Why AWS ?

Amazon Web Services (AWS for short) is among the leading cloud solutions provider across the globe. After having gone through AWS’ architecture, I was pretty amazed. Many hosting providers are leveraging Amazon’s features to deliver their services to clients world wide. Heard of reInvent? Amazon receives a lot of attention during this conference! There is a whole bunch of services offered by amazon:

I will illustrate two major concepts of AWS in this post: Buckets and EC2 (short for Elastic Cloud Compute)

The concept of bucket

In fact a bucket is a folder which can store files like images, pdf and other static contents. It is used along with Simple Storage Service alias S3. It is advisable to create a bucket in a region which will be more frequently accessed to improve performance.

Why S3?

S3 is often used in the following context:

  • host static contents such as a website
  • setup a CDN server
  • store images which are referenced online
  • cross region replication – replicate your S3 data to other regions

Creating a bucket is simple : Go to AWS Management Console > Storage > S3 > Create Bucket

If my audience is in Ohio, I will select Ohio as region:


You can choose access mechanisms when uploading a file to a bucket


When you access the content of a bucket e.g. default.jpg in my case, all the details like url of the file and access permissions are displayed.

This is a simple introduction to S3. You can read more about AWS S3.

EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) Instances

Why EC2? You can provision different types of Virtual Machines in the cloud and even extend their size while they are running. HDD or SSD/Private or public/Redhat or Debian – You name it! EC2 can be spawned by region. Go to the top right nav bar and click to select a region

EC2 can be accessed by going to Compute>EC2>Launch Instance


Surprise! 35 AMI (Amazon Machine Image)

Choose your AMI and click on “Select” and you will be given a list of EC2 sizes

Click on “Next: Configure Instance Details” and you will be presented with the following:

You can:

  • Create the instance on a new Virtual Private Cloud (Private network in the cloud)
  • Spawn on a new subnet
  • Protect against accidental termination
  • Monitor the billing using cloudwatch
  • Run on a dedicated or shared instance
  • Enable T2 – Going beyond burst with high performance

Next Click on “Launch” to generate or re-use a Key/Pair to access your EC2 Instance:

Enter your key pair name and click on “Launch Instances”

Go to Compute>EC2>Instances to get a status:

You can access the instance using the IPv4 public IP using ssh or putty

I will cover other AWS services in the next post. Meanwhile you can join our bbs at hackers.mu and ask questions about cloud systems.