One thing we often hear from Web developers, especially those who offer Web site design and consulting services, is the need to get a Web site up quickly, which runs fast and gives them total control of the server for maximum flexibility and scalability. Today's post is about the four Microsoft Web Platform Images (AMIs) we offer on the Amazon EC2 platform. These four images allow you to start a blog, stream media or run a web application within minutes - live on the Internet!
Amazon's EC2 has taken an alternative approach to Web hosting. As a Web developer you've probably heard of "cloud computing". It is an alternative take on Web hosting that puts you in control of the servers you spin up and you only pay for what you use. If you've ever bought a book or something else from Amazon, you can use that same account to buy a server and try it out for a few hours, total price: a few bucks, no long running contract or monthly fees.
Microsoft Web Platform
The Microsoft Web Platform includes the Web server, frameworks, database and tools needed to build and run Web sites on Windows. With the release of Web Platform Installer, it is now easy to get all the components of the Web Platform installed, as well as some of the world's most popular ASP.NET and PHP applications as well as media streaming.
EC2 meets the Microsoft Web Platform
EC2 and the Microsoft Web Platform come together in a really slick way. The four AMIs below give you the latest Microsoft Web Platform stack, including Visual Studio 2010 which was just released today. Each image comes with a complete walkthrough.
Full Development Server Image
The "Full Development Server Image" features the latest development stack for the Microsoft Web Platform and since yesterday it includes Visual Studio 2010. It is set up to allow you the publishing of your web application from your local development machine directly to your EC2 instance of this image in the cloud. The image runs Windows Server 2008. It includes the following Microsoft Web Platform features and products:
- Internet Information Services 7.0
- ASP.NET 3.5 and 4.0
- ASP.NET MVC Framework 2.0
- PHP 5.2.13 plus the Windows Cache Extension for PHP
- Visual Web Developer 2010 Express
- SQL Server Express 2008 with SP1
- Microsoft Url Rewrite Module
- IIS Database Manager
- IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit.
Here is a link to the walkthrough. It shows you how to set up an EC2 account, how to publish an ASP.NET 4.0 web application to your EC2 instance.
Media Server Image
Smooth Streaming, an IIS Media Services extension, enables adaptive streaming of media to Silverlight and other clients over HTTP. Smooth Streaming provides a high-quality viewing experience that scales massively on content distribution networks, making true HD 1080p media experiences a reality.
Smooth Streaming is the productized version of technology first used by Microsoft to deliver on-demand video of the 2008 Summer Olympics for NBCOlympics.com. By dynamically monitoring both local bandwidth and video rendering performance, Smooth Streaming optimizes playback of content by switching video quality in real-time.
The image comes with media content and is able to stream video as soon as you boot up your EC2 instance. It is very easy to replace the built-in media content with your own video content - all shown in the accompanying walkthrough.
DotNetNuke is the leading Web Content Management System (CMS) and Application Development Platform for Microsoft .NET. This AMI has DotNetNuke 5.2.2 pre-installed. All you have to do is to finish the last few installation steps, all described in detail in the following walkthrough. The image contains Internet Information Services 7.0, Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 with SP1, and .NET Framework 3.51 SP1 on Windows Server 2008.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms available. The Wordpress AMI is pre-configured with Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.0, MySQL Server 5.1 Community Edition, PHP 5.2.13, PHP WinCache 1.0 and Wordpress 2.9.2 - all hosted on Windows Server 2008. The only thing you have to do is to finish the Wordpress installation by entering a few questions (usernames, passsword etc.) and within a few minutes you have a state-of-the-art blogging platform live on the Internet. The walkthrough guides you through all the details.
Questions or comments? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.