Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Building castles in the cloud

Since last October it is possible to build images for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) with SUSE Studio. However, to upload an image, until now you had to download it, unpack it and either run our provided shell script locally or use some other third party tools to be able to grasp the power of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

With time comes change. SUSE Studio now provides all users that have beta-features enabled (visit your account page to do that) with the opportunity to build your appliance and deploy it to the cloud in the most simple and convenient way. Meaning you don't even have to download your appliance or install any tools to your local machine anymore. Let us guide you through those few steps necessary to achieve that seemingly difficult task of conquering the cloud.

First you need to build an EC2 image of your appliance. We already explained how to do that in a previous post.

After your build has finished you should be able to see a link labelled "Upload to EC2" as can be seen in the picture above. Just click on it and proceed.

If this is the first time that you are using SUSE Studio to access EC2, you'll have to enter your AWS credentials.

Note: For running a SLE-based appliance on EC2, you can use Elastic Block Storage (EBS). However for openSUSE-based appliances currently there is only one option: Simple Storage Service (S3) . Therefore, if you've built an appliance based on an openSUSE template, you'll need to provide SUSE Studio with your X.509 certificate and private key as well as your account ID, since those are needed to upload an image to S3.

Even though we are working on EBS support for openSUSE-based appliances, we highly recommend using SLES or SLED for the most comfortable and effective cloud experience. To find out more about SUSE Linux Enterprise on EC2 go to http://aws.amazon.com/suse/.

After you have entered your AWS credentials, you will be redirected to your EC2 appliances page. Since you already specified the appliance and its build version by accessing this page through your appliance's build tab, the "Add instance" dialogue should already be preconfigured correctly, leaving you with one last choice: Do you want to instantly launch an instance after uploading your appliance to EC2 or not?

And that's all the magic there is. You are now one click away from entering the cloud!

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