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Frequently asked questions

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This topic covers common questions about ArcGIS Server on Amazon Web Services.

Cloud Builder questions

ArcGIS Server site questions

General Amazon Web Services questions

Are my Amazon Access Key and Secret Access Key viewed or stored by Esri when I log in to ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services?

No. When you use ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services, your Amazon Access Key and Secret Access Key are evaluated directly against Amazon's databases and are never sent to Esri servers.

How do I obtain a .prvc file to license my site if I have an Esri Developer Network (EDN) license?

Cloud Builder requires a .prvc file to license ArcGIS Server. EDN users can create a .prvc file in the following way:

  1. Log in to My Esri to obtain your authorization number.

  2. Using a text editor such as Notepad, create a file from the following template and insert your information, including the authorization number you obtained in the previous step.

    // User Information
    First Name=
    Last Name=
    Address 1=
    Location=<country or region>
    Location Code=<country or region code>
    Zip/Postal Code=
    Phone Number=
    Your Organization=
    Your Industry=
    // Features and authorization numbers
    ArcGIS Server=ECP...

  3. Save the file with a .prvc extension.
  4. In Cloud Builder, browse to the .prvc file when prompted for your License file.

When I allow Cloud Builder to create a new key pair file, where does the file get placed on disk?

The key pair is placed in your Windows Documents folder under ArcGISCloudBuilder. For example, the path to your key pair file might look like C:\Users\username\Documents\ArcGISCloudBuilder\arcgis-TestSite.pem.

Is the Web Adaptor installed when I create my site with Cloud Builder? Do I need to install the Web Adaptor?

ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services does not install or configure the ArcGIS Web Adaptor because the Amazon load balancer plays many of the same roles, distributing incoming requests among the GIS servers in your site. However, after you create your site, you can optionally log in to your instance and download the Web Adaptor setup from My Esri. This is necessary if you'll be hosting ArcGIS API for JavaScript applications on a Windows instance. See Deploy a web application on a Windows site for more details.

Cloud Builder displays the following message after I log in: "Failed to get a list of custom configuration templates. Forbidden."

Although this message might have multiple causes, it can appear when your system time is out of sync with the actual current time. For example, if you live in a region where the time moves forward an hour during the summer months, and your computer's clock is not synchronized with this change, Cloud Builder will not be allowed to perform certain actions with Amazon EC2.

Can I use Cloud Builder with a proxy server?

ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services cannot be used to build a site when connecting to the Internet through a proxy server.

I recently created an ArcGIS Server site on Windows and the remote desktop connection fails when I attempt to log in.

First, allow some time for the site to launch. If you used ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services to create the site, wait until all the site information appears in the My Sites window and you see the buttons for stopping, updating, deleting, and so forth.

If you launched the site manually using the AWS Management Console, right-click the instance and click Get System Log. Once you see a message the Windows is ready to use, wait about 5 additional minutes before you attempt to log in.

Second, make sure you've added a rule to your site's security group allowing remote desktop connections through port 3389. This is described in Open an Amazon EC2 security group for ArcGIS Server

After I launch an EC2 instance, how can I be sure that ArcGIS Server was successfully configured?

You can check the health of ArcGIS Server by viewing and logging in to Manager. Expand your site details in Cloud Builder to see the URL for Manager. You should be able to go to this URL and log in using the primary site administrator account you supplied when stepping through the Cloud Builder wizard. A healthy site will have a running sample map service, along with the preconfigured services in the System and Utilities folders.

Be sure to allow sufficient time for the site to launch before you make the above checks.

Is Windows Firewall enabled on the ArcGIS Server AMIs?

Windows Firewall is enabled on the ArcGIS Server AMIs, and all ports are open that are necessary for ArcGIS Server to run. Windows Firewall compliments the Amazon security groups. To allow inbound access on a port, you must allow the port using both Windows Firewall and the Amazon security group.

See Windows Firewall and the ArcGIS Server AMIs.

Is ArcGIS Server supported in Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)?

Yes. Beginning at version 10.1 Service Pack 1, ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services gives you the option to launch your site within a VPC subnet. You can also launch ArcGIS Server instances in VPC using the AWS Management Console.

See Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and ArcGIS Server.

I see an error about insufficient capacity when I click Launch to launch an instance.

This is an error from Amazon EC2 meaning that it does not have the available capacity to meet your request for a new instance. If your deployment architecture permits, you may be able to work around this error by requesting an instance in a different availability zone or letting EC2 choose the availability zone for you. Other options are to try launching a different size of instance or launching the instance later.

When I try to retrieve the administrator password for my EC2 instance on Windows, I get the message "No password was found."

This message can appear if you try to use Get Windows Password after you have stopped and started an EC2 instance. To avoid this error, the first time you log in, change the Administrator password to a value you can more easily remember.

How do I find out my Access Key and Secret Access Key?

When configuring client apps that use EC2, including ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services, you may be asked to provide an Access Key and Secret Access Key. These unique keys are used to identify you (or an application acting in your behalf) when you make requests to Amazon Web Services.

Each Amazon account can have multiple users associated with it, each with their own levels of access and their own keys. To log in to Cloud Builder, you need to supply the access keys associated with a user of your account that has administrator access.

If you don't have a user with administrator access defined or you don't have the keys, you need to do the following:

  1. Log in to the AWS Management Console and click Services > IAM.
  2. Click Create a New Group of Users.
  3. Type a group name and click Continue.
  4. Click the Select button next to the Administrator Access policy template. Administrator privileges are required in order to use all the functions of Cloud Builder. Power users can do everything in Cloud Builder except manage SSL certificates.
  5. Click Continue to accept the default security policy for an administrator.
  6. Click the Create New Users tab and type the name for a user, such as your own name. Then click Continue.
  7. Review the information about the group and user to be created and click Continue.
  8. Click Download Credentials and save the CSV file to a secure location. You cannot download these keys later, so make sure you get them onto a local machine.
  9. Open the CSV file in a spreadsheet or text editor and copy and paste the Access Key and Secret Access Key into the Cloud Builder login screen.

I got a message in the AWS Management Console that my instance is scheduled for retirement. What does this mean?

You might see this message if your instance happens to be running on degraded hardware that Amazon needs to replace. If you see this message, you should stop your site and start it again using ArcGIS Server Cloud Builder on Amazon Web Services. After this, the message should go away.