Sunday, January 30, 2011

Amazon Web Services

I know that to have your own personal blog is cool, but to have it on your own web host is double cool. That's true. However what can be even cooler to have your web host running in your own Linux virtual box? No, not running it in a real box in your garage. It was cool, even geeky, but some years ago. These days everything more or less advanced goes into... clouds. Yes, cloud computing they call it. Is it a right thing? - Yes, I want an answer on this question too. And there is only one way to find out - to try it on.

So that is it. This particular web-site, being my beloved guinea pig, has moved onto Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to test the Amazon Web Services in field conditions. Luckily Amazon gives their new customers Free Usage Tier, a package of free usage enough to run a "micro" instance of a Linux round a clock for a year. The "micro" instance means 613MB of RAM. One must acknowledge that this "Free Usage Tier" doesn't mean free service - Amazon is going to charge for every tiny inhale and separately for an exhale in the cloud. The only hope is they cost pennies each. What amount those pennies are going to pile up in in a month, that's what I'm going to find out and compare to my current Virtual Private Server, which is $20 a month flat for 512MB RAM virtual machine. I specifically do not mention other resources like disk space and CPU GHz since they are not as significant as RAM is and don't actually define the price. We will see.

How is Amazon? - So far not bad. A bit complicated to get started, but one can call it being geeky and be cool oneself. Good thing everything is well documented and explained at the AWS web-site. Also it seems like the community of fellow customers is scarily large. How is performance? - My ssh terminal logged in this box feels much more responsive then with my old VPS. I think it's just the disk I/O at my old service provider needs improvement. Everything else works fairly well on both sites, so can't compare yet. I didn't do any benchmarks and am not going to. Next step will be to put some load (move more web-sites) onto the machine and see how it feels in the web-browser. I'll keep you updated.