Q: What is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) on Amazon EC2?

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is a scalable, high-performance, enterprise operating system for secure computing. SLES for Amazon EC2 is the combination of Amazon EC2 compute with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server included.


Q: Is there any difference between SLES on Amazon EC2 and the versions I can run in my data center?

No, SLES on Amazon EC2 is maintained by SUSE and identical to the version of SLES available for installation on physical hardware. AWS customers running SLES on Amazon EC2 receive access to the base images (AMIs) and updates from SUSE.


Q: What versions of SLES are available on Amazon EC2?

SLES 11 SP2 (32-bit), SLES 11 SP2 (64-bit) including HVM support, & SLES 11 SP3 (64-bit)


Q: How is SLES on Amazon EC2 offered and priced?

SLES on Amazon EC2 is offered at either a flat, hourly rate with no commitment (On-Demand), or through a one-time, upfront payment (Reserved Instances). Both purchase options include Amazon EC2 compute charges and SLES subscription charges. Pricing for all instance sizes and AWS regions can be found on the EC2 Pricing page.

You can also visit the AWS Marketplace to see pricing and launch SLES on Amazon EC2.

The AWS Simple Monthly Calculator can be used to price out larger deployments.


Q: Is SLES available on the AWS Free Tier?

SLES on Amazon EC2 is available on AWS Free Tier. Visit AWS Marketplace to launch SLES in Free Tier.


Q: How do I find out if I am eligible for the Amazon Free Tier?

Follow the steps here to find out if you are eligible for the AWS Free Tier.


Q: How will I be charged and billed for my use of Amazon EC2 running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server?

As with other Amazon EC2 instances, you pay only for what you use and there is no minimum fee. Pricing is per instance-hour consumed for each instance type. Partial instance-hours consumed are billed as full hours. Data transfer for Amazon EC2 running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is billed and tiered separately from Amazon EC2. There is no Data Transfer charge between two Amazon Web Services within the same region (i.e. between Amazon EC2 US West and another AWS service in US West). Data transferred between AWS services in different regions will be charged as Internet Data Transfer on both sides of the transfer. This is explained in detail on the Amazon EC2 pricing page.

SLES on Amazon EC2 images include a basic subscription for updates and maintenance fixes that is reflected in the price charged by Amazon Web Services. There is no need for a separate agreement with SUSE or additional charges.


Q: Do I need to pay anything to SUSE?

No, all billing is handled through Amazon EC2.


Q: When does billing of my Amazon EC2 systems begin and end?

Billing commences when Amazon EC2 initiates the boot sequence of an AMI instance. Billing ends when the instance terminates, which could occur through a web services command, by running “shutdown -h”, or through instance failure.


Q: What defines billable EC2 instance-hours?

Instance-hours are billed for any time your instances are in a “running” state. If you no longer wish to be charged for your instance, you must terminate it to avoid being billed for additional instance-hours.


Q: Do prices include taxes?

Except as otherwise noted, prices are exclusive of applicable taxes and duties, including VAT and applicable sales tax.


Q: I have an existing subscription for SLES. Can I use my existing subscription on AWS?

Yes, please contact your SUSE sales representative for details or email susecloudprg@suse.com.


Q: Which AWS Regions are available with SLES on Amazon EC2?

Visit AWS Marketplace for SLES version availability by region. To learn more about AWS Regions, visit aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure. SLES on Amazon EC2 is available in all AWS regions worldwide, including AWS GovCloud (US).


Q: Are EC2 Spot Instances and EC2 Dedicated Instances supported?

Yes, SLES on Amazon EC2 is available on both Amazon EC2 Spot Instances and Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances. EC2 Spot supports SUSE only in Asia Pacific (Singapore), US East (N. Virginia), EU, Asia Pacific (Tokyo), US West (Oregon), US West (Northern California), South America (Sao Paulo), Asia Pacific (Sydney) and EU (Frankfurt). Please visit http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/spot-instances/ and http://aws.amazon.com/dedicated-instances/ to learn more about these offerings.


Q: How does support work for SLES on Amazon EC2?

All instances of SLES on Amazon EC2 will receive updates at the same time that updates are made available from SUSE. Customers will be notified when updates are available. Updates can be installed using standard SLES systems management tools. Additionally, SLES on Amazon EC2 is covered under AWS Premium Support. Premium Support customers that contact AWS for help will work directly with AWS to resolve issues that are related to SLES. Amazon and SUSE engineering teams will work together to resolve any SUSE issues.


