in omnia paratus

About Amazon Cloud Services and beyond

A major benefit of cloud computing: cooperation and collaboration

Cloud computing is one of the most discussed topics at the moment. The discussion is dominated by the themes efficiency gains and cost savings. In my opinion, the benefits of cloud computing are lying beyond these two topics. The technique of cloud computing has the potential to change the ways of cooperation and collaboration. Therefore in the future cloud computing won’t be a matter of the IT departments anymore but an important topic for the business.

A major benefit of cloud computing: cooperation and collaboration

Change in IT seems to be driven by technology. The role which the business plays in these changes is often neglected. But it plays a major part in the decision process. Architecture changes in IT are not only a result of the availability of new technologies but a result of the wishes of the management. And management wishes themselves are just a result of the demands of the business or the clients.

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Clean up AWS resources with Janitor Monkey

It is very easy to allocate additional resources in AWS. A new instance is just five clicks away, a new EBS volume jsut three. It takes even less clicks to delete them, but deleting them seems to be not as enjoyable as creating new ones. So quite often companies pay for resources in the cloud which they don’t use. Janitor Monkey supports you in cleaning up the unused resources.

Clean up AWS resources with Janitor Monkey

Back in the old days when you had to buy new hardware to set up a new server the uncontrolled growth of servers wasn’t a problem. But with the upcoming of virtualization it changed and the uncontrolled growth of servers became a problem. This problem still exists in the cloud. If the amount of cloud based servers is pretty low it is easy to spot unused resources. But if you have many instances running in different regions it is quite hard to keep an overview of which resources are needed and which one could be deleted. Janitor Monkey can help you to spot unused resources and get rid of them automatically.

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Move an EBS backed AWS instance to another EC2 Region

Recently Amazon announced a new feature of the EC2 Management Console which makes moving EBS backed instances from one region to another a lot easier: You can copy an EBS Snapshot to another EC2 Region with a single click. In this post I’ll explain the whole process of moving one instance from one EC2 Region to another.

Move instance to another EC2 Region: Create AMI

There are many ways to move an instance to another region, you can find a list of the different possibilites here. With the new feature of inter region EBS copies, there is a new apporach availabe. You can split this process in two major steps. First you have to make a Snapshot and copy it to the target EC2 region. Then you have to create an AMI from the EBS Snapshot and launch an instance. The whole process is pretty straight forward, but I’ll give you a detailed listing of the necessary steps: Read the rest of this entry »

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Automatically import your keys to all EC2 Regions

The EC2 cloud from Amazon uses Key Pairs for authentication. You can use the Key Pairs which Amazon creates for you, or generate them by yourself. No matter which of the two options you choose, the Key Pair is only available in one EC2 Region. Importing them manually is tedious, so it’s better to automate the process.

Here is a simple script which imports the specified Key Pair into each EC2 Region.

key_pair_name=”my Key Pair name”
public_key=$HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

regions=$(ec2-describe-regions | cut -f2)

for region in $regions; do
echo $region
ec2-import-keypair --region $region --public-key-file $public_key $key_pair_name
done

You have to change only two things, the value of the variables “key_pair_name” and “public_key”. I highly recommend that you give the Key Pair a meaningful name. The “public_key” variable should point to the public key file you want to use for your EC2 Key Pair. If the public key file lies in the default location you don’t have to change anything here.

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How to set up the EC2 API Tools under Linux (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS)

A few weeks ago I wrote about setting up the EC2 API Tools under Windows. I decided to write the How to for Windows because there are not many guides for Windows available. Today I decided to write a guide for Linux, because I don’t want to give the impression, that I recommend Windows. In fact, it’s rather the opposite.

how-to-setup-ec2-api-tool-linux-access-credentials

This guide is based on a fresh Ubuntu 12.04 LTS installation. If you use another distribution or version, you might have to alter the commands in this post to match them to your environment.

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What is cloud computing?

There are many different answers to the question “What is a cloud?” or, more specifically, “What is cloud computing?”. Some of the answers have a very narrow point of view. In this post, I’ll give you a short overview of the different types of cloud computing.

What is cloud computing

In recent years, the term “cloud” has gotten more and more popular. Today, nearly everything is a cloud. But this term encompasses very different service models. The National Institute of Standards & Technology defined the different service models in their paper “The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing”. Based on this paper, I’ll give a short summary of what cloud computing is and which different kinds of clouds exist.

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Is cloud computing and Green IT mutual exclusive?

In the last two years two IT themes were particularly hyped: cloud computing and Geen IT. Sustainability found its way to IT from outside, whereas cloud computing is a child of IT. Although their origin is different, both have in common, that they are discussed widely in mainstream media. But is cloud computing a green alternative to on-premise computing?

Is cloud computing and Green it mutual exclusive?

Most people would intuitionally answer this question with no. But our gut feelings are sometimes completely off the real world. Luckily there are many studies available about this topic and we don’t have to do some research by ourselves. In this post I’ll summarize a study which is the result of the cooperation of Microsoft, Accenture and WSP Environment & Energy. It is from 2010, but I think it doesn’t make it outdate. You can download the full paper her.

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Migrate an EBS backed AWS AMI to a different EC2 Region using a Perl Script

Recently I wrote a comprehensive overview of the different ways to migrate an EBS backed AMI to another EC2 Region. Today I’m getting more practical and guide you through the migration process via the Perl Module VM-EC2. The client operating system for this guide is Windows 8.

Perl script for migrating AMIs to another EC2 Region is executing

The first step will be the installation of the Perl distribution ActiveState. I chose ActiveState, because it is very easy to install and works well. However, it is a commercial distribution, but there is also a community edition available for free. If you want to use it, you should first check out if your planned usage complies with the licensing model.

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Migrate an EBS backed AWS AMI to a different EC2 Region

One feature I really miss in the EC2 cloud is the possibility to move AWS AMIs to another region. If every region would have the same characteristics, this feature wouldn’t be so important. But some regions are cheaper than others and some offer more features than others. So moving your instances to another AWS region can have many good reasons.

ebs-backed-ami-migration-to-another-ec2-region

In the days when AMIs were S3 backed everything was in order. If you wanted to move an AMI to another region you just had to launch your favorite shell and execute a single command. Today, with EBS backed AMIs, there is no way out of the box to migrate AMIs to a different region with a single click or API call.

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Cloud outages – How to prepare

The cloud never fails. At least that’s what the cloud provider wants us to believe. The reality has proven for several times that even well managed clouds can fail and do fail. However, the problem is not that they fail, but that most people aren’t prepared for such failures, because they think the cloud never fails. In this post you’ll find some tips on how to prepare for cloud outages.

How to prepare for cloud outages

Although cloud services are known for their high availability, they are still bound to Murphy’s law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. So it’s not surprising that even the best cloud services had outages in the past.  No matter if we talk about Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, Googlemail or any other cloud services, most of them have failed in the past and most of them will fail sometimes in the future.

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