Moving to the Amazon

I'm in the process of switching my hosting from a dedicated box at cari.net over to Amazon EC2 and S3. Based on my estimates, the costs will be slightly higher per month ($60/mo right now, $75-80/mo post move), but the benefits are significant:

  • Using S3 for all my backups and data storage will definitely give me some piece of mind that I've been lacking.
  • The virtualized nature of the servers means doing upgrades is totally safe: launch a new copy of the box, do the upgrade, and if everything's golden, switch the IP to the new box. Cost is $0.10/hr which is close enough to zero to not matter.
  • I get a processor "upgrade" from my Celeron at Cari to a similarly clocked Xeon equivalent. The latter is paravirtualized, of course, but it should still help since most of my apps are CPU-bound. I also get some more RAM, but that's less important.
  • Last, but not least, Cari has had a lot of network issues in the year I've hosted there while Amazon hasn't.

First task is to move storage over to S3, and update the applications that currently access stuff off the filesystem (like autogeneration of thumbnails).

11 responses to “Moving to the Amazon”

  1. Sami Hoda

    Was your install at cari already virtualized? Wondering how you're actually doing it.

  2. Gerald Guido

    Barney,
    Do continue to blog on this. I am very interested how it works out for you and what your experiences are like.

    Thanx
    G

  3. joshua noble

    I'm really interested in this as well, thinking of moving some things over to EC2 and S3

  4. Dan G. Switzer, II

    Yes, I'm definitely interested in how easy the switch is. It still looks like things are a bit of pain to configure and get working right now.

  5. Gerald Guido

    Barney,
    If you have not already, check out RightScale's free developer account. It makes it very easy to launch and manage instances it has an interface to S3 as well. Rather handy.

    http://www.rightscale.com/m/products.html#developer

  6. dickbob

    I'm really trying to understand what this ec2 thing is???

    Is is some kind of virtulisation server?

    Do you have to build an image of your server, including OS, to then upload and start up on the Amazon server?

    Can you then Remote Desktop (I'm a Windows person), or whatever the Linux equilvent is, onto the instance to then make minor tweaks to the server (delete/move files).

    Could you deploy an image that includes an instance of ColdFusion to server several domains?

    I realise this is a Linux only service, so how hard would it be for an old Windows head to implement?

    Sorry for so many newbie questions but I'm trying to get what this is all about:-)

    A simple outline of what ec2 is and isn't would be really helpful.

    dick

  7. dickbob

    Thank for that Barney. That's helped massively to confirm some of the impressions I had built up about the service.

    Another question if I may…

    I understand that if the instance is shutdown all the data in the instance is lost. So that would be any CF/Apache settings, uploaded files and MySQL data. Therefore to persist anything you'd use the S3 datastore. Does that mean you need to install CF and MySQL into S3 rather than the image you upload into EC2?