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AWS EC2 VM Management in Continuum

Overview 

This tutorial walks you through the process of creating a single task that boots a Windows AWS EC2 virtual machine, logs in through WinRM, performs some automation, and then terminates the instance.

This is another building block on which the Continuum Deploy templates will use in later tutorials.

Prerequisites

This tutorial assumes that you are familiar with Amazon AWS EC2, have an account and have access to the AWS Console. Certain information will need to be gathered before starting this tutorial:

  • AWS API key and secret key with the ability to start and terminate EC2 instances, create and delete security groups

  • Select an EC2 Region (default in walkthrough is us-east-1)

  • A Windows Server 2012 base image in that region (default in walkthrough is ami-cc93a8a4 in us-east-1)

In this tutorial we will use EC2 Classic Security Groups for simplicity's sake (not VPC)

Setup Cloud Credentials

Before beginning with importing and running the task, you must setup the AWS credentials in Continuum. See Setting up Cloud Accounts

Get the Sample Task

You will need to import the sample task from the Continuum Task Sample library in GitHub.

First read the README at the following link that covers all the sample tasks and how to import them.

https://github.com/clearcode-labs/automate-samples

The WinRM sample is located here:

https://github.com/clearcode-labs/automate-samples/tree/master/ec2winrm

The ec2winrm README explains what the task does and how to import just this task.

Once the Task is imported and the README is read, edit the Task and run it. If you choose the defaults settings in step 1 you should not need to modify the task.

What is it Doing?

This sample task is interacting with the EC2 Region Webservice to create a new VM from a base image, set the Administrator password and configures the WinRM service to allow connections. It also opens the local Windows firewall.

Once WinRM is up and ready to accept connections, the Task installs IIS and .NET. Then it tests the IIS website as a simple smoke test.

Finally it terminates the VM.

The Takeaway

This is a simple example of booting a Windows server, doing some things on it remotely and getting rid of it. However things in the real world are never this basic. This is why we have Continuum Deploy. In following tutorial steps, we will explore Deploy templates, multiple step "Sequences" and how they fit with Continuum Flow pipelines.

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