For organizations to really consider the cloud, we need solutions and the right tools. In prior cloud blog posts, I mentioned how specific examples are key to organizations making the transition to the cloud and how the über-cool FastScale Stack Manager makes the transition possible. Now I want to show you another tool to get your mind around how you can work with the cloud, the Elasticfox plug-in.

Elasticfox is a plug-in for the Mozilla Firefox browser that allows access to Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts. Elasticfox allows cloud administrators to configure capacity with minimal work and within the comfort of a browser interface. Installing the plug-in is quite easy. Open the plug-in with Firefox, and the message shown in Figure A will start the plug-in installation.

Figure A

Once the plug-in is installed, Elasticfox will be listed in the Tools menu of Firefox. Launching the plug-in will perform a setup of the AWS credentials. Figure B shows the AWS account being assigned to the plug-in.

Figure B

At that point, you have a view into an AWS account that is enabled with the Elastic Compute Cluster (EC2) service. From here you can see all elements assigned to the EC2 account, including instances (which are workloads in the cloud), security configurations, and elastic IP addresses assigned to the EC2 workloads. Figure C shows four elastic IP addresses assigned to an EC2 account.

Figure C

While Elasticfox and other tools make the cloud more accessible, there still is a value-added service that early adopters of cloud technology may miss out on when going at it alone. That’s what Pinal Patel says of Columbus, Ohio-based Evonence, a start-up cloud consulting firm that helps organizations get to the cloud. Patel continues to say that the up-front detail work in session management, security, and application architecture makes all the difference in the success factor of a transition to the cloud. Without a doubt, the Elasticfox tool is a must-have for getting workloads into the cloud.

Does having Elasticfox make the EC2 cloud more or less attractive to you? Stay tuned to my series of cloud content. I will be moving a workload into the cloud and share my experiences right here.