Amazon EC2 Management Console – Part 2: range of functions

by Alexander Weiß

In my last post I wrote about the different parts of the Amazon EC2 Management Console’s GUI. In this post I will explain the different sections of the console in detail.

EC2 Dashboard and Events

The EC2 Dashboard just summarizes the information about your cloud in the selected Amazon EC2 Region. In the “Getting Started” area you can launch a new instance. You can find a short how to about launching instances here. Under “Service Health” information about the Amazon datacenter is displayed. If there are some outages you would find the information here. On the right sight you find an overview of your resources under “My Resources”. In the “Event” section you’ll find notifications when something special is happening in your Amazon EC2 Region. The last element of the Dashboard is the “Related Links” group. It is a short list which contains links to EC2 related documents and support sites.

Amazon EC2 Management Conosle - Dashboard

Amazon EC2 Management Conosle – Dashboard

The next menu item in the navigation is “Events”. Its purpose is quite similar to the “Events” element in the EC2 Dashboard. There is just only difference, whereas the later displays only events from the Amazon EC2 Region, this one only shows events from your cloud. An event for example is the rebooting process of an instance.

Instances

  • Instances: Here is the place where you can see and manage your instances. But you won’t find all of your instances here, because Amazon makes a difference between the various instance types. You can learn more about the different instances types here. You’ll find only “normal” aka On-Demand Instances here.
  • Spot Requests: Here is the place where you can overview your EC2 Spot instances and request new Spot instances. As the prices for Spot instances are not fixed you can request statistics over the price development in the past days, weeks and months.

    Amazon EC2 Management Console - Spot Instances Pricing History

    Amazon EC2 Management Console – Spot Instances Pricing History

  • Reserved Instances: As the name of the menu item suggests, you’ll find only Reserved Instances here. Again you can create a new instance by purchasing one. But in difference to the other two instance options you also have the option to sell one of your Reserved Instance in the AWS Marketplace.

Images

  • AMIs: You can find an introduction to AMIs here. Here’s the place if you want to register new AMIs, De-register them or set access-permissions for them.
  • Bundle Tasks: A “Bundle Tasks” is the process of converting an instance running under Microsoft Windows into an AMI. The different tasks are displayed here and if a task is finished you can choose to register it as an AMI.

Elastic Block Storage

  • Volumes: Here’s the place to manage your EBS volumes. You can create new ones, attach and detach them from instances, and create Snapshots. You can find more information about Elastic Block Storage in my post about them.
  • Snapshots: The post about Elastic Block Storage also contains some information about Snapshots. In this section you can create and delete Snapshots, set permissions and restore the Snapshots to an EBS volume. Besides that you can create AMIs from a Snapshot.

Network & Security

  • Security Groups: I’ve already written a post about what “Security Groups” are and how to manage them. If you are interested in this part of the Amazon EC2  Management  Console it is best to check them out.
  • Elastic IPs: Here’s the place where you can allocate/release IP addresses. It is also the GUI part for associating and removing IP addresses from instances. If you want to know more about Elastic IPs and how to manage them you can read my posts.
  • Placement Groups: The Amazon EC2 Management Console offers a page for Placement Groups management. However , the available functionality is limited, you can only create, delete and view the properties of the Cluster Placement Group
  • Load Balancers: Here you can create, delete and view Load Balancers.
  • Key Pairs: Here you find a listening of all the key pairs you created in this region. You can create and import new Key Pairs. You can also delete Key Pairs here. You should be careful though, because the Key Pairs are essential for the management of your cloud: so don’t lose your keys.
  • Network Interfaces: Network Interfaces are only necessary in the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. You can create, delete, attach and detach network interfaces. Besides that there are various other tasks like IP address management which you can perform here.

Currently these are all the available features of the Amazon EC2 Management Console. I’m sure that Amazon will add new ones pretty soon. I have written more detailed posts about some of these features, and I will continue to complement them until all features are explained. But before I continue with that I want to write about the AWS Marketplace as it is a nice way to fasten deployment.

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