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Amazon EC2 - Setting Up a "Permanent" DNS In My Win 2008 Server Instance

Posted on 2014-04-12
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Last Modified: 2014-04-12
I've recently created a Win 2008 instance with Amazon EC2 and it is working fine. I only use this instance periodically so I start it when I need to and stop it when I don't need to use it. Each time I start it, the IP address changes. That's not a huge problem but it is inconvenient. What I would like to do is assign it some sort of human readable name (e.g., my-EC2_instance) that never changes. Can anyone explain how to do that? I've looked at the help documentation for EC2 but as a novice to this kind of stuff, I'm not sure I understand the steps to take.

As an aside, I would like to be able to RDP into the instance by this machine-readable name instead of by IP address and I want to be able to use it as a part of a URL (e.g., http://my-EC2-instance). I can already do both with the IP address but didn't know if once I set up this new name if I'd have to take additional steps.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:cbridgman
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Expert Comment

by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39996216
What you need is an elastic-ip, this is a fixed IP-address you lease from Amazon, with this leased IP you can configure a domain name for your EC2 instance.

The Elastic-IP is to be found in the EC2 Management Console (left side), just click it and choose "Allocate New Address" and connect it to your instance.

elastic-ip
... You need to pay for this IP-Address though, just don't be surprised that at the end of the month you'll see it on your bill, just a heads up... It's not a huge number, but it's not free :)

Anyway, once you have this Elastic IP you can use it with either Route53 or your own provider and combine it with a domain name, just create an A-record with something like "myserver.mydomain.com" pointing to the IP-Address and you're good to go.

As for the connection, just make sure you use the same security group as now, where the necessary ports are open (e.g: RDP, http, etc...)

Hope that's clear, let me know if you have more questions.
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Author Comment

by:cbridgman
ID: 39996253
Thank you for that very clear set of instructions on the Elastic IP. I have now set that up but have more novice-like, naive questions. You mentioned Route53, which I am not familiar with. I have been using GoDaddy most recently to host my website and have established some domain names through them.

I'm guessing that I can use GoDaddy for this too. My question is, do I have to create some kind of domain name (e.g., my-EC2-instance.com) with GoDaddy (or someone else) and somehow associate it with my new Elastic IP?
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Author Comment

by:cbridgman
ID: 39996261
Add on question ... I already own a registered domain which is abcde.com (that's not really what it is but it serves for illustration purposes. Can I use that domain and append a prefix of some kind to it, like EC2.abcde.com or do I need to register a brand new domain?
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Expert Comment

by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39996275
yes you can ...

It's the same steps, just add an A-record in your DNS console (either Route53 or another) and just create something as ec2.abcde.com and point that to the new IP-address.
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Author Comment

by:cbridgman
ID: 39996299
Wow! This is much easier than I expected. I've just set up the new name and it actually works. Thanks very much for your help with this.

That being said, would you be able to answer a few more questions for me? I can ask them under separate postings or just continue with this one. Let me know which would be better.

The questions are:

I want to be able to transfer files between my PC and my EC2 instance by a simple mapping of a network drive on either side or by bringing up Computer on my PC and entering \\ec2instance\ in the address bar. I'm sure I will have to share folders, which I know how to do, but I'm guessing I will also have to use the EC2 management console to set up security of some kind. Can you help with this?

I've already modified security settings on my EC2 instance and have gotten what I wanted from doing that (ability to ping and ability to reach the instance via my browser) but I've probably opened the security settings to broadly and compromised security of the instance. If I attach screen shots of the settings, can you help with this?

Again, I will post each as separate questions, if you say that would be the best approach.

Thanks, in the meantime, for your help.
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Accepted Solution

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Zephyr ICT earned 500 total points
ID: 39996485
Hi, I think policy of EE dictates you need to create separate questions for these I'm afraid.

But yes, I can help you with these questions, no problem.
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Author Comment

by:cbridgman
ID: 39996510
Okay, thanks. I've just posted two new questions. Thanks very much for your assistance on this.
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