Nitro-based Instance Volumes

AWS introduced Nitro-based instances which are modular. They are meant for high performance, high availability, and high security systems. Nitro building blocks provide direct access to high-speed local storage over a PCI interface and transparently encrypts all data using dedicated hardware. It also provides hardware-level isolation between storage devices and EC2 instances so that bare metal instances can benefit from local NVMe storage. The following are Nitro-based instances: A1, C5, C5d, C5n, I3en, M5, M5a, M5ad, M5d, p3dn.24xlarge, R5, R5a, R5ad, R5d, T3, T3a, and z1d. Bare metal: c5.metal, c5n.metal, i3.metal, i3en.metal, m5.metal, m5d.metal, r5.metal, r5d.metal, u-6tb1.metal, u-9tb1.metal, u-12tb1.metal, and z1d.metal.

Although Nitro-based instances looks like regular volumes (/dev/xvda) from the AWS Console, inside the operating system, they look (/dev/nvme6n1) completely different.

In AWS Console, the storage devices will look like this.


In the operating system, invoking df -h, results in this.

/dev/nvme0n1p2   30G  7.0G   24G  24% /
/dev/nvme4n1     50G   20G   31G  40% /vol1
/dev/nvme1n1     10G  753M  9.3G   8% /vol2
/dev/nvme8n1    500G   67G  433G  14% /backups
/dev/nvme2n1    400G   12G  388G   3% /vol3
/dev/nvme6n1    150G  150G  755M 100% /vol4
/dev/nvme7n1     10G   33M   10G   1% /vol5
/dev/nvme5n1     10G  553M  9.5G   6% /vol6
/dev/nvme9n1    100G   91G   10G  91% /vol7

The big question is, how can you tell which volume is associated with which. You’ll need nvme program to map out the volumes. Install nvme-cli first.

yum install nvme-cli

Then run the command below.

# run nvme
sudo nvme id-ctrl -v /dev/nvme6n1 | grep xv
# the result
0000: 2f 64 65 76 2f 73 64 6a 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 "/dev/xvdf..."

GCP Create Instance From Snapshot

There are two steps in creating an instance from a snapshot.

  1. Create a disk from snapshot
  2. Create an instance from the disk

Create a disk from snapshot.

gcloud compute disks create "hostname-boot" \
--project "project-id" \
--zone "us-central1-a" \
--source-snapshot "snapshot-name" \
--type "pd-standard" \
--size "100"

Create an instance from disk.

gcloud beta compute instances create hostname \
--project=project-id \
--zone=us-central1-a \
--subnet=your-subnetwork \
--machine-type=n1-standard-1 \
--no-address \
--maintenance-policy=MIGRATE \ \
--disk=name=instance-1,device-name=instance-1,mode=rw,boot=yes,auto-delete=yes \
--reservation-affinity=any \
--labels=builtby=john.doe \
--tags=web \
--scopes= \

Run Shell Script From Your Website

Here’s how to run a shell script from your website. You’ll need 2 files.

Here’s the contents of foo.php. Wrap your output with ‘pre’ for better formatting.

$output = shell_exec('/var/www/html/ 2>&1');
echo "$output";

Here’s the content of Output will be displayed on web page.

now="$(date +'%y%m%d')"
echo $now
aws s3 ls

AWS Security Groups IP Cidr

Here’s how to search for AWS Security Groups containing this IP Cidr.

aws ec2 describe-security-groups \
--filter Name=egress.ip-permission.cidr,Values='' \
--query "SecurityGroups[*].{Name:GroupName}" \
--output text \
--profile default \
--region us-east-1

Search with ports.

aws ec2 describe-security-groups \
--filter Name=egress.ip-permission.cidr,Values='' \
         Name=egress.ip-permission.from-port,Values='22' \,Values='22' \
--query "SecurityGroups[*].{Name:GroupName}" \
--output text \
--profile default \
--region us-east-1

Query will only display the Security Group name.

Migrate GCP VM to another network

Here are the steps how to migrate a GCP VM from one network to another. It involves recreating the instance in that network.

  1. Find the VM. Click the ‘Create Similar’ button.
  2. Select the new network. Save Network. Everything else should stay the same.
  3. Don’t click Create, but get the ‘Create Similar’ command line script only. Click Cancel after.
  4. Make sure to edit the hostname. GCP appends a ‘-1’ at the end of hostname.
  5. Edit VM to keep all disks. Delete VM. Make sure to preserve boot drive.
  6. Run the ‘Create Similar’ command line script you capture to create new VM in the new network.
  7. The new VM will be based on golden image.
  8. Stop VM. Swap new disks with old disks.
  9. Start VM.
  10. Done.