Test drive of Confluence on Amazon EC2

I took advantage of the bargain deal at Atlassian the other day; a 5 user licence for Confluence and Jira for $10. I’d been thinking of trying it out after a mention at the FOWA conference last year. So, if it involved EC2 as well that could be an ideal project.

Luckily there is a pre-built demo image that I could install on the Amazon Cloud so I just sped through the very quick tutorial by Adrian Hempel It was as easy as he says.


I had an Amazon account already for the Alexa stats, so I could use the keys that were already assigned for that.

I made sure that my laptop Java was up to date and then created a batch file to run the Confluence load command. It didn’t run the batch file with the passwords that I had; I had an error…

“client error AWS not able to validate the provided access credentials”

Turns out that I hadn’t signed up my Amazon account to use EC2. It must have been late when I tried that the other night. Anyway, I signed up for EC2 again and tried loading the system again. Wow, worked that time and gave this huge RSA key; do I need to remember that? I need to remember the EBS Volume id – vol-1234567(changed), and the URL id – http://ec2-174-129-130-106.compute-1.amazonaws.com (now deleted). The EC2 instance, in this case, was i-d782f7be, but this will change each time I start and stop the service (to save costs). The volume will stay the same until I want to delete the whole thing. It took a while, but Confluence and Jira then started up.

ec2-install-public
I could then browse to the web address and see the Confluence and Jira logos. Just click on the logo to go into the setup sequence. Cool.

confluencestart

I then created the pauseAWSserver.bat, resumeAWSserver.bat files. The first will Terminate the EC2 instance. The second will restore it, but with a different instance and new web address. It takes a minute or so to do this.

Worked a treat. This time it gave me http://ec2-72-44-47-214.compute-1.amazonaws.com. I’ve setup a DynDNS login, so I’ll point that to it in the end so that I don’t have to remember these ip addresses.

The setup sequence takes you into the Custom setup mode. The Server Id is shown and if you login to my.atlassian.com, you’ll be able to enter the server id and get a long licence key for the installation. Paste this into the setup screen then choose Custom Install. The database screens that come up next only allow External database, JDBC format and don’t even need a username/password. All are pre-set options. Again, there is a wait at this point for the system to build the database.

The third stage is to set up some site content and, being new, I opted for the Example data. This should give me something to play with. Stage 4 was putting in the admin/S2 details with a contact email (sky) and that was it. The system displayed the demo front page with links to tutorials etc. The main Confluence documentation can be dowloaded from http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/ALLDOC/Atlassian+Documentation I did think that I’d print out the docs to read on the train, but found that there are almost two and a half thousand pages. Maybe not. We’ll save the trees.

Thanks Adrian; that was really easy. I hope Confluence is just as impressive.

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5 thoughts on “Test drive of Confluence on Amazon EC2

  1. Pingback: Daily News About Amazon : A few links about Amazon - Wednesday, 29 April 2009 03:05

  2. athempel

    Hi Ian,

    Great to see that it got you up and running with Confluence so quickly.

    In answer to your question, you only need to make a note of the private key if you are going to connect to your instances using SSH. Most people won’t have any need to do this.

    If you find you need the private key, and you didn’t record it the first time you ran the instant-atlassian tool, you can always create a new private key by deleting the “instant-atlassian” key pair from your AWS account. A new private key will be created and displayed the next time you use the instant-atlassian tool.

    I hope you enjoy using Confluence.

  3. Thanks Guennadi, that’s excellent. I was going to write a small Adobe Air program to do it with DynDNS through the AWS/DynDNS APIs, but it hasn’t got to the top of my priority list. I’ll certainly use your method in the meantime as it is so useful to keep costs down. I’ll twitter it out to other as well.

    I’ll keep an eye on your blog to keep in touch.

    IanM

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