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I wanted to try out the “new” CE trial environment to see how it worked.

One of the problems with trying out a server like the CE Enhancement Pack 1, is to get access to a server, where it can be installed. If your organization have a virtual environment it might be possible to request a server and use it, but it might take a while to get a server instance. If you are an independent consultant, you might not have a server environment. Therefore alternatives are welcome.

An alternative is to use Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud). This is a service where you can rent a server for a period. This is nice for test environments that you want to install and then just discard after trying the features.

The usage is billed per instance hour starting at $0.10 and $0.125 for a Windows server. Network traffic and storage outside the instance is also billed, at some reasonable price. For this installation I was billed $2.

To be able to use the service you first need to create an Amazon account. This should be done at http://aws.amazon.com/. Then register for EC2 and S3 (Simple Storage Service).

Earlier the use of EC2 and S3 required the user to install some API’s and configure them. Now it is a little easier with the help of the new EC3 console. The console can be found at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/home.

This gives a screen looking like this. You can select if you want to use the US or the European site. The European site is a little more expensive but it has lower latency for Europeans, and is therefore probably better.
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To start an instance or sever, select “Launch Instances”.
Select the Basic Windows Server 2003. 

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Create a name for the security group.

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Select how many instances you want to start. One small should be plenty for the test for installing the CE environment. It might be good idea of creating the medium instance to get access to more CPU power.  A key should also be used to be able to generate a password. The key can be generated using the create button and give the key a name like showed. Select Create and Download the keys Pairs.

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  The system is now starting it could take a few minutes, since the windows disk image should be copied to a free instance and started. It is possible to see the status to see if the system is running on the console.

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To get the terminal server access select the Connect button, which gives the information you need to connect to the system. When you get the Windows logon screen, you need to login as administrator. The password for the administrator can be found using the Get Password function on the More Actions area. In this function you need to place the content of the PEM key file you downloaded earlier.

Now logon to SDN from the instance and download the EHP1 for SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment 7.1. This might take some time, so in the meantime prepare the server for the installation. 

In Amazon you are paying by the hour, it should be nice to be able to shut the system down when not used. It is possible to with the help of two technologies:

  •  Block volumes which are external disks. Block volumes can be mounted a disks in any instance, only at one system at the time. Thise volumes are used to store data, which will be changed during the life time of a system. It is possible to back backups of these volumes, so it is possible to revert to them when necessary.
  • The drives already existing on the server, can also be backed up for an image. This image can be used to start multiply instanced of a server and each instance is then started with this image. 

We want to install the server on a block volume, so we do not need to reinstall the server every time we start an instance. First notice the zone that the instance is running under, so we can create the volume the same place. The zone can be found by selecting the instance, and see the properties below. Select the Volume page and create volume with the button. Select the same zone as the instance is running in and a size 15 Gb should be enough.

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Now we need to attach the volume to the instance, so we can use the volume/drive on the server. To attach the volume to an instance, select the volume and press Attach Volume. Then select the instance, where the volume should be mounted to and a device. It is important to know which device is used, because the same should also be used when the instance is booted from an image. 

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To format the volume for something, which can be used go into Computer Management (START->My Computer). Find the Disk management and initialize the volume and mound it as the E drive.

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Now perform the installation of the CE environment to the drive you have just created. If you follow the default installation, you will save the mysql data drives to the drive, which can cause problems. Therefore go thrugh the whole installation process. 

 
When you have performed the installation go to the next blog and see how to create the windows AMI, so you can start you own instance.

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1 Comment

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  1. Dagfinn Parnas
    Thanks for a very useful post which makes Proof of concept installations quicker and cheaper

    Regards
    Dagfinn

    (0) 

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