Q: How are the base AMIs and running instances maintained?

SUSE maintains the base SLES AMIs for Amazon EC2. All instances of SLES on Amazon EC2 will receive updates at the same time that updates are made available from SUSE. Customers will be notified when updates are available. Updates can be installed using standard SLES systems management tools.


Q: How do I launch an instance of SLES on Amazon EC2?

To get started, sign-in to the AWS Management Console, select the Amazon EC2 dashboard, click on the Launch Instance button and choose SLES from the Instance Wizard. Alternatively, you can launch from AWS Marketplace via 1-Click.


Q: How do I configure SLES in the Amazon EC2 environment?

There are two ways that you can configure a system to run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The first is to boot an instance running SUSE Linux in Amazon EC2. Once your image is running, you can use all of the standard SUSE tools including YaST and zypper to add packages and configure the system.

Another approach is to use SUSE Studio to configure a specific image that starts with SUSE JeOS (just enough operating system) and adds only those packages required to handle a specific workload. Among the variety of physical and virtual image types that SUSE Studio can build is the ability to create Amazon EC2 images, upload them to your EC2 account, and automatically launch them. For more information please visit: susestudio.com, or watch a video on SUSE Studio: Amazon EC2 integration.


Q: Can I build application images with SLES on Amazon EC2 with SUSE Studio?

SUSE Studio provides SLES on Amazon EC2 users a simple on-ramp for developing and deploying application stacks, virtual appliances and custom SLES applications. Developers and IT professionals can also use Amazon EC2 to deploy and test SLES-certified applications, while maintaining supportability. To learn more, view the demo video for SUSE Studio.


Q: Is auto-scaling available for SLES on Amazon EC2?

Yes. Visit the auto-scaling page to learn more.


Q: Are there any restrictions on the instance types supported for SLES on Amazon EC2?

SLES on Amazon EC2 is available for all instance types including Spot and Reserved instances.


Q: Are there any differences in the underlying SUSE Linux configurations depending on instance type?

There are three types of SUSE Linux Enterprise AMIs available, 32-bit, 64-bit and Cluster. Depending on which instance type you are running, the appropriate AMI will be provisioned. You have a choice of 32-bit or 64-bit for Micro Instances.

The Cluster instances are 64-bit configurations with hardware virtualization. If you choose to run Cluster GPU instances, the necessary drivers will be automatically installed enabling your applications to take advantage of the Tesla GPU.


Q: How do I purchase and launch a Reserved Instance?

You can purchase Reserved Instances through the AWS Management Console or using EC2 API tools. In the AWS Management Console, simply click the “Reserved Instances” button in the EC2 Instances section, and select “Purchase Reserved Instances”. The wizard will walk you through the purchase. Using the API tools, you can list the available Reserved Instances for purchase with the DescribeReservedInstancesOfferings API method. You can then purchase an EC2 Reserved Instance by calling the PurchaseReservedInstancesOffering method. Launching a Reserved Instance is no different than launching an On-Demand Instance. You simply use the RunInstances command or launch an instance via the AWS Management Console. Amazon EC2 will optimally apply the cheapest rate that you are eligible for in the background.


Q: How do I purchase and launch a Spot Instance for SLES on Amazon EC2?

Spot Instances can be requested using the AWS Management Console or Amazon EC2 APIs. To start with the AWS Management Console:

Log in to the AWS Management Console and then click the “Amazon EC2” tab.

Click on “Spot Requests” in the navigation pane on the left.

Click on “Request Spot Instances” and proceed through the Launch Instance Wizard process, choosing a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server AMI, Region and instance size and type. Enter the number of Spot Instances you would like to request, your maximum price and whether the request is persistent or not. After choosing your key pair and security group(s), you are ready to submit your Spot Instance request.

For detail on how to request Spot Instances through the Amazon EC2 API, see the Amazon EC2 API Reference.

For a more detailed walk through of using Spot Instances and more information on how to get the most out of Spot Instances, please read Introduction to Spot Instances.


Q: Can I run SLES on Amazon EC2 in a Spot Instance in Cluster Compute and Cluster GPU Instances?

Yes. SLES is widely used in High Performance Computing and is ideally suited for Cluster Compute Instances. SLES is available for both Cluster Compute and Cluster GPU Instances. When running Cluster GPU Instances, the libraries required to run application code on the Tesla GPU are automatically installed.