How-to, tips, tricks and more hands-on advice for working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) from

Connecting to a Linux Instance in AWS Using PuTTY

Logging in to a Linux instance is significantly different from logging in to a Windows instance. Brien walks you through the steps using the PuTTY utility.

Creating Resource Groups in AWS

Amazon Web Services allows admins to create logical groupings of AWS resources, and manage them using tags and tag values. Here's how to get started.

Using AWS To Host WordPress

The AWS cloud is more than a platform for hosting VM instances, allocating cloud storage and other IaaS-related tasks. As Brien shows, it can also be used as a platform for hosting Web applications.

Creating Snapshots of AWS Instances

Backing up virtual machines in the public cloud has always been a challenge. One of the methods that Amazon Web Services recommends for protecting EC2 instances is the creation of snapshots.

Using AWS for Enterprise Document Storage: Part 2

AWS WorkDocs isn't as powerful as competitors like Microsoft SharePoint, but it does offer organizations a way to host documents in the cloud and do basic collaboration. Brien shows how.

Using AWS for Enterprise Document Storage: Part 1

AWS offers a vast number of storage choices, but what if you just want to upload some documents to the cloud and share them to end users? A simple and inexpensive option is AWS WorkDocs. In the first installment of this series, Brien shows how to set up WorkDocs, including establishing the Active Directory environment.

Monitoring Configuration Changes with AWS Config

The AWS cloud's flexibility is one of its biggest assets, but it also presents management challenges for companies with large deployments or multiple administrators. In such instances, AWS Config is an indispensable tool for getting a handle on cloud resources.

Moving Large Volumes of Data to Amazon S3 with Snowball

In general, public cloud vendors are well-suited to running large-scale workloads. But what about migrating them?

Getting Started with Amazon Simple Notification Service

While Amazon SNS can be used as a text messaging engine, it also has less obvious uses that you can leverage in your own applications. Brien walks through a few of them.

Monitoring EC2 Instances with Amazon CloudWatch

You wouldn't let VMs running in your datacenter go unchecked. The same goes for VMs in the cloud. Brien shows how to use AWS' CloudWatch tool to ensure these instances perform as intended.

Creating Alarms for Auto-Scaled AWS Workloads

It's easy enough to create an auto-scaling group in AWS, but how exactly does AWS know when a workload needs to be scaled? As Brien demonstrates, the entire process is based on alarms.

Auto Scaling Your AWS Workloads

One of the challenges of operating a workload at scale is ensuring that it uses the right number of instances. Fortunately, AWS has an auto scaler that can automatically run a workload on the optimal number of instances. Here's how to set it up.

How To Attach Extra Storage to an EC2 Instance

In the world of physical servers, it's rare for a server to have only a single hard drive -- and yet, default AWS instances usually only contain a single virtual hard disk. Fortunately, there is a way to attach additional virtual hard disks to an AWS instance.

Working with AWS Bucket Policies

By default, AWS storage buckets are relatively permissive. While you can exert more control over them by implementing bucket policies, the catch is that AWS doesn't provide a point-and-click process for this.

Taking Control of Your AWS Billing

AWS provides tools that let admins not only track down unexpected costs, but also prevent billing surprises -- like the unexpected charge that Brien found on his credit card recently -- from happening in the first place.

Juggling Act: How Partners Are Selling Both AWS and Azure

Channel firms are increasingly seeing the benefits of partnering with both Amazon and Microsoft on cloud services, but doing so requires a good deal of training, planning and trust.

How To Use AWS Storage Buckets

One of the primary storage structures in Amazon S3 is the bucket. When it comes to creating one, there are two important things to know.

Extending Active Directory to the AWS Cloud

Making on-premises Active Directory available to resources in the AWS cloud involves using the AD Connector option and a gateway VPN connection.

Deploying a Cloud-Based Active Directory Using AWS

Rather than manually provision an Active Directory environment, you can use AWS' automated setup process.

Curb VM Sprawl by Putting AWS Tags to Work

One of the most effective ways to prevent sprawl is to keep track of who created each VM, when and why. In AWS, you can apply this information to each VM instance using tags.