A step-by-step guide to getting started with Stax
Once you have logged in, please take some time to read through this step-by-step guide which will help you get started in Stax.
Step 1 - Understanding Stax
Before you start configuring your Stax environment, it’s important to understand what Stax is and how it can help you manage your AWS environment.
The Stax Overview documentation provides a quick intro into Stax and the features it provides.
Step 2 - Navigating the Console
The Stax Console consists of a left hand nav and a main window.
The navigation pane provides a list of all the features within Stax that you can access, such as Accounts, Workloads and Rules. You don’t need to know too much about these features at the moment, so we’ll touch on them later in this guide.
The heading at the top of the navigation pane, titled with your Stax Alias, offers a submenu for managing users, access, settings, and your user profile. The heading at the bottom of the navigation pane, titled with your username, also provides you with access to your user profile.
The user profile outlines the details of the current logged in user. In this case, that is the Root User you created when signing up for Stax.
If you would like to log out of Stax, simply click your Stax Alias at the top of the navigation pane and click Log out (located at the bottom of the submenu).
Step 3 - Creating Your First Stax User
Now that you’re familiar with the console, it’s time to create your first Stax User. The user that you are currently logged into Stax with is called the Root User. This user is designed to help you get going in Stax. Unlike a Stax User, the Root User has limited privileges and isn’t recommended for day-to-day Stax usage.
Before creating your first Stax User, it’s a good idea to read about how Identity and Access Management works within Stax. Identity and Access Management is called Stax Users within Stax.
You can create your first Stax User using the guide located here.
Once you create your first Stax User, activate the user by opening the invite email and clicking the link. You’ll need your Stax Alias to login as a Stax User, so be sure to note it down before logging out. Once you’ve done that, log out as the Root User and log back in using the Stax User credentials you created.
Step 4 - Preparing to Create Your First Stax Account
Users can create AWS Accounts within Stax, which are called Stax Accounts and offer a variety of functionality. It’s important to read the Stax Accounts documentation before you begin creating Stax Accounts.
Within the documentation, it is noted that Stax Accounts are grouped into Account Types. This logical grouping lets you do two things:
- Apply Stax Policies to multiple accounts
- Manage user access to Stax Accounts on an individual account basis or multiple account basis
Note: You cannot create a Stax Account unless you have created at least one Account Type. This is because when you try to create a Stax Account , you will be asked to assign it to an Account Type.
The first step in preparing to create your first Stax Account is to create your first Account Type. To do this, follow the instructions listed at the top of the Manage Account Types page, which will guide you through creating an Account Type.
The second step in preparing to create your first Stax Account is to create a Group and assign your user to that Group. A Group is simply a collection of Stax Users. In order for your user to access your Stax Account, you need to assign your user to a Group and then grant that Group access to the Stax Account. Information about Groups is listed on the Users documentation page under the Managing AWS Access heading.
To create a Group, follow the instructions listed at the top of the Group Management page.
We will configure the AWS access settings for your newly created Group once your Stax Account has been created.
Step 5 - Creating Your First Stax Account
You are now ready to create your first Stax Account. The instructions on how to do this are listed here.
Once your account is created, it will appear on the Accounts page. You will most likely want to access this account, so it’s time to configure the access settings for the Group you created in Step 4. We will be granting this Group access to the Stax Account.
In the Group Management documentation, navigate to the instructions listed under the Assign AWS Roles to a Group heading. This will explain how you can grant your Group access to the newly created Stax Account. The AWS roles you select when configuring your Group’s access will then be available to your Stax User.
Once the Group access has been configured, you can login to the Stax Account. To login, access AWS via the Stax console.
Step 6 - Deploy a Workload Into Your New Stax Account
Within your new Stax Account, you may want to deploy a Workload. A Workload is an opinionated approach to Infrastructure-as-Code, aimed at encouraging best practices. Using AWS CloudFormation deployment, you can deploy AWS resources at scale throughout your environment, in a repatable and efficient way. The Workloads documentation provides an overview of Workloads and how they work.
The advantage of using Workloads is that you can centrally deploy a Workload to multiple accounts and manage versions of this Workload from one location - the Stax Workload Catalog.
In order to deploy a Workload follow thes steps:
- Create a Workload Manifest - This manifest outlines the resources the Workload will deploy
- Add the Workload to the Workload Catalog - This Catalog is a central repository of all your Workloads
- Deploy your Workload
Step 7 - Explore Stax
Now you have basic understanding of how to use Stax you can start to explore the broader feature sets and configure your Stax environment to suit your needs. You may wish to:
- Invite other users to join your Stax environment and manage their Stax Console access via the Users page and their Stax Account access via the Groups page.
- Create additional Stax Accounts and organize these accounts into logical Account Type and Group structures.
- Attach Policies to your Stax Accounts to limit the AWS resources that can be accessed within them
- View the cost, compliance and wastage for your Stax Accounts and build Views to organize how this data is presented within Stax.
Remember that anything that can be done via the web console can be done programatically via the Stax API as well.
If you have any issues or questions, don’t hesitate to raise a Support case in the Console. We are happy to assist you in any way possible.