Setup Amazon EC2 Windows Instance

What is Amazon EC2?

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Using Amazon EC2 eliminates your need to invest in hardware up front, so you can develop and deploy applications faster. You can use Amazon EC2 to launch as many or as few virtual servers as you need, configure security and networking, and manage storage. Amazon EC2 enables you to scale up or down to handle changes in requirements or spikes in popularity, reducing your need to forecast traffic.

Steps to create an EC2 instance

  • Choosing an AMI
  • Choosing and instance type
  • Configuring instance
  • Adding storage
  • Adding tags
  • Configuring security groups
  • Review

Getting Started

First of all let’s set up windows server on EC2:

Go to Services and click on EC2 from Compute tab and hit Launch Instance button.


Choose AMI (Amazon Machine Image), and select Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Base; the reason I am using this is because I have a sandbox account. You can choose a different AMI if you want.

What is AMI?

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a special type of virtual appliance that is used to create a virtual machine within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud ("EC2"). It serves as the basic unit of deployment for services delivered using EC2.


Select Instance Type. I am choosing general purpose with t2.micro for demo and click Next to configure the instance details.


Configure instance details. In instance details, you can choose network subnet and IAM Role etc. I am keeping default for now because sandbox has limitations when I don’t have some options.


Next step comes "Add Storage"; you can add the storage according to the requirement.


Step 5 is "Add Tags". A tag consists of a case-sensitive key-value pair. You can add multiple tags.


Configure Security Group and click on "Review and Launch". I am adding one RDP rule here because I am going to access the server by RDP. As with tags, you can add multiple security groups and provide group names or you can select existing security group settings as well.


Review Instance Launch.


Click Launch button and create a new key pair on dialog and provide key pair name and download and hit Launch Instance button.


Now, go back to Instances tab and you can see your all created instances.


Once your instance has running state, select that instance and click "Connect".


Now, you need to connect to your instance, so download the remote desktop file and double click on it. To get the RDP password, click the "Get Password" button.


You need to browse the key name file which we downloaded when we created a key name. That file should have the .pem extension, browse that file, and click "Decrypt Password" and copy this password.


Enter the password in RDP while connected and you are good to go. If you get this error message, then follow these steps to connect.


Go to the instance security group and add the following inbound rules.


Now, you are all set with your Windows server. You can install required software and start using it.


In this article, we have learned how to configure Amazon EC2 Windows Server and how to connect using RDP.

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