Category: Amazon EC2

Enomalism Virtual Management Dashboard

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

Enomaly The Enomalism Virtual Management Dashboard provides an easy to use interface to provision and manage a series of physical and virtual servers through a single integrated interface.

Designed to work with Amazon EC2 and other virtualized environments, the Virtual Management Dashboard includes a dashboard, support for true elastic computing, dynamic, real-time virtual server management, disk management tools, user and resource management, physical and virtual server migration, an SSH client, and virtual appliance management to simplify the process of adding and removing software packages from the managed systems.

There’s also an API for external control, and the entire package has been made available under an open source license.

Take a look at some screenshots, watch the system in action, or just download it and give it a try.

— Jeff;

Amazon EC2 Video

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

Video Screenshot: How to set up Amazon EC2We recently posted a video that shows how to set up Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud from a Windows environment. More accurately, there is one video is in two formats: Windows Media and Flash. If you have Windows Media, that version of the encoding worked out to be both a smaller file size (faster download) and better quality.

Regardless of the version you chose, the content is the same: a few minutes of a business-level overview followed by a walk-thru that shows you how to set up Amazon EC2. It’s low-tech, and I didn’t even try to edit out some umms and ahs.

I spent Saturday afternoon sitting on my couch, playing with Amazon EC2 AMIs via a WiFi connection from a miniature notebook. Couldn’t help but think “if only this couch were really a remote tropical beach, with a satellite signal”. Not that running a business from a tropical island was on my mind…

— Mike

More EC2 Beta Slots Available – Get Yours Now!

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

I just received word that we have opened up some more slots in the Amazon EC2 beta.

If you want to start using EC2 stop reading this message and click here now to sign up. Go to that page and click on the “Sign Up For Web Service” button in the upper right.

If you are quick (and lucky) you will get in right away. Otherwise you will be put on the waiting list and your turn will come. If you are on that waiting list, you should sign up for Amazon S3 while you are waiting. That way, we can simply auto-enable you when we have more slots.

Good luck!

— Jeff;


Perl and EC2

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

It’s gratifying to see third-party projects that interface with Amazon Web Services. For example, you can download a Perl Interface to Amazon EC2 from Jeff Kim on CPAN (the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network), released on December 28th. Check it out at

— Mike

Update: Title of post changed from PHP to Perl!

S3 Infinidisk for EC2

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

Infindisk In the course of searching for some links to flesh out my previous entry, I ran into something new and very cool the S3InfiDisk for EC2. The InfiDisk takes the form of a mountable Linux file system, creating an infinite storage disk for EC2 instances. The file systems can be mounted on any running EC2 instance, with data cached in local RAM and on the instance’s hard disk.

The product is available in two versions. The free community version doesn’t include caching, and can be run on a single EC2 instance. The enterprise version includes caching as well as a prebuilt EC2 instance.

This looks pretty cool, and I’d love to hear about your experiences with it. Write a blog post and trackback this one, send me some email, or drop a note in the S3 discussion forum.

— Jeff;

S3 for Static Web Content

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

In and Amazon S3, Jesse Andrews describes how he moved all of his static content from his own server over to S3. Jesse set up the virtual hosting, moved over all of the content (using S3 Fox no less), and had everything up and running inside of 15 minutes. As he notes “it took longer to write this post than it did to do the conversion.” isn’t some quiet site with little or no traffic. As the primary repository for Greasemonkey scripts, it is quite busy — Jesse says that they handled 24 million requests for 307GB of static content in the last two months alone.

Jesse asked his friends to try out the new version side-by-side with the old one. In this unscientific and somewhat subjective test, the new version (using S3) was unanimously judged to be faster.

By the way, be sure to browse the items tagged with Amazon on the site. You’ll find my old favorite Book Burro (also written by Jesse) and lots of other cool stuff.


But wait, there’s more!

Casey Muller wrote a really nice guide, including code for an s3commit script (to copy assets to S3) on Serving the Rails Public Directory out of S3. Casey is one of the developers of jamglue, currently in beta and serving up its content from S3.

— Jeff;

EC2 Rock and Roll

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

There’s so much happening with Amazon EC2 that I can hardly read it all. Here’s a sampling:

  • The Atlantis Computing blog talks about Amazin Amazon or why EC2 is the bee’s knees. Instead of investing between 30 and 40% of their seed capital on hardware, they have implemented it on top of EC2. As the post notes, the monetary savings is important, but it is not the only benefit to them. They can now focus on their core competency of building their application (Thewebtop).
  • One-time Amazonian Greg Linden, author of the Geeking with Greg blog, talks discusses the use of Hadoop on Amazon EC2. Greg saved me the trouble of linking to the Hadoop on EC2 page.
  • Speaking of Hadoop on EC2, Scott Delap says that you can Run Your Own Google Style Computing Cluster with Hadoop and Amazon EC2.
  • The Android Tech blog says that we are Leading the Charge to Web 3.0.  As they say, “Who knew?”
  • David Berlind (co-organizer of Mashup Camp and Startup Camp) does the math, in Amazons Jeff Bezos: Honey, I Just Shrunk the Server Hosting Business. David really cuts to the chase of what makes EC2 special, when he writes “None of these back of the envelope calculations take into account what happens if you get smart about server utilization and decide to take full advantage of the Amazon APIs that, in a blink of an eye, can turn these x86 instances on and off. With dedicated hosting of the sort that we have, because of our annual contract, we’re married to two servers for an entire year. Whether we’re using them or not, we’re paying. Not so with Amazon’s EC2.”

If that’s not enough for you, check out the AWS Buzz items for EC2 on

— Jeff;

ElasticLive – Hershey’s Kisses

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

KissAn important part of our mission as Web Services Evangelists is to encourage our developer community to innovate. We invite them to surprise us with new and interesting ways to consume our services, to show us the Power of Innovation !

One such innovation is running Windows Server 2003 on an Amazon EC2 instance. The power of Windows combined with the elasticity of Amazon EC2  – Just like Hershey’s Kisses (Attractive on the Outside, Nourishing in the Inside).

The tech pundits at Enomaly have put 2 & 2 together by leveraging their experience with Amazon EC2 and successfully installed Windows Server 2003 on an Amazon EC2 instance using QEMU. QEMU is an open source processor emulator allowing a user to simulate a complete computer system within another one. This screenshot shows that they were able to connect to Amazon EC2 instance via remote desktop  connection. Pretty Cool!

They have also put together a small how-to article for others. It will be very interesting to see some real benchmarking on how this emulation layer affects performance.

What is ElasticLive?  ElasticLive is a value-added service on top of Amazon EC2.  Power of Amazon EC2 combined with their expertise and professional support. Pre-installed, pre-configured, automatically-updating applications on the top of web-scale platform at your disposal. What else do you need?


A New ISV Business Model

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2 |

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud continues to impress the people who matter most: software developers (in this instance, an ISV).

Genexus is an innovative software platform that enables non-technical business people to rapidly build out applications–including an online presence. Andres Aguiar, their chief architect, sent me a note yesterday to say “We have GXPortal running in EC2. It took us one day to make it work. The site is running a beta of the next GXPortal version, on Java/MySQL”.

There’s an exciting new business opportunity for ISVs: create software that enables businesses to run in an environment without a dedicated data center! In essence, an environment where you throw your servers away! It’s a bit different than the traditional ASP model that has been around for a while now, in that the customer has total control over (and is responsible for) their own server; however they do get to eliminate all that muck known as the expense and hassle of a physical data center. It’s highly unlikely that any business will be able to operate their own center for less than $0.10 per hour!

— Mike