Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged ec2, amazon

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The excess capacity story is a myth. It was never a matter of selling excess capacity, actually within 2 months after launch AWS would have already burned through the excess Amazon.com capacity.  Amazon Web Services was always considered a business by itself, with the expectation that it could even grow as big as the Amazon.com retail operation.

Werner Vogels # 5th January 2011, 3:13 pm

Since we moved to EC2, the number of unique users has gone up 50%, and pageviews are up more than 100%. To support this growth, we have added 30% more ram and 50% more CPU, yet because of Amazon’s constant price reductions, we are actually paying less per month now than when we started.

Jeremy from Reddit # 7th January 2010, 10:10 pm

OpenStreetMap Rendering Database. Amazon have added an OpenStreetMap snapshot as a public data set, thanks to some smart prompting by Jeremy Dunck. # 10th October 2009, 1:05 pm

Tile Drawer (via) The most inspired use of EC2 I’ve seen yet: center a map on an area, pick a Cascadenik stylesheet URL (or write and link to your own) and Tile Drawer gives you an Amazon EC2 AMI and a short JSON snippet. Launch the AMI with the JSON as the “user data” parameter and you get your own OpenStreetMap tile rendering server, which self-configures on startup and starts rendering and serving tiles using your custom design. # 26th August 2009, 9:32 am

Introducing Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Amazon now let you create a network of private EC2 instances completely isolated from the internet and the rest of the EC2 cloud, then link them back to your home network via a VPN. # 26th August 2009, 8:42 am

EC2: Creating an Image. Here’s the easier way of creating your own AMI: start with a running instance in EC2, then customise it to fit your purposes and create a new bundle (and then AMI) using the ec2-bundle-vol command. # 19th May 2009, 7:50 pm

HOWTO Building a self-bundling Debian AMI. Not as terrifying as you would have thought. Also contains some neat hints as to how some of the more magical parts of EC2 work (like the way your SSH public key automatically ends up in /root/.ssh/authorized_keys). # 19th May 2009, 7:49 pm

New Features for EC2: Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, and Amazon CloudWatch. EC2 now fulfils the promise of “magic scaling in the cloud” out of the box—CloudWatch monitors performance of your EC2 instances without needing to install any monitoring software, Auto Scaling allows you to configure “scaling triggers” which start up new instances based on information from CloudWatch, and Elastic Load Balancing balances requests across all available instances. # 18th May 2009, 10:07 am

Experiences deploying a large-scale infrastructure in Amazon EC2. “At OpenX we recently completed a large-scale deployment of one of our server farms to Amazon EC2. Here are some lessons learned from that experience.” # 10th April 2009, 9:43 am

Amazon Elastic MapReduce (via) Hadoop as a service. Basically a web based GUI around Hadoop—you could roll this yourself on EC2 but for a small markup on regular EC2 prices you get to avoid the extra work setting everything up. Data processing scripts can be written in Java, Ruby, Perl, Python, PHP, R, or C++ and are loaded in to S3 before firing off the job. # 2nd April 2009, 10:25 am

Manage Amazon EC2 With New Web-Based AWS Management Console. Finally! I’m amazed it took Amazon so long to do this. Managing EC2 instances from a custom Firefox extension was pretty bizarre. It’s a very nice interface, built on top of YUI. Unfortunately you still have to manage your entire virtual server farm using a single shared Amazon account. # 9th January 2009, 9:34 am

Coming Soon: Amazon EC2 With Windows. It’s not instantly clear if you need to source your own Windows licenses or if the license comes as part of the hourly VM charge. If it’s the latter, I can see this being fantastically useful for both automated and manual cross-browser testing—throw up a Windows VM for just as long as you need to run your tests, running them through rdesktop. # 1st October 2008, 9:16 am

Persistent Django on Amazon EC2 and EBS—the easy way. Useful tutorial on getting Django up and running on EC2 with EBS for a persistent PostgreSQL database. # 21st August 2008, 9:32 pm

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS). EC2 just got a whole lot more useful—you can now create “block level storage volumes” (think virtual hard drives) and mount them to an EC2 instance for real persistent storage—but because they’re virtual you can clone them, snapshot them and benefit from automatic replication. # 21st August 2008, 10:15 am

[Amazon’s] forthcoming persistent storage feature will give you the ability to create reliable, persistent storage volumes for use with EC2. Once created, these volumes will be part of your account and will have a lifetime independent of any particular EC2 instance.

Jeff Barr # 14th April 2008, 7:50 am

EC2: Introducing Elastic IP Addresses and Availability Zones. Big news from Amazon: EC2 can now provide static IP addresses which you can dynamically map to one of your instances, along with “availability zones” so you can specify that instances run in different data centres. Hosting an entire application on EC2 just got a whole lot more practical. # 27th March 2008, 10:33 am

ErlyWeb vs. Ruby on Rails EC2 Performance Showdown. ErlyWeb’s peak response rate beats Rails by 47x, albeit with a hugely simplified benchmark. More interesting than the results is the idea of using EC2 for benchmarking on identical simulated hardware. # 10th December 2007, 3:27 pm

Amazon EC2 Basics For Python Programmers. Detailed introduction and tutorial from James Gardner. # 3rd September 2007, 6:20 pm

Processing Web Documents using Alexa Web Search, Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2. I’m not sure when it happened, but Alexa Web Search can be hooked in to EC2 now—presumably with free bandwidth between the two. # 1st July 2007, 7:19 pm

Mass Video Conversion Using AWS. How to use S3, SQS, EC2, ffmpeg and some Python to bulk convert videos with Amazon Web Services. # 3rd April 2007, 11:44 pm

boto. Python library for accessing Amazon’s S3, SQS and EC2 Web Services, with excellent documentation. # 11th February 2007, 12:17 am