ticket with the AWS support team. More details can be found in the AWS EC2 Service Limits documentation.
- U.S. East 1 (Northern Virginia)
- U.S. East 2
- U.S. West 1 (Northern California)
- U.S. West 2 (Oregon)
- E.U. (Ireland)
- Asia Pacific Northeast 1 (Tokyo)
- Asia Pacific Southeast 1 (Singapore)
- Asia Pacific Southeast 2 (Sydney)
Browse to the Azure Portal.
Register for a new account and paid subscription.
BRING YOUR OWN LAPTOP CONFIGURED USING THE FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS:
- A properly configured system is required for each student participating in this course. Before starting your course, carefully read and follow these instructions exactly:
- Host Operating System: Latest version of Windows 10, macOS 10.15.x or later, or Linux that also can install and run VMware virtualization products described below.
- Fully update your host operating system prior to the class to ensure you have the right drivers and patches installed to utilize the latest USB 3.0 devices.
- Those who use a Linux host must also be able to access exFAT partitions using the appropriate kernel or FUSE modules.
- Download and install 7-Zip (for Windows Hosts) or Keka (macOS). Without these extraction tools, you'll be unable to extract large archives we'll supply to you in class.
- Download and install either VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.x, VMware Player 15.5.x, or Fusion 11.5.x or higher versions before class.
- If you do not own a licensed copy of VMware Workstation or Fusion, you can download a free 30-day trial copy from VMware. VMware will send you a time-limited serial number if you register for the trial at its website.
- Other virtualization software, such as VirtualBox and Hyper-V, are not appropriate because of compatibility and troubleshooting problems you might encounter during class.
- VMware Workstation Pro and VMware Player on Windows 10 are not compatible with Windows 10 Credential Guard and Device Guard technologies. Please disable these capabilities for the duration of the class if they're enabled on your system by following instructions in this document.
- Note: Apple systems using the M1 processor cannot perform the necessary virtualization at this time and cannot be used for this course.
Mandatory Host Hardware Requirements
- CPU: 64-bit 2.5+ GHz multi-core processor or higher
- BIOS/UEFI: VT-x, AMD-V, or the equivalent must be enabled in the BIOS/UEFI
- Hard Disk: Solid-State Drive (SSD) is MANDATORY with 50GB of free disk space minimum
- Memory: 16GB of RAM or higher is mandatory for this class (IMPORTANT! - 16GB of RAM is MANDATORY)
- Working USB 2.0 or higher port
- Wireless Ethernet 802.11 B/G/N/AC
- Local Administrator Access within your host operating system
Mandatory Host Operating System Requirements
You must use a 64-bit laptop with one of the following operating systems that have been verified to be compatible with course VMware image:
- Latest version of Windows 10, macOS 10.15.x or later, or
- Linux that also can install and run VMware virtualization products described below.
Mandatory Software Requirements
- Prior to class, ensure that the following software is installed on the host operating system:
- VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.X+, VMware Player 15.5.X+, or Fusion 11.5+
- Zip File Utility (7Zip or the built-in operating system zip utility)
- Cloud Virtual Machine (AWS AMI)
- If your workstation or network does not meet the above requirements, please reach out to your instructor, TA, or OnDemand SME for access to the SEC540 Amazon Machine Image (AMI). After sharing the AMI, instructions will be provided for launching and connecting to the virtual machine over Remote Desktop (RDP). This option is required for students that cannot meet the laptop requirements.
Mandatory Cloud Account Requirements
- An Amazon Web Services (AWS) account is required to do hands-on exercises during this course. Students must create an AWS account prior to the start of class. The estimated AWS cost for running the lab environment is $20 per week. Costs are less for free-tier accounts.
- Microsoft Azure bonus challenges (optional) are available to students. Completing the bonus challenges requires that students register a Microsoft Azure account prior to the start of class. The estimated Azure cost for running the lab environment is $20 per week.
In summary, before beginning the course you should:
- Have a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD), 16GB of RAM, and a 64-bit operating system.
- Install VMware (Workstation or Fusion).
- Windows only: Verify that the BIOS settings have the Intel VT virtualization extensions enabled.
- Download the SEC540 Lab Setup Instructions and Course Media from your sans.org account.
- Register a NEW AWS account prior to the start of the class at https://aws.amazon.com/
- Register a NEW Azure account and paid subscription prior to the start of class at https://azure.microsoft.com
After you have completed those steps, your course media will be delivered via download. The media files for class can be large, some in the 40 to 50 GB range. You need to allow plenty of time for the download to complete. Internet connections and speed vary greatly and are dependent on many different factors. Therefore, it is not possible to give an estimate of the length of time it will take to download your materials. Please start your course media downloads as you get the link. You will need your course media immediately on the first day of class. Waiting until the night before the class starts to begin your download has a high probability of failure.
SANS has begun providing printed materials in PDF form. Additionally, certain classes are using an electronic workbook in addition to the PDFs. The number of classes using eWorkbooks will increase quickly. In this new environment, we have found that a second monitor and/or a tablet device can be useful for keeping the class materials visible while the instructor is presenting or while you are working on lab exercises.