Is GCP/AWS required? or can labs be done inside VMs that I spin up on my local machine?
The Overview section of Lab Exercise 2.1 includes an infobox labeled "Very Important" that mentions a few possible platforms, both local and cloud. Also, read carefully the security and firewall software considerations.
Ah thanks for pointing that out @chrispokorni . I hadn't read section 2 yet.
You can run almost everything of it on VirtualBox machines on your local machine