Look at your watch.
Fifteen minutes from now you could be running any of the JumpBoxes that are now available as public beta AMI’son Amazon’s EC2 service. As the least technical person in our office, I’ve known what EC2 is in the abstract sense for awhile now. Let me say it was extremely satisfying to finally fire up a JumpBox on EC2 and see how that service works first hand. I took screenshots of the entire process start to finish (which took just under 15min) in order to share here for anyone else who might be as daunted by EC2 as I was.
It should be noted that EC2 as a web hosting mechanism has some flaws (no persistent disk storage so if you’re node dies you can lose data not to mention your app can come back up under another IP address and disappear from its domain- this is not a hosting substitute for critical apps at this point). But this is a very slick way to get a public instance of a JumpBox running quickly for a non-critical application. It’s perfect for a scenario where you need to evaluate an application with a distributed team or proof a job for a remote client.
Here are the steps that I took to get the MarKamp.org wiki working yesterday:
Congratulations! You now have a public instance of your JumpBox running on EC2 under your own domain. Two things to keep in mind:
-You’ll want to make sure you configure automatic backups to S3 if you’re using it for any application where you care about the data.
-Remember EC2 bills based on usage – don’t leave town with an instance running that you forgot about or you will come back from vacation with an unpleasant bill from Amazon. It costs roughly $72/mo + minor bandwidth charges to host a site on EC2 24/7.
At this point you can do various cool things like work offline on your laptop to to add data to your application and then use the backup/restore features to inject these changes into your public EC2 instance. We’ll cover more of these techniques in future posts. For now, have fun tinkering with EC2!