With Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts, you can quickly launch instances on physical servers dedicated for your use. This step-by-step guide will show you how to allocate a host and bring your own licenses onto that host. For more details on pricing and how to bring your own Windows licenses and use them on EC2, visit Dedicated Hosts Pricing or the Windows Bring Your Own License (BYOL) FAQ.

Open the EC2 Dashboard in the AWS management console in a new browser window, and keep this step-by-step guide open.

Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts

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This step-by-step guide will help you successfully allocate a Dedicated Host, launch instances on that host, and release the host.

1. To get started you need to first allocate a Dedicated Host. Choose "Dedicated Hosts" in the left navigation of the EC2 Dashboard.

2. Choose "Allocate Dedicated Host". The process of allocating a Dedicated Host provides you with the right to launch instances onto that host.

3. Specify the attributes of the host(s) that you’d like to allocate. You need to specify the Availability Zone, the instance type configuration of the host(s), quantity, and an optional instance auto-placement attribute. For this exercise, the auto-placement setting is not important and you can leave it on the default setting (On). Visit our user guide for more information about instance auto-placement.

The instance type configuration for the Dedicated Host determines the number of sockets and cores per host, the type of instance you can run on the host, and the number of instances that you can run on each host. To learn more about the different instance type configurations for Dedicated Hosts, visit EC2 Dedicated Host Pricing.

4. Choose "Allocate host". After your hosts have been allocated to your account they can be viewed using the EC2 Dedicated Hosts console.

1. To launch an instance on a Dedicated Host, select a host from within the EC2 Dedicated Hosts console. Then choose "Actions" > "Launch Instance(s) onto Host". You'll be guided through a few simple steps to launch instances onto that host. Note: If you’re interested in using your own AMI that you’ve imported, go to the Getting Started with BYOL on Dedicated Hosts section of this Getting Started guide.

  • If you’ve imported an AMI you can find and select this AMI in the "My AMIs" section of the console.

2. Configure the instance to meet your needs. Your instance type will be auto-selected based on the configuration of the host that you chose to launch onto.
3. Choose "Review and Launch". 
4. In the final step, choose "Launch". The instance(s) will be launched by default on the host you selected earlier.
5. For security reasons, AWS requires you set up a key pair so you can connect to your instances. Create a new key pair if you haven’t already; visit Amazon EC2 Key Pairs documentation to learn more about key pairs and how to set it up. Note: It may take a few moments to launch your instance.
6. In the left navigation of the EC2 Dashboard, choose "Instances" to see your new instance(s). Choose "Dedicated Hosts" in the left-hand navigation to view the instances on the Dedicated Host.

Stop or terminate all of your instances on the Dedicated Host you want to release. If you do not, you will be prompted to stop or terminate your instances in the console at the end of the process.

1. Choose "Dedicated Hosts" in the EC2 Dashboard.
2. Select the host you no longer need, then choose "Actions" > "Release Hosts".
3. Confirm your request, and choose "Release". 

You can use your own server-bound software licenses (BYOL), such as Windows Server and SQL Server, on Dedicated Hosts. Follow the steps below to import your own software into EC2.

1. Install the AWS CLI. For more information, see Step 1: Install the AWS CLI.
2. Prepare the VM for import to Amazon EC2. For more information, see Step 2: Prepare Your VM.
3. Export the VM from the virtualization environment. For more information, see Step 3: Export Your VM from Its Virtual Environment.
4. Import the VM into Amazon EC2. For information, see Step 4: Importing Your VM into Amazon EC2.
5. Once you’ve imported your image(s), they will appear in the My AMIs section of the console.

AWS Config records when instances are launched, stopped, or terminated on a Dedicated Host. This information is paired with host-level information relevant to software licensing (e.g., the host ID, AMI IDs, and number of sockets and physical cores on the host). As a result, AWS Config can be used as data source for license reporting. To get started, enable Dedicated Host recording in AWS Config.

1. Open the Amazon EC2 console.
2. On the Dedicated Hosts dashboard, click the "Edit Config Recording" button.
3. In the AWS Config Console, follow the steps provided to turn on instance and host recording. For more information, see Setting up AWS Config using the Console.

By default, AWS Config records configuration changes for all supported resource types including EC2 Dedicated Hosts and instances. You can optionally turn on recording only for Dedicated Hosts and instances.

Follow the steps outlined in the Getting Started with Dedicated Hosts guide, and make sure you select the AMI that you’ve imported during the launch configuration process.

Learn how to retrieve your configuration history with AWS Config by visiting the AWS Documentation.