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Miss Swan
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Amazon Server EC2

Postby Miss Swan » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 5:28 am

Need a techie's advice and suggestions here.

My company is looking to move our current server, which is hosted by a local provider, to an Amazon server. This comes after a few episodes of down times and the hosting company was unable to identify the problem. We've heard Amazon servers are extremely stable. After talking to a couple of people, they've all recommended the Amazon EC2.

I've gone onto the EC2 pricing site --> http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/
But as a non-techie, I'm horribly befuddled by all the different server types available. I have absolutely no idea what I'm looking at. What on earth is m3.large vs c3.large?? If anyone can help me understand what to look out for, that would be awesome. Our current server essentially hosts our emails, company website and our LMS. The entire server size we've got with the hosting company at the moment is around 20GB.

Essentially, we want a server that has zero (or close to none) down time and allows our information to be easily accessible from anywhere around the globe. My manager is currently in China for holidays and she's having problems with webmail and it takes her 10 minutes for our LMS to load up on her computer. And no, it's got nothing to do with her internet speed. She can load up other OZ websites just fine.

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x9200
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby x9200 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:02 pm

I am curious myself. AWS looks good. I have some hostings where, one is based in an SG company and generally I am happy with reliability (downtime probably better than what Amazon adverises for itself) but they are a bit pricey for what I need (low bandwidth and storage use, a few sql dbs, a few e-mail accounts, php, ssh etc.), and another one Australia/US based, much cheaper but reliability dropped during last 2-3y.
I am a bit afraid of Amazon being a big company. If (if) something gets wrong it could be a very difficult process to fix it and such companies are not flexible. I am less woried about the technical reliability but some policy changes, payments problems, domain names etc.

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 1:07 pm

With AWS you don't rent a server, you rent a service. You rent "instances" of CPU's... only one if your volume is low... and they climb as your traffic increases.

You rent bandwidth, you rent storage, you rent backup, and you rent other services. I did a calculation and concluded that the smallest charge you can get out of AWS is about USD 150 per month.

If your traffic is low, your data requirements small, you'll be hard pressed to justify Amazon. But if you have a business with lots of online transactions, AWS might be the solution.

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Aragorn2000
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby Aragorn2000 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 1:26 pm

What is LMS?

If you only need corporate email and other common services, try Google Apps for Work. It's cheap and reliable.

Gmail for Business used to be free but they now charge $10 per person per month.

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ecureilx
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 2:04 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:With AWS you don't rent a server, you rent a service. You rent "instances" of CPU's... only one if your volume is low... and they climb as your traffic increases.

You rent bandwidth, you rent storage, you rent backup, and you rent other services. I did a calculation and concluded that the smallest charge you can get out of AWS is about USD 150 per month.

If your traffic is low, your data requirements small, you'll be hard pressed to justify Amazon. But if you have a business with lots of online transactions, AWS might be the solution.


A few folks who moved to EC2 aren't unhappy .. they are extremely happy about the costs/scalability/reliability ...

if you are into pay-as-you-need, the AWS is a great deal !

For lower usage, I may have to agree with SE. It may not make sense at all !

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ecureilx
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 2:18 pm

Aragorn2000 wrote:What is LMS?

If you only need corporate email and other common services, try Google Apps for Work. It's cheap and reliable.

Gmail for Business used to be free but they now charge $10 per person per month.


at 10$ per person, it's still cheap !!

LMS - Learning Management System ?? :)

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x9200
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby x9200 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 3:54 pm

I didn't have time to comprehend the details and missing a lot of basics. What, for example, is an instance? 1 CPU? Is it multitasking? How is it related to the process based server? If this is like a single multitasking cpu then I am fine with it but if this is a single server instance of httpd then I am not happy at all.

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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 4:39 pm

OP (and everyone else), if you're not technical enough to understand the different pricing factors on EC2 then you probably don't need EC2. There are at least a dozen less sophisticated services that cost a fraction of what Amazon will charge you.

