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When you are connected to your Amazon Windows instance, you can use it just like you use any Windows Server. There are several ways you can use your Windows instance:
Use the instance as is for specific tasks and duration, and stop or terminate the instance when your task is done.
Customize the instance by installing software, applications, and additional storage for specific tasks and duration. For example, you can use an Amazon Windows AMI as the base, install Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, and attach Amazon EBS volumes for additional storage. (Note that you can reboot both instance store-backed and Amazon EBS-backed instances after installing software and applications.)
Create your own AMI from your customized instance. This new customized AMI can then be used as a base to launch multiple instances.
For information about launching, connecting, and using your Windows instance, see Amazon EC2 Instances.
Before you create your own AMI, you can configure your base customized instance. The new configuration applies to all the instances that are launched from the new AMI. Your Amazon Windows instance comes with a configuration tool, EC2ConfigService. You can use this tool to configure your instance. For information on using the EC2Config Service, see Configuring a Windows Instance Using the EC2Config Service
The root storage device that you selected for the AMI determines the process you follow to create the AMI. The AMI is an Amazon EBS-backed AMI or an Amazon EC2 instance store-backed AMI. There are significant differences between Amazon EBS-backed and Amazon EC2 instance store-backed AMIs, including AMI size limits, storage, and persistence of data. For information about the differences between these AMIs, see Root Device Storage on Windows AMIs.
For detailed instructions for creating an Amazon EBS-backed Windows AMI, see Creating an Amazon EBS-Backed Windows AMI. For detailed instructions for creating an instance store-backed Windows AMI, see Creating an Instance Store-Backed Windows AMI.