Amazon AWS EC2 Micro first impression

I have been playing with the EC2 Micro instance for a few weeks now and have been very impressed with the whole Amazon AWS setup. There’s an initial steep learning curve but the whole process and service is really intuitive and incredibly well built.

The latency/speed is beyond anything I have used before after a few configuration tweaks to my Ubuntu 11/Apache setup. It’s hard to properly compare with only running 1 very small site on the instance but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a site load so quickly, even against decent spec UK based dedicated servers.

With the micro instance you get 613 MB memory so once you’ve got Ubuntu 11, Apache and MySQL installed you are creeping up to the memory limit so some tweaks to the Apache config file are required to reduce the amount of memory being used.

Amazon currently offers a free tier which basically gives you a micro instance free for a year if you don’t start going over the reasonable limits. The great thing with AWS is, as your requirements increase you can start up new and more powerful instances within minutes. If you know you are going to get a peak of traffic you can load balance your site across multiple instances in an extremely short period of time then restore it back to normal levels without having to invest in new hardware or long term contracts.

I’d ideally like to be testing the RDS service for the MySQL database but the basic costs would be over £50 a month which is a little excessive for a WordPress blog.


I’ve decided to use this domain as a place I can put some of the photos I’ve taken over the past few years that have turned out enough for me to post online.

A majority of the photos I take are Ice Hockey related because I enjoy the challenge of sports photography, especially a sport as quick as Ice Hockey. I have been shooting the Nottingham Lions league games over the 2011-2012 season and hope to continue going into the 2012-2013 season.

I currently use Canon systems and can’t see any justification to change especially with the investment I already have.