Have You Tried the Amazon Web Services?

Amazon EC2, EBS, S3.. I’ve been looking for the perfect web hosting for over two years now. Is this it?

A few months ago I really liked MediaTemple cause they offered pretty good US hosting starting from $20/mo, which was quite good for the Foller.me project, so at the starting point I chose them. Their service is cool, definitely worth the money, but. A few weeks have passed, along with some major development on the service update and I got stuck with MySQL and overall server performance. It’s pretty tough to scan through 2,000,000 relations from @cnnbrk and then geocode their locations so I thought that I need to fine-tune MySQL and work out a more powerful caching system.

Yes, MediaTemple do offer dedicated MySQL grids for $50/mo, so that’s $70/mo overall. Not that bad, but thinking ahead, I’d also like to tweak up my http server, so that’d be a virtual dedicated plan for $50/mo, which makes $100/mo in total. Woah! And that’s just the start (around 500 megs RAM, 20 GB disk space and 1 TB bandwidth).

Now the Amazon Web Services offers a 2 GB RAM, 1.6 GHz virtual machine for only $0.10/hr, that makes ~$70/mo. Put up an Elastic Block Store (EBS) up to 1 TB and attach it to the instance around $20/mo. and perhaps an Amazon S3 bucket $10/mo. That makes about $100/mo in total. It’s not just the price though, I loved the way you’re in total control of whatever is happening on your server. You tune it however you like, whenever you like. Save bundled volumes and start over at any time. One-click EBS volume backups, elastic IP address and up to 20 instanced running simultaneously (you can increase this number by contacting Amazon). You also get to pick whatever OS you’d like to run (they’re called AMIs). You can build your own bundled OSs and make them available public.

Oh, and one of the best things about Amazon EC2 (Elastic Cloud) is that it’s so flexible! Switching servers has never been so easy. Start a new instance, attach an EBS, tune it up. Associate your old Elastic IP address to the new instance and voila! Go ahead and terminate your old instance, cause you’re riding your new mustang now!

I’m also sure that you can setup multiple servers and network balancers.. Like clustered computing y’know, the possibilities are endless! But I’m too far away from that at the moment, though I’m sure that whenever I have some free time, I will throw some experiments in that field ;) I’ve already setup Trac and SVN server a few days ago, works great!

Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers, blah blah blah. Those are from the past. It’s Amazon Web Services. Go get your account right now ;)

4 thoughts on “Have You Tried the Amazon Web Services?

  1. Seems cool, K, but you have to know lots of stuff about linux before getting the hang of EC2, unlike shared hosting…

    • Umm.. Yeah, actually it took me two days to figure it all out. I mean the bundling and uploading AMIs to the S3 bucket and the other ec2 commands on linux. There are loads of tutorials out there though and the AWS forums are great.

  2. Yes, this is way better than a vps at any hosting company around, although it's pretty expensive. I'm renting a vps for $25 per month.

    • I understand, I thought quite a lot about the price too, and I'm actually sharing the hosting fees with some of my friends, so it's not that bad ;)

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