So in the general tradition of me and blogging we reach the point where it goes a bit quiet.

Of course there are reasons / excuses etc.  Anyway last night I went to the AWSUGUK meet up hosted at The Pregnant Man.  It was the second event I had attended (and the third event overall) and again I was impressed by the venue (A private pub will always make me happy) and the clearly knowledgeable and enthusiastic crowd helped make for a great meetup.

The host Norman Driskell (@n0rm) introduced the evening, and set the tone of the evening with a brief presentation regarding how Razorfish had recently leveraged AWS for an ad tied into the Superbowl, the figures were certainly impressive and just show what you can do with AWS with a planning, couple of key take outs.

  • Pre-warm the servers if you are expecting huge traffic spikes
  • Leverage the services that AWS offer you, rather than rolling your own in an EC2 box

The sessions were:

  • Managing your apps on AWS: Real life lessons with GigaSpaces
  • Quarterbacking the AWS Estate
  • The CentraStage experience

And I have to say all of the speakers were well prepared, and rehearsed and gave a great insight into their areas of expertise, again there were good tips across all of the sessions, in particular I found the AWS Estate session very worthwhile with some dull but useful tips regarding consolidated billing, the billing API and of course an element of insight into some of the newer technology releases, especially Redshift and Opworks.  Hopefully the slides will be up soon.

Adding an SSL cert to an Amazon ELB

So recently I needed to add SSL capability to an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) which actually meant :

– Get the certificate, having created a new CSR and Private key on the machine of your choice
– Uploading the Private key, CSR and Certificate into Amazon using Amazon Web Services (AWS) Identity and Access Management service (IAM)

So the first challenge was getting the command line tools and creating the relevant identity files.

Download the AWS command line tools and put them somewhere you want to use them from, I put them in /use/local/IAMCLI which I then added to my .bash_profile using the settings below (this bit is optional, but makes your life easier):

# Added for AWS CLI
export AWS_IAM_HOME=/usr/local/IAMCli
export PATH=${AWS_IAM_HOME}/bin:$PATH
export AWS_CREDENTIAL_FILE=${HOME}/path_to_credential_file/credential_file

The AWS_CREDENTIAL_FILE is as below and the information to put in the file you get from the “Security Credentials” tab under your account settings, add in the ID of the access key you want to use, and click on “show” to reveal the key to use, create the file and ensure you put it in the location you added into your .bash_profile. Observant people will notice this doesn’t work if you deal with multiple AWS accounts, you can always use the optional -aws-credential-file when using the command line tools to point to the credential file you want to use.


To upload the certificate:

$ iam-servercertupload -b public-key.pem -c .cert-chain-file.pem -k private-key.pem -s

To check the certificate is in place:

$ iam-servercertgetattributes -s

And should you need to delete the certificate:

$ iam-servercertdel -s

Now when you create the ELB, select “Secure HTTP Server” from the common applications list and save, then when you continue to the next page you should be given the option to “Choose from your existing SSL Certificates”