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In Using Amazon EC2 for testing CE Trial Part 1 of blog series I described how start a windows server and install the CE environment. In this part I look at how to store the image, so the installation on the C drive is persisted.

Before you can upload the image you need to create an S3 bucket, where the data can be stored. There should be a functionality on the Console soon, which will make this possible. I use the S3 Fox  an add-on for Firefox to manage the content of the S3.

Create your S3 account Access and Shared Keys to be able to create the connection. When you have created the connection select “Create Directory” from the context menu, and enter a bucket name like “ceinstance”. If you have your server in Europa it make sense to select place bucket en Europa, so have the shortest distance to the S3 server.

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Before creating a image delete all installation files, which you do not want to have access to next time the server starts. 

The SAP server tries to use the hostname for some actions. Since each EC2 instance is started with a new hostname, it might be necessary to add the original hostname in the hostfile (C:WindowsSystem32driversetchosts) on the same line as localhost.

To create server image use the Bundle Windows AMI button in the More Actions button on the instance overview. Enter an S3 bucket name and Key. The server is stopped and a job is the created, which copies the server image to the S3 cloud. Notice this should be performed, when you are satisfied with the system. Also remember which password the instance was given, since this information should be used to contact the server again. 

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You now need to make the image available for usage. This is done on the AMI page. Select Register New AMI and enter the location of where the manifest file is located. This information can be found in S3 fox. 

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When you want to boot a new instance, you should select your own image instead of the Windows Server in the launch screens. 

I have found that it is sometimes random where the drives are stored. It might therefore be necessary to change the location of the drives to the same as under the installation and restart windows.  

If Developer studio is not installed at the server we need to open the correct ports to the system. This configuration is performed in the security tab. Select the security group you created and add a new rule, with full access from you ip. If you do not know your IP you can use showmyip.com. Then it should only be possible for you site to access the service. If you what some more security you could probably configure some encryption to create a vpn.

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I hope this gives an introduction to how easy it is to use EC2, as an easy way to gain access to a test environment.

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