Decaf is a nifty EC2 client for Android that allows you to perform important management tasks, such as launching of instances, reboots, snapshot creation, and so on, right from your smartphone.
There is no doubt about it, Amazon has become the leading provider of public cloud services. No other cloud provider adds new features at a comparable pace. A clear sign for Amazon’s dominance is that the ecosystem around Amazon Web Services (AWS) is growing quickly. Clients that allow you to manage AWS and, in particular, Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) frontends are especially popular. I do believe that even though Linux is predominant on EC2, it makes a lot of sense for Windows shops to run Windows servers in Amazon’s cloud.
Amazon EC2 client – Decaf
The Decaf EC2 client for Android makes no different between Windows and Linux instances (virtual machines) because you can only manage EC2 functionality, and not the guest operating systems. You can administer EC2 instances, AMIs (Amazon images), EBS (Elastic Block Storage), EBS Snapshots, Elastic IPs (IP addresses), Security Groups (firewall settings), and Key Pairs (crypto keys for accessing instances).
Decaf does not have the same functionality as the AWS Management Console; however, it is impressive how much can be done without much hassle on a mobile phone. I have what is probably the smallest Android phone (Xperia Mini), which only has a 2.55″ display, but I am at least as fast with Decaf as with Amazon’s web interface on a PC.
By the way, this is another good example that demonstrates that web apps are about to lose ground. Even if you have a bigger display, using the AWS Management Console on a smartphone is quite cumbersome. The Decaf user interface is optimized for touch, and using it is really fun.
The EC2 client also comes with a simple monitoring tool (Decaf Watch) that can check availability of Internet services by probing their TCP ports. Decaf can play a sound, vibrate, or blink the LED if a server stops responding. It is comforting to know that you can then reboot a server within seconds wherever you are.
Amazon EC2 client – Decaf Monitoring
Don’t confuse this monitoring feature with Amazon CloudWatch. Decaf supports this too. That is, you can also monitor CPU, disk, and networking states with the EC2 client. However, Decaf can only display the total of all your instances, not single machines.
Decaf costs €9.99. I definitely think that the EC2 client is worth the money. Ah, I almost forgot. If you still use an iPhone, you can also run Decaf on phones with the oversized, intrusive Apple logo. And Windows Phone 7? Sorry, no.