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Retrieving EC2 instance information with PowerShell - Part 1

We're in a constant state of movement in the tech field. To ensure we can get everything done in a timely fashion, we must automate. Automation is huge in Cloud Engineering, and should be throughout all of IT. Today I'll show you a quick way to get some EC2 instance information with PowerShell. This will allow you to retrieve information right from the shell vs having to log into the UI.

First thing we want to do is ensure we have;
1. An AWS user that has programmatic access to your AWS console 
2. AWS configured within PowerShell

Let's go ahead and create a new user. You will need admin rights to your AWS console.

First, sign in and go to IAM users. Click "Create new user".

I decided to name mine "powershell". The next thing we want to do is give that user specific permissions. Head over to groups and look for the "AmazonEC2FullAccess". Because we want to have the ability to not only read, but to create resources, I will choose full access.

After you click "Create user", you'll get your access key and secret key. You cannot re-generate the secret key, so please store it in a secure location that only you have access to. (you will see an access id token. Mine is white due to crossing it out for security purposes).

Next, open up a PowerShell terminal as Administrator and run aws configure so you can type in your access key and secret key.

Now we can run cmdlets based on the AWS API for PowerShell.

There you have it! In part 2 of this series, we will start writing a PowerShell tool that will retrieve information for us. This tool is have the ability to be turned into a module so you can pass it along.


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