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RightScale Basics

Are you new to AWS and EC2?  If so, please read Amazon Web Services (AWS) to become familiar with some common terms and definitions before reading the RightScale Basics section. 

ServerTemplates and RightScripts

Our experience using EC2 to host our own site has led us to develop tools custom built for AWS. Designing the best tools requires thinking about old concepts in new ways. For example, we have done away with the old concept of launching images from a ready-configured state.  Instead, we've found that it is far superior to launch bare instances and configure everything post-launch via code that we call RightScripts. This allows us to create modular server images that are highly customizable and easily replicated. If you are not convinced, read the Configuring servers with RightScripts blog entry.

As a result, we developed ServerTemplates. Along with specifying all of the normal EC2 stuff to launch an instance (ami, ssh-key, security group, etc.) ServerTemplates also allow you to designate any number of RightScripts that you want to run at boot time, upon demand, when decommissioning servers, or even when an event is triggered. We created RightScripts to make it even easier. RightScripts allow you to specify packages that you want to install before a script is executed and even allow you to upload and attach files directly to scripts. The Dashboard automatically recognizes and allows you to enter values for any variable that is capitalized.  These "variables" are called "Inputs" in the RightScale Dashboard.  We provide a convenient and centralized way to manage Input parameters to all of the RightScripts in a ServerTemplate. We also make it easy to use runtime values such as local IP's and EC2 meta-data.

Check out our YouTube video on ServerTemplates:

To see more videos, go to our RightScale channel on YouTube,


We also created the concept of deployments. A deployment defines a cluster of machines that are associated with each other. You are able to specify global parameters that all of the instances inherit. This makes it really easy to add additional components without the need for extra configuration. The combination of these three tools allows you to deploy and maintain deployments of servers quickly and easily.

To see more videos, go to our RightScale channel on YouTube,


The RightScale Credential Store gives you a simple and secure way to store passwords and other valuable information. You can easily use these stored credentials through RightScripts and deployments.  You no longer have to remember your passwords or worry about your information being viewed by others.


Sometimes you may want to let other people access your account, but you don't necessarily want everybody to have the same permissions. The Dashboard allows you to invite people to access your account and also specify their permissions. For a detailed description of the roles and permissions associated with each of the roles, see User Roles

For a complete matrix of what you can/cannot do inside the Dashboard based with your user role privileges, see User Role Privileges.

See also


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Last modified
12:52, 30 Jan 2015



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