Why use ec2? It does not fit everyones requirements. It does fit people whom require Software-as-a-Service or people whom require hosting of servers (me). I think of it as hosting in the cloud, and the end results are often SaaS.
ec2 as colocation hosting is not the cheapest. However it is quite resonable and was cheaper than my previous hosting service provider. It is however exceptionally flexible with its ability to launch instances as required and you pay only for that use. It is quite fun launching 10s if not 100s of servers to test out some load balancing etc. You can do that immidietly at any time and use it for whatever you need. Then you shut them down, knowing you have not committed to pay for those servers the rest of the month or similar which a normal provider would insist. Or worse having bought all that the hardware yourself.
In the end it fits my needs very much, and I hope yours too.
Some of the drawbacks are:
Find out as much as you can about the Amazon elastic compute cloud.
You can install the command line tools, but these pages will assume you have installed the preferable elasticfox gui. However the more recent aws console is easy and a good choice.
You should pick your ec2 region, EU or USA. Then via Elasticfox's KeyPairs tab create a SSH key to use with ec2.
The default security group is quite open I tend to create thse 5 groups in addition:
|Group Name||Protocol||From port||To port||Source|
Get a feel for ec2 by experimenting with images.
Take care of shutting down and terminating all at the end.
Amazon AWS costs are for the time your running instance(s) are running, traffic to and from internett, S3 storage used, unused IPs and EBS usage.
The risks are
I have a separate page covering expected costs if a similar setup to mine.
It is on the net. Be vigilant.
Dead instances and all their data can not be recoved.
Take backups and use EBS judisciously.
back to flurdy's ec2 docs