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Using and Managing AWS – Part 4: Choosing a Tool

May 19th, 2009

Choose Your Tool

When working with AWS, you have a choice of tools. You should try several tools and use the one that works best for your needs. Some tools are provided by Amazon and others are provided by third party developers. I cover seven tools in chapters that follow this one but that list is not a comprehensive list. It’s just the tools that I have used myself and that I know for a fact do work.

Some services are more programming tools that anything else. SQS is like that. It is a queuing service that you will plug into your applications. You can interface with SQS using PHP, C#, Ruby, Perl and many other languages. Actually, you can also write interfaces to S3 or EC2 using a language of your choice but how many of us really want to write an interface?

When choosing your tool, you need to think about how you will be using AWS. Will you primarily be an S3 user? In that case you will to choose a tool with robust S3 handling. If you don’t plan to use EC2 at all, you may want to skip the tools that provide EC2 functionality and stick with the S3 browsers like S3 Browser and S3 Organizer.

On the other hand, if your only use of S3 will be snapshot backups of you EC2 instances and EBS volumes, you will want to pick a tool that helps you choose an AMI, run it and monitor it. ElasticFox and Cloud Studio are ideal for that environment.

If you plan to use both EC2 and S3 fairly heavily, Cloud Studio provides nice S3 support while ElasticFox is lacks S3 support. If you are a Firefox user though, the combination of S3 Browser and ElasticFox will provide all of the functionality you’re likely to need.

For those individuals who like pain, Amazon provides the AWS Command Line Tool set. It’s not for everyone but for those who enjoy typing at a command prompt, more power to you. Actually, I am somewhat joking. Everyone should be a little bit familiar with the command line tools just in case something goes wrong with the GUI tools.

Time will add more tools, I’m sure. The point I am making here, is to explore the options and choose a tool that fits your needs.

If you are an S3 only user, your setup needs ends here. Once you have signed up and chosen a tool, you can get started working.

The remaining posts in this series are geared towards EC2 users. Before logging into your chosen tool, you need to put some thought into your instance security, storage and usage.

  1. February 14th, 2010 at 06:55 | #1

    Please consider adding CloudBerry Explorer to the list of your tools. It helps to
    manage S3, CloudFront and AWS Import/Export on Windows . It is a freeware. http://s3.cloudberrylab.com/

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