Release: Amazon EC2 on 2006-11-30

Release Notes>Amazon EC2>Release: Amazon EC2 on 2006 11 30
Query API, shared AMIs, parameterized launches, instance metadata, improved AMI tools and new public AMIs.

Details

Submitted By: Craig@AWS
Created On: December 5, 2006 4:28 PM GMT
Last Updated: December 7, 2006 6:27 PM GMT
Release Date: 2006-11-30
Latest WSDL/API Version:
2006-10-01

New Features

Feature Description
Query API A new query API has been introduced. The new API mirrors the SOAP API very closely, but there are some small refinements and simplifications that will make their way back into the SOAP API over time. This API uses HMAC for request authentication. While this initial API is very similar to the existing SOAP API, we will be looking for ways to make it more useful in future iterations.  See the Developer Guide for details.
Shared AMIs An API has been introduced for sharing AMIs, providing you with the ability to selectively grant launch permissions to individual users, or to all users (as with our public AMIs). See the developer guide for details, and in particular for caveats about running untrusted third party public AMIs. You can also visit the 'Articles and Tutorials' section of the Amazon EC2 Resource Center to find a tutorial on using the Shared AMIs feature.
New Amazon EC2 Resource - "Public AMIs" The Amazon EC2 Resource Center now contains a new category called "Public AMIs". This is a place for users to describe AMIs that they choose to share with other Amazon EC2 users. This is also where we will detail the Amazon EC2 provided public AMIs. You are also free to review other users' public AMIs. Finally, this should be a good way to search for available public AMIs.
Parameterized launches The RunInstances API call has been extended to support passing a limited amount of user specified data to instances at launch time. This makes it possible to build generic, reusable AMIs that receive additional instructions at launch time. See the developer guide for details. You can also visit the 'Articles and Tutorials' section of the Amazon EC2 Resource Center to find a tutorial on using the Parameterized Launches/Instance Metadata features.
Instance metadata The user data mentioned under parameterized launches above is exposed to instances via an HTTP server. In addition to making launch time data available, we have exposed a range of other metadata, including things like ssh public keys, and instance and AMI IDs. See the developer guide for details. You can also visit the 'Articles and Tutorials' section of the Amazon EC2 Resource Center to find a tutorial on using the Parameterized Launches/Instance Metadata features.

Resolved Issues

Issue Description
API command line tool updates The API tools have been updated to fix known bugs and include support for the new API features including parameterized launches and shared AMIs. Please get the latest API tools from the Amazon EC2 Resource Center.
AMI packaging tool updates The AMI tools have been updated to fix a number of outstanding bugs and introduce a new manifest file format and bundling format. Fixes include better resiliency to temporary S3 errors and better error messages. Images created with the new tools have a manifest file format which makes it easier to download and reassemble an AMI previously bundled into S3. The new tools also create sparse images which should decrease launch times and ensure that the time to unbundle an AMI for launch is proportional to the size of the content of the AMI, rather than the size of the image file. While the old AMI format will continue to be supported, we encourage you to repackage your AMIs. They will launch faster and will allow you to take advantage of other upcoming enhancements to launch times. Please get the latest AMI tools from the Amazon EC2 Resource Center.
Updated public AMIs The Amazon provided public AMIs have been updated. Detailed release notes can be found in /etc/ec2/release-notes.txt on the images themselves and in the image descriptions in the new "Public AMIs" resource center category. In short, these notable updates include the addition of the FUSE kernel module and related packages, and updates to the latest AMI tools. These images have been bundled using the new tools which should result in reduced launch times. Lastly, a new developer-oriented public AMI has been added.
New docs The Amazon EC2 Developer Guide and Getting Started Guide have been updated to fix known issues and include detailed discussions of the new features.

Known Issues

Issue Description
Instance limit New users are currently limited to a maximum of 20 concurrent running instances. Contact aws@amazon.com if you need a higher limit.
Long launch times We are aware that under some conditions (especially very large launches), instances are taking longer than intended to move into the running state. The new AMI tools are the first of several planned fixes for these slow launches.
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