Monday, September 20, 2010

Switching to EC2 Hosting for my Personal Website

I had been using a GoDaddy shared hosting account for my personal website since I created it, but recently changed things up. With Amazon announcing their EC2 Micro instances, cloud based hosting was within my price range. The cost of running the VM is $0.02 per hour, totaling around $14.40 per month. There are some other costs including storage and bandwidth, but they will likely total less than $2.00 per month. What it comes down to is I have my own personal install of Linux to host my web site!

This does come with some down sides.  The VM is slow, specifically the CPU.  It comes with 613 MB of RAM which is plenty for my purposes.  Since my website doesn't receive that many visits the speed is not a major concern of mine.  However, I have determined that the micro instance isn't powerful enough to handle my install of ThinkUp because the database is just too large.  This is disappointing, but I will create a new install on my Linux box and run it locally.

The reason I can justify paying twice as much for hosting is the benefits that I get from having root on the Linux box.  While it means I have to do more Linux administration, it also means I can run whatever software I want!  Specifically, I have set up a personal SVN server that I am using for class projects.  I use both Google Code and Github for open source projects, but my class projects never had a home until now.  So far it has worked out with no problems and using WebSVN provides me with a useful way to browse and analyze my code.

I have migrated my backup script to the new setup and switched to using s3cmd to transfer files to Amazon S3.  With the additional services provided on the server, the script now includes a backup of the SVN repositories and the server configuration files.

While this does mean that I will be paying more, the additional features should justify the cost.

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