Launch an EC2 instance

In this hands-on article, you will launch a virtual server in the cloud within a secure network. You will also manage additional storage options for your server.


  • AWS Account

By the end of this article, you will be able to:

  • Launch a secure EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) instance within a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud)
  • Manage an EBS volume


  1. Access VPC service from AWS Management Console

    • On the AWS Management Console page, type vpc in the Find Services box and then select VPC.


    • Click the Launch VPC Wizard button and select VPC with a Single Public Subnet. Important: In the VPC Name text box, enter a name for the VPC, and then select the first AZ from the Availability Zone dropdown. Leave everything else as the defaults.





    • Select Create VPC button.
    • You should see the VPC Successfully Created page, click the OK button in the far right. Important: You should see a table that lists all of the VPCs, make a note of the one just created.


  2. Launch an EC2 instance

    • Navigate to the EC2 console page, by clicking on Services in the upper left-hand menu. Type EC2 in the text box and click on EC2 found in the search results.


    • On the EC2 Dashboard page, click on Instances in the left-hand navigation.


    • Click Launch Instance.


    • Select the Amazon Linux 2 AMI (HVM), SSD Volume Type Amazon Machine Image (AMI). Important: You are free to choose a different AMI, but to avoid excessive charges, pick one that says, Free Tier Eligible.


    • For the Instance Type, select the free-tier instance type of t2.micro.


    • Click on Next: Configure Instance Details.


    • Enter the 1 for the Number of Instances.


    • For Purchasing option, leave unchecked.
    • For Network, select the VPC that was created in the previous step, and then select the subnet in to which to launch the instance.


  3. Attach an EBS volume

    • Click on Next: Add Storage to attach an EBS volume. Important: Here we already see there is a root volume (or device) attached to your instance, this is an EBS volume. We are going to add additional storage.


    • To attach additional storage, click on Add New Volume.
    • Select Delete on Termination and keep the other default settings.

      ebs volume

    • Click Review and Launch.


    • Click Launch.
    • Generate and download a new key pair and then click Launch Instances. Important: This will allow you to SSH into your instance from your local machine. This is a one-time process, so generate and download the new key pair now.


    • The launch will take a couple of minutes, select View Instances during the wait.


    • Check the instance state, it should say running.


Congratulations! You’ve launched your first virtual server in the cloud.

  1. Cleanup & Disable EC2 Instance To avoid recurring charges for leaving an instance running, let’s disable the EC2 instance and terminate the VPC

    • From the EC2 Dashboard, select the instance just created, click Actions, then Instance State, and then select Terminate.
    • From the VPC Dashboard, select the VPC just created, click Actions, then Delete VPC.

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