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How to create an Amazon EC2 instance on Windows server

In this blog, I would like to share the steps about getting started with an Amazon EC2 Windows instance. But before learning about instances, let’s understand about Cloud computing and EC2.

What is Cloud Computing?

Simply put, Cloud computing is the on-demand supply of computing resources (like storage, servers, databases, and infrastructure) as services over the internet. Organizations pay for what they use, thereby eliminating the need for maintaining physical resources, and allowing efficient scaling and flexibility for their business needs. Cloud computing uses a network to connect to a cloud platform, and also provides privacy and security features thereby ensuring data safety. The types of Cloud Computing Service models are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).


What is Amazon EC2?

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), commonly known as EC2, is one of the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers, that provides on-demand, scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. It allows users to rent as many or as few virtual computers as they need, configure security and networking, and manage computing resources efficiently. Organizations can reduce the hardware costs by using Amazon EC2, to develop and deploy applications faster. EC2 allows to add capacity (scale up) to handle compute-heavy tasks or reduce capacity (scale down) when the usage decreases.

What exactly is Amazon EC2 instance?

EC2 offers virtual servers called Instances. Instances are one of the high-level features provided by EC2 amongst many others such as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), Key pairs, Instance store volumes, Regions, Availability Zones, Local Zones, AWS Outposts, and Wavelength Zones, Elastic IP addresses, etc. In this blog, I am only going to share the steps about how to create an Amazon EC2 instance. These EC2 instances can be configured with different combinations of CPU, memory, networking capacity, storage, and graphics hardware based on the business or users needs.

For my own learning purpose, I tried creating and launching an Amazon EC2 instance. Below given are the steps I followed to create my first Amazon EC2 instance.

Steps to launch an Amazon EC2 instance on Windows server:

1.     Log in to the AWS management console at AWS Management console link



If you don’t already have your root account, you will be prompted to create one. For learning purposes, you can create a AWS free tier account, wherein you can get 750 hours per month of select EC2 instances for free.

Once you have logged into your root account, open the Amazon EC2 console. On the AWS dashboard, click the Services tab -> select All Services-> choose EC2 service. This will open your Amazon EC2 dashboard.



2.     Launching an EC2 instance: Click on Launch instance box on the EC2 dashboard



3.     Under Name and tags, enter a descriptive name for your instance. Here I used the name ‘Winders-server-instance1’ for demo purposes.


 4.     Under Application and OS Images(Amazon Machine Image), choose Quick start and choose Windows(I chose Windows options as I am creating an instance on Windows OS)



Then, from the Amazon Machine Image(AMI), select any AMI that is Free tier eligible. I chose the latest AMI option- Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Base, out of the 6 free tier eligible AMIs.


 5.     Selecting an instance type: From the Instance type list, choose t2.micro instance type which is the default instance type and free tier eligible


Please note that in some regions where t2.micro instance type is not available, you can choose t3.micro instance type which is free tier eligible.

6.     Under key pair(login), create a new key pair name if this is your first instance. Click on create a new key pair, enter the key pair name, here I wrote ‘demo-key3’. Key pair type RSA is selected by default by AWS for windows instances. Then choose the Private key file format as .ppk for windows instances, and click create key pair button. After clicking the create key pair button,  AWS automatically creates and downloads that respective .ppk file to your local system. This is required to connect securely to the instance you create.


7.     Under Network settings, you can create a security group or select existing security group. If you choose the option create security group, the wizard will create and select the security group for you. The security group name and description will be created by the wizard for you.



Alternatively, if you choose the option Select existing security group, you get to select from the list of existing security groups you created when setting up. For e.g., I had created 3 EC2 instances before this instance; so it shows up in the drop down list



8.     Review the summary of the instance configuration in the Summary panel, keep the default configurations settings and click on Launch instance button


9.     After you click on Launch instance, it will send you to a confirmation page that shows you that your instance is launching



The below confirmation page shows that the instance you created is successfully launched.


10.  On this same confirmation page, scroll down and choose View all instances. This will close the confirmation page and return to the AWS console.


11.  On the console, you can see the status of all the instances you have launched. This is how the console page looks.


Sometimes, it may take a few seconds or minutes for the instance you created to be in ready state. This information can be seen under the column Instance state that shows Running when the instance is ready for you to connect to it. Also, check the status of the column Status check, if the instance has passed it or not.

Thus, you have successfully launched a new Amazon EC2 instance. After you've finished with the instance that you created for self-learning purposes, you should clean up by terminating the instance. If you launched an instance that is not within the AWS Free Tier, you'll stop incurring charges for that instance as soon as the instance status changes to shutting down or terminated. To keep your instance for later, but not incur charges, you can stop the instance now and then start it again later. Once your instance is terminated, it remains visible on the console for a short while, and then the entry is automatically deleted.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Please do give me a clap if you find this blog helpful!

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