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Home > Guides > Dashboard Users Guide > Clouds > AWS Regions > EC2 Placement Groups > Actions > Launch a Cluster Compute Instance

Launch a Cluster Compute Instance


To launch a cluster compute instance type using ServerTemplates.  Typically you will launch a set of cluster compute instances, but the same steps apply.  

Table of Contents


Cluster compute instances are launched in a similar way as other EC2 instance types, except for a couple minor differences, which will be explained in context below.  Although, you can launch a cluster compute instance directly from an image, it's recommended that you launch them using ServerTemplates for better control and repeatability.  This tutorial will focus on the latter use case.

There are two key differences between launching cluster compute instances and other EC2 instance types.

  • Cluster Compute Instances require the use of a HVM-based (Hardware Virtual Machine), Amazon EBS-based machine image.  (Other EC2 instance types use a PVM-based (Paravirtual Machine) machine image.)
  • All Cluster Compute Instances that are designed to work together must be placed in the same EC2 Placement Group.


  • An existing EC2 Placement Group.
  • 'actor' user role privileges


There are two different ways to launch a Cluster Compute Instance:

  • Launch Cluster Compute Instances directly from Images
  • Launch Cluster Compute Instances using ServerTemplates

Launch Cluster Compute Instances directly from an Image

Go to Clouds -> AWS Region -> EC2 Images.  Use the filter tool to find an HVM-based machine image.  For example, you can use an AMI from Amazon (e.g. ami-7ea24a17).  (Note:  AWS includes "HVM" in the namespace to help locate a HVM based machine image. You can use the Filter by Name option, and search against "HVM".)


Click the Launch icon.

Specify the required parameters before launching the instance.  HVM machine images do not require Kernel or Ramdisk images.  Be sure to select a valid Cluster Compute Instance Type (e.g. cc2.8xlarge) and the Placement Group (e.g. dean) into which the instance will be placed.  If you do not have one listed, see Create a New Placement Group.


Click the Launch button.

Once the instance becomes operational, it will be listed under Clouds -> AWS Region -> EC2 Instances -> Active tab.

Launch Cluster Compute Instances using ServerTemplates

The first step is to create a Deployment that will contain the cluster compute servers.

  • Go to Manage -> Deployments -> New.  
  • Select the desired EC2 Placement Group into which the Cluster Compute Instances will be placed.



Next, you can create a ServerTemplate that you can use to create Cluster Compute Servers.

You will add an MCI to this ServerTemplate. You may browse our HVM MCIs in the Marketplace to import. Or you can create your own HVM MCI and follow the steps below.

Create a ServerTemplate and MCI

Be sure to select a valid Cluster Compute Instance Type (e.g. cc2.8xlarge) and a valid HVM-based machine image.  Use the image published by RightScale, "RightLink_CentOS_5.4_x64_v5.4.6_HVM_Beta" (only available in AWS US-East) or one from Amazon (Search for "HVM").

  • Name: clustercompute
  • Description: Use for launching cluster compute instances
  • MultiCloud Image: Select "Create a new MultiCloud Image"
  • Name: cc2 instances
  • Cloud: AWS US-East
  • Instance Type: cc2.8xlarge
  • Machine Image: EC2 CentOS 5.4 HVM AMI


Click Save.

Now that you've created a ServerTemplate for launching a Cluster Compute Instance, click the Add To Deployment action button when viewing the new ServerTemplate.  Select the Deployment that you just created for these Cluster Compute Servers and configure the required parameters.  The Server will inherit the correct instance type (e.g. cc2.8xlarge) from the MCI.  Since you specified an EC2 Placement Group when you created the Deployment, the Server will also inherit that setting as well.

Click Add.

Repeat these steps to add multiple Cluster Compute Servers to the Deployment.  

You can now safely launch the Servers. 

Note: Amazon recommends launching all Cluster Compute Servers at the same time.

Go to the Deployment that contains the Cluster Compute Servers and launch them all at once. 

Note: Before you can launch multiple Servers at the same time, all required Inputs parameters must be specified.


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Last modified
22:18, 16 May 2013



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