The Problem

AWS is extremely powerful. That power comes with quite a learning curve. As any nerd will tell you, the power lies in the command line interface, however we don’t have time to do all that stuff.

Netflix’s Asgard to the rescue….kinda.

Wet your beak with this Asgard presentation.

Let’s roll!

The Solution


  • Java 6 or 7 JDK installed
  • AWS account
  • AWS credentials handy
  • AWS account number (see below)
  • You have an application you want to deploy

NOTE: You don’t need to create an SQS or SimpleDB to get Asgard started, these resources can be created using Asgard

Start that thang

Download the “asgard-standalone.jar” here. The jar has a self-contained Tomcat server

Open the terminal to your download directory and try this on for size:

$ java -Xmx1024M -XX:MaxPermSize=128m -jar \ 

Open this in your browser hole: http://localhost:8080.

Check yourself

Grab your AWS credentials and account number. I didn’t have my account number off hand, I found it this way:

  1. Focus on the “Summary” tab
  2. Find the “User Arn” field
  3. The 12 digit number between “arn:aws:iam::” and “:user/” is your Amazon account number.

If you want to get jiggy with it set your config locally.

SimpleDB & SQS

Click “SDB” (SimpleDB) and verify or create a resource with the domain name “CLOUD_APPLICATIONS”

Click “SQS” and create a new queue “Asgard”, keep the defaults.

My First Application

There are two logical entities that Asgard refers to that have no direct mapping to AWS: an application and a cluster.


You are ready to move on to part two of this series of blog posts

My first experience with Asgard has given me the feeling that it is the definitive dashboard and tool for managing cloud configuration, deployment and scaling with the AWS infrastructure. I imagine that more of my time will be spent in Asgard than in the console.

Asgard is just a tool. To use it affectively, I will need to learn more about AWS and its services. Clearly the subject matter is vast, but the payoff is invaluable to a any business looking to scale.

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01 April 2014