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AWS — Amazon Web Services

Remember the good old days where setting up a LAMP server took dozens of floppies, a 56k modem and unlimited patience? Those days seem like a nightmare compared the products and services available today.

Need your own server to tinker with? Whether it’s to host your Minecraft world, your resume, or a blog about kittens, things have never been easier. Granted at least a decade of experience with Linux is assumed, but other than that, it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The other day I had grown tired of the previous host I was using. It was expensive, didn’t allow me root access, and was generally cumbersome to work with. I prefer vim as my configuration tool, not cPanel or WHM. There were things I wanted installed on the server for my own website’s benefit. The top of that list was the ability to use SFTP or FTPS to update my site. I would’ve been more security conscious, but the only thing there was my resume. I’m not concerned if that gets out.  I knew I could save hundreds of dollars over the year, so I took the plunge.

I signed up for AWS. Took but a few minutes. Less than hour later, I have my own private LAMP instance.

So far so good.

Then I did the migration to my new server. Then I realized why so many hosts are overpriced. Setting up spamassassin, Apache2, PHP, and customizing $PS1 to look prettier takes time. 6 hours of time in my case. While I had a fun time and enjoyed myself, I’d imagine I’m in the smallest of minorities.

At the end of my adventure, I had a fully functional server that more than exceeded my needs. I have clear, cheap and easy upgrade paths. I have much higher reliability than trying to host it at home with just as much control. Things are good in my virtual life now. Very good. Those old days swapping floppies and pulling my hair out to build a system are fading even quicker now.

Thank you, Amazon.