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amazon ec2+s3 combo VS dedicated hosting

anyone have experience with amazon's ec2 and s3 as a hosting environment? i've outgrown shared and naturally i'm looking at a dedicated box or managed hosting but i've been hearing more about developers using amazon's web services lately. thing is, amazon's pricing structure makes my head hurt this wonderful friday afternoon. amazon is more of a per-usuage sort of deal rather than a straightforward monthly thing. do any of you see what amazon has to offer as the better deal pricewise?
Friday, February 01, 2008
EC2 is not really intended for web hosting, but still lots of people use it for that.  The big issue you'll have to deal with is that fact that rebooting the machine == rebuilding the machine.  As in, if your instance dies for any reason, so does any data stored on it.

So that translates to a lot of extra work making sure that the database is backed up and exported to a safe location on a regular basis, and that you have a simple script to re-import it all whenever your instance starts up.

At the end of the day though, it's not like EC2 instances are dying left and right for no reason.  You can still keep your server alive for months at a time with no worries.  You just need to keep in mind the consequences of ever turning it off!

As to pricing, it's easier if you just think of an EC2 box costing $72/month to keep alive.  Bandwidth is free back & forth to S3, and cheap to everywhere else.  S3 itself is cheap enough that you can effectively think of it as free.  For a site getting 100k visitors a month, it will cost on the order of $10/month to use S3 for image storage.

Good luck!
Jason Kester Send private email
Saturday, February 02, 2008
You might find these article useful in your deliberations:

1. - Amazon's EC2: Pay as You Grow Could Cut Your Costs in Half
2. - Build an Infinitely Scalable Infrastructure for $100 Using Amazon Services
3. - Running Hadoop MapReduce on Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3
4. - Feedblendr Architecture - Using EC2 to Scale
5. - Is premature scalation a real disease?
6. - The Current Pros and Cons List for SimpleDB

The upshot seems to be the cloud computing offers a lot to developers and Amazon is the current king of the cloud.
Saturday, February 02, 2008

I have been using EC2 and S3 for over six months and I think it is a great service.

With EC2, you can bring up new instances for a few hours to try things out and the switch them off. An evening of experimenting costs less than $1.

I recently migrated my applications from one instance to another to change the version of Linux, and then switched the old instance off.

You cannot get this kind of flexibility from dedicated hosts who want minimum length contracts etc.

You can 'reboot' you instance without losing data. But if you 'kill' your instance you will lose data.

Hope this helps,
Tim Hastings Send private email
Monday, February 04, 2008
interesting blog post about someone's experience with ec2:
Preparation DHH
Monday, February 04, 2008

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