How to create Windows based Amazon EC2 instance from the AWS Marketplace

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Creating the EC2 instance

  • Login to the EC2 management console:
  • From the upper pane, it is strongly recommended to select a region close to your location
Note: There might be pricing differences between AWS regions. For more information, see:
  • From the left pane -> Instances -> Instances -> click on “Launch Instance” -> from the left pane, click on “AWS Marketplace” -> select an image from the marketplace (for example “SQL Server 2016 Express on Windows Server 2016”) -> click Select -> click Continue
  • From the “Choose an Instance Type”, select machine type according to your needs.
For more information, see:
  • Click on “Next: Configure Instance Details”
  • Configure Instance Details page:
  • Number of instances – unless you need redundancy, leave the default value
  • Network – Select the relevant VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). For more information on creating a VPC, see:
  • Subnet – Select the relevant subnet and availability zone. For more information on creating subnets, see:
  • Auto-assign Public IP – Leave the default settings
  • IAM role - Choose the relevant Amazon IAM role. For more information on creating IAM roles, see:
  • Shutdown behavior – Choose either Stop (the instance will be shut down, but it’s content will remain) or Terminate (the instance content will be permanently removed)
  • Enable termination protection – This option protect the instance content from been permanently removed when selecting “Terminate instance” from the management console
  • Monitoring – Allows you to monitor the performance of the instance; however, there is additional cost for using this service. For more information, see:
  • Tenancy – Leave the default settings (unless you have specific requirement, at additional cost, to choose a dedicated hardware without sharing it with other customers)
  • Click on “Next: Add Storage”
  • From the “Add Storage” page, feel in the following details:
  • Specify the root device volume size
  • Select the Volume type according to your needs. For more information, see:
  • In case you need additional storage (for example, split between OS drive and data drives), click on “Add New Volume”
  • When adding additional volumes, it is recommended to encrypt all the additional volumes (there is no performance impact)
  • Click on “Next: Add Tags”
  • Click on “Add Tag”:
  • Key – Specify here ”Name”
  • Value – Specify here the instance host name
  • It is recommended to add additional tags (such as project name, environment, etc.). For more information, see:
  • Click on “Next: Configure Security Group”
  • From the “Configure Security Group” page, select either to create a new security group or to select an existing security group.
  • When creating a new security group, specify an informative “Security group name” and description.
  • When configuring security groups for publicly accessible EC2 instances, it is highly recommended to avoid opening SSH / RDP or database (SQL / MySQL, Oracle, etc.) access from the internet to the EC2 instances – restrict access to the EC2 instances from a static public IP address or your organization public address/subnet
  • Click “Review and Launch” -> click on Launch
  • On the “Select an existing key pair or create a new key pair” page:
  • “Create a new key pair” and specify key pair name – if this is your first EC2 instance in this specific region -> click on “Download Key Pair” to download the private key file -> save this key in a secure location, since it allows access to your EC2 instances
  • “Choose an existing key pair” – if you already created and download the private key file, select an existing key pair -> click on “I acknowledge”
  • Click on “Launch Instances” -> click on “View Instances”
  • Wait for the EC2 instance to switch its state to “running”

Login to the EC2 instance using RDP client

  • Login to the EC2 management console:
  • From the upper pane, select the relevant region
  • From the left pane, click on Instances
  • From the main pane, select the relevant EC2 instance -> Actions -> “Get Windows Password”
  • Click on Browse and locate the private key of the EC2 instance previously created -> click Open to copy the content of the file into the “Contents” field
  • Click on “Decrypt Password”
  • Document the administrator password
  • Click Close
  • Run Microsoft “Remote Desktop Connection” client
  • On the computer field, specify either the EC2 instance “IPv4 Public IP” or “Public DNS (IPv4)”
  • Click Connect
  • On the username field specify Administrator
  • On the password field specify the initial password documented above
  • After first time login, replace the initial password and document it