Below are general guidelines for setting up a cloud hosted server, then connecting to an Open Dental server using Middle Tier. To store images and documents in the cloud, see Storing Images in Dropbox.
There are a few companies who offer virtual servers that you can use to set up the Middle Tier:
At Open Dental we have set up a test cloud server environment using Amazon Web Service's Free Tier account, and the EC2 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud web service (Amazon EC2). Below are the general setup steps we followed.
- Sign up for a free Tier account. This is free for one year and a good way to test. https://aws.amazon.com/free/?nc2=h_l2_cc
- Choose the virtual server hosting product you want to try. We selected EC2 Amazon and received a key pair consisting of a public key stored by AWS and a private key stored by us. Together, the key pair allows you to securely connect to the unique cloud server (called an instance).
- For Windows AMIs, the private key file is required to obtain the password used to log into your instance.
- For Linux AMIs, the private key file allows you to securely SSH into your instance.
- Log in to the Amazon Web Service Account.
- Select EC2 Amazon to open the EC2 Management Console. Make sure the correct region is selected in the upper right corner.
- Create an instance (each unique cloud server is one instance). One instance is allowed in the free account. If you create more you may be charged.
- Assign a static IP address to the instance to make the cloud server IP address permanent.
- In the left panel, click Instances. Make sure the instance has started. Right click on the instance, click Instance State and verify Start is selected (grayed out).
- Connect to the instance. Right click on the instance, then click Connect.
- Click Download Remote Desktop File. You can also use Windows Remote Desktop Connection. Login as needed to access the cloud server.
- Set up the Middle Tier.