Hey msainz -
Great questions! Thanks for being such an active and engaged user! I will try to address one by one below.
<b class="Bold">1) View EC2 GraphLab Server logs</b>
Depends on how the EC2 instance is launched. If launched with graphlab.aws.launch_ec2() than the logs are not exposed in an easy way. If you launch using graphlab.deploy.job.create() than the logs are written to the S3 location specified in the EC2 Environment object.
<b class="Bold">2) ssh-ing to the EC2 instance.</b>
There are a few steps required, and we discourage it (mostly because it should not be required). Is the reason you want to ssh so you can configure ODBC? You are correct, using ODBC with graphlab.aws.launch_EC2() is currently not supported. We would need to bake into the AMI all the different database drivers that could potentially be used - which would always be an incomplete list.
My suggestion instead is to launch an EC2 instance outside of GraphLab Create, ssh to it, and then pip install graphlab-create on it. This way you have full control over the database drivers to install and maintain. If you want to use GraphLab Canvas from this remote EC2 machine, we have some instructions on how to do that available <a href="http://forum.dato.com/discussion/comment/1833/#Comment_1833">here</a>.
Let me know if you have any other questions. Feel free to email me off-list (email@example.com) as well.