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Web-based EC2 console, alternative to ElasticFox

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Mike Culver, technology evangelist for Amazon Web Services announced the availability of a web-based management console for ec2, the Elastic Compute Cloud.

The key features are summarized by James Urquhart and by Saad Ali Abassi.

Alan Williamson offers a visual tour of the new UI.

As an AWS customer, I feel heartened by this investment on Amazon’s part because it emphasizes their commitment to commoditize AWS and make its services widely usable. The AWS services will become cheaper as usage ramps up on the commoditization curve and makes “cloud computing accessible for the masses

Written by paule1s

January 9, 2009 at 6:17 pm

rsync vm, vhd for backup, disaster recovery, ec2

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I use ftp to transfer large VM image of my code to a remote development team based in India and rsync for copying and backing up code, configuration and data from ec2. I researched the web for best practices that have evolved for speeding up large VM transfers. It seems there are none today, unless you are transferring VM’s on your company’s WAN and they are using WAN accleration to improve the transfer rate. However, I have found two models for using rsync with vmdk’s and  vhd’s. Here’s a sample of use cases:

Cloud-centric usage

rsync is used for copying and backing up code, configuration and data from cloud-based services like Amazon ec2.

Traditional usage

rsync is used for backing up large VM’s to a remote store or for disaster recovery

Read about Backup, Disaster Recovery for Windows VM’s

Written by paule1s

December 19, 2008 at 1:01 am

How to launch first AMI on Amazon EC2?

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I followed the steps outlined below on my Windows XP laptop and got the details right through trial and error. I did paste screen shots initially to make the narrative more visual but I eventually took them off because their resolution did not promote clarity

Download Tools

  • Download ElasticFox, a Mozilla FireFox extension that will allow you to interact with ec2 from the Firefox browser.
  • Download PuTTY, a SSH and telnet client that is transparently used by ElasticFox for establishing a remote connection with ec2.
  • Also download PuTTYgen, an RSA and DSA key generation utility from the same download site.

Connect with EC2

  1. Start FireFox and load ElasticFox from its Tools menu.
  2. Click the single blue Credentials button on the top L of the ElasticFox pane. A Manage EC2 Credentials dialog box pops up. Enter an Account Name of your choice and provide the AWS Access Key and AWS Secret Access Key for your ec2 account from the aws site.
  3. Open the KeyPairs tab and press the middle green Create a new keypair button on the top L of the KeyPair pane. Once you provide a name for the key pair, e.g., pevans,  and click OK, it will generate a key pair, pevans.pemand save it in c:documents and settings<user name>ec2-keys. Note that you can change the location for the ec2-keys folder by clicking on the Tools button on the top R hand ElasticFox pane.
  4. Start PuTTYGen, load the pevans.pem file created in the earlier step and generate a private key pevans.ppkfrom it. ElasticFox uses PuTTY internally for establishing a SSH connection with EC2. The private key generated in this setp will be used by PuTTY for this connection.
  5. Open the AMI and Instances tab and select any public AMI from the Machine Images pane, which packages the OS and apps , e.g., Fedora, Apache and mySQL, that you require.
  6. Click on the green Launch Instance button on the top L of the Machine Images pane to launch an AMI isntance 
  7. You should see a new AMI appear in the lower Your Instance pane. it should start up in the lower panel with pending status (takes a minute or two)
  8. Select the AMI and click on the fifth green Connect to Instance button 
  9. A telnet window should appear with you logged in as root into the shell.
  10. If the shell prompts you for a username and password, then the private key generation was not done correctly and should be redone with care

Written by paule1s

December 5, 2008 at 1:41 am