The Cloud

Ahh, the cloud. A solution that nixes the costs, maintenance and real estate overhead of physically managing servers within your company. If you’re like me, there is something special about running your own servers and having all that juicy hardware within arm’s reach. The fact of the matter is, those days are slowly becoming a memory now.

As a twenty-something-year-old developer, I would love to have such real estate and host a whole roomful of servers. I say that now with a chuckle, because, I am in fact sitting next to my two-pole server rack with my custom rack-mountable PC and four additional servers. Don’t worry - it’s much quieter and cooler than you’re imagining right now ;). But, as a Comcast residential customer, there are explicit rules about hosting websites from your service (those equate to: uh no… totally not allowed). I’m also sitting here, quite possibly at dusk of net neutrality, wondering how much these rules will shuffle and change, if at all. So the solution? Either Comcast Business (eew) or I spin up a production site elsewhere. Where better than Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Before AWS, I had a virtual private server (VPS) through a different host. Now that I have since moved on to AWS hosting, the business models are pleasantly different. With the VPS host I was using previously, to host several sites (including my own), I was paying a flat monthly fee no matter the traffic, usage, uptime, etc. And the costs were a little high for what it was worth.

Migrating to AWS was the best thing I have ever done. The billing is based on what you set up, and how . In a nutshell, the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances that AWS provides for my usage, are billed on a processing/usage basis. This equates to be less than what I paid at the last place. Given the cost difference, that also means I can afford to spin up a load balancer and a mirror of the web server for just a bit more. Plus, I was able to move the database and other API elements to a whole new instance for almost no extra cost.