Automatically install software to your new AWS EC2 instances


When creating an AWS EC2 instance, you can configure a startup script or list of commands to be automatically executed. The commands are performed immediately following initialization and the process allows you to start multiple configured instances. This saves time by having programs install themselves before you have ever even needed to log in. The Advanced Details section in Step 6 of creating a new EC2 instance in the AWS dashboard provides a text area to enter all commands. The example in the photo shows some commands to update and install MySQL Database on an enterprise Linux instance. This allows a user to have access to an … Read More

Compatibility of AWS EC2 API Actions and IAM Policy Resource-Level Permissions

Compatibility of AWS EC2 API Actions and IAM Policy Resource-Level Permissions

In this blog post I will examine how partial implementation of a feature of IAM policies: resource-level permissions interacts with AWS EC2 API actions to produce confusing results. Please note that AWS states in its documentation that it is planning on expanding the compatibility of resource-level permissions, so check the links at the bottom of this post for the most up-to-date information. Below is a short python program ( that utilizes the ec2:DescribeVolumes action. As you can see, I have omitted the access/secret key pair. If you wish to use this code, simply insert your access/secret key you obtained from the IAM … Read More

Amazon Web Services on Salesforce

Amazon Web Services on Salesforce

There is an App available from Salesforce that makes connecting S3 buckets and EC2 instances incredibly simple. Referred to as the Amazon Toolkit. With Salesforce as a leader in the SaaS world, one might not see why integrating with AWS, a leader in the IaaS world, would be beneficial. Salesforce allows you to create incredibly simple custom apps for just about any requirement, but the raw data in these apps tends to be tucked away and hidden. Sometimes an organization might need to analyze data beyond Salesforce’s capabilities, or as a way of saving costs by backing up older records and … Read More

AWS Opens Frankfurt Region

AWS Opens Frankfurt Region

Amazon Web Services has announced the opening of the Frankfurt region, which is the second region in the European Union after Ireland. Two availability zones (AZs) are offered and Amazon reported that the Frankfurt region operates carbon-free, just as the US West (Oregon) and GovCloud regions do. The Frankfurt region supports a large number of AWS services and a full listing of services available from all AWS regions is available in Amazon’s Products and Services by Region page. While on the Products and Services by Region page, one may notice that there are also 3 Frankfurt AWS Edge locations, of particular … Read More

M&S Consulting Organizes Amazon Web Services Pittsburgh Meetup

Pittsburgh Amazon Web Service

The first Amazon Web Services meetup of this year will be taking place on August 27th 7PM at RevvOakland. With monthly meetings planned for AWS among other events in the planning stages, M&S Consulting is now playing a greater part in connecting and stimulating the Pittsburgh cloud and virtualization community. We’ll be doing a compare and contrast of AWS Workspaces versus other public and private cloud DaaS offerings. Come for a brief presentation by Joe Perks of M&S Consulting and meet those in the Pittsburgh area doing great things with AWS! Remember, the meetups we host are always free and are … Read More

AWS Adds Docker Support to Elastic Beanstalk

Container Ship

Today Amazon announced and deployed Docker support for Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon Web Service’s Platform as a Service offering. This brings the supported platforms to the following list: Node.JS, PHP, Python, .NET, Java, Ruby and Docker. Now it is easier than ever to deploy onto AWS your Docker backed application at any scale, from a single instance on up. From the AWS blog post: “To use an image with Elastic Beanstalk, you will create a file called This file specifies the image to be used and can also set up a port to be exposed and volumes to be mapped in … Read More

Vagrant, Chef (installed via omnibus), and the PostgreSQL and Database cookbooks (re: COOK-1406)


While building the development environments for a code base that would eventually be deployed to an auto-scaling AWS environment, a client request pivoted the database tier architecture away from MySQL to PostgreSQL. This pivot was timely given Amazon’s most recent RDS offering, announced as recently as re:Invent. Awesome! Now to integrate PostgreSQL with the existing Vagrant/Chef development environment deployments; not as awesome! What follows is a summary of and solution to several common pitfalls experienced by those deploying PostgreSQL with Chef (omnibus installer). Note: this post assumes some familiarity with Chef. A quick overview of how our deployment gets PostgreSQL … Read More

Hosting a Blog using Amazon Web Services


With tools like WordPress and Amazon Web Services, it’s easy to establish a presence on the Internet. Of course there is more to it than just having a website. There are a lot of aspects to hosting and running a website, but for casual use, this is a great way to start. WordPress itself is an excellent tool for both the novice user or the knowledgeable. A simple blog can be up with little effort, but with some time and knowledge, it can be a fully robust content manager. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers an affordable, and sometimes free, way … Read More