Wed, 22 May 2013
AWS Alphabet Soup

Amazon, the online store, do a lot more than just sell books and computers. They also created a massive cloud computing platform to enable their own huge operations. They sell it as a service to everyone else, a so-called Platform As A Service (PaaS) provider. I've been meaning to take a closer look at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and I think now is a good time.

I actually created an AWS account four years ago but never actually used it. I think I was too busy probably, and perhaps also baulked at adding a credit card to the account at the time. I've decided to reactivate it and have a play in Amazon's free tier. This lets you use a few services for free for a year, as long as you use a small system and stay within certain resource limits.

So, I have a test EC2 instance up and running, Apache listening and a single static web page being served. It's using an EBS volume and ... well, the alphabet soup soon kicks in here. Awash in a sea of TLA's. This is one of the reasons I wanted to have a play, to learn about some of the terminology, including how to operate and manage things programmatically. I've created and used a number of virtual machines on Linux, and use quite a few now: this blog is written inside one, and hosted inside another for instance. So one of my questions is to see how different AWS is to the VM's I run now.

I would like to thank Amazon's "Imran I" again here. When I saw that I was probably not eligible for this (account over a year old) I asked Customer Service anyway (I'd never actually used the service at all). He not only enabled it for me but added $100 credit when he saw I mentioned I was educating myself on AWS. Wonderful!