Supported AWS Resources

You can manage the following AWS resources in Commander.

Infrastructure / Resource TypeDetails

EC2 Instances

EC2 Instances are equivalent to VMs and are displayed as VMs in Commander. Instances can be managed from Commander's Infrastructure and Applications views and can be deployed through the service catalog. EC2 VMs are deployed using preconfigured instance types (such as micro, small, medium and large) rather than fine-grained configuration of CPU, memory, storage and networking resources. When you add an AMI to the Service Catalog, you choose the instance types to make available to users when they request that AMI. Once you have deployed an instance, the instance type and storage resources can be changed through a service change request, with the Reconfigure Resources command, or by applying a rightsizing recommendation.

Instance types added between Commander releases are fully supported in the next Commander release. If a new instance type is added between Commander releases, the instance type won't be available in Commander until a new instance with this instance type is deployed in the public cloud and Commander is synchronized with the public cloud. The new instance type will then be available for use in Commander deployments, but resource and cost information won't be available, and quota won't be calculated.


AMIs (Amazon machine images) are equivalent to VM templates and are displayed as VM templates in Commander. AWS provides a set of public AMIs known as AWS Marketplace AMIs. Any AMIs you create in AWS are private AMIs. Both private and Marketplace AMIs are available for use in Commander. Private AMIs are available for deployment from Commander's Applications View and can also be added to the service catalog. Marketplace AMIs must be added to the service catalog in order to be deployed; they're not available in the Applications view.

Because private AMIs belong to regions, when you create a private AMI, you must place it in each region where you want to be able to deploy it. By contrast, Marketplace AMIs are global and can generally be deployed to any region.

RDS Instances

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) gives you online access to the capabilities of several relational database management systems. RDS instances can be managed from Commander's Infrastructure and Applications views. Deployment of RDS instances in Commander is supported only through CloudFormation templates.

Elastic Load Balancers

Elastic Load Balancers (ELBs) redirect traffic to healthy Amazon EC2 instances (for Classic Load Balancers) or target groups (for Application Load Balancers or Network Load Balancers) for more consistent application performance. An instance or a target group can be associated with multiple ELBs. ELBs can span availability zones. ELBs can be managed from Commander's Infrastructure view. Deployment of ELBs in Commander is supported only through CloudFormation templates.


An Amazon EC2 instance may have both EBS– and instance store–backed volumes. Instance store–backed disks are not persistent: an instance store–backed disks is deleted when it's powered off. Commander doesn't display instance store–backed volumes. Commander displays EBS-based volumes as VM disks. Unattached volumes (volumes which aren't attached to an instance, but for which you're still charged) are included in the Unlinked Files Report

Commander retrieves the size of the EBS and S3 disks from AWS during the regular update.

Commander allows you to modify storage resources for existing VMs.


Snapshots are displayed in Commander only as storage usage.

Reserved Instances

Reserved Instances provide a significant discount compared with on-demand pricing. Based on your Amazon EC2 instance uptime, Commander retrieves Reserved Instance purchase recommendations from AWS. You can also use the Reserved Instance reports directly to view EC2 Reserved Instance purchases for each combination of operating system, instance type, and region, including the projected savings for each purchase. For more information, see Chargeback and IT Costing Reports.

Auto Scaling Groups

Auto Scaling Groups (ASGs) help you ensure that you have the correct number of EC2 instances available to handle the load for your application. ASGs can be managed from Commander's Infrastructure and Applications views. Deployment of ASGs in Commander is supported only through CloudFormation templates.

CloudFormation Templates

CloudFormation simplifies provisioning and management on AWS. You can create CloudFormation templates for the service or application architectures you want and have AWS CloudFormation use those templates for reliable provisioning of services or applications (called stacks). CloudFormation templates can be thought of as an analogue to the Commander service catalog entry. They list the AMIs used to provision instances and they describe information such as security groups and availability zones used to configure the instances.

CloudFormation templates:

  • Have parameters, such as instance type, SSH key and database credentials, that serve as inputs.
  • Provide outputs, such as the ID of a deployed instance and the public IP/DNS name of a load balancer.
  • Can include resource definitions for EC2, RDS, ElastiCache, beanstalk and others.
  • Can be added to the service catalog to deploy stacks.


Stacks can be managed from Commander's Infrastructure and Applications views. All stack resources (whether directly supported by Commander or not) are displayed on the Resources tab of these views. You can deploy a stack by adding a CloudFormation template to the service catalog.


By default, Commander's Infrastructure and Applications views display only the AWS regions that contain resources. See Selecting Public Cloud Regions to Display in Commander to learn how to change this. Commander also supports AWS GovCloud accounts, which have access only to isolated GovCloud regions.

Availability Zones

Each region is divided into multiple availability zones. Availability zones are somewhat equivalent to datacenters. Availability zones can be managed from Commander's Applications view. When deploying to EC2-Classic, Commander supports selection of an availability zone.


EC2 instances run in one of two supported platforms: EC2-Classic and EC2-VPC. Commander supports deployment to both of these platforms, as well as the configuration of automated deployment destinations targeting both platforms. VPCs can be managed from Commander's Infrastructure view.


When deploying to EC2-VPC, you select a subnet, which maps to an availability zone. Subnets are displayed in Commander's Infrastructure, Applications and Storage views. Commander supports the assignment of network zones to subnets. Commander also supports the assignment of subnets during manual and automated deployment.

Security Groups

Security groups are analogous to a firewall configuration, defining inbound and outbound access rules for network traffic. You can assign a security group during manual and automated deployment.

Key Pairs

Key pairs are used to log into EC2 Linux instances and retrieve the Administrator password for certain Windows instances. You can assign a key pair during manual and automated deployment. You can also manage key pairs for AWS regions.