Access EC2 Instances Privately Using AWS Systems Manager

Access EC2 Instances Privately Using AWS Systems Manager

When it comes to managing and accessing EC2 instances on the AWS platform, security is of utmost importance. The traditional method of connecting to instances via SSH or RDP may pose security risks, especially when instances are exposed to the public internet. To address this concern, AWS Systems Manager provides a secure and convenient way to access EC2 instances privately, without the need for public IP addresses or open ports.

What is AWS Systems Manager?

AWS Systems Manager is a management service that helps you automate operational tasks across your AWS resources. It provides a unified user interface, allowing you to view and manage resources, automate operational tasks, and collect and analyze operational data.

Private Access to EC2 Instances

By leveraging AWS Systems Manager, you can establish private connectivity to your EC2 instances using the Session Manager feature. This feature allows you to securely access instances without the need for public IP addresses or inbound security group rules.

The Session Manager works by establishing a secure WebSocket connection between your local machine and the EC2 instance. This connection is facilitated by the AWS Systems Manager agent, which is pre-installed on Amazon Linux 2 and Windows Server 2016 and later AMIs.

Benefits of Using AWS Systems Manager for Private Access

1. Enhanced Security: With private access, you eliminate the need to expose your instances to the public internet, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches.

2. Simplified Access Management: AWS Systems Manager integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), allowing you to control access to EC2 instances using IAM policies. This provides a centralized and granular approach to managing user permissions.

3. Auditability and Compliance: All session activities are logged and can be easily audited, providing a comprehensive trail of who accessed which instance and when. This helps meet compliance requirements and enhances accountability.

4. No Need for Bastion Hosts or VPNs: With private access through Systems Manager, you can eliminate the need for bastion hosts or VPN connections, simplifying your network architecture and reducing operational overhead.

Setting Up Private Access to EC2 Instances

Setting up private access to EC2 instances using AWS Systems Manager involves a few simple steps:

1. Ensure that your EC2 instances are running the required version of the AWS Systems Manager agent. This agent is pre-installed on Amazon Linux 2 and Windows Server 2016 and later AMIs. For other instances, you can manually install the agent.

2. Configure the necessary IAM policies to grant users or roles access to the Systems Manager service and the specific EC2 instances they need to manage.

3. Install the AWS CLI (Command Line Interface) on your local machine if you haven’t already. This will allow you to interact with AWS Systems Manager from the command line.

4. Use the AWS CLI or the AWS Management Console to start a session with your EC2 instance. The Systems Manager console provides a user-friendly interface to initiate sessions, while the CLI offers more flexibility and scripting capabilities.

Once connected, you can securely manage and troubleshoot your EC2 instances using familiar command-line tools or GUI-based tools like PowerShell or Remote Desktop.


AWS Systems Manager provides a secure and convenient way to access EC2 instances privately, without the need for public IP addresses or open ports. By leveraging the Session Manager feature, you can enhance security, simplify access management, ensure auditability and compliance, and eliminate the need for bastion hosts or VPNs. With a few simple steps, you can set up private access to your EC2 instances and confidently manage your resources on the AWS platform.

Introducing AWS CloudShell: A Powerful New Tool for Cloud Developers

Introducing AWS CloudShell: A Powerful New Tool for Cloud Developers

Understanding AWS CloudShell: A Quick Dive

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is known for its continuous innovations, aiming to provide its users with better ways to manage and deploy cloud resources. One such innovation is AWS CloudShell, a browser-based command-line interface designed to make AWS operations more seamless.

What is AWS CloudShell?

AWS CloudShell is a service that offers users direct command-line access to AWS resources straight from the AWS Management Console. It’s akin to having a terminal or shell in your browser without needing any local setup.

Key Features:

  1. No Local Setup Required: With CloudShell, there’s no need to install AWS CLI or any SDKs on your local machine. The shell environment is pre-configured with all the necessary tools.
  2. Pre-Authenticated Access: The service uses the credentials of the logged-in AWS console user. This means you don’t need to manage or rotate access keys on your local machine, enhancing security and convenience.
  3. Persistent Storage: Each CloudShell session has a small amount of persistent storage. This ensures that your scripts, files, and other data remain intact between sessions.
  4. Language Support: CloudShell supports popular programming languages like Python, Node.js, and more. This makes it easier for developers to run scripts directly in the environment.
  5. Built-in Editor: CloudShell features a built-in text editor, letting users modify scripts and files directly within the interface.


  • Streamlined Access: CloudShell provides a centralized location to manage resources without reconfiguring CLI settings for those who frequently switch between different AWS accounts or regions.
  • Security: By being integrated into the AWS Management Console, CloudShell benefits from AWS’s robust security mechanisms like IAM roles and policies.
  • Simplicity: New AWS users or those unfamiliar with CLI setups can dive into AWS operations without facing the usual setup hurdles.

Use Cases:

  • Quick Troubleshooting: Admins can quickly run commands to inspect resources, modify configurations, or debug issues.
  • Educational Demos: Educators and trainers can utilize CloudShell in tutorials, showing students AWS operations without any local setup requirements.
  • Script Testing: Developers can test scripts directly within AWS’s environment, ensuring compatibility and functionality.


AWS CloudShell embodies the cloud’s core philosophy: removing barriers and making resources accessible with the least friction possible. Whether you’re a seasoned AWS expert or a beginner, CloudShell offers a convenient and efficient way to manage AWS resources. As with any tool, its power comes from understanding its capabilities and leveraging them effectively.