Mapping Domain Names with, Elastic Beanstalk, Elastic Load Balancer and AWS Route 53

I finally wrapped up my name server and DNS mapping needs with, Route 53 and Elastic Beanstalk. Since this was a little confusing I thought a short write up was in order. Thanks to Evan @evandbrown for helping out!

The first thing needed is a delegation set of name servers for your DNS and name server provider. These can be found by creating a hosted zone. The way to do this is open up the AWS Management Console and navigate into the Route 53 management area. The Route 53 icon is under the Compute & Networking section on the management console.

Beanstalk, Route 53 - Click for full size image
Beanstalk, Route 53 – Click for full size image

Upon navigating to the Route 53 console area click on the Create Hosted Zones button.

Create Hosted Zone
Create Hosted Zone – Click for full size image

When the zone is created then the delegation set can be found under the Hosted Zone Details. This delegation set now needs setup as the name servers for whoever, in this case, is the domain provider.

Delegation Set - Click for full size image.
Delegation Set – Click for full size image.

Open up the management console for the name server administration.

Upon adding them the list should look something like this.

Name servers list built from the delegation set of the hosted zone. Click for full size image.
Name servers list built from the delegation set of the hosted zone. Click for full size image.

Once the name servers are setup, those will need time to propagate. Likely this could take a good solid chunk of time, somewhere in the hours range likely, and don’t be surprised if it takes a little bit more than a day.

While the propagation starts navigate back to the AWS Management Console and open up the EC2 section of the console. On the right hand side of the Resources list there is a Load Balancers section. Click it.

Load Balancers - Click for full size image.
Load Balancers – Click for full size image.

In this section there is a listing of all load balancers that have been created manually or by Elastic Beanstalk.

Load Balancers - Click for full size image.
Load Balancers – Click for full size image.

Make note of the Load Balancer Name for selection in Route 53. This is what Route 53 needs in order to point an alias at for incoming traffic to that particular Elastic Beanstalk application. In this particular image above there are 4 load balancers listed, the easiest way to prevent confusion is to take note of the load balancer name at the time of creation, but this is the easiest way to find them otherwise.

Record Set - Click for full size image
Record Set – Click for full size image

Now when going back to the hosted zone to set it up with the appropriate information, create a new record with the appropriate name, in this case I was setting up the (no it isn’t live yet, I just set it up to test it out) to point to an alias target. Just leave the Type set to A – IPv4 address and click the radio control so that Alias is set to Yes. In the alias target select the appropriate load balancer for the Elastic Beanstalk (or whatever it points to) application.

That’s it, give it a few hours (or a day) and eventually the domain or subdomain will be pointed appropriately at the Elastic Beanstalk load balanced application.

WordPress on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Linux EC2 Micro Instance, For Free

I’ve been wanting to get a write up done for WordPress on AWS, the fact that it is free for a year, since they’ve released the free-tier many months ago. Well I finally got around to it, however it isn’t a write up. I went ahead and put the work in to produce a video of the steps for setup & configuration. Enjoy.

The commands to install php, mysql, httpd (apache), and manipulate the config files are included below for copy and paste needs.

Create a Linux Instance on AWS – create & assign an IP Address

Login with ‘ec2-user’

sudo -i
lsof -i

yum -y install httpd

service httpd start

yum -y install php mysql
yum install mysql-server

rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.3.6-1.el5.rf.i386.rpm
yum install phpmyadmin

vi /etc/httpd/conf.d/phpmyadmin.conf

Hit insert hey to make changes to the conf file.

# Web application to manage MySQL

# Order Deny,Allow
# Deny from all
Allow from all

Alias /phpmyadmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin
Alias /phpMyAdmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin
Alias /mysqladmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin

service httpd restart
service mysqld start
/usr/bin/mysqladmin -u root password ‘somepassword’
vi /etc/httpd/conf.d/phpmyadmin.conf
vi /usr/share/phpmyadmin/

[…] /* Authentication type */
$cfg[‘Servers’][$i][‘auth_type’] = ‘http’;

Watch the video for the WordPress Database creation in mysql w/ phpmyadmin.

tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz -C /var/www/html/
cp -avr /var/www/html/wordpress/* /var/www/html/
rm -rf /var/www/html/wordpress/

cd /etc/httpd/conf
vi httpd.conf
Find the user here… it should be ‘apache’

cp /var/www/html/wp-config-sample.php /var/www/html/wp-config.php
vi /var/www/html/wp-config.php

…Add the database settings.

chown -R apache /var/www/html
chmod -R 755 /var/www/html

My Current Windows Development Machine Software Stack

I recently did a clean install of Windows 7 64-bit.  It had been a really long time since I listed the current tools, SDKs, and frameworks that I’ve been using.  Thus here’s my entourage of software that I use on a regular basis that is installed on my primary development machines.

