No Charge for AWS-omeness

Published on 22 December 2010
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Until recently, I've only used Amazon Web Services (AWS) vicariously, such as S3 storage through Dropbox. But since I've started pushing my "cloud" things beyond my hosting service's limits, I couldn't resist Amazon's new one year free offer.

For my initial work, I needed only EC2 (Linux instances) and S3 (storage), so I navigated the obligatory sign-ups and confirmation emails and calls for these. The services were activated after a short wait, and I could manage them through the AWS Management Console and Elasticfox.

For EC2, I started an Amazon AMI with SLES 11 (in spite of that Attachmate/Novell thing) and enabled ssh and http access in its security group. I then ssh'ed in to install (zypper) and configure (chkconfig, etc.) apache2, mysql, php, mod-php, and a few other goodies. Within just a few minutes, I had the entire stack running in the VM, ready to take on my stuff.

Compared with old-fashioned ways of building and publishing web servers, VMs, and VPSes, this is just too easy. And it's reassuring to know that this thing is hugely scalable. But, best of all, it's free. At least for a year.