• Amazon Web Service’s NEW Reserved Instance Feature

    At the start of this month Amazon released a new feature to their reserved instances called Instance Size Flexibility. You can read more about it here. This is quite a handy little update to how they handle reserved instances on a regional setting.

    When they first came out, reserved instances were great for the huge savings but a real pita to manage in large environments spanning multiple regions or accounts. In order to take advantage of it you had to make sure you reserved the proper region and instance type for ALL of your individual instances. With few servers of only 1 or 2 types, not a big deal but scale out to hundreds of servers in multiple regions, zones and accounts and you had a recipe for a major accounting and administrative nightmare unless you looked into automation. That all changed in the last quarter of 2016 when Amazon released updates to how RI’s worked.
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  • Resize AWS EC2 EBS drives on the fly with zero downtime

    Running out of hard drive space is a bane of every system administrator. Shutting down the server to add another drive then relaunching, or maybe you are lucky enough to have hot swappable hard drives making the process less painful. Well in the cloud on Amazon AWS you no longer need to shutdown or reimage your instance to expand your hard drives. If you are already using EBS backed instances, you now have the ability to modify your volumes on the fly.




    This is how you resize your EBS drives on the fly on a EC2 instance. If you are using instance storage you cannot do this obviously, it only works on EBS backed instances.
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  • Amazon AWS costs have improved 55-100% since 2009

    I previously wrote an article in 2009 about how much you might expect to pay for hosting your server/services using Amazon AWS EC2 and S3. The conclusion was that it would cost you approximately $920/year up to over $10K/year depending on the instance type you chose to run to host your server on Amazon.

    Over the course of time the cost of hosting on Amazon Web Services has come down dramatically and their service offerings have increased 5 fold from what they had. Let’s take a look at what you will pay now versus 2009 for the comparable setups. For the sake of simplicity I am going to use current 4th generation on demand pricing but there are a few cases where it might be cheaper to use 3rd generation over 4th. There are very few good reasons to still be using first generation servers though. It should also be pointed out that Amazon also launched spot instances which are an even cheaper way to run an ec2 instance albeit not necessarily as reliable.
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  • How to use a Windows .bat file to delete files on a schedule

    This is how you delete files of a certain age using a scheduled task to execute a .bat file. These instructions mainly apply to Windows Server 2012 R2, but they are applicable to most newer (and older) versions of Windows. This is similar to the post I made many years ago but with some additions mainly around the commands you need to find files that are older than a certain date and then deleting them. It also focuses on Server 2012 R2 versus the older 2008.

    The first thing we want to do is create the batch file that we will use to delete the files older than X days. To do this we will need to use the forfiles command in Windows. This is a very handy command for batch files IMO. Here is a run down of the forfiles command and how to use it:
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  • ASP.net 4.6.2 application failing to build

    Our Hudson build server was throwing the following warning and then failing to build our code:

    warning MSB3644: The reference assemblies for framework “.NETFramework,Version=v4.5.2” were not found. To resolve this, install the SDK or Targeting Pack for this framework version or retarget your application to a version of the framework for which you have the SDK or Targeting Pack installed.

    Fixing this problem was very simple and just required us installing the following:
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