Resetting the password on your Windows EC2 instance via SSM

I came across and interesting approach recently for resetting a misplaced/undocumented Windows administrator passwords in a reddit post.  This technique is only valid for instances with SSM installed. "SSM Agent is installed by default on Windows Server 2016 instances and instances created from Windows Server 2003-2012 R2 AMIs published in November 2016 or later." As … Continue reading Resetting the password on your Windows EC2 instance via SSM

Snapshotting Windows EC2 Instances with Powershell – Part 2

In Part 1, we successfully initiated a snapshot with Powershell.  Here we'll continue building out the script.   Cleaning Up Old Snapshots Anyone who's ever worked with regularly scheduled snapshots knows you need regularly scheduled cleanup or your AWS invoices will slowly creep up over time. I'll be filtering by Description to determine which snapshots do … Continue reading Snapshotting Windows EC2 Instances with Powershell – Part 2

Snapshotting Windows EC2 Instances with Powershell – Part 1

As you likely already know, there's isn't an option to schedule EC2 instance snapshots within the AWS console. A popular way to address this would be to use Boto3, AWS' SDK for Python.  However, it is also possible to initiate EC2 snapshots with Powershell. Why would you want to do this with Powershell?   Let's say … Continue reading Snapshotting Windows EC2 Instances with Powershell – Part 1

Backing up files from a Windows Instance to S3.

Part of a backup strategy in AWS could involve file-level backups.  As S3 storage is cheaper than EBS volumes, it could make sense to store your files in S3. A possible way to go about this would be to use a utility like Duplicati to backup files to an S3 bucket. Another method is with … Continue reading Backing up files from a Windows Instance to S3.

Monitoring Memory Usage on a Windows EC2 Instance with CloudWatch

In a previous post, I discussed how to setup a Windows EC2 instance to monitor disk space usage with CloudWatch.  Another key attribute to monitor is memory usage. Memory usage, just like disk space, is a performance monitor in Windows. When examining the available performance counters available within Windows, the best counter for our objective … Continue reading Monitoring Memory Usage on a Windows EC2 Instance with CloudWatch

Monitoring Free Disk Space on a Windows EC2 Instance with CloudWatch

By default, CloudWatch has some native monitoring for EC2 instances (CPUUtilization, NetworkIn/Out, DiskWriteBytes/DiskReadBytes, etc).  However, a few key parameters are missing by default- one of which is free disk space. Free disk space requires a custom CloudWatch monitor.  Let's go through how to set that up. In the example below, we have a Server 2016 … Continue reading Monitoring Free Disk Space on a Windows EC2 Instance with CloudWatch