Running Windows Instances on Amazon EC2

In this article, I want to explain step by step how to create and run Windows instances on Amazon EC2.

In order to create the Windows instance. Open the AWS Management Console and select the EC2 tab at https://console.aws.amazon.com/console/home. Select the desired region to launch the instance (red circle) and click on the Lauch Instance button (blue circle) in the following figure.

Figure 1

Next select the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with SQL Server Express and IIS (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Next page is for setting the instance details such as number of instances, the instance type and availability zone as shown in the following figure.

Figure 3

After that, we have a set of advanced setting for the instances configuration. When you reach the key pairs page, you have to click on the Create and Download your Key Pair and save the myfirst_instance_keypair.pem file in your local machine. You need a key pair (public/private) to be authenticated when logging using ssh. The public key is retained in the instance (copied into the .ssh/authorized_keys file in the primary user account´s home directory), allowing you to use the private key (downloaded to your local machine) to log in securely without a password. You can have several pair keys, and each key pair requires a name.

Figure 4

Next page allows you creating security groups to define your instance firewall. By default, you will leave open for the outsiders the HTTP (80) and Remote Desktop (3389) ports . Enter a name and description for the security group (blue circle in the following figure)

Figure 5

And finally, you´re able to review all your inputs regarding the instance and click on the button Launch (see Figure 6).

Figure 6

Once the instance is running OK, you might connect using Remote Desktop. One thing to note is that you need to locate the myfirst_instance_keypair.pem to get the Windows Administrator´s password.

In order to get the Windows Admininstrator´s password, you need to select the instance and select the “Get Windows Admin Password” option (see Figure 7).

Figure 7 

After that, the Retrieve Default Windows Administrator Password pop-up is open, and you need to open your key pair file and copy the entire content in the Private Key text field and finally click on the Decrypt Password button as show in the Figure 8.

Figure 8

Now, we need to open Remote Desktop Connection program and start logging to the instance.

In this article, I´ve shown how to provision an EC2 Windows instance.

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One thought on “Running Windows Instances on Amazon EC2

  1. Pingback: Running Windows Instances on Amazon EC2 « MVPs de LATAM

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