One service I personally use (but no affiliation to, and I'm intentionally not posting a referral code to get credit) is Digital Ocean:
www.digitalocean.com

It really depends on what you're using the service for, but DO plans start at $5 a month. That or the $10/month plan will solve the basic "server in the cloud" needs for 75% of the people who need it. A comparable plan at Amazon (based on bandwidth/throughput/ssd storage) would be 6-8x as much per month. Even EC2's cheapest plan (which would be a fraction of the performance of DO) would cost you $15/month.

And yes, they have a hosting location in Singapore if your expected clients are primarily in this region.

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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 4:46 pm

x9200 wrote:I didn't have time to comprehend the details and missing a lot of basics. What, for example, is an instance? 1 CPU? Is it multitasking? How is it related to the process based server? If this is like a single multitasking cpu then I am fine with it but if this is a single server instance of httpd then I am not happy at all.


An instance is a VM. The instance type you choose (t2.micro, c3.large, etc) comes with a specific amount of RAM, CPU Cores, and optimized for something. Compute-optimized have faster CPU cores, Memory Optimized have more RAM, etc. Honestly EC2 pricing gets confusing, and is not economical for the small shop that just wants "some linux VMs". It is designed for those who are building out a application environment with very specific needs that they know and understand.

Also, it isn't bullet-proof. I'm a light user of EC2 (half a dozen instances running at any given point) and I've had instances die due to hardware failures. If you haven't configured your monitoring system to poll Amazon's API for monitoring (like you should if you were to run your own hardware) you'll never know.

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ecureilx
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 4:58 pm

x9200 wrote:I didn't have time to comprehend the details and missing a lot of basics. What, for example, is an instance? 1 CPU? Is it multitasking? How is it related to the process based server? If this is like a single multitasking cpu then I am fine with it but if this is a single server instance of httpd then I am not happy at all.


an instance is a server !

what you run within the instance is upto you

you can choose the cores accordingly !

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x9200
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby x9200 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 5:30 pm

zzm, ecureilx - thank you guys.
I just ran the pricing estimator, specified 1 micro linux server instance, some storage, BW, databases and it told me ~$1.5 per month so I got excited especially that ssh access is included (not that easy to find reasonably priced hosting with ssh). And after this I had to go to do something else, but it looks it I must'ev missed a lot and probably is not worth time to learn it for a low volume hosting indeed.

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x9200
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby x9200 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 5:45 pm

OP, if AWS is not for you too, I can sort of recommend the company I use in Singapore: if interested please google out IWI.
I am saying "sort of" because from my experience you only learn full truth about the service quality when some troubles start and the provider has to interact with you to fix it. I am using them for a small company hosting, very limited traffic and I am with them for 6y or so. During this period I would say it was maybe down for half a day in total and like 2 or 3 times by event numbers (this is what I noticed at least). Smooth, transparent hosting so far with no troubles at all (knock knock on unpainted wood).

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zzm9980
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:03 pm

Digital Ocean's $5 USD/month plan can't be beat. Service is top notch, it is well connected with quality bandwidth, and the thing is blazing *fast*. It's hosted on SSD. My Ubuntu instance takes approximately 4 seconds from when I type 'sudo reboot' to when it has already rebooted and I can SSH back in again.

EC2 Micro (the cheap one) is slower than a Raspberry Pi, and only gets a 10mb/sec connection. Also, I doubt it was $1.5. I think you misplaced a decimal.

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x9200
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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby x9200 » Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:59 pm

Wow. Thanks zzm, already playing with it.
When I was looking for a hosting these good few years ago nothing like this existed.

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Re: Amazon Server EC2

Postby x9200 » Fri, 19 Dec 2014 8:58 am

zzm, this Digital Ocean, how it could be that cheap running on ssds? Is it a realistic price?
It looks like for each droplet what you get is a static IP, how this is possible? I mean, IPv4 is not that accomodating and normally you have to pay extra for a static IP.
Also, how long are you with them?


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