Sunday, May 11, 2008

Our experience with AWS

We have been working with Amazon Web Services for the last couple of months for various things and thouhgt of sharing our key findings with you all.

First of all, I would like to thank Amazon for providing such a great experience to us , a simple webservice call , an instance of a computer up and running. When we started our exploration, we got an account with Amazon and working with S3 for quite some time. It is an another service for storage and works well for its cause.

Then we decided to explore EC2 and started browsing various AMI's (Amazon Machine Image) that are available. First we tried with Fedora Core 4 and we could successfully load that AMI into an instance. also, allowed SSH and Web server port to be available for public access.

After following the procedures for setting up Putty given by AWS , we tried accessing our instance using Putty. We could connect but we were not able to use the instance due to frequent disconnection. After all our effort it went on drain.


Then stopped exploring AMI's for a week time and started reading the available articles. Even after going through bunch of documents , we couldn't really figure out why there was a disconnection?

Again we got charged and wanted to try a different AMI, by then we got an information in AWS forum about a stable Ubuntu release (Thanks to Eric) and tried it. This time it was great success, it worked as it is expected and never faced any disconnection.

Once we are done with our initial setup, we wanted to go further and create our own AMI for Jboss. Because at that time we couldn't really find any compeling AMI with bare minimum Ubuntu.

When we started the AMI intially we were fine with Ubuntu as a bare minimum OS and it worked perfectly fine, but then we were finding difficulties to download files, browsing a webse site using a text based web browser..etc. So we had to use apt-get to download lynx and install it. As soon as we got the lynx, started downloading the following necessary softwares for our Jboss AMI.
  1. Java 1.6 - SDK and runtime requires to run any java applications.

  2. Jboss 4.2 As - J2EE application server, requires to run any Java 2 Enterprise
    applications.

  3. Apache 2.4 - Web server require to front end any request with realted to web and
    webservices.

  4. S3Cmd - This tool is used to perform S3 related operations using command line.

Setting up apache 2.4 is an interesting story, we have download Httpd from apache webiste and tried configuring it. The configure command was complaining about the non availability of the gcc compiler. Then we had to install gcc and gcc-lib using the command apt-get command.

Then our installation went fine and successfully setup Apache 2.4. After that installed Java 1.6 and Jboss 4.2 AS. There was no problem setting up both of them.

The mod_jk connector for apache was downloaded and setup the workers.properties to connect Apache and Tomcat.

After all these setup we were able to see our Jboss home. and we thought it will be a good AMI to share and applied with Amazon. Hopefully you will have this in your hand soon.




3 comments:

Eric Hammond said...

The Ubuntu AMI you link to is Gutsy which was released in 2007 and reached end of life months ago. It is no longer supported and has various problems including security holes which will not get fixed.

Please use a supported release of Ubuntu. I list various available Ubuntu AMIs on http://alestic.com and would recommend you try the Karmic AMIs published by Canonical.

I would also recommend using the standard Ubuntu package system for installing common software like Apache and Java. This should be much more reliable than building from source and will have bug fixes and security patches available through Ubuntu.

Brandon said...

You discussed a nice topic i think there should be standard ubuntu package and ubuntu 10.04 starclustar ami.

Sarah Hall said...

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