Drupal in the Cloud, Part 2A - Amazon's Web Services

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In Drupal in the Cloud: Part 1 I went over some basic background for why I wanted to use the cloud. If you are planning on using Amazon's Web Services, or AWS, start here.

AWS is a tricky beast. Nothing is truly external, at least not without some authorization keys. I'm not going to go over signup completely, but be warned- it involves a phone call, a credit card, and your first born son. Ok, maybe not the last one, but it sure feels like it.

Once you are signed up, you'll see a bunch of services they offer. The one that we are looking for is EC2, which stands for Elastic Computing Cloud. This is essentially their "cloud server", which they refer to as an Instance.

  • From the EC2 Console Dashboard, click on the Launch Instance button.
  • There are three options to choose from, select the Classic Wizard and continue
  • Depending on your budget and needs you can select a different instance type, but for me the 613MiB RAM Micro instance will be just fine. If you have a Zone preference you can select that as well, but the Micro instances are limited to only a few zones.
  • Select the most recent Ubuntu LTS release, which is 12.04 at the time of this writing.
  • If you wish to, select the box to prevent from accidental termination. On AWS when an instance is shut down, it is terminated. This will prevent something like that from happening. Press Continue.
  • Adjust your storage size accordingly. 8GB is fine for a few Drupal instances, and even more if you utilize S3.
  • Add any information about the OS, Software, etc. that this instance will have or use. This doesn't affect the server, it is only a place for notes.
  • If you do not have any keypairs created, create one now. Download the Key Pair AND SAVE IT TO A SAFE, SECURE, BUT ACCESSIBLE LOCATION. Without this your server will cease to be manageable. Honestly. Don't try me.
  • Creating a security group. This almost needs a tutorial on its own, but basically this is a firewall. Open the ports you want from the addresses you want. In order to use and manage Drupal according to my tutorial, you will need these ports open:
    • 22 - SSH
    • 80 - HTTP
    • 443 - HTTPS
    • 10000 - WebMin/VirtualMin Interface
    • 20000 - VirtualMin Interface

  • Launch your instance!
  • This will take you back to your dashboard, and if you select your instance you will need to get the external DNS name for your server.
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Seeing how the new module to filter out is working.