Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest public cloud currently available, has added the ability to use the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)’s powerful “Run Command” feature with a single log-in to execute commands in multiple locations, including EC2 instances, on-premises servers or virtual machines (VMs) from other cloud providers. Prior to this, it was necessary to log into each instance, server or VM separately.
This is the second update AWS has made to EC2 Run Command recently. You can access our comments on its new document management and sharing features as well as new predefined commands, here. Beyond the new capabilities we outline below, this Run Command update signals an important step as AWS looks to expand beyond its public cloud. AWS embraces the idea of hybrid-cloud by relying on multiple infrastructures, as shown through several past initiatives. For example, in April 2015 AWS introduced on-premises support for CodeDeploy. And, Snowball was presented to AWS users as a petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data into and out of the AWS cloud.
Through a single interface, you can now run scripts for repetitive tasks for both Windows and Linux operating systems running within Amazon EC2, VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, and many other platforms. With Amazon EC2 Run Command, you can automate administrative tasks such as executing Linux Shell scripts and commands, running Windows PowerShell commands, installing software or patches, adding users or groups, configuring permissions, starting and stopping services, installing and uninstalling applications and managing updates, irrespective of location.
The external servers are called Managed Instances in AWS terminology. You can install the AWS SSM Agent on your external servers, activate the agent on each server, and then use your existing commands and command documents to manage them.
This AWS screenshot shows an initial step in setting up managed instances — servers or VMs that can now be administered through EC2’s 'Run Command'.
The agent runs on the following operating systems:
- Windows Server (32 and 64 bit) – 2003-2012, including R2 versions (more info).
- Linux (64 bit) – Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1+, CentOS 7.1+ (more info).
The expanded functionality of Run Command is available through nine AWS regions: US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Northern California and Oregon), EU (Frankfurt, Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo), and South America (Sao Paulo).
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