AWS Creates a Windows Server Lightsail Incident

A few months ago, I wrote about how Amazon Lightsail makes it easier to predict the cost of Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is done by creating instances that are charged at a flat rate (see “Making cloud costs more predictable with Amazon Lightsail”)
Lightsail was limited to Linux instances at the time I wrote this column. AWS added Lightsail support to Windows Server instances earlier this month. This being the case, I decided to revisit the topic and show you how to create a Windows Server instances within Lightsail.
Log in to AWS console and choose Lightsail (located in the Compute section) to create a Lightsail account. After logging in, you will be taken directly to the main Lightsail screen. Figure 1 shows this. You can click the Create Instance button below to get started.
[Click on the image to see a larger version.] Figure 1: Click on the Create Instance button. You will now be taken to the Create an Instance screen. Figure 2 shows this. As you can see, AWS made creating an instance easy.
[Click on the image to see a larger view.] Figure 2: This screen shows you how to Create an Instance. This screen will ask you to choose an instance location. AWS will automatically detect your location so you only need to create a location if you are using a non-default area.
Next, choose the instance type. This is as easy as choosing between Linux/Unix and Windows for your platform. Pricing and other options can vary depending upon which platform you choose, so this article assumes that you have selected Windows.
Scroll down to see a prompt to choose a blueprint for your instance. A blueprint is AWS-speak for selecting the virtual machine template you want to deploy. Figure 3 shows that AWS allows you to choose between Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2012 R2.
Figure 3: Select the blueprint that best suits your situation. Figure 3: You can choose to deploy an OS alone or an OS and an application. SQL Server 2016 Express is the only available application for Windows Server. However, there are many other applications available for Linux instances.
Scroll down to see the remaining configuration options. As shown in Figure 4. The first option is to run Windows PowerShell scripts automatically when the instance launches.
Figure 4: These are the remaining configuration options. Although running a PowerShell program is not required, you can click the Add Launch Script link to launch a PowerShell program. Once the script has been launched, copy or paste the contents into the provided space, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Enter your PowerShell code below. Next, you will need to specify the instance plan. This can be seen in Figure 4. The instance plan determines the cost and allocation of hardware. Monthly billing is based on the instance type. However, you may be charged an additional fee for exceeding transfer limits.
The final step is to create a unique name for each instance. If you’re only creating a few instances then the names should be descriptive. For example, if I was creating a lab domain controller I might name it PoseyLabDC. It may be more efficient to use default instance na if you have many instances to create.

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