in omnia paratus

About Amazon Cloud Services and beyond

Manage your AWS Marketplace software subscriptions

In my last post I wrote about how to subscribe to AWS Marketplace products. In this post I’m going to explain how to manage these software subscriptions. I’ll also write about some usability issues which I stumbled over while managing my subscriptions.

AWS Marketplace "Your Account" site

When I first tried to manage my software subscriptions I intuitionally navigated to the AWS “My Account” site. But I didn’t find any option to view or cancel my subscriptions. After a web search I found out, that I have to go to the AWS Marketplace “My Account” site to manage my subscriptions. For me, this is a bit confusing but before I’m going to start a rant, I’ll suggest we’ll focus on the AWS Marketplace “My Account” site. When you open the site you’ll see the following screen:

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AWS Marketplace How to buy a product

Making a purchase in the AWS Marketplace is pretty easy, but there are some things you should know before doing so. If you are unfamiliar with the AWS Marketplace, then this post is for you, because I explain everything you need to know. Before I guide you through the purchase process, I will give you some necessary background information.

AWS Marketplace homepage

The AWS Marketplace is the place to go, if you are looking for pre-configured AMIs, which you can run in the Amazon cloud. But it is also a good starting point if you are looking for SaaS-services. The selection of products is very widespread, and so is the pricing. Many well-known companies offer their software here, but you will also find vendors that are hardly recognized outside the Amazon ecosystem.

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AWS – How to set up Billing Alarms

A lot of people feel that they lose control when they move their datacenter into the cloud. To a certain degree this feeling is understandable, especially if it comes to the costs and data security. Amazon helps you to remain in control of the costs by providing Billing Alarms. What they do and how you can set them up is matte of this post.

Billing Alarm welcome screen

If people run their datacenter within their rooms and with their hardware, they often have the feeling that they are in full control of the costs. The reason for this is that the costs are known and changes in the costs are way more predictable. If they move into the cloud, they are confronted with a completely new environment. They cannot access any experience and that makes the cloud very unpredictable. Another reason is that if you move to the cloud, you are bound to the offering of your cloud provider. Changing the provider is not as easy as changing the producer of your hardware. And If the offered services are as vast as Amazon’s are and if you are using a lot of different services it is hard to understand how to calculate your costs. Amazon provides a price calculator (http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/calc5.html ), but it still is just a tool to theoretically calculate costs. And there is no guarantee that the data you provide is exactly the same data as you are billed for.

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Amazon EC2: How to import Key Pairs

In the Amazon EC2 cloud you can access instances when you have the right private key. The Key Pair, which consists of one public and one private key, is automatically generated when you launch an instance. But you can also import self-generated keys and in certain circumstances self-generated Key Pairs are the better choice.

Amazon EC2 How to genreate a Key Pair

It is pretty convenient to use the Key Pairs Amazon creates for you, when you launch an instance. But for some people this approach opens up some security risks. There are two major factors which can pose a threat to your security:

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Understanding AWS Marketplace

The Amazon cloud is not just a service you can consume, it is more than that. Around the Amazon cloud a whole ecosystem has evolved. One feature of the ecosystem is, that you cannot only act as a consumer but also as a vendor. For example you can offer your SaaS services on the AWS Marketplace. In the following posts I’ll explain what AWS Marketplace is and how it is working.

AWS Marketplace homepage

Your first question probably is: what can I sell or buy in AWS Marketplace. Well, there are three different types of products:

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Amazon EC2 Management Console – Part 2: range of functions

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.

Amazon EC2 Management Console - Spot Instances Pricing History

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.

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Amazon EC2 Management Console– Part 1: the basics

After I’ve gone through my last few posts I realized that it might be a good idea to explain the Amazon EC2 Management Console. It is the web based, graphical management tool for the EC2 cloud. The Amazon EC2 Management Console provides an intuitive GUI to all of the basic configuration options.

Amazon EC2 How to Management Console EC2 Dashboard

In the beginning of the EC2 cloud the Amazon EC2 Management Console didn’t exist. The configuration of the EC2 cloud had to be done via the API Tools. This was not very comfortable and for some it was a barrier for its use. Today a GUI for managing EC2 is available. It is called the Amazon EC2 Management Console and it provides almost all the features which administrators need. And Amazon is implementing additional features at a rapid pace.

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Amazon EC2 How to – Part 4: setup API Tools (Windows)

So far I only wrote about the Amazon EC2 Management Console. But there is another way to manage the Amazon Cloud: The Amazon EC2 API Tools. It offers tools for many purposes, but is not easy to set up. Here’s a how to setup Amazon EC2 Command Line Tool in Windows.

How to set up Amazon EC2 API Tools: access credentials

First we have to set up the environment. You need to install the Java Run Time Environment and the Amazon EC2 API Tools: Read the rest of this entry »

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VMware cloud index 2012

Singapore ranks highest when it comes to knowledge about cloud computing:

3rd VMware cloud index 2012

3rd VMware cloud index 2012

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Amazon EC2 How to – Part 3: Security Group

In my previous blog post I wrote about what Amazon EC2 Security Groups are. Now it is time to get a practical lesson in how to create and configure a Security Group. You’ll see that they are easy to manage.

Amazon EC2 How To - Security Groups: delete rules

Let’s take a look at the Security Groups in the Amazon EC2 Management Console. Open the Amazon EC2 Management Console and select “Security Groups” in the left bar. After you have done that select the “default” Security Group and open the tab “Inbound”. You will see that there are already some rules defined:

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