What do I get by using this image (AMI)?

At the end: A complete DNN Platform stack on one instance (server). All components like IIS and SQL server preconfigured and ready to run. In a nutshell: you get the configuration to run DNN Platform on AWS. You can call it a Ready-to-run Sandbox for DNN Platform.

Why should I use this AMI instead of doing everything by myself?

That's easy: save time. Otherwise you will need to install and configure all components like Windows Server, ASP.Net, IIS and SQL Server.

Would I get a different result setting up everything by myself?

No. If you do it the same way like it was done while building this AMI you can build this Configuration Set on your own.

What's my first step using this AMI?

After launching an instances based on this image: wait. If you think you waited long enough: wait a bit longer. Seriously: after launching an instance, wait about 5 to 7 minutes, perhaps 10. The first boot process will take some time, services need to be started for the first time and so on.

Which instance size should I choose?

Well, it depends. For running this Configuration Sets t2 instances (incl. the very small nano instance) would work. However if you want to work and configure or test on the server itself, than you should select a larger instance size. Perhaps you want to insatll and configure your DNN using a C4 instance type and after you are done, switch it down to a t2.

How can I access my instance?

Use your browser to access your instance by entering its hostname or IP set by AWS. To access the desktop of your instance use RDP. For RDP access get the needed credentials from the AWS console.


I get “service unavailable” errors or my instance doesn't answer. What to do?

If you did set up your security group correctly and port 80 for http is open, your instance should be reachable. However if it doesn't react or shows a “service unavailable” error after starting the first time: wait and reload the page later. Depending on the selected region it may take up to 20 minutes to set up the complete sandbox.


Has DNN Platform installation been completed as part of this AMI?

No. The DNN Platform installation wizard will show up when you start the instance for the first time and use your browser to connect to it. Or you could use RDP and use the browser on the instance itself to open http://localhost

What's the host username?

As DNN Platform installation wizard has not been completed, you will need to set your own host username and password the first time you use your browser to connect to the instance. Then start the installation process.

Do I need to change database settings in the installation wizard?

No. Just keep them as they are to use SQL Server Express installed and preconfigured as part of your instance.

Have files or third party modules been added to this installation?

No. 100% pure DNN Platform aka. DotNetNuke CE.

Has DNN Platform been modified or recompiled?

No. Only the web.config and the install wizard have been pre filled to streamline the installation process and to fit AWS marketplace requirements.

Who is going to manage my instance?

No one. It's your server. You need to manage it. Install Windows Updates and update your DNN Platform installation.

Do I need to pay for DNN Platform?

No. DNN Platform is Open Source. However DNN Corp. offers commercial products called “evoq” including more enterprise centric features. Take a look at them.

Where can I download DNN Platform?

Just visit www.dnnsoftware.com/platform

Where do I get information about the latest changes (changelog)?

Visit https://github.com/dnnsoftware/Dnn.Platform/releases

What does “Nightly Build” mean?

DNN Nightly Builds provide the latest development snapshots of DNN Platform. Nightly Builds are created based on code which is currently under active development. These builds have gone through minimal testing, are not stable and are not recommended for production websites. There is no guaranteed upgrade path from a nightly build to the final production releases. http://www.dnnsoftware.com/platform/build/nightly-builds

Why do I need to pay for using this AMI?

First of all you pay for the infrastructure consumed by your instance. Pricing is driven by your instance size (“instance type”). You pay also a small amount for the included Configuration Set and its global distribution. That's how you support building and spreading more versions of this Configuration Set. Thank you.

Is the provided AMI for productive use?

Well, DNN Platform is based on a three tier architecture. At least the database server (SQL Server) should be separated from the web server (IIS). You could use AWS RDS (managed SQL server) instead of a SQL server maintained by yourself. However for small websites you could use this image for productive use. You will have all components on one instance. No failover nor any load balancing. If that's ok for you: go ahead.

Which SQL Server user has been used within this AMI?

Following best practices “Integrated Windows Authentication” (Application Pool Identity) has been used. So no user is needed.

How can I manage the database used by DNN Platform on my instance?

As SQL Server Express is installed and preconfigured on this instance, you can just use SQL Server Management Studio (which is also installed) to access your database. You don't need a SQL user. Use Windows Authentication. You will find the database. It’s the only one on your instance.

Can I use AWS RDS (managed SQL Server) instead of SQL Server Express on the server itself?

Yes. You should for productive use at least. However it is recommended to use the installed SQL Server Express and finish the DNN installation wizard first. After that, configure RDS, don't forget to set up security groups between your instance and RDS, test the connection from your instance to RDS using SQL Server Management Studio, migrate your database content to your RDS database and change your web.config to point to RDS instead to the installed SQL Server Express.

How can I create backups of my instance?

Just create a snapshot of your instance. However a reboot could be required. Please follow the AWS Windows Server documentation. http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/WindowsGuide/

If I reboot my instance: do I need to start the install process again?

No. Your instance is comparable to a normal Windows Server. You can reboot or stop and start it like you want.

Where do I get support?

On the one hand AWS offers a wide range of different support levels. You will get answers to all your questions regarding AWS infrastructure. This AMI is using the services EC2 and EBS. On the other hand DNN Corp. offers enterprise level support for their commercial products (“evoq”). Take a look what DNN Corp. is offering and consider to use their commercial products if they fit better to your approach or use case. You can also visit the DNN Platform community forums.

Will this AMI be updated?

Kind of. The idea is to keep different versions and their components untouched. Each version is state-of-the-art when it is released. That's why there will be more AMIs with newer versions of the used components like SQL Server. Each AMI will include a Configuration Set with the latest updated components including Windows Updates at this point of time. That's why the AMI versions include dates in the format yyyy-mm-dd.

I want to give feedback about the Configuration Set of this AMI. How?

Just send me an e-mail to mail+aws-dnn-ami@benjaminhermann.de

by Benjamin Hermann - EULA