Archives For cloud

Packet is a hardware-as-a-service vendor that provides dedicated servers on demand at very low cost. For me and my readers, Packet offers a solution to the problem of using cloud services to run complex network emulation scenarios that require hardware-level support for virtualization. Packet users may access powerful servers that empower them to perform activities they could not run on a normal personal computer.

In this post, I will describe the procedure to set up an on-demand bare metal server and to create and maintain persistent data storage for applications. I will describe a generic procedure that can be applied to any application and that works for users who access Packet services from a laptop computer running any of the common operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux. In a future post, I will describe how I run network emulation scenarios on a Packet server.

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I recently configured an Amazon EC2 instance so that I could run the XFCE desktop environment on it and control it from my local laptop computer using SSH and VNC. But what if I want to use my iPad to do control the remote Amazon EC2 server?

I want to experiment with complex network simulations running on open-source networking software when I happen have the time, from any location with a WiFi connection. I do not always have my laptop with me, but I usually have either my iPad or iPhone.


In this blog post, I will show how to configure and use an iPad (and iPhone) VNC viewer app to view and control the desktop environment running on my Amazon EC2 server.

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Having set up an Ubuntu Linux server running on a free micro-instance in Amazon’s Web Services EC2 service, I’d like to see how some of the open-source network simulation tools I’ve been using work in the cloud.

First, I will install the CORE Network Emulator on my Amazon AWS EC2 virtual private server. Please read the rest of this post to see how it works.

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In a previous post, I showed how easy it is to set up a remote server on Amazon’s AWS service. Now I would like see if I can run one or more of the open-source network simulators I’ve been using on this remote server. I want be able to access a network simulator from any device such as a personal computer, a tablet, or even a smart phone.

To accomplish this, I first need to install a Linux desktop environment on the remote Ubuntu server. Then, I need to set up the server and my client devices to allow the graphical user interface displayed on a remote server to be viewed on a local client.

In this post I will show how to install a Linux desktop (in this case, XFCE) and how to set up either VNC or X11 on a server and client.

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I recently set up a free Amazon AWS server. As I experimented with it, I installed a GUI desktop. Then I encountered some issues that I eventually resolved by creating a new user with its own password and then using that user for the rest of my activities.

For my own reference, and in the hope others will find it useful, here is the procedure I followed:

  1. Create a new userid, with password
  2. Add the new user to the sudoers file
  3. Install the AWS server’s public key for the new user
  4. Log in as the new user

I posted the details in my blog post, below.

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As an incentive to use their service, Amazon Web Services offers new users a “free tier” of service that provides a VPS “micro-instance” at no cost for one year.


The free tier of service is fairly flexible. Amazon AWS provides enough free hours to run the micro-instance twenty-four hours a day for a year but, if a user needs more services, he or she may create multiple micro instances and run them concurrently, which multiplies the rate the user consumes hours. For example, one could run two micro-instances concurrently every day for six months; or twelve for one month.

In this post, we’ll show how to set up the free server, and how to connect to it using SSH.

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