Basic Software & System OS

Administration Utilities

Themes & Such

In addition to these packages of software another as important, if not more important to my day-to-day software development includes these software services and cloud hosting services.

SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

Software I will be adding to the stack within the next few days, weeks, and months.

Re: Cloudcamp Seattle

Summary Statement:  CloudCamp rocked!  I got to meet a lot of smart people and have a lot of smart conversations!

Ok, so I probably shouldn’t write the summary statement first, but I’m not one for standard operating procedure.  But I digress, I’ll dive straight into the cloud topics and the event itself.

The event kicked off with an introduction and lighting talks by Tony Cowan, Mithun Dhar, Steve Riley, John Janakiraman, Margaret Dawson, and Patrick Escarcega.  Margaret and Steve really stood out to me in their talks, I’ll be keeping an eye on any future speaking engagements they may have.

One of the quotes that led off CloudCamp during the lightning talks was, “If you’re still talking about if the cloud is secure…” you’re already behind, out of touch, missing the reality of it, or simply not understanding the technology.  After further conversation though, it really boils down to the most common excuse.  The statement “the cloud isn’t secure enough” translates to “I’ve got my fingers in my ears and am not listening to your cloud talk”.

Margaret Dawson from Hubspan really took a great stance with her lightning talk.  The talk was titled “To Cloud or Not To Cloud” with “Don’t buy the cloud, buy a solution” as the summarized idea.  The other thing that she mentioned during her talk was she likes adding “AASes” to cloud computing, such as “BPaaS”.  I’ll admit I laughed guiltily along with a few dozen others and forgot to note what BPaaS stands for.  Whoops!  🙂

An attempt at creating a generalized definition of cloud computing was also made.  It was stated that we can, as a community, agree on the following definitions of cloud computing.  The definition involved three parts:

  • Cloud computing is on demand.
  • Cloud computing can be turned off or on as needed.
  • Cloud computing can autoscale without issue to handle peaks and lulls in demand.

Another funny statement came from Dave Neilsen (@daveneilsen), CloudCamp Organizer, “I agree, the cloud isn’t right for everyone” to which someone in the crowd jokingly hollered back “You’re Fired!”  The energy in the audience and each of the sessions was great!

After the lightning talks Dave Neilsen led the conference with a cloud panel to field some questions.  A few topics related to this wikileaks thing 😛 came up along with some others.  I tired diligently to take good notes during this time, but it was a bit fast paced and I left the note taking to be more involved in listening.

These activities kicked off the overall event, which then led into everyone breaking out to different sessions depending on topics created by the attendees.  The sessions included (and I may have missed one or two);

  • Open Source Software in the Cloud
  • Best Practices for Low Latency
  • Intro to Cloud Computing + Windows Azure
  • How does a traditional Microsoft Stack fit in Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Google Cloud Services
  • What are your personal projects?

As another aspect of this review I wanted to pull in a few tweets that mentioned or had something useful in relation to the #cloudcamp + #seattle hashtags from last night.

…with that, my cloudcamp review is fini.  Hope to see everyone at the next Seattle Cloud Event!

CloudCamp Seattle!

Cloudcamp Seattle (December 1st)
Cloudcamp Seattle (December 1st)

Tomorrow is the big day!  So be sure to come check out CloudCamp Seattle!  We’re going to have a lot of great attendees, some rock star lightning talks and more.  Make sure to get registered ASPA (click on the CloudCamp image above).

Amazon HQ
426 Terry Avenue North (At South Lake Union)
2nd Floor Conference Room
Seattle, WA 98109

Final Schedule:
6:00pm Registration, Networking w/ Food & Drinks
6:30pm Welcome and Thank yous
6:45pm Lightning Talks (5 minutes each)
Tony Cowan – WebSphere CloudBurst/Hypervisor Editions
Mithun Dhar – Microsoft Azure
Steve Riley – Amazon Web Services
Sundar Raghavan – Skytap
Josh Wieder –
Margaret Dawson – Hubspan
Patrick Escarcega – “Managing Fear – Transitioning to the Cloud
7:30pm Unpanel
8:00pm Begin Unconference (organize the unconference)
8:15pm Unconference Session 1
9:00pm Unconference Session 2
9:45pm Wrap-up Session
10:00pm Raffle Books: “Host your website in the cloud” by Jeff Barr
10:15pm Drinks at 13coins sponsored by Clear Wireless Internet

NW Cloud
NW Cloud

Local Organizers:
– Jon Madamba of
– Shy Cohen
– Krish Subramanian of Krishworld
– Adron Hall (Me)
– Dave Nielsen of CloudCamp