Amazon Demo Guide

Introduction

This article aims to be a detailed, step-by-step guide for creating and testing your very own Valamis e-learning environment. So far, Valamis has been available for testing to anybody on GitHub or in the Liferay Marketplace. On Amazon Web Service Marketplace setting up and testing your Valamis is now easier and faster than before.


Valamis is available as a ready-made package on the Amazon Web Service where anybody can try it out with just a few clicks!

Register to Amazon Cloud

The first step is to create an account on the Amazon Web Service. Once you are on the page, you can start your registration progress by clicking on the "Create an AWS Account" in the top-right corner of the window.

The registration is simple and straight-forward, but have your credit card and phone handy. Don't worry, you won't be charged for anything, but you will gain access to tons of different amazon services, some of which are free.

Launch Valamis Instance

Once your registration is complete, you have to log into the console. You can do this on the same place where you registered.

In the console, you will see more than 50 different services. You will need one of these to launch your Valamis. Click on the "EC2" menu under the Compute category. This is currently in the top-left corner of the console, right at the beginning.

You will arrive to the EC2 dashboard, where you can see and manage your servers, volumes, images and things like that. Don't worry about these yet, just click on the "Launch Instance" button in the middle of the screen.

You will be presented with a lot of options. These are all per-configured server instances with different operation systems and settings. Select the AWS Marketplace from the left menu, and search for Valamis.

After you have clicked on the Valamis image, you will see some basic information about the package. As you will see, it is free of charge on our part, but you may have to pay for using Amazon services. When you continue, you have to choose a server configuration. This will define the emulated physical parameters and the network bandwidth of your server. Long story short: the better you select, the faster your Valamis will be. There are some free options, but they are relatively slow. We recommend at least the t2.medium.

All of these servers are hourly payed. Even the most expensive ones cost only a few dollars per hour, so a couple of hours of experimentation does not cost much.

Now, click the buttons in the bottom-right corner starting with "Next:..." until you reach the Security Group configurations. Once there, click on the Add Rule button, and add a custom TCP rule for the 8080 port.

This is required in order to access your Valamis through the browser.

The most important configurations have been done. Click on the Launch buttons until your instance is finally launched. At some point, you will have to create a "key pair". Just name it, download it and store the file somewhere safe. If you want to access your server through ssh, you will need that, but if you only want to try out Valamis, you can forget about it.

Connect to your instance

Go back to the EC2 dashboard and select the running instances.

There you can see your Valamis instance. Give it some time to start up. Even if it says that the instance is running, the Tomcat might not be started fully on the server. You can see an IP address in the Public IP column. Type that into your browser's address bar and add ":8080" to the end. Your Valamis will be available under that address.

In the Instance ID column, you will see a unique code for your instance. The code will be the default password for every pre-made Valamis user.

Use the Valamis demo environment

The actual structure and the usage of the Valamis demo environment will be described on its start-up page.

Shut down your environment

If you are not using your instance anymore, and in order to avoid further network costs, shut it down properly. Select your instance, and Right click → Instance State → Terminate option.