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Pat Shuff's Blog

installing Tomcat on AWS

In our last two entries we installed Tomcat on the Oracle Compute Cloud. We first installed the application using oracle.bitnami.com and the second we installed Linux using Oracle Compute Cloud then downloading tomcat.apache.org and configuring the network and startup scripts. In this blog we will do the same thing for Amazon AWS. Note that there are a few blogs that do the same thing.
We are going to cheat a little bit with AWS. Rather than configuring Linux, downloading Java and downloading Tomcat, we are going to go to the Amazon Marketplace and download an image that is already configured. This is similar to going through Bitnami but I thought it would be interesting to look at a different pre-configured instance and see how it differs from Bitnami. When we go to the marketplace we get the option of a community ami pool or a commercial ami pool. The selection is very diverse. I could not find anyone who pre-configured Tomcat on Oracle Enterprise Linux but did find Red Hat and Amazon Linux which are from the same codebase.

It is important to note that the commercial version does come with supplemental pricing on an hourly basis. This typically prices AWS as an option out of the running when compared to other cloud services.

We select an instance (the smallest since this is a demo of functionality) and go through the launch screens.

By default, the network configuration only opens up ssh and potentially port 80. We will need to add ports 8080 and 443. In hindsight we really don't need to add port 8080 because the commercial version remaps the catalina configuration file to port 80 but we did anyway for completeness.

Adding the new ports looks like

Note that this is different from the Oracle Compute network setup. Amazon sets this up during the instance configuration while Oracle allows you to add this after the instance is created. Neither are good or bad, just different. You do need to scroll to the far right to see the Security Group definition and follow the links to modify the rules to allow another port. My first assumption was to go to the instance configuration menu at the top but all the network options were greyed out. You need to scroll to the far right to change the ports using the security group link. I initially did not see this because my fonts were too large and I did not realize that I had to scroll to the far right to see this.





Once we have the network configured, we can review and launch the instance. Note that we can use our own ssh keys to attach to the instance.


When we finish and confirm everything we should get an initialization screen. If the startup takes too long we will get a waiting screen. Once the instance is created we should see that it is running in the EC2 console.


Once the instance is started we can connect to it. We do this by looking up the ip address and connecting with ssh.


It is important to note that Tomcat is installed in /opt/tomcat7 and the startup scripts in /etc/rc3.d/S80tomcat7_1 are already setup.

We restart the service just to test the startup script and test the instance locally by getting the html from the command line and confirm that everything works from our desktop browser.

In summary, we were able to install and configure everything using the marketplace in less than 15 minutes. The configuration was similar to the Bitnami instance but it is important to note that there is an extra cost associated with this instance on an hourly basis. The Bitnami economics are done on a per instance charge. I, for example, pay $30/month to allow me to deploy three instances across multiple cloud vendors. Note the model is on a per instance and not a per hour basis. We could have gone through the exact same configuration that we did with the Oracle Compute Cloud instance by installing Linux then using the Tomcat website to download the binaries and install. The same websites, same tar files, and same configurations work since both are Linux based installs